2nd generation movers & shakers of electronics industry

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By Srabani Sen, Richa Chakravarty & Nitasha Chawla

Thursday, October 10, 2013: Bringing the next generation on board is a common aspiration for all those who run family businesses. But, for the second generation, though joining the family business seems an easy call, they often have very high expectations and standards to live up to. Expressions like, “Some day, this business will be yours,” have lured the would-be heirs, but when they closed their eyes to dream big and reached out to embrace those dreams, they often felt nervousness creeping in. Slipping into their fathers’ shoes would not only mean huge responsibilities, but also having to live up to the expectations of the organisation and the industry as a whole. To win over the wary youngsters, the senior generation assured their offsprings that they were not expected to work in their seniors’ shadows but could chart out their own paths and make their own unique contributions to the business.
And it was not that the youngsters didn’t have other options open to them; nor that the first generation pressured them to come on board. But these scions decided it was the best career choice for them—to prove their mettle and to satisfy a strong desire of contributing to the electronics industry. Their childhood was spent watching their fathers/parents slogging to meet all challenges, so it was natural to yearn for the same career, but with the vision to change the scenario.

The second generation may have joined their family businesses for different reasons, but the industry strongly feels that their contributions to the electronics industry are not only welcome but much required. It is seen as a breath of fresh air. They have a lot to offer. Most importantly, these naive or inexperienced hands rose above the mentality of ‘This is the only way to do things’, to take their family businesses forward with a lot more passion, courage and vision.

Here are the stories of some second generation entrepreneurs. At an age when they could have taken life lightly and spent their time hanging out with friends, they attend to clients, meet their requirements and plan strategies to grow in the market. They have proved to be inspiring figures for all aspiring entrepreneurs.

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(The Sequence in which the entrepreneurs have been featured is as per their seniority in the industry)

Pradeep Khadilkar
CMD, Cermet Resistronics Pvt Ltd 
Pradeep Khadilkar
CMD, Cermet Resistronics Pvt Ltd

 Age: 50
Qualification: BE in Electrical from Government College of Engineering, Pune
Father: Narayan Shankar Khadilkar, technical consultant

Pradeep always wanted to be an entrepreneur but did not know he would end up being in the electronics industry. However, entering this industry was the easiest choice he made, confesses Pradeep. “My father, Narayan Shankar Khadilkar, has been serving the industry since 1964 as a technical consultant with various big electronics companies. So, choosing electronics was easy for me as I had my father to guide me with his deep understanding about the industry and the technologies,” says Pradeep.

Together with his father, Pradeep started Cermet Resistronics in 1990. Initially, the company was known as Cameo Resistors but after the adoption of Cermet technology, it was renamed Cermet Resistronics.

Expansion plans and business strategies: Pradeep aims to make Cermet a globally recognised quality manufacturer of resistors, though within a limited specialised range. His objective is to become a clear cut leader in the Indian industry for resistors and to make it a multinational company by having a presence overseas, either through offices or manufacturing units.

Presently, the company is undergoing a transformation with the management introducing human resource practices akin to what’s followed in the corporate sector. Pradeep plans to expand to an installed capacity that will be three times what is being manufactured presently. In the next five years, the company plans to achieve a target of Rs 500 million. “We are structuring our staff in a corporate manner and providing them trainings. Also, to make our products competitive, we are focusing on global volumes of business. We are also improving and expanding our infrastructure to accommodate our additional manufacturing capacity. Along with this, we are working on a new marketing strategy and also enabling the team to work towards this strategy,” says Pradeep.

Changes brought in: Pradeep’s approach is different from his father’s when it comes to running a business. Automation was the biggest change introduced by him. “I took the initiative of introducing the latest systems like enterprise resource planning (ERP), approval processes and Kaizen into the organisation. This not only helped us in augmenting or improving our productivity and quality, but also helped in streamlining our work,” informs Pradeep.

Management style: Pradeep treats his employees as his asset and firmly believes in giving them complete ownership of the work done. This not only transfers the responsibility to them but also helps employees build an emotional attachment to the company, Pradeep believes.

Challenges faced: As Pradeep did not hail from a business background, there was no one to guide him on those lines. Hence, running this business was his biggest challenge. The first seven years, his company made losses. “Business is a combination of managing finances, manpower, product strategies, raw material and machinery and of developing the right processes. Keeping the time frame and limited resources in mind, it was a tough journey for me to take up manufacturing. Arranging finances for this business was another major challenge as I did not have any asset to lease out. So, I tried all possible ways and methods to raise funds,” shares Pradeep. However, to overcome these challenges, Pradeep learnt from his mistakes, took advice from his friends and peer group and remained determined to succeed.

Vision for electronics industry: With India becoming more competitive and after seeing the benefits and opportunities in this area, Pradeep is all set to capture more business and thus has been in the process of enhancing capacity. “In some areas we are on par with China but in the components sector, I feel that the industry lacks a global perspective. If we have the persistence and tenacity to change that aspect, this industry will be booming in the coming years,” says Pradeep.

Corporate Strategies
Strategies to reach out to new customers:
Offer quality and reliability in all products on affordable price
Strategies to retain existing customers:
Keep in touch with them and fulfil their requirements at an affordable cost
Brand building strategies:
Through websites, advertisements, participation in trade shows
Areas where investments are a must:
Educating the workforce, R&D and infrastructure

Likes & Dislikes
Passionate about
Wildlife, travelling and business

When he is not thinking about business…
Reads, travels, spends time with friends and family

Two gadgets he cannot live without
Cellphone and laptop

Admires the previous generation for
They are content with what they have, not money minded and are patient

What he dislikes about the previous generation
Lack of ambition and no inclination towards automation

Kamal P Goliya
CEO, Meco Instruments Pvt Ltd 
Kamal P Goliya CEO, Meco Instruments Pvt Ltd
Kamal P Goliya
CEO, Meco Instruments Pvt Ltd

 Age: 46
AgeQualification: BE in Instrumentation from Shri Guru Gobind Singhji College of Engineering & Technology, Marathwada University, Maharashtra, and MBA from Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago
Father: Premchand Goliya, CMD
As a child, Kamal frequented his father’s factories, where the machines and instruments fascinated him to such an extent that he gradually became passionate about them. After finishing his BE in 1992, he joined his family business, Meco Instruments, a home-grown company that’s into designing, developing and manufacturing electrical and electronics testing and measuring instruments as well as transducers. Many of the employees who are with him today were his mentors while he worked with them in different departments to gain experience. “I share a good relationship with all my employees, as some of them have been my trainers and mentors,” says Kamal.

Expansion plans and business strategies: As Meco celebrates its 51st year in the test and measurement (T&M) industry in 2013, Kamal aims to achieve 20 per cent growth year on year. He aspires to take the company to new heights by making it the No. 1 player in its top-earning product categories that include multimeters, clampmeters, digital panel meters, insulation testers and transducers. He aims to incorporate the latest trends in test technology and focuses on developing innovative products as that will help the company to grow faster. He also believes in interacting directly with customers and commercially supporting them with the help of the distributors, to sustain the relationship.

Changes brought in: Kamal believes that Meco needs to have products that continually perform well. Hence, the first change he introduced years ago was to make Meco products very stable, quality wise. “If a company produces low-quality products, its brand image declines. If a consumer is introduced to a high-quality product, it is like a value addition to the customer,” he adds. Next, he worked on internal corporate systems that enabled Meco to respond quickly to consumer concerns and provide them better services. “You need to respond to the consumer by making changes and adapting your products to satisfy their needs,” says Kamal. The third change he introduced was to strengthen the sales support to the customers so that they rely on the company completely. Brand building through digital and online medium was another major change introduced by Kamal.

Management style: Kamal likes to work hands on. He likes to work on the shop floor and deal with people directly. Right from a small job to big projects, Kamal keeps a close eye on day to day operations.

Vision for electronics industry: Kamal wants the component manufacturing industry to flourish in India. With the recent government moves to boost electronics manufacturing in the country, he is hopeful that the industry will also have a component manufacturing ecosystem. However, he feels that the government should roll out its plan soon as India already lags far behind.

Corporate Strategies
Strategies to reach out to new customers:
Building relationships with customers and making them aware of the USP of Meco’s products
Strategies to retain existing customers:
By constantly adding values to customers supply chain system
Brand building strategies:
Advertising through various media, and participating in trade shows
Areas where investments are a must:
People, research and development of new products

Likes & Dislikes
Passionate about
Work

When he is not thinking about business…
Is involved in religious and social work, and spends time with family

Two gadgets he cannot live without
Cellphone and laptop

Admires the previous generation for
Its warmth and patience

What he dislikes about the previous generation
Over-protection and excessive guidance

Sunil Vachani
CMD, Dixon Technologies India Pvt Ltd 
Sunil Vachani CMD, Dixon Technologies India Pvt Ltd
Sunil Vachani
CMD, Dixon Technologies India Pvt Ltd

 Age: 44
Qualification: Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) from American College of London, UK
Father: Late Sunder Vachani (who was the MD of Weston)

Sunil believes that success isn’t in the numbers. He is among the few assiduous corporate leaders who have been tirelessly engaged in reviving the electronics industry. Having spent almost two decades in the industry, he has had his own share of successes and failures. Despite the trials faced, he is confident of riding the crest of the wave.

After completing his bachelor’s degree from the American College of London in 1992, Sunil wanted to start his own venture, instead of joining the family business. His father, late Sunder Vachani, was the pioneer in introducing colour TVs in India under the brand name Weston. Sunil’s family has always been in the electronics business, so electronics seems to be in his DNA too. It was something Sunil was always interested in, but before taking the plunge into a new venture, he undertook six-month training under his father. “No matter how big or small your dream is, achieving it is what counts,” says Sunil.

Challenges faced: Having dreamt of establishing a new venture all by himself, the major obstacle Sunil faced back then was raising the capital. “In December 1993, I started Dixon Technologies, an EMS firm, with Rs 2 million lent by my father,” recalls Sunil. So, the biggest challenge was funding as back then, convincing bankers about the viability of the business was a difficult task.

In 1993, EMS was a relatively new concept in India. That was yet another risk that Sunil was undertaking. As expected, Sunil did not make any profits for 8-10 months. In the first year, Dixon’s turnover was Rs 3 million, but it slowly picked up.

Expansion plans and business strategies: Dixon is the largest Indian EMS company today, and Sunil wants it to be among the top five companies in the world, competing with the global giants by focusing on innovation, quality and execution. Sunil started off with just 25-30 people and now, after 20 years, Dixon has 3500 people and a turnover of Rs 8.5 billion. Dixon diversified into manufacturing set-top boxes about four years back. “I strongly believe in my father’s philosophy that if a company has to be successful and sustain itself, it must be continuously recreated or rejuvenated with new ideas,” says Sunil.

Changes brought in: The changes that occurred were primarily in Sunil’s outlook. “I learnt from my father to be a people’s person. He believed that an organisation is all about its people. I followed this philosophy in my organisation and tried my best to keep my people motivated, and align their vision and energies towards one particular goal which was to become the No. 1 EMS company in India,” shares Sunil.

Management style: Sunil doesn’t believe in interfering in day-to- day work. “After I am assured that my people are heading the right way, I leave it to them to achieve the goals and don’t interfere much. I have laid down the vision for the organisation, and make sure that people believe in it,” he says. Sunil’s strategy has always been to hire people who are smarter than him and know more than him. He firmly believes in having a team that is self-driven and self-motivated.

Vision for electronics industry: On many occasions Sunil has tried to convince the government to come up with policies that encourage ‘Made-in-India’ manufacturing. “I would like to tell the government about two serious issues. One is the current account deficit and the second is the high level of unemployment. Today, the electronics industry has the largest potential to create employment. So, by encouraging manufacturing, both these problems can be solved,” says Sunil.

Corporate Strategies
Strategies to reach out to new customers:
Participating in exhibitions, building a brand image as a most reliable EMS company
Strategies to retain existing customers:
By world-class infrastructure and lean, efficient manufacturing systems with focus on Six Sigma quality
Brand building strategies:
Believes EMS companies do not need brand building, but they need to be recognised in terms of recall
Areas where investments are a must:
Production, upgradation, infrastructure

Likes & Dislikes
Passionate about
Striving to be better than the best, and having a world-class infrastructure in the company
When he is not thinking about business…
Thinks about the challenges that his company could face in the next five years and how to tackle them
Two gadgets he cannot live without
iPad and iPhone
Admires the previous generation for
Their risk-taking abilities, and the ability to connect with people
What he dislikes about the previous generation
Nothing

Vinod Sharma
MD, Deki Electronics Ltd 
Vinod Sharma MD, Deki Electronics Ltd
Vinod Sharma
MD, Deki Electronics Ltd

 Age: 47
Qualification: Diploma in Hotel Management, Institute of Hotel Management & Catering Technology, Mumbai
Father-in-law: Jai Kumar, chairman

Joining Deki and the electronics industry was sheer destiny for Vinod. Trained in hotel management, Vinod was invited by his father-in-law, who started Deki in 1984 and is currently the chairman, to help him with the business. In 1992, the components manufacturing scenario in India was very hazy. Taking the decision to switch over from a well established career in the hotel industry to a completely new field where umpteen unknown challenges lurked, gives a glimpse of Vinod’s decision-making capabilities and entrepreneurship.

In 1993, at the age of 28, Vinod joined Deki. Since then, he has passionately worked to shape Deki into a world-class film capacitor manufacturer. His value-based management systems and high levels of customer orientation ensured a 30 per cent annual growth rate year on year. “We increased our interactions with the customers to figure out their expectations,” recalls Vinod.

Today, Deki is among the few Indian electronics components manufacturing companies that have survived despite the challenges of operating in India. Vinod has given the company international recognition. Deki not only sells in India but also exports most of its products. “Our learning is that if you are obsessed with customers’delight then profit will follow, but if you chase profit, then it is not necessary that customer satisfaction will follow,” says Vinod.

Expansion plans and business strategies: Vinod has undertaken a 5×5 plan, that is, to grow by five times in the next five years. He ensures sustainability of the business by engaging all stakeholders in the journey of learning and growth. He scaled up the company, which achieved its targeted growth every year, and offered value additions to customers by expanding the product range. He also carefully developed a committed and professional team that delivers world-class services, taking ownership for assignments and enjoying their roles in the company.

Changes brought in: Vinod developed a competitive model based on an in-depth understanding of his own business and the electronics hardware sector in India, China and South Korea. Deki was always very customer and people oriented. “We have tried to deliver on these fronts in a consistent and probably more visible manner,” says Vinod.

Management style: Vinod follows a democratic management style, one that engages the whole team and enables each person’s individual potential to grow. “We like to call it participative management,” says Vinod, who is proud that his company has not lost a single customer till today because of the company’s policies. His strategies have also created strong motivation and trust among the workforce.

Vision for electronics industry: “India is fortunately a large and growing market. Several supply side constraints and lack of a manufacturing enabling policy have so far rendered most of the industry globally non-competitive. The growing relative costs in China and other emerging economies, and a now established urgency to promote manufacturing locally augurs well for establishing India as a globally competitive manufacturing hub,” shares Vinod. Vinod had made many recommendations to the government, which have been incorporated in the National Policy on Electronics 2012. He contributes immensely to the industry as chairman of CII ICTE Committee and chairman of ESC.

Corporate Strategies
Strategies to reach out to new customers:
Through word of mouth, quality products and world-class after sales services
Strategies to retain existing customers:
Deliver on time, mutual respect, engage customers in your vision
Brand building strategies:
Through technical seminars, quarterly newsletters
Area where investments are a must:
Manufacturing processes

Likes & Dislikes
Passionate about
Continuous learning
When he is not thinking about business…
Writing books—he is on his second book now
Two gadgets he cannot live without
MacBook Air and BlackBerry
Admires the previous generation for
Focus and humility
What he dislikes about the previous generation
Sometimes, lack of ambition

Rajiv Venkatraman
MD, Precision Electronic Component Mfg Co (PEC) 
Rajiv Venkatraman MD, Precision Electronic Component Mfg Co (PEC)
Rajiv Venkatraman
MD, Precision Electronic Component Mfg Co (PEC)

Age: 42
Qualification: MSc in Manufacturing Systems Engineering from Boston University and B Tech in Mechanical Engineering from IIT Madras
Father: Late R Venkatraman

Hailing from an entrepreneurial background, business had always been Rajiv’s passion. Though he had a choice to continue his PhD, he followed his passion and in 1993, joined his father’s company PEC, a manufacturer of defence grade resistors. Despite numerous career opportunities abroad, Rajiv wanted to contribute to the development of his own country.

Established in 1972, PEC did present a ready-made platform for Rajiv, but his journey was never a bed of roses. He joined the business as an engineer and was soon asked to start a new project, which could not take off for a year-and-a-half, and this led to huge losses for PEC. After getting hands-on training in several aspects of the business, Rajiv became the managing director in 2009.

“Knowing that my father was extremely well-known in the industry (ELCINA chairman for two terms), it was obvious that I would be compared to him; yet, I decided to face the challenges,” recalls Rajiv. “Besides, when you come into a position because of your inheritance, there is a lot of pressure from people around you to prove your capabilities and worthiness,” he adds.
Changes brought in: The first change that Rajiv introduced under his leadership was to make the company strong in manufacturing systems; it is now developing enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. Next, he worked on strengthening the quality systems of the company, and tried to develop solutions and not just products. He was also able to cut down lead times drastically.

Management style: Rajiv identifies people as per their capabilities, and then aligns their roles as per these abilities.

Challenges faced: The main challenge that Rajiv faced was to produce high-quality products to cater to the defence and industrial sector. He not only developed a process and environment to produce world-class products, but also successfully established local as well as export markets for these products.

Vision for the organisation: Rajiv aims for 100 per cent growth in the next five years, and wants to be a preferred resistor supplier to all the major companies in the world. He is now focused on developing partnerships with companies across the world.

Vision for electronics industry: Rajiv dreams of a large components industry in India to support manufacturing of electronics. He believes that soon India will definitely become the most preferred manufacturing destination, and proposes that Indian companies should be the first beneficiaries of government support and schemes. “India’s biggest mistake was to sign the WTO agreement to allow companies to bring in components at zero duty,” says Rajiv, who wants to contribute to the industry by bringing in technology required in the country, reducing foreign exchange outflows, and earning higher export revenues.

Corporate Strategies
Strategy to reach out to new customers:
Through a top-class website that provides the right information to customers
Strategy to maintain existing customers:
Supporting them in every way as ‘customer is the king’ is the guiding mantra of the firm
Brand building strategies:
Branding through media, company website, participation in trade shows, and building close relationships with channel partners
Areas where investments are a must:
People, products and capacities

Likes & Dislikes
Passionate about
Product development
When he is not thinking about business…
Spends time with family and travels
Two gadgets he cannot live without
Smartphone and laptop
Admires the previous generation for
Passion and perseverance to work in licence raj
What he dislikes about the previous generation
Ability to accept things easily. Had they been less accepting, the industry would be in a different state today

Inderpreet Singh Bindra
Director, Radius Industries (Radcom) 
Inderpreet Singh Bindra Director, Radius Industries (Radcom)
Inderpreet Singh Bindra
Director, Radius Industries (Radcom)

Age: 36
Qualification: Graduated from Delhi University
Father: MS Bindra, president

Inderpreet was always fascinated with electronics, which became his passion over the years. Hence, joining the family business, which is in the field of electronics, was an obvious decision in 1994. “My passion to learn and create helped me understand the nitty gritty of the business faster,” says Inderpreet. He has built Radius Industries (Radcom), a leading brand of electronic components, into a firm with a very good reputation in the market. “I would like our brand to be the benchmark for quality and reliability,” says Inderpreet.

Expansion plans and business strategies: Inderpreet plans to introduce products in more verticals to further expand the horizons of the company. “We are growing at a steady pace, and despite the recent and prevailing market volatility, we would like to keep our growth at the same levels,” informs Inderpreet. He plans to build market share with quality products, competitive pricing and optimum stock levels, which he believes are the most important strategies to survive and grow in the market.

Changes brought in: Inderpreet has been instrumental in making the company more professional. He realised that to compete in the market, the organisation first needs to be organised and function professionally. Hence, he has ensured delegation of responsibility and authority, reduced levels of hierarchy and, most importantly, encouraged team work.
Challenges faced: Inderpreet was lucky to join an organisation which was already running smoothly; the rules, regulations and strategies set down by the first generation were the foundation stone of this organisation. He just had to do minor tweaks here and there for further smooth functioning.

Management style: Inderpreet’s management style has been simple—team work, with a thinking leader who is approachable. He is open to any ideas and solutions given by anybody in the organisation. “To succeed in the task at hand, everyone involved needs to combine their efforts. If everyone does their job well, then the level of accomplishment increases,” feels Inderpreet.

Vision for the electronics industry: Inderpreet believes that the electronics industry has immense potential to grow in the years to come. “We would like the government to play a larger role in this industry as we perceive tremendous opportunities for India to be a leading manufacturing base for the world market, keeping in view that input costs and labour costs are growing in other countries like China,” says Inderpreet.

Corporate Strategies
Strategies to reach out to new customers:
Ensure quality products and on-time delivery
Strategies to retain existing customers:
By networking with them and supporting them in every way
Brand building strategies:
Use the electronic and print media, besides participating in exhibitions around the globe
Areas where investments are a must:
People and products

Likes & Dislikes
Passionate about
Work and cars
When he is not thinking about business…
Thinks about yet more business
Two gadgets he cannot live without
Cellphone and laptop
Admires the previous generation for
The respect and love they give to others, and for their sense of togetherness
What he dislikes about the previous generation
Nothing

Ankur Goyal
Director, Digital Circuits Pvt Ltd 
Ankur Goyal Director, Digital Circuits Pvt Ltd
Ankur Goyal
Director, Digital Circuits Pvt Ltd

Age: 37
Qualification: BE in Electronics from RV College of Engineering, Bengaluru, and MBA in Marketing from Christ Institute of Management, Bengaluru
Father: Subhash Goyal, MD

Although Ankur did his BE in Electronics, he was not passionate about the subject till he joined his father’s EMS business in 1998. Ankur worked extra hard to be taken seriously at work, as he was only 22 when he joined Digital Circuits, which offers design, prototype development, PCB assembly, etc. “But I’ve always had very clear goals and a vision for the organisation,” says Ankur.

With his eyes and ears open, Ankur started learning about the manufacturing processes and other systems of the organisation. “I am grateful to my father and all the others who are still with me, for the patience they had shown to teach me and help me consolidate the growth we have achieved in the last eight to 10 years,” he says.

Ankur became the director of the company in 2004. He has been instrumental in taking the company forward, with his new and fresh approach to business. With his energy, enthusiasm and hard work, he has not only won over the employees but also become very popular among the suppliers and clients.

Expansion plans and business strategies: Ankur’s major challenge has been to sustain the 30 per cent growth of the company year on year, and double it in the next five years. He is focused on taking the business forward by making the manufacturing processes of world-class quality and maintaining transparency. Ankur realised that penetrating the high volume business would help the company to grow faster. Hence, he started focusing on the defence and medical sectors, improved the deliverables, and entered high growth sectors like phablets, mobiles, etc.

Changes brought in: The biggest change brought about by Ankur was in the mindset of the management and employees to accept a modern outlook. He aims to take Digital Circuits to newer heights, keeping in mind its values and principles, and believes that even an EMS company needs to build a brand name. “Since ours is a service business, doing quality work, sticking to commitments and transparency would automatically build a brand name,” he adds.
Ankur believes in taking quick decisions. “Business at the speed of thought, explosive growth, and complete independence to employees to take their own decisions are some of the changes I brought in to the company,” shares Ankur. Next, he worked closely with the employees to understand their problems and assist them in overcoming them. He also ensured that every employee was aware of the customers’ expectations and developed response systems accordingly.

Management style: Ankur believes in openness, frankness and a candid relationship—be it with employees, suppliers or customers. “I do not like to interfere in day-to-day work, so I give the employees enough space to take decisions. I believe in giving them time to perform, with no compulsions,” explains Ankur.

Vision for electronics industry:
The most important contribution Ankur wants to make to the industry is to develop a reliable, dependable and cost-effective alternate to China, offering customers better quality and logistics. Ankur suggests that the government should at least ensure that the raw material costs, labour, regulations, subsidies, and encouragement to local industry be at par with what the Chinese government offers to its domestic industries.

Corporate Strategies
Strategies to reach out to new customers:
Transparency, and a focus on design and development
Strategies to retain existing customers:
Trust, commitment, honouring ones commitments and offering world-class quality process and products
Brand building strategies:
A strong, responsive and prompt CRM team
Areas where investments are a must:
Manufacturing processes, R&D

Likes & Dislikes
Passionate about
Work and more work
When he is not thinking about business…
Thinks about family
Two gadgets he cannot live without
iPhone and pen
Admires the previous generation for
Stability and consistency of thoughts, and their commitment to the promises they make
What he dislikes about the previous generation
Lack of out-of-the-box thinking, limited horizons

Raj Gaurav Batra
Director, business development, Rabyte Electronics Pvt Ltd 
Raj Gaurav Batra Director, business development, Rabyte Electronics Pvt Ltd
Raj Gaurav Batra
Director, business development, Rabyte Electronics Pvt Ltd

Age: 35
Qualification: BSc in Business Administration (Corporate Restructuring) from Rochester Institute of Technology, New York
Father: Rajiv Batra, MD

Raj joined his family business in 1999, immediately after graduating from college. Although he had job offers from international firms like Bank of America, Raj’s passion for electronics and his dream to take Rabyte—a world-class innovator in the distribution and marketing of electronics components—to new heights, brought him back to India.

Expansion plans and business strategies: Raj started his journey in Rabyte with a vision to make it a global player and the most preferred supplier of electronics and design solutions. He targets a CAGR of at least 50 per cent over the next five years. “We have expanded our product portfolio and have also increased the number of verticals we are addressing. Within the next two years, we expect to increase our overseas presence as well, with the opening of new offices in the ASEAN region,” says Raj.

Changes brought in: With the senior management always open to the changes that the younger generation proposes, Raj made the organisation more professional by hiring the right people for the right departments. He also streamlined the supply chain and reduced inventory time significantly. He added a list of reputed companies and quality products to the company’s portfolio as per the current requirements of the customers. He was also instrumental in opening corporate offices across India.

Challenges faced: Raj was lucky to get adjusted to the rules and regulations of Rabyte without facing too many challenges, as the company always had a very open style of management. “I really did not face any major challenges. I believe that people are more receptive to changes or new ideas if the value and advantage of these changes are communicated clearly and made visible to everyone involved in the organisation,” shares Raj.

Management style: Raj’s management style can be best described as a hands-off approach, wherein he gives a free hand to both co-workers and subordinates. “I do know what is going on in the organisation, but I am not directly involved and I place a lot of trust on my colleagues and co-workers,” says Raj.

Vision for the electronics industry: Says Raj, “The current fall in the rupee’s value has shown us that our reliance on imports is not a sustainable strategy. Most countries have policies to encourage domestic manufacturing, whereas Indian regulations have the reverse effect of encouraging imports. For example, 250 million cellphones are sold each year, but these are imported since the import and excise duty structure makes it more expensive to manufacture locally.” He feels that with the right policy decisions, the government can make a huge difference in the future of the electronics industry. He suggests the government should have the right tax structure in place to encourage domestic manufacturing. “Even if the government just puts in place appropriate regulations to promote manufacturing of cellphones, LCD/LED TVs and set-top boxes, there would be a huge boom in the electronics industry,” he says. He would like to contribute to the industry by working with industry leaders in identifying systemic issues that affect the industry, and then generating and executing solutions for them.

Corporate Strategies
Strategy to reach out to new customers:
Offer better design solutions and value-added service
Strategies to retain existing customers:
Providing technical support by design team and quality product at competitive price
Brand building strategies:
Exhibiting at big trade shows, and through print and social media
Areas where investments are a must:
R&D and human resource

Likes & Dislikes
Passionate about
Playing tennis
When he is not thinking about business…
Listens to music, spends time with family
Two gadgets he cannot live without
Laptop and cellphone
Admires the previous generation for
Their patience and trust
What he dislikes about the previous generation
Nothing

Anirudh Dhoot
Director, sales and marketing, Videocon Group 
Anirudh Dhoot Director, sales and marketing, Videocon Group
Anirudh Dhoot
Director, sales and marketing, Videocon Group

Age: 35
Qualification: MBA from Cardiff University, UK
Father: Venugopal Dhoot, CMD

Anirudh joined his family business at the age of 21, but his journey had started way back during his school days when he used to visit the factories to learn the intricacies of manufacturing, which he would be expected to take up in the future. However, his first official stint was to look after Videocon’s manufacturing unit. He then moved on to set up Videocon’s state-of-the-art greenfield plant in Kashipur, Uttarakhand. After this rich experience, he started heading the sales and marketing activities of the Videocon Group. “I had an option to start my own business. But, I chose to take my family’s legacy forward. My grandfather and father had built a very good image for our brand, and I wanted to contribute to strengthen it further,” says Anirudh.

Expansion plans and business strategies: Anirudh wants Videocon products to reach every individual in the country, from the cities to rural areas. “We want to create a brand which is for the masses—low-cost, yet hi-tech,” he says. Anirudh wants to work on ‘future technologies’ and devote enough time to R&D to meet the changing requirements of consumers.
The launch of televisions with digital direct broadcast (DDB) technology is one such move. Anirudh aims to continue to create value for money products that are 8-9 per cent cheaper than the competitiors’ products, especially as most of Videocon’s sales come from rural areas and smaller cities.

Changes brought in: Anirudh was associated with the branding of Videocon, from the very beginning. He associated the company with cricket (IPL) and hockey as a brand building strategy. He plans to get associated with more sports next year. Anirudh has also started training programmes for employees. “I believe in strengthening the workforce; therefore, we conduct training programmes to enhance the practical knowledge of the workforce, while developing their personalities,” he informs. He has also improved upon customer service and focused on R&D.

Challenges faced: Getting into the family business was easy for Anirudh, but working in it wasn’t as easy as was generally perceived, because it came with unique challenges apart from the pressures of living up to expectations. “For the first four-five years in the company, I was just on training with no set position and was shifted from one department to another, working under senior executives. It was during this time, I had to earn the trust of these officers, who would eventually work under me. That transition was little tough,” recalls Anirudh. When senior level executives are asked to work under someone who’s so young and inexperienced, they may find it difficult. Anirudh approached the issue delicately by maintaining decorum and respect. “I acknowledged their experience by turning to them for advice in relevant areas,” he shares. Anirudh also felt the pressure to perform at times because he was being compared to his father.

Management style: Anirudh believes in team work and in giving individuals opportunities to progress in the company. He is flexible and open to the ideas presented by his team members. At the same time, Anirudh likes to maintain discipline in terms of work culture and punctuality.

Vision for electronics industry: According to Anirudh, the government should turn India into a manufacturing hub by focusing more on bringing in the required technology. “We do a lot of local manufacturing and would like to increase the share of locally manufactured products even further. I want to make the ‘Made-in-India’ tag a reality,” says Anirudh.

Corporate Strategies
Strategies to reach out to new customers:
Online media, consumer research
Strategies to retain existing customers:
Strong customer care services and online media
Brand building strategies:
Digital marketing, online marketing platforms like Facebook, mobile applications, etc
Areas where investments are a must:
R&D, training and development, consumer services

Likes & Dislikes
Passionate about
Gadgets and sports (cricket and badminton)
When he is not thinking about business…
Spends time with friends and socialises
Two gadgets he cannot live without
iPad and cellphone
Admires the previous generation for
Their energy levels and commitment to work
What he dislikes about the previous generation
Limited knowledge about IT and new techniques

Manish Kwatra
MD, Metro Electronic Products 
Manish Kwatra MD, Metro Electronic Products
Manish Kwatra
MD, Metro Electronic Products

Age: 37
Qualification: BE in Electronics and Telecom from Pune University
Father: Prem Prakash Kwatra, technical adviser

Manish was very passionate about electronics from his school days. Nuturing his passion for electronics, he ended up studying electronics engineering and later entered the same industry. Soon after completing his studies in 1999, Manish joined Metro Electronic Products (popularly known as Metro Q), a 52 year-old company started by his father Prem Prakash Kwatra. Initially, the company traded in electronic components but later it expanded its operations to include manufacturing test and measurement (T&M) equipment.

Manish joined the company as the head of marketing and sales, and after donning many hats, became the managing director in 2005. Over the years, Manish spearheaded the company to help it expand and flourish. Bringing in new technologies and ensuring a fast product cycle were his major focus areas.

Expansion plans and business strategies: Manish aims to achieve a growth of 35 per cent year on year and plans to develop the company as a one-stop shop for all T&M devices, offering the latest technology at fair prices. “My objective is to add new products to the portfolio as that helps to expand fast. Adding instruments that are in demand, with the required specifications, and understanding what customers will need down the line and developing those products fast is where I put my energy. Today, from the stage of conceptualising a product to launching it takes less than six months; whereas earlier, it used to take more than a year,” informs Manish. He also ensures that his customers get value addition at a fair price, the best quality products and prompt after sales services.

Management style: Manish’s working style is very transparent and open. He communicates with his distributors and suppliers regularly to understand their requirements.

Challenges faced: One of the biggest challenges he faced when he joined the business was that information was not well communicated to the customers. He not only made information and software accessible for his suppliers but also ensured that the process of sharing information with the customers was streamlined.

Another challenge faced by his company is the stiff competition from international T&M brands that are expanding their market share in India. However, he feels that this has indeed been a blessing in disguise. “These MNCs have deep pockets to actually buy markets and hence they stimulate healthy competition among all the other brands prevailing in the market. I have indeed learnt from their marketing tactics, so it has actually placed us on a better footing. More competition leads to better products, which eventually leads to the growth of the market,” shares Manish.

Vision for electronics industry: According to Manish, the scenario seems very optimistic as five years from now, electronics in India will witness a major boom. But for this to happen, the government needs to build an infrastructure that will support manufacturing within the country.

Corporate Strategies
Strategy to reach out to new customers:
Giving them open access to the company’s resources
Strategies to retain existing customers:
Constantly being in touch with them and offering quality products through best deals
Brand building strategies:
To be present in all media—digital, online and print and
social media
Areas where investments are a must:
Technology and after-sales infrastructure

Likes & Dislikes
Passionate about
Reading and experiencing various horizons
When he is not thinking about business…
Socialising with friends
Two gadgets he cannot live without
Cellphone and laptop
Admires the previous generation for
Patience and their vision to build up business on a long-term basis
What he dislikes about the previous generation
An unprofessional management style and the reluctance to adopt a professional Style

Shishir Agrawal
MD, Shigan Quantum Technologies Pvt Ltd 
Shishir Agrawal MD, Shigan Quantum Technologies Pvt Ltd
Shishir Agrawal
MD, Shigan Quantum Technologies Pvt Ltd

Age: 47
Qualification: Chartered Accountant
Father: Umesh Chandra Agrawal

A chartered accountant by profession, Shishir always wanted to be an entrepreneur. He learnt the skills from his father, who worked with his grandfather in their venture Goel Exports. In 1999, Shishir and his brother Gagan Agrawal entered the field of alternate fuel systems. In 2008, a joint venture between the Shigan Group and Quantum Technologies was floated and hence, Shigam Quantum Technologies was formed. Being a co-promoter of the company, Shishir looks after the management and business aspects of the company, whereas Gagan looks after the technical aspects.

Expansion plans and business strategies: With the increasing use of alternate fuel, Shishir foresees good growth for the company in the next few years. He wants to grow the business by manufacturing cost-effective systems, locally. He travels across the world to find the right technology partner who could support his firm in providing cost-effective fuel systems to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).

Shishir and Gagan both have taken huge risks while steering the company forward amidst stiff competition from multinational brands that are reputed in this field. Yet, they have been able to earn a good reputation as domestic players. Shishir is confident that the company will sustain itself due to its capability in local manufacturing. “Today, OEMs prefer our brand over other international brands in the market. So the risks we had taken were worth it,” says Shishir.

Changes brought in: Shishir have been instrumental in getting the right technology and training the manpower to manufacture in India. “With our company being able to produce electromechanical products like injectors, there has been a change in the mindset of the OEMs as they now have faith in our skill sets and quality. Putting up an electronic control unit (ECU) assembly line is no easy task, but we have been able to do that successfully,” shares Shishir.

Management style: Shishir believes in delegating work to his employees. He appreciates employees who take complete accountability and responsibility of their work.

Challenges faced: Getting technology that would be cost-effective for Indian OEMs was a challenge for the company. “We were heavily dependent on companies from Europe and US. To bring down the cost to Indian acceptable norms was our biggest challenge, and the only answer to this was local manufacturing,” says Shishir. Finding the right technology partner was another challenge.

Vision for electronics industry: According to Shishir, with the emission norms getting stricter, the involvement of electronics in different applications is increasing. “In the times to come, we foresee electronics making up almost 40-50 per cent of a vehicle’s cost. This will definitely give a boost to the electronics industry. For this to happen, the government needs to support the entrepreneurs, and help in bringing new technologies in India,” he says.

Corporate Strategies
Strategy to reach out to new customers:
Innovative technology and quality products
Strategies to retain existing customers:
Meeting consumer requirements and enhancing services
Brand building strategies:
Through various media like online, print, etc
Areas where investments are a must:
Manpower and new technology

Likes & Dislikes
Passionate about
Contributing to the environment, innovation in the field of renewable energy
When he is not thinking about business…
Sports, and spends time with family
Two gadgets he cannot live without
Cellphone and laptop
Admires the previous generation for
Their enterprise and financial management
What he dislikes about the previous generation
Their management style and lack of HR practices

Varun Manwani
Director, business development, Sahasra Electronics Pvt Ltd 
Varun Manwani Director, business development, Sahasra Electronics Pvt Ltd
Varun Manwani
Director, business development, Sahasra Electronics Pvt Ltd

Age: 32
Qualification: BA in Economics from ARSD College, Delhi University
Father: Amrit Manwani, CMD

Varun grew up visiting his father’s factory during his childhood. Business being his passion, he joined Sahasra in 2000, which was then a small set-up with a turnover of Rs 50 million. Varun was not comfortable when the employees treated him as their boss’ son, accepting whatever he said as correct. Instead, he wanted his contributions to be welcomed as appropriate solutions that the company needed. “My father assured me that I would be able to make my own contributions without working in his shadow,” he recalls.

Expansion plans and business strategies: Varun’s vision is to make the Sahasra group a Rs 5 billion company by 2020. He has a clear growth plan, which includes entering into new businesses and geographies. “We have hired CEOs for every division. We have set up a factory in Rwanda, Africa, last year, and have entered into the LED lighting business. For our EMS business, we will enter into high volume businesses like set-top boxes, LED drivers, tablets, etc,” explains Varun. Besides the organic routes, Varun has also initiated inorganic growth via mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures and by venturing into new businesses such as skills development. “Opportunities are like birds, they fly around you. I am always on the look out for such opportunities that will help us grow—like joint ventures and acquisitions,” he adds.

Changes brought in: According to Varun, individuals bring along their own style to the workplace, and have their own ways of dealing with situations and employees. For the first time in the organisation, he introduced the concept of work-life balance to the employees and trained them in time management so that they can balance their time between home and work. He ensured better coordination between all the companies in the group, and improved inter-organisational communication and coordination.

Management style: Varun doesn’t practice micro-management. “Once we started expanding, we decentralised authority to the second and third level of management. This helps us to focus on our core work and it enriches the management team. However, a mix of centralised and decentralised authority is what works for a business,” he says. He also believes in quick decision-making.

Vision for electronics industry: Varun feels that the initiatives taken by the government are not sufficient and its implementation is very slow. “A lot more needs to be done aggressively, especially at the micro level. Otherwise we will miss the bus again,” he says. About his contribution to the industry, Varun says that by producing ‘Made in India’ products and investing more in manufacturing in India, Sahasra is doing its bit. “We have made a huge investment in a manufacturing plant in Rwanda, Africa, for manufacturing LED products and are competing with international players,” he informs. Sahasra is training manpower as per industry requirements, by tying up with colleges to train third and fourth year students through its skills development division. Varun feels that by developing a manufacturing base in electronics, problems of unemployment, inflation, rupee depreciation, etc, will be solved to a large extent.

Corporate Strategies
Strategy to reach out to new customers:
By building a strong brand name
Strategy to retain existing customers:
By enhancing communication with them
Brand building strategies:
Regular meetings with customers and online marketing
Areas where investments are a must:
R&D, human resources, production facilities and technology

Likes & Dislikes
Passionate about
Growing the company
When he is not thinking about business…
Spends time with family
Two gadgets he cannot live without
His laptop and cellphone
Admires the previous generation for
Their ability to think and take decisions, and be content with what they have
What he dislikes about the previous generation
They need to enjoy themselves, too, and not devote their life to only looking after the children and family. They also need to become more tech savvy

Sumeet Jain
Director, sales and marketing, Sumitron Exports Pvt Ltd 
Sumeet Jain Director, sales and marketing, Sumitron Exports Pvt Ltd
Sumeet Jain
Director, sales and marketing, Sumitron Exports Pvt Ltd

Age: 30
Qualification: BE in Electronics from Netaji Subhas Institute of Technology, Delhi
Father: SK Jain, MD

Sumeet was always sure that he would take up electronics as his profession. Soon after completing his engineering in electronics, he joined Sumitron, a leading distributor of high-quality equipment, tools and materials, in 2004 as an executive in the sales and marketing department. Under his father’s guidance, he learnt the nitty gritty of sales and marketing. He met customers, interacted with them and demonstrated the products and that is how he learnt from the grassroots level. In 2009, Sumeet took charge of the sales and marketing department as its director.

Expansion plans and business strategies: Sumeet aims to increase the company’s turnover by 50 per cent in the next five years. “To be a complete solutions provider for our customers, we need to add more high-quality products to our portfolio and improve the after-sales support even further,” he says. Sumeet feels that in order to grow year on year, it is very important to constantly improve customer service, internal processes like order processing, shipping, etc, and to add high-quality products according to the industry’s needs. He is also focused on establishing unmatched market reach for Sumitron.

Changes brought in: Realising the importance of automation, Sumeet improved the IT structure of the company for internal processing. He expanded the product range by including high-quality products with the right price tag to help gain customers’ trust. He also worked to develop and maintain a large inventory so that the company could meet its customers’ requirements in the least possible time. He was instrumental in opening offices throughout India, and getting various certifications to give the company an edge over its competitors and also to ensure customer satisfaction. Sumeet also ensured that the company invested in brand building by increasing its presence on the Web, advertising in the print media, participating in seminars and exhibitions, etc.

Challenges faced: Sumeet did face challenges in implementing changes in the organisation, but he could convince the team. “When we realised that the organisation needed a more uniform process for managing projects, we examined how projects were currently managed and the alternatives available in the market. A common approach was developed and the decision was made with the consent of the whole team,” recalls Sumeet.

Management style: Sumeet likes to be very friendly and work out solutions to problems with the consent of the team he handles. He believes in working closely with the team and developing stronger bonds.

Vision for electronics industry: He wishes that the government would bring in some aggressive policies and implement them fast to promote the growth of hardware manufacturing. According to him, the government needs to work towards improving the customs duty structure and labour laws.

Corporate Strategies
Strategies to reach out to new customers:
Increasing brand presence and developing an unmatched market reach
Strategies to retain existing customers:
Ensuring on-time delivery by maintaining stocks and improving after-sales support
Brand building strategies:
Increasing Web presence, advertising in the print media, participating in exhibitions
Areas where investments are a must:
Brand building, maintaining stocks, training tools for the team

Likes & Dislikes
Passionate about
Work and maintaining good health
When he is not thinking about business…
Spends time with his three-year-old daughter
Two gadgets he cannot live without
iPhone and laptop
Admires the previous generation for
Very clear vision, the reputation they have earned in the industry
What he dislikes about the previous generation
Nothing

Akshay Adhalrao
MD, Dynalog India Ltd 
Akshay Adhalrao MD, Dynalog India Ltd
Akshay Adhalrao
MD, Dynalog India Ltd

Age: 33
Qualification: Bachelors in Management from Mumbai University and Management Degree in Marketing, Ohio State University, USA
Father: Shivaji Adhalrao Patil (retired as chairman)

If Akshay had not joined Dynalog, he would have been an architect. Though he was closely associated with his father’s business since his childhood, he always dreamt of becoming an architect. However, he changed his mind and took up management studies and after completing the courses, joined Dynalog in 2004. From trading to leading the company, Akshay tried his hand at various functions, and in a short span of time became the managing director of the company in 2006.

Expansion plans and business strategies: Akshay aims to make Dynalog an intelligent automation solutions provider, and turn it into a Rs 2000 million company in the next five years. He plans to expand the company through acquisitions so that it can move into different fields. Akshay believes that, “If you have different competencies, they help you to tap different markets. Organically you can grow, but when it has to be done exponentially then acquisitions are necessary,” he adds. Akshay has made Dynalog a highly regarded firm when it comes to providing services.

Changes brought in: On succeeding his father, Akshay wanted the company to be more customer-oriented and created specialised teams based on customer needs. He was also instrumental in expanding Dynalog’s capabilities as a complete solutions provider. Under his leadership, Dynalog grew well beyond just offering innovative products to providing intelligent automation solutions, and entered new areas such as embedded systems. “Dynalog India is already a preferred brand, but we need to further consolidate our holdings in our core areas and enter into newer fields,” says Akshay.

Akshay also introduced an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, which helped in the more systematic and transparent functioning of the organisation. It provides real-time data to all stakeholders in the company and improves decision making. He has made Dynalog a systems driven company and has tried to bring it on par with global standards.

Challenges faced: Akshay’s management style is different from that of his father. He is persuasive, and spends time working with employees to convince them of the benefits of the decisions that are made. The employees took some time adjusting to the changed working atmosphere and management style, with Akshay at the helm. Shares Akshay, “I was determined to convince the employees, and ensured that I built close relations with them.”

Vision for electronics industry: Akshay feels that the industry has an acute shortage of proactive manpower; hence, it is necessary to develop a skilled workforce for the industry to provide technical and managerial support. He recommends that the government build a platform to absorb fresh graduates in the industry.

Corporate Strategies
Strategies to reach out to new customers:
Through the company’s website, trade shows, and networking
Strategies to retain existing customers:
Through excellent after-sales service and quality products
Brand building strategies:
A strong brand should position the company as an expert in the field and not as a jack of all trades and master of none
Areas where investments are a must:
In-house training and developing new technologies

Likes & Dislikes
Passionate about
Expanding and building new businesses
When he is not thinking about business…
Travelling, shopping and indulging in sports
Two gadgets he cannot live without
iPad and cellphone
Admires the previous generation for
Their focus and capacity for hard work
What he dislikes about the previous generation
They pay too much importance to loyalty, and their approach is too conservative

Aditya Arora
COO, Base Corporation 
Aditya Arora COO, Base Corporation
Aditya Arora
COO, Base Corporation

Age: 27
Qualification: Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA), pursuing an MBA from ISB Hyderabad
Father: Girish Arora, CMD

Aditya never wanted to get into the family business, as he wanted to do automotive engineering and design cars. But his father convinced him that he could join the family business for a year to get hands-on training on the business, which would help him start his own business. He joined Base Corporation in 2006. Girish Arora put his son on a rigorous training regime, and even made him deliver batteries to dealers in Bengaluru every day. Next, he spent a couple of months in the head office, learning the functions of every department, from accounts and logistics, to operations.

“After I understood each workstation, I became bored and wanted to push my automotive design plan for a while. That’s when my father called me to our Solan facility and said that if I wished to start manufacturing, the entire factory could be mine. I got overwhelmed by the idea of owning the entire factory, and decided to carry forward my family legacy,” recalls Aditya.

Aditya found that Base Corporation’s batteries looked old fashioned, and the market had no innovative products. So he started revamping Base’ product designs, and worked with the vendors to improve the packaging technology as well. Aditya headed the sales department for a year-and-a-half, to pep it up. During his stint there, the company grew by 400 per cent, which he attributes to the strategies he applied to be in line with the trends of the industry. One of them was to shift from the conventional ways of operating and begin selling batteries like consumer goods. Next, he moved into operations, and started creating a strong backbone for the organisation. He revamped all policies, processes, and performance management systems. By 2011, Aditya took on the responsibility of becoming the COO.

However, apart from Base, Aditya has his own sports management company, and also runs a super car club in Bengaluru. “Today, most of my time is consumed at Base, which has got transformed into a professionally-run company and is doing well. Once the company reaches the auto-pilot stage, I would reduce my involvement and follow my passion again,” says Aditya.

Expansion plans and business strategies: Aditya aims to take Base from a turnover of Rs 9 billion to Rs 30 billion in the next five years. “We are working very aggressively on capacity enhancement and on a couple of exercises to revamp our brand to make it one of the top three battery brands in the country. We are also looking at reverse integration of our entire facility. We want to set up an injection moulding plant, which will not only cater to us but also to other companies,” says Aditya.
Having observed that demand far exceeds supply, a plant in Hosur is being set up, which is going to be the largest in India. Second, his decision to diversify into automotive batteries and explore different product lines will help the company grow faster.

Changes brought in: Aditya has introduced many of his own ideas to ensure a strong brand building process, a corporate structure, professionalism and automation to ensure work efficiency.

Challenges faced: It was challenging for Aditya to adopt some of the strategies used by his father, who liked getting involved in operations himself, rather than delegating work; hence, strategic decisions were taking a backseat. “I was able to convince him about the importance of delegating work,” says Aditya.

Management style: Aditya believes that people make an organisation and if he loses focus on that, the organisation becomes inefficient. So he makes an effort to maintain a very competitive atmosphere in the company and ensures all employees perform 100 per cent, and in turn, are satisfied with their job profiles.

Brand building strategies: To establish the brand, he created brand value for the company by being the first to manufacture VRLA batteries in India. Base was also the first to open a retail outlet for batteries. A service called ‘Dial-a-battery’, was started which was again a new concept in the industry. Base had also started foreign tour schemes for its dealers. “Today we are present in 15,000 outlets, and by the end of this year, we will touch 20,000 outlets. We are also associated with Formula One,” informs Aditya.

Vision for the electronics industry: Aditya believes that the industry needs to bring in the right technology and develop, too. He suggests that the government should promote FDI to a larger extent. “Even if our spending capacity is going up, we are not backing it up with reforms in policies. The current policies are only stalling growth,” he says.

Corporate Strategies
Strategies to reach out to new customers:
Mass consumer sales programme to engage customers in the product. Free service camps held. The concept of bringing ‘convenience to the doorstep’ was launched to offer servicing anywhere in India
Brand building strategies:
Online advertising, which focuses on targeted marketing, and
on-ground visibility
Areas where investments are a must:
R&D, marketing and service

Likes & Dislikes
Passionate about
Cars (he runs a small business related to super cars)
When he is not thinking about business…
Spends time with his pet
Two gadgets he cannot live without
Laptop and cellphone
Admires the previous generation for
Being extremely hardworking and their risk taking qualities
What he dislikes about the previous generation
Too focused on operations

Pranav Verma
Pranav Verma, executive director, Vantage Integrated Security Solutions (P) Ltd 
Pranav Verma Pranav Verma, executive director, Vantage Integrated Security Solutions (P) Ltd
Pranav Verma
Pranav Verma, executive director, Vantage Integrated Security Solutions (P) Ltd

Age: 28
Qualification: Business degree in Strategy and Finance from University of Toronto
Father: Pramod Verma, MD

Pranav was always aware of his entrepreneurial skills and joined his family business in 2007, after quitting his job in a technology company as a business development associate in California.
Graduating from being a business development manager to becoming the executive director of Vantage Integrated Security Solutions, a leading manufacturer, distributor and system integrator of electronic security and surveillance systems, was a tremendous experience for Pranav. Though it was a well established business that he joined, his journey was not a cake walk. Pranav’s sheer hard work and determination, along with his team’s backing, led to the company growing 800 per cent within just six years of his joining. “I will not disregard the fact that I got a readymade platform, and I would not have achieved the same growth had I started from scratch. Having said that, it is equally important to understand how you use that readymade platform and take it to new heights,” says Pranav.

Expansion plans and business strategies: Vantage registered a remarkable growth of 63 per cent in the last financial year. “Seeing our growth in the past six years, I feel the company will grow about five times in the next five years,” shares Pranav.
Pranav’s main focus has been customer satisfaction. Being a service driven industry, Pranav aims to provide and maintain high service levels in order to get repeat business. “This industry is dynamic in nature; so bringing in the latest technology and educating and generating awareness among our customers is my sole objective,” informs Pranav.

Changes brought in: Corporatisation was the biggest change that Pranav introduced. With his understanding of business, he introduced a hierarchy in management, segregated divisions and departments, made additional appointments, and hence gave a more professional and corporate structure to the business. On joining the company, Pranav realised that the numbers in terms of revenue did not match up to the firm’s brand value. Hence, he made an effort to improve it.

Management style: Pranav is a thorough professional and seeks perfection and competence in his employees too. He believes in a result-oriented approach, and rewards those who achieve results for the company. He believes in taking complete ownership of one’s work.

Challenges faced: Moving from being a novice to an elite performer was Pranav’s biggest challenge. Pranav was determined to earn respect not due to his position or legacy in the business but for his calibre and expertise. “I joined the business at the age of 22 and was mostly accepted as the boss’ son. Moving out of that shadow and creating a place for myself in the company was difficult but I earned the respect of my people with my work,” informs Pranav.

Vision for electronics industry: Considering the market size, there is huge potential in the security and surveillance industry but the government needs to take some necessary steps to ensure the industry grows, says Pranav. It is necessary for the government to introduce GST, a uniform taxation policy in the country, which will help local manufacturers to carry on inter-state business.

Corporate Strategies
Strategy to reach out to new customers:
Cold calling
Strategies to retain existing customers:
Excellent after-sales services and meeting customer requirements
Brand building strategies:
Advertisements in all media—print, online, etc
Areas where investments are a must:
Manpower, infrastructure, branding

Likes & Dislikes
Passionate about
Sports, music, travelling
When he is not thinking about business…
Spends time with friends
Two gadgets he cannot live without
Cellphone and laptop
Admires the previous generation for
Their humility and patience
What he dislikes about the previous generation
Resistance to adopting new business functions and running a business based on personal relations (e.g., giving easy credit)

Varun Chaudhry
Director, Cubix Control Systems Pvt Ltd 
Varun Chaudhry Director, Cubix Control Systems Pvt Ltd
Varun Chaudhry
Director, Cubix Control Systems Pvt Ltd

Age: 28
Qualification: B Tech in Electronics and Communications from Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University (GGSIPU), Delhi
Father:Late RK Chaudhry

As a three-year-old curious kid, Varun disassembled his remote controlled car and robot to see how they looked from inside. Varun loved to be surrounded with electronic toys and cars as a kid, and he decided to follow his passion for electronics by doing a B Tech in Electronics and Communication, before joining his father’s business in 2007, at the age of 22.
Varun joined Cubix Control, an EMS company, as a director. However, he used to spend a lot of time with the engineers initially to understand the production process. “I started my career at the grassroots level, working on production floors and gradually moved up across different roles,” he says. Since the responsibility to handle the company is now on Varun, he has accepted the challenge and is confident of carrying forward the brand name his father had built.

Expansion plans and business strategies: Varun aims to grow Cubix with a focus on innovation, which is a necessary factor to stay competitive. He has plans to enter new segments in the next six months. He is also looking at producing high-end automotive products, for which he will be setting up new SMT lines. Varun is focused on strengthening the existing lines and adding more customers. His company grew 20 per cent last year, and for the next fiscal year he wants to focus on increasing the profit margins of the company rather than increasing just the turnover. Therefore, apart from diversification and introducing automation, he is working towards strengthening the firm’s marketing department to leverage the growing demand in the electronics industry.

Changes brought in: When Varun took charge of the company, he made sure that it diversified into different verticals in order to grow. While automotive has been its focus area, Varun expanded the company into verticals like consumer electronics, IT peripherals and telecom. He is also instrumental in the firm’s adherence to strict quality standards, which has helped Cubix achieve quality management system certifications at a very early stage.

Management style: Varun believes in working in a democratic environment. Since most of the employees in his organisation have been associated with Cubix for many years, Varun trusts them and gives them the freedom to take day-to-day decisions. However, he feels it is essential to build strong relationships with the people in the organisation in order to ensure smooth functioning of a democratic set-up.

Vision for electronics industry: According to Varun, India is poised to become a manufacturing hub because certain factors in other countries will make them unfavourable manufacturing destinations over a period of time. However, for this to become a reality, Varun feels that the government should at least provide basic infrastructure and eliminate unnecessary complex government formalities related to taxes and duties.

Corporate Strategies
Strategies to reach out to new customers:
Innovation, branding
Strategies to retain existing customers:
Continue offering the best quality, services and value engineering
Brand building strategies:
Print advertisements and participation in exhibitions
Areas where investments are a must:
Machinery, manpower and marketing

Likes & Dislikes
Passionate about
Fitness and cars
When he is not thinking about business…
Spends time with his family, chills out with friends and works out at the gym
Two gadgets he cannot live without
Smartphone and laptop
Admires the previous generation for
Their level of hard work and patience
What he dislikes about the previous generation
Lack of succession planning

Aditya Khosla
Director, Sanarti Group 
Aditya Khosla Director, Sanarti Group
Aditya Khosla
Director, Sanarti Group

Age: 25
Qualification: BE in Electronics and Instrumentation, BITS Pilani, (Dubai Campus) & ITM Gurgaon (India)
Father: Sanjeev Khosla, CMD

Right from his teenage years, Aditya knew he would be joining the family business, so getting a job was not a concern for him. He joined BITS Pilani to learn more about the subject his family’s firm was involved in. However, in 2007, only after joining the family business did he get the opportunity to hone his skills. “There is no better teacher than actual hands-on experience, which my organisation gave me,” says Aditya.
Sanarti Group, established in 1985 by Sanjeev Khosla, is one of the pioneers in the LED lighting industry. On joining the company, Aditya had hands-on training in various departments including R&D, production, marketing and finance. “Within two-three months, I had trained myself on how the organisation worked. I used to spend my time in the R&D department seeing how our products evolved and in the production department observing the quality check details. I also spent time understanding the marketing structure in our company,” he says.

Expansion plans and business strategies: Aditya aspires to see his company among the top three in the field. “My passion is my vision and I am passionate about educating customers about the energy saving benefits of our products. Also, taking the bull by the horns, we have started exploring the private sector by supplying to some of the big players. My vision is to take the company forward by offering the best quality products and that’s the reason our factories are open for third party inspection,” says Aditya. On joining the company, Aditya also realised the importance of the quality of service being rendered to customers. Through his continuous upgradation of a quality assurance plan, he introduced a supplier assessment programme. Also, the company has a dedicated team that takes feedback from its customers after the installation is done. Irrespective of whether a client has registered a complaint or not, the company’s feedback team ensures that their product is assessed properly.

Changes brought in: Understanding the business and market, Aditya introduced some changes in the organisation that helped it to achieve remarkable growth. Believing in the power of human resources, Aditya brought in efficient staff into the organisation so as to have a balanced approach towards efficiency and loyalty towards the company. Introducing better logistics was another change Aditya initiated. Aditya’s main focus has been in building the Sanarti brand and ensuring a high recall value for it. It is under his leadership that the company began exploring the market in the private sector.

Management style: Aditya gives his people complete freedom to perform. He believes in being self-reliant. After delegating work to employees, he expects his team to handle the issues and take responsibility for the work.

Challenges faced: Acceptance from the workforce was one of the major challenges faced by Aditya. Initially, the Sanarti employees were apprehensive about accepting him as the new leader because of his young age. However, moving out of his father’s shadow, Aditya proved his mettle as a leader over a period of time.

Vision for electronics industry: Aditya feels that the policies and schemes introduced by the government are highly encouraging for young entrepreneurs who plan to contribute to the industry’s growth. “Also, the government’s introduction of schemes that benefit the renewable energy industry has only built my faith in the prospects for this industry, and inspires me to continue making my contributions to it,” he concludes.

Corporate Strategies
Strategy to reach out to new customers:
Providing on-site testing of our samples at customers’ end
Strategies to retain existing customers:
Providing quality products, meeting customer requirements
Brand building strategy:
Maintaining close contacts with the customers
Areas where investments are a must:
R&D, turnkey solutions

Likes & Dislikes
Passionate about
Being karmically a good human being
When he is not thinking about business…
Spends time in social service, visiting an NGO run by the Sanarti group
Two gadgets he cannot live without
Cellphone and laptop
Admires the previous generation for
Stamina for hard work and their honesty
What he dislikes about the previous generation
Not looking for efficiency in the work environment, and not being too focused on meeting customer requirements

Shivkumar Srinivasan
Manager, projects, automation and controls, MEL Systems and Services Ltd (MELSS)  
Shivkumar Srinivasan Manager, projects, automation and controls, MEL Systems and Services Ltd (MELSS)
Shivkumar Srinivasan
Manager, projects, automation and controls, MEL Systems and Services Ltd (MELSS)

Age: 28
Qualification: Graduated in IT (Networks and System) from Monash University, Australia, and Post-graduation in Business Administration from University of Western Australia
Father: T Srinivasan, president

Shivkumar has always been passionate about engineering and technology, hence joining MELSS, a solution provider for process control and factory automation, was an obvious choice. After his exposure to software development as a systems analyst at Singapore-based Automatic Identification Technology Pte Ltd for five years, Shivkumar joined MELSS in 2008, when he felt ready to use his experience to take MELSS to new heights. He first joined the IT solutions department as the head of the software group and later became the project manager for the automation department.
“This role required me to understand the electronics and mechanical parts of the machines we make, which was quite a challenge as I didn’t have a background in science. All the knowledge I have today has been acquired on the job, with the help of the managers of the company,” recalls Shivkumar. His passion and dedication towards work landed him his first project in UAE, where he spent a month learning about the electronics and mechanical aspects of the machines. Thereafter, he continued to hone his skills with every new project.

Expansion plans and business strategies: Shivkumar is focused on taking MELSS to a global platform by strengthening its export capabilities. He believes that to achieve consistent growth, MELSS needs to develop its own products and be involved in brand building. He is also working towards creating a work environment which is on par with the work culture of MNCs, which will help him market his brand overseas. Today, MELSS is a Rs 500 million company and Shivkumar wants it to grow to a Rs 5 billion company in the next five years by leveraging the company’s strength in automation products, and taking it to other countries. He is also thinking of starting new production lines, and is in talks with overseas companies for technology transfers.

Changes brought in: Shivkumar believes that for MELSS to touch new heights, it needs to adapt to the fast changing technologies by introducing advanced products and it must venture into the export market to increase its market share. Strengthening the manufacturing capabilities and reaching out to more customers are other strategies he is banking upon.

Management style: Shivkumar now handles a team of 20 people and believes in leading people by involving them and coaching them. He believes in taking quick decisions based on his experience.

Vision for electronics industry: Shivkumar’s long-term vision is to contribute to the industry by strengthening the existing link between software solutions and electronics hardware.

Corporate Strategies
Strategies to reach out to new customers:
Leverage IT for marketing and to expand MELSS’ presence in the overseas market
Strategies to retain existing customers:
Improve relationships with customers and quality services
Brand building strategy:
Making customers happy, who will then spread the word for the company
Areas where investments are a must:
Customer support, product development and marketing

Likes & Dislikes
Passionate about
Work
When he is not thinking about business…
Spends time with family
Two gadgets he cannot live without
Notebook and iPhone
Admires the previous generation for
Their eye for detail and their commitment to work
What he dislikes about the previous generation
They are too disciplined, hence, it sometimes becomes difficult to adjust with them

Jasmeet Kandhari
partner, Montu Electronics 
Jasmeet Kandhari partner, Montu Electronics
Jasmeet Kandhari
partner, Montu Electronics

Age: 25
Qualification: BSc in Zoology from SGTB Khalsa College, Delhi University
Father: SS Kandhari, partner

At the young age of 20, Jasmeet knew that she would join her father’s business, even though she had no idea about the battery industry. She started frequenting the company’s offices during her graduation days and gradually developed an interest in production work. After graduating in 2008, Jasmeet joined Montu Electronics as a partner and gradually transformed the company to match the current market trends and business processes.

Says Jasmeet, “Under my father’s guidance, I learnt all the aspects of the battery business. Right from operating a machine to marketing and building our brand, I learnt it all through practical experience and by studying the market.” As Jasmeet puts quality at the forefront of any company’s offerings, she underwent a programme in quality management while working. This programme helped her in improving the overall quality management of her company and offer superior quality products to customers.

Expansion plans and business strategies: Before Jasmeet joined Montu, the company was operating at a very small scale. She took charge with the aim to expand the company and build a brand name in the market. Targeting a growth of 35-40 per cent till the next financial year, Jasmeet aims to make Montu a leading player in the battery pack assembly business within the next five years.

Changes brought in: With Montu Electronics starting to get big orders, Jasmeet wants the company to be ready to handle the demand in a professional manner. “After I joined Montu, we started branding battery packs and opened a new factory at Baddi. We have hired more people in R&D and marketing departments as a part of our expansion plan. We changed our production plans to introduce new products in line with the market demand,” she says. Jasmeet is currently focused on increasing the production lines for batteries, improving quality testing, installing more machines, and developing new and better products than its competitors. She is also strengthening the sales and marketing capabilities of the company. She now wants to be a battery pack supplier to major players in telecom, defence and consumer electronics segments, and add more and more good companies to Montu’s portfolio.

Management style: Jasmeet believes in compartmentalising the workload and delegating it to people who are trained to handle it. She makes an effort to choose people who can be a part of a professional organisation.

Vision for electronics industry: However, to be able to grow in the dynamic electronics industry, she feels that government support is very important. Says Jasmeet, “It’s high time the government brings in tax reforms. The long pending proposal of GST should be cleared at the earliest. Like China, India also has the potential to grow but needs the right support from the government.”

Corporate Strategies
Strategies to reach out to new customers:
Offer good quality products, and be ready to operate on low margins
Strategies to retain existing customers:
Quick and better services, and provide the best quality products keeping customer requirements in mind
Brand building strategies:
Maintain a strong marketing force and provide excellent services to customers who will then help the company by word of mouth publicity
Areas where investments are a must:
Machines, R&D and ready stocks for consumers, facilities for workers

Likes & Dislikes
Passionate about
Work, reading books and travelling
When she is not thinking about business…
Listens to music, socialises
Two gadgets she cannot live without
iPhone and laptop
Admires the previous generation for
Hard work and discipline
What she dislikes about the previous generation
They have compromised a lot on their family life for their work

Rohit Jain
Director, Sumitron Exports Pvt Ltd  
Rohit Jain Director, Sumitron Exports Pvt Ltd
Rohit Jain
Director, Sumitron Exports Pvt Ltd

Age: 27
Qualification: B Tech in Electronics and Communication from Delhi College of Engineering
Father: SK Jain, MD

Rohit joined the family business immediately after completing his engineering in 2009. Like his elder brother, Sumeet Jain, he also wanted to be an entrepreneur right from childhood. “Even during my school days, I used to visit the exhibitions in which we participated and enjoyed seeing the electronics hardware around,” recalls Rohit. His interest in electronics started developing from back then and to pursue his dream, he studied electronics engineering. “As a kid, I watched my father working long hours, dealing with uncertainties, worrying about his employees, and meeting customer requirements. That was my learning ground,” shares Rohit. “In fact, the outlook on life that my father instilled in me has really taught me the skills I’ve needed to take my family business forward,” he adds.

Rohit didn’t face any major challenges in adapting to the organisation’s policies and rules as his brother and father were always there to guide him. On joining the company, Rohit started growing from the bottom, learning the basics of every department. He feels that his father has given him a very good platform to perform, and now he will take this opportunity to make a name for himself. He constantly seeks new avenues and tries to be creative and mindful in all his actions.

Expansion plans and business strategies: Rohit nurtures the dream to double the company’s turnover in the next five years. He believes that being in the distribution business, delivery within 24 hours and providing the best after-sales services to the customers are very important aspects of growth, and therefore, he is working towards improving the customer service system in the organisation. Rohit also wants to increase the company’s presence across different locations, broaden its customer base and product range. He aims to have a product portfolio of more than 5000 products over a period of time.

Management style: Rohit feels that he is still on a learning spree, and likes to work with his team as a friend and learn along with them. He believes that entrepreneurship is not a profession, but a mindset that shapes the way we interact with the world around us.

Vision for electronics industry: Rohit believes that India has come a long way but still has a lot to do. “I wish to see a day when all the components are made in India itself, which means improving our manufacturing capabilities. I will appreciate if the government can bring in semiconductor manufacturing into India, which will create a lot of opportunities for the manufacturing sector. As a part of the industry, I want to contribute by bringing in the latest technology for manufacturing to India,” he shares.

Corporate Strategies
Strategy to reach out to new customers:
Participation in exhibitions, e-mail marketing
Strategies to retain existing customers:
On-time delivery and after-sales support
Brand building strategies:
Advertising in the print media and participating in exhibitions
Areas where investments are a must:
Maintaining stocks, brand building and employee welfare

Likes & Dislikes
Passionate about
Work and travelling
When he is not thinking about business…
Plays with his kids
Two gadgets he cannot live without
iPhone and laptop
Admires the previous generation for
Experience, patience and organisational skills
What he dislikes about the previous generation
Nothing

Ujjwal Raheja
Director, sales and marketing, Unitop Power Electronics Pvt Ltd 
Ujjwal Raheja Director, sales and marketing, Unitop Power Electronics Pvt Ltd
Ujjwal Raheja
Director, sales and marketing, Unitop Power Electronics Pvt Ltd

Age: 26
Qualification: B Tech from BITS Pilani, Dubai
Father: Rajneesh Raheja, director, technical
Mother: Anuradha Raheja, MD

While Ujjwal was working in a company in Dubai, he received the news that his parents’ factory in India had been destroyed in a fire. He left his job and came back to India to be with them during the crisis. It was then that he decided to join the family business. In 2009, Ujjwal joined Unitop Power Electronics, a manufacturer and exporter of power backup systems, as a sales and marketing executive.

Expansion plans and business strategies: Observing the potential of solar and LED markets in India, Ujjwal has taken up the task of handling these two segments in his business, and aims to grow by 40-50 per cent every year. “We have opened a shop in Lajpat Rai market for LED products from where we will be able to cater to a large number of customers,” says Ujjwal. He plans to tap these segments using every possible channels like the dealer network, end customers, government departments, etc. “We want to target these customer groups through our solar and LED products. Once this is achieved, we can venture into the export market,” he says. Ujjwal is also focused on developing a good infrastructure, which will enable the company to increase its profit margins without compromising on working capital. “I am looking for a growth of 150 per cent in our turnover over the next five years,” he says.

Changes brought in: Although the trend today is multi-tasking, Ujjwal believes that too much of it reduces output; hence, he started giving everyone limited responsibilities, asking them to focus on a single responsibility at a time. He also had to convince his father to start delegating work so that he could take care of core responsibilities.
“I wanted to implement certain changes in the organisation. And even though my father has been supportive in my decision to introduce these changes, it was not easy to implement them smoothly. The pace of change has been slow. Now I am working towards executing them myself. The result from these changes will prove my effort,” he says.

Management style: Ujjwal ensures that each person in the organisation has his or her own responsibility and delivers on time. He believes that leadership is less about one’s own needs, and more about the needs of the people in the organisation. “The management style should be adapted to the demands of the situation, the requirements of the people involved and the challenges faced by the company,” he explains.

Vision for the electronics industry: The LED market is growing at a very high rate. The tax has been reduced from 12.5 per cent to 5 per cent on these products. With such steps, the government is helping the industry, says Ujjwal. However, he feels that there are too many tax windows, which should be reduced to a single one. “The government should introduce subsidies for LED products as they have done in the solar industry, so that they become a necessity like CFL bulbs,” he says. Ujjwal says that by cutting down manufacturing costs and selling the products at affordable prices, he could penetrate the rural market and that is how he wants to make his contribution to the industry.

Corporate Strategies
Strategies to reach out to new customers:
Through a top class product portfolio and networking
Strategies to retain existing customers:
With top class products, ensuring the personal touch in communications, customisation as per requirements
Brand building strategies:
Building a bigger product portfolio, using the website to enhance the brand image
Areas where investments are a must:
Human resources and brand branding

Likes & Dislikes
Passionate about
Excelling in business and growing as an entrepreneur
When he is not thinking about business…
Likes to spend time with his friends
Two gadgets he cannot live without
Laptop and cellphone
Admires the previous generation for
Their readiness to take responsibility for their family and their close ties with them
What he dislikes about the previous generation
They have not been as ambitious as today’s generation is and were satisfied with what they had

Rishabh Sood
Director, operations, Regnant Energy Solutions 
Rishabh Sood Director, operations, Regnant Energy Solutions
Rishabh Sood
Director, operations, Regnant Energy Solutions

Age: 26
Qualification: BSc in Electrical Engineering and MS in Financial Engineering from New York University, USA
Father: PK Sood, chairman

Rishabh had always wanted to follow his passion for electronics. So after completing his graduation in 2010, he joined his father’s company Regnant, which offers solutions in the lighting, power electronics and renewable energy space. “I could have chosen to take up a job in the US, but I felt that the opportunity to grow and learn was more in my family business,” he says. Rishabh knew nothing about the business but demonstrated a passion to learn. He was enthusiastic and willing to work hard.

Expansion plans and business strategies: Rishabh aspires to create good quality manufacturing facilities in India. “We are right now heavily dependent on China for imports. But India is very strong in design, development and production. So I wanted to focus on the Indian market by providing end-to-end solutions for the next three years. After that, I plan to go global by focusing on exports,” he says. Rishabh never sits on an idea; he always acts on it. “Business is all about taking the leap. Once you take the leap, you can think about what’s going to happen next,” he says.
Targeting exponential growth in the coming years with nothing less than 40 per cent every year, Rishabh is now focusing on ways to scale the company’s buying power, to be able to negotiate with the best suppliers around the world. He also wants to penetrate the rural market and connect at the grassroots level. “That’s very important for me to be able to build a brand. Also, I am very particular about quality control and servicing. These are really important if you are looking for growth on a long term basis,” says Rishabh.

Changes brought in: Rishabh wants to build a larger and better team so that he can delegate responsibilities as the company grows bigger. He has set up regional offices all over India. He has also shifted the focus of the company from importing to manufacturing.

Challenges faced: All companies struggle during leadership changes, but Rishabh ensured that the staff members are all comfortable with him. There were times when he had differences of opinion with his father on marketing strategies. “These differences arise in every business and are resolved over time,” he says. He found it tough to convince his father about the importance of delegating responsibility. He believed that if a company needs to be scaled up exponentially, delegation of work is very important. His father mentored him about the government regulations regarding manufacturing processes, which Rishabh found very complex and time consuming.

Management style: Rishabh strongly believes in delegation of responsibilities. A manager alone cannot perform all the tasks assigned to him. In order to meet the targets, the manager should delegate authority downwards to subordinates.

Vision for electronics industry: Rishabh wants to see India becoming a hub for hardware manufacturing soon. The government needs to simplify its policies further, and make all policy related information more accessible to new entrants like him. He also suggests a single-window clearance, and the introduction of a single tax authority for different types of taxes.

Corporate Strategies
Strategy to reach out to new customers:
Through a top class product portfolio
Strategy to retain existing customers:
By giving them the right products at the right time
Brand building strategies:
Increasing the number of products and taking them to the customers
Areas where investments are a must:
Team building and branding

Likes & Dislikes
Passionate about
Growth of his business
When he is not thinking about business…
Spends time with friends
Two gadgets he cannot live without
Smartphone and laptop
Admires the previous generation for
Adherence to principles and their willingness to help
What he dislikes about the previous generation
Rigidity and sometimes their willingness to help could be detrimental to their interests

Kanav Sachdev
Business development head, Su-Kam Power Systems Ltd 
Kanav Sachdev Business development head, Su-Kam Power Systems Ltd
Kanav Sachdev
Business development head, Su-Kam Power Systems Ltd

Age: 24
Qualification: Business Management from Brunel University, West London, UK
Father: Kunwer Sachdev, MD

Kanav first began to work at Su-Kam in 2008, before joining college. He learnt about manufacturing processes and raw material procurement, and also worked in Su-Kam’s Baddi plant for six months. As he liked the work he did, he finished college and rejoined Su-Kam in 2010 as a senior sales executive in Maharashtra, where he was trained to handle the distribution business. In 2011, Kanav joined the headquarters in Gurgaon to work in different departments, and on the firm’s new projects. He was promoted as the business development head in 2012, and was given a new project to handle.
“Since then I have been working on a new business model, developing our retail presence. Our business is extremely dependant on the distribution channel, so we wanted to create a new platform to sell through retail outlets. We have tied up with Walmart India and other companies to sell products like batteries, inverters, heaters, coolers, etc. Earlier, we were present in the retail market, but on a very small scale. Now, I am doing things on a larger scale with bigger players,” explains Kanav.

Expansion plans and business strategies: In the retail sector, Kanav wants to take the turnover to Rs 3 billion in the next five years. “Our vision is to increase our product portfolio, and while retaining our focus on our services, we would like to increase our brand value, capitalising on the network we have,” says Kanav. He wants Su-Kam to export on a larger scale as he finds Europe and America are potential markets, besides Asia and Africa. “Last year we grew by 50 per cent, and we would want to grow by nothing less than 30 per cent every year,” he says.
Kanav’s first major move was to ensure that the management team was aligned with the goals of the organisation. He started head hunting and filled in certain important posts with the right kind of people. Next, he started training sessions for all employees to make them aware of the market demands and understand the requirements of the customers. The next major strategy Kanav implemented was to tie up with good companies to sell their products under Su-Kam’s brand name.

Changes brought in: Human resource development and extra curricular activities are equally important for Kanav. He created a Facebook community where all Su-Kam employees can communicate with each other. “This has helped us to ensure transparency in communication and also given employees the freedom to express their views at every level. My father had taken the initiative and I have just tried to improve on his ideas,” says Kanav. He has also taken the ‘Sports Week’ of the organisation to a higher level. “Each November, we have a ‘Sports Week’, where every employee plays a different sport and all of them compete with each other. In this way, we encourage interaction among the staff and ensure team building,” adds Kanav. He also organises the ‘Su-Kam Best Employee’ awards annually, where those who exceed their targets are awarded.

Challenges faced: Being the boss’ son, Kanav also faced the initial challenge of acceptance within the organisation, because people tended to keep a distance from him. “It is very important to have a professional and emotional bond with the people you are working with. Once you take a leadership role, you need to learn how to make people work for you and maintain good relationships with the top, medium and lower levels of the management team,” he explains.

Management style: Kanav gives a lot of importance to having an efficient feedback mechanism, incorporating the views of the people he is working with rather than trying to enforce his views on them. Creating a better organisation structure and an excellent working atmosphere within the organisation are his top most priorities.

Vision for electronics industry: Kanav wants the government policies to be more transparent and suggests that there should be a forum through which the industry gets to know about the new developments. He feels proud to contribute to the industry by manufacturing 90 per cent of what goes into his products in India. His company also contributes through effective waste management and efficient recycling. “We also want to take our products to remote areas where grid connectivity is absent. That will be another contribution to the industry,” he concludes.

Corporate Strategies
Strategies to reach out to new customers:
Use social media and diversify into new marketing platforms
Strategies to retain existing customers:
Improve the feedback mechanism from existing customers and bring in new products
Brand building strategies:
Get employees closely associated with the brand and use innovative marketing tools like social media
Areas where investments are a must:
Human resource development, technology, improving manufacturing processes, and brand building

Likes & Dislikes
Passionate about
Taking my business to the next level, and learning from people while working
When he is not thinking about business…
Spends time with family and friends
Two gadgets he cannot live without
Smartphone and laptop
Admires the previous generation for
Their ability to face hardships and their commitment towards work
What he dislikes about the previous generation
Tends to make communication more complex

Ashita Gupta
Executive, business development and commercials, Smile Electronics Ltd 
Ashita Gupta Executive, business development and commercials, Smile Electronics Ltd
Ashita Gupta
Executive, business development and commercials, Smile Electronics Ltd

Age: 24
Qualification: BA in Economics from University of South Carolina, USA and Executive MBA from Harvard Business School, USA
Father: Mukesh Gupta, MD

Ashita started frequenting the premises of the family firm as a kid with her father, and that is how she developed an interest in it. Despite not having an engineering background, Ashita was keen to join Smile Electronics after completing her studies. In 2011, she made a start as an executive trainee, where she began handling projects, and gradually moved to the business development department. Says Ashita, “I was able to gain knowledge about the field of electronics without much problem since I have grown up seeing my father working in this field. The core team was very supportive, too, in making me comfortable in the office environment and acquainting me with different processes.”

Expansion plans and business strategies: Ashita wants to see Smile Electronics become a market leader in the EMS industry by expanding its reach to the different industry segments like automotive, medical aeronautical and industrial electronics. She feels that by continuing to offer on-time delivery, quality products and services, and maintaining transparency in operations, Smile Electronics can grow to be a leader. In her two-year stint with the company, with determination and hard work, Ashita has contributed to the company’s policy of continuous 360-degree upgradation to meet customers’ quality requirements. “The company’s growth has always been customer-driven with forward and backward integration to enable it to provide one-stop shop solutions to its customers,” she says. Ashita believes that the time is now perfect to think about the expansion of the business’ activities as the government is bringing in favourable policies to promote manufacturing. “We plan to graduate into a multi-location, globally-acceptable EMS provider,” she adds.

Changes brought in: One improvement that Ashita wants to introduce is related to the skill sets of employees. “Our industry’s dependence on human resource is high and so is the attrition rate. Therefore, providing training to hone the skills of the workers is very important for our company,” she says. Ashita has brought in a corporate culture to the company by implementing accountability across all departments. Her approach towards work is to treat it as a passion, and that is what she has tried to inculcate in her employees through various training programmes.

Management style: Ashita believes in having a decentralised system of working. All employees are responsible for their day-to-day decisions at Smile while being overlooked by the core team and that is the environment she always promotes.

Vision for electronics industry: Ashita believes that India can be a global leader in manufacturing. However, she feels that certain policies of the government, like the inverted duty structure, are restricting India’s growth as an electronics manufacturing hub and those policies need to be changed.

Corporate Strategies
Strategies to reach out to new customers:
Through word of mouth publicity by providing excellent services to existing customers, maintaining up-to-date facilities
Strategies to retain existing customers:
Providing excellent services and maintaining up-to-date facilities
Areas where investments are a must:
Human resources, upgrading facilities and technology

Likes & Dislikes
Passionate about
Reading and travelling
When she is not thinking about business…
Reads books
Two gadgets she cannot live without
Phone and laptop
Admires the previous generation for
Their capability to assess a situation from different points of view, and their financial planning
What she dislikes about the previous generation
Their resistance to change

Chandan Jain
Director, Kusum Enterprises Pvt Ltd 
Chandan Jain Director, Kusum Enterprises Pvt Ltd
Chandan Jain
Director, Kusum Enterprises Pvt Ltd

Age: 22
Qualification: Bachelor of Electrical and Electronics Engineering from BITS Pilani, Dubai
Father: Vikas Jain, MD

Having joined the family business just a year back, Chandan is still getting the hang of the systems and operations of the company as well as the components industry in India. Kusum Enterprises, a leading resistor manufacturer in India, was established in 1987. “Despite the challenges component manufacturers face in India, I chose to join this industry to take up the reins myself and go forward,” says Chandan. He is currently learning about component manufacturing under the guidance of his father and Anil Dewanwala, executive director of the company. “My learning has just started, and every day a new chapter is opening in front of me. I am thoroughly enjoying learning the nitty gritty of manufacturing, amid the various challenges that a component manufacturer faces in India,” says Chandan.

Expansion plans and business strategies: Chandan aspires to see Kusum Enterprises as the No. 1 resistor manufacturer in India in the next five years. His objective is to first create a brand name for the company, which will automatically help in its growth. For that, he has started broadening the company’s horizons by adding new products to its portfolio, enhancing the quality of existing products and optimising resources.

Changes brought in: Despite just a one year stint in the organisation, Chandan is active in making it more professional. He first streamlined and improved the manufacturing systems, which helped in upgrading the manufacture of resistors in terms of wattages. “When I had joined, we were manufacturing resistors of 3W and now it has been upgraded to 50W. I want to upgrade it even further to 150W,” says Chandan. Next, he introduced automation in the company’s manufacturing processes, “…which not only ensured the collating, using and sharing of accurate and detailed information, but also increased the volume of work by making the process faster. It also facilitated better quality work by reducing errors that are created during manual work,” shares Chandan. He also started monitoring scrap disposal, which created space in all the units.

Management style: Chandan believes in sharing responsibility and making people accountable for their work. “Also, the systems should be so powerful that even if the managers are away, the team should be able to perform well and produce good results,” he shares.

Challenges faced: The major challenge that Chandan faced is winning over the senior people in the organisation, who have been associated with the company for more than 20 years. “They took some time to accept me as a leader. For that I had to make an extra effort to convince them about my skills and capabilities,” says Chandan.

Vision for electronics industry: According to Chandan, although the current scenario is not very conducive for manufacturing, yet many young entrepreneurs are optimistic and are joining the industry.

Corporate Strategies
Strategy to reach out to new customers:
Knowing the specific requirements of customers and adding a personal touch in approaching them
Strategies to retain existing customers:
Timely delivery of quality products and maintaining close relations with customers
Brand building strategies:
Having good OEMs in the kitty helps in boosting the brand name; quality products also spread the brand name
Areas where investments are a must:
Plant and machinery

Likes & Dislikes
Passionate about
Taking the business to higher levels
When he is not thinking about business…
Watches movies, and hangs out with friends
Two gadgets he cannot live without
Smartphone and iPad
Admires the previous generation for
Experience, patience and organisational skills
What he dislikes about the previous generation
High expectations at the very beginning of their career

Puneet Bhasin
Director, business development, G.M. Enterprises 
Puneet Bhasin Director, business development, G.M. Enterprises
Puneet Bhasin
Director, business development, G.M. Enterprises

Age: 24
Qualification: B.L.S. LLB, Government Law College, Mumbai
Father: Amarjit Singh Bhasin, CMD

Puneet is a budding entrepreneur whose enthusiasm is reflected in the changes she has introduced in the organisation within a year of joining. After completing her studies in 2012, she joined the company as a director, business development. “I used to come to the office with my father during my vacations, and that’s how I got an understanding of the business. So, it was not so difficult for me to learn about the EMS business. I believe that technology and electronics is something that is here to stay, and EMS is a growing business. Therefore, I want to exploit all the possible opportunities to grow in this environment by adding more verticals and products to our portfolio and by improving our facilities,” she says.

Expansion plans: Although Puneet is still under training, she contributes to the expansion plans of the company in her own way. “We have plans for fast and continued growth in the local and global markets based on our quality, technology, strong foundation and market reputation,” she says.

Changes brought in: Puneet believes marketing is a very effective tool to reach out to new customers. Therefore after she joined, she created the structure to start marketing the company rigorously. “Initially, we were dependent on only word of mouth publicity. However, I created a marketing team, then improved our website, and started participating in exhibitions in order to increase our reach,” she shares. Puneet is now concentrating on creating a stronger R&D department and setting up a high technology lab, which would enable the company to develop new products in the next two years. Besides, she is keen to cash in on the demand generated by the fast growing LED segment in India. “We have started manufacturing LED products, and will soon introduce a new innovative range of products for the market,” she says.

Management style: Puneet likes to create a comfortable working environment around her so that her team can approach her whenever needed. “Ours is a professionally managed organisation, where we have a clearly defined hierarchy, so that there is no confusion and the work is carried out smoothly. At the same time, we are open to communication.”

Vision for electronics industry: Puneet feels that technology will drive many new products in the electronics market, and that is where the EMS companies have an advantage. According to her, India can be a favourable destination for manufacturing, as it has cost benefits and generates huge demand. However, the government must announce specific benefits for electronics companies to encourage manufacturing.

Corporate Strategies
Strategies to reach out to new customers:
By knowing the prospective customer well through research, and by marketing the company as a reliable and committed service provider
Strategies to retain existing customers:
To be always accessible to them, to give a one-person window to all customers, and provide dedicated services to them
Brand building strategies:
Word of mouth and online publicity and through exhibitions
Areas where investments are a must:
Upgradation of technology, R&D and business development

Likes & Dislikes
Passionate about
Reading, painting
When she is not thinking about business…
Travels
Two gadgets she cannot live without
Blackberry and laptop
Admires the previous generation for
Hard work, dedication, honesty
What she dislikes about the previous generation
Nothing

Electronics Bazaar, South Asia’s No.1 Electronics B2B magazine

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