Hard work, honesty and compassion are the foundations on which Chandmal Goliya, managing director, Kusam Electrical Industries Ltd, has built his company. In a candid conversation with Baishakhi Dutta, business journalist, Electronics Bazaar, he shares his interesting life journey.
Year of birth: 1945
Favourite music: Old Hindi film songs from the 1940s to 1965
Favourite food: Dal Bati (Rajasthani cuisine)
Favourite films: The classics of Raj Kapoor and Dilip Kumar
Favourite actors: Raj Kapoor and Dilip Kumar
Favourite actresses: Nargis, Meena Kumari and Madhubala
Favourite singer: K.L. Saigal
I was born in Bikaner city in Rajasthan. My father owned an exclusive shop in that city, where he sold gramophones, records, refrigerators, radios and other electronic gadgets. I was the second son among four brothers and two sisters. My father was from Jodhpur city and my mother from Bikaner. My grandfather, father and uncles had migrated from Jodhpur to Bikaner seeking new avenues of business, eventually establishing this exclusive shop. Being the son of a businessman, my father admitted me to a local school which gave a lot of importance to the mathematical tables. This helped me develop a sharp mind, which has been useful to me throughout my life.
My schooling started in Mumbai in Don Bosco High School, Matunga, where I completed my S.S.C (Std 10). I then joined Jai Hind College, Churchgate, Mumbai and studied science during my intermediate (what is today referred to as ‘+2’, higher secondary or pre-university). Having passed inter science with a first class, I got admission into Sardar Patel College of Engineering, Mumbai. After studying for one year at SPC of Engineering, I sought a transfer to Victoria Jubilee Technical Institute (VJTI), where I studied for two years in the electrical branch. I graduated in 1967, with a first class.
Why I chose this profession
I chose the field of electrical measuring instruments because it was our family business. My idol was my father, the late Shri Parasmal Goliya who was a pioneer in this field. It was he who motivated, inspired and guided me through out my life. The journey of life has been hard. When I joined the business, the measuring instruments field was a very limited sector. There was no proper marketing structure to follow, and so I had to travel all over India to set up a strong dealer network, covering every nook and corner of the country. I had to establish our company’s credentials against many leading Indian and foreign competitors.
Having visited many factories in Japan during the 1970s and 80s, and also undergone training at several of them for the manufacture of electrical instruments, I have been very much influenced by their method of working. They are highly dedicated to their work and their motto is, “Do any piece of work only once, but do it so perfectly that it does not have to be repeated.” At our company, we train our people with the same philosophy.
By relentless hard work and a never-give-up attitude, I have attained success in whichever field I have entered, be it professional or social. I like to work in challenging situations and when I am able to overcome the challenges, I feel immensely satisfied.
After completing my graduation, I joined the family business of manufacturing electrical measuring instruments. During my training in Japan, I was highly impressed by the dedication and sincerity of the Japanese people towards their work. That, along with their innate sense of punctuality and the high quality of their work, left a lasting impression on me.
During one of my visits to Japan, I had fixed an appointment to meet an executive at my hotel at 2 pm. As I had another appointment in the morning, I got delayed reaching my hotel. The executive with whom I had the appointment, waited for 15 minutes and left. He left a note for me stating that he had come to the hotel and, since I was not available, had chosen to leave. This left a very deep impact on me. This incident taught me that in life, time is very important and one should always be punctual, keeping one’s commitment with everyone. Unfortunately, in India, many people do not have any respect for time. We tend to waste our time on unnecessary things and choose to ignore our priorities.
I was a member of the Rotary Club of Bombay Uptown from 1974 to 1994. During those years, I arranged many events for the community like eye camps, food and note book distribution to needy persons, career counselling, etc. I am also a life member of the Association for Overseas Technical Scholarship (AOTS), which is based in Japan. I have undergone two months’ training at AOTS in Osaka for its ’Factory Management in Medium Scale Industries (FMMI)’ course. This training helped me tremendously to understand and learn Japanese manufacturing methods, their punctuality, quality consciousness and perfection in whatever they do.
I am also a life member of the Ahmedabad Management Association and have attended many management programmes conducted by eminent speakers.
In the social field, I was a trustee of the Shree Mahavir Jain Aradhana Kendra, Koba District, Gandhinagar, Gujarat for more than 10 years. This institution has the largest collection of books and manuscripts on Jain philosophy. The entire computer section was set up by myself and one of the Jain monks affiliated with the institution. The books are accessible to all Jain sadhus and scholars located in any part of the world.
I was also the honorary secretary of the All India Instrument Manufacturers and Dealers Association. During this time, I organised two exhibitions for instrument manufacturers at Pune and Vapi.
I have served on the board of directors of the Jain International Trade Organisation, which provides education and empowerment to Jains. Our family has also established a palliative care unit for cancer patients attached to the cancer hospital at Bikaner. I have received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the ‘Electronics Maker’ magazine.
Simplicity and frankness are the two behavioural aspects that attract me to people. Everyone who is well acquainted with me knows that I am not a complicated person. Because of my truthfulness and simple lifestyle, people like to be associated with me.
My company follows professional management processes. Both my sons play a crucial role in the technical, financial and administrative activities of my company. They lead a team of qualified employees who perform the different operations of the organisation. I believe in treating my employees as my family members and try to get to know them personally.
At present, my family includes my wife, a daughter and two sons. My daughter is married and settled in Ahmedabad. She has four children. My elder son, who is an electronics engineer, has two sons and my younger son who is a CA, has one daughter. I follow the ideal of living a simple and honest life. I want to focus more on my passion for social service.
During my school and college days, I used to collect stamps from different countries. I also like old Hindi black-and-white movies and the songs from Hindi movies of the 1940s-60s. But, of late, I spend most of my free time in social activities.
In the next five years, I hope to be much more active on the social front, working for the upliftment of the less privileged in society.
Words of wisdom
I would like to advise all budding young entrepreneurs that the key to success is hard work and being honest to yourself. God will take care of the rest if you are doing your bit honestly. In life, there is success and failure. Failures should be considered as a way of learning, prior to achieving success. Never stop because of a failure.