May 15, 2015: From being a lover of mathematics and a sportsman during his college days, to making the workplace a fun-filled place, Anil Bali, vice president, Deki Electronics Ltd, is a man of myriad shades with a strong belief in honesty, passion, hard work and dedication. In conversation with Samonway Duttagupta of Electronics Bazaar, he shares his story, which is peppered with some inspiring anecdotes
Born in 1952
Schooling in Mumbai and Delhi
College: Chemical Engineering from IIT Delhi; passed out in 1973
Subject of interest: Mathematics
Companies worked in: United Carbon Solutions Pvt Ltd, Philips Components, Deki Electronics Ltd
Hobbies: Reading. I am currently reading a book on Sachin Tendulkar, written by multiple authors, including Harsha Bhogle.
I love the game of cricket. Even though I can’t play anymore, I still love watching it.
Marriage: Got married in 1983. We both stayed in the same area and our houses were very close. My wife was a teacher but quit working full-time after we got married.
Family: Two children. The son is elder, and stays in the US, working with Genpact. My daughter works at Apeejay Noida as a teacher. I would like to get both of them married – hopefully, by the end of this year.
These are a few of my favourite things
I like old Hindi and English songs. The Beatles and Elvis are still my favourites as are Rafi, Kishore, Lata and Mukesh.
Either Mughlai or Chinese, depending on my mood.
There are many. I liked Mughal-e-Azam. Raj Kapoor’s films carried messages. Among the recent lot, I like Raju Hirani’s films.
John Grisham is one of my favourite authors and I have read all his books. Now I have turned to Indian authors.
Any place is good as long as the family is around.
There are a number of them. In the old days I used to like Dev Anand, Dilip Kumar and Rajesh Khanna. From the present lot, I like Aamir Khan and Ranbir Kapoor.
In the good old days, I used to like Madhubala, then it was Madhuri.
EB: What were you interested in the most as a child?
I have always been a sportsperson. And that’s the reason I spent a lot of time on the field. In school, I was part of both the cricket and football teams. In IIT, I was the captain of the cricket team. People usually remained glued to their books in IIT. But I decided that the way forward for me was to get a first division and enjoy my time at the campus.
EB: Please share some interesting anecdotes from your professional life.
When I joined Philips Components in Pune in 1974, I had a great boss. He assigned me the department of ceramic capacitors and said, “This is your department now. So please don’t come to me for any kind of solution. You have a free hand and you will run it the way you want to. You will be totally responsible for it.” For someone like me who was a newcomer, it was quite a challenge. So I started learning about the product and did well, going forward. The experience served as a lesson for me that helped me in the future as well.
EB: What’s your advice on how to take a managerial decision?
You have to consider the following:
Will your production go up?
Will your sales go up?
If the answer to these questions is no, then you won’t achieve anything. You will just add to production costs, in such a case. So, prior to exploiting a particular situation, you first need to identify what the bottom line is, and then work on it.
EB: Your philosophy as a boss
I want to ensure the workplace is fun-filled. I tell my employees to finish their work fast and do whatever they like, but the work should be done and not suffer, in terms of quality. I have implemented this successfully when I was working in the production department in Philips and I have seen employees reaching their highest potential in six months. I believe in leading by example. As a boss, if I also work hard, those working under me will get motivated. Besides, I also believe in providing all the help, love and affection to my subordinates. If one does this, workers go out of their way and show just how much they have to offer. I believe in the power of the worker. Impossible targets can be achieved by that power.
EB: Qualities in people that attract you to them?
Honesty, dedication, hard work and passion.
EB: Anything that you would like to change in yourself?
I have been working for a long time, so I haven’t given as much time to my family as I should have. So I wish to compensate for that.
I tend to believe people and accept them at face value. I will try to be more prudent in future.
EB: Your major contribution to the company
Since I have joined Deki Electronics Ltd, it has become one of the largest manufacturers of film capacitors in the country. We have been growing continuously but I now want to see the company become a global name in a couple of years.
EB: What do you look for in people while setting up your management team?
The person should be committed, hard working, passionate and a good team member. The other things will follow.
EB: The turning point in your life
Joining Philips Components. I learnt a lot in Philips, both technically and commercially.
EB: Your advice to budding entrepreneurs
Be clear about your aim in life. Develop a team with members who know more than you. Motivate that team and see them achieve the impossible.
EB: Is there any motto in life that you live by?
Honesty is the best policy. If you speak honestly, you will never have to worry about what will happen.
EB: Who would you like to attribute your success to and why?
I think the success of a person depends on a couple of factors. One is you, yourself. And the second is your team. I have been fortunate enough to always get a stupendous team wherever I have gone. Besides, my wife and kids have been a big source of strength for me.