“Striving for excellence is important for one’s profession, so one must try to implant quality into everything one does.” This the mantra with which Kapil Sood, CEO, Fusion Power Systems, has built his company. In a candid conversation with Baishakhi Dutta, senior business journalist, Electronics Bazaar, Sood shares his interesting journey in the electronics industry.
Year of birth: 1969
Favourite food: Traditional Himachali cuisine
Favourite films: ‘Rang de Basanti’ and ‘Dil Chahta Hai’
Favourite book: ‘The Godfather’
Favourite actor: Aamir Khan
Favourite actress: Madhuri Dixit
I was born on September 14, 1969, at Shimla, Himachal Pradesh. However, I spent most of my childhood in Delhi. I always found joy and pleasure in the small things. I loved reading books and would go to the public library every day with my friends. Growing up, I really loved playing sports too, and remember playing cricket with my brother and friends in the backyard of our house.
Going to Shimla during the summer vacations with my entire family and cousins make up my fondest childhood memories. As a kid, I was always drawn towards technology and electronics, and was fond of gadgets. I have always been very interested in technology.
I did my schooling from Manav Sthali School in Delhi. My performance in academics was average. However, because of my fascination with science and technology, I really liked physics and chemistry. I found these subjects very interesting and they’ve been very useful throughout my life.
I did my graduation from Delhi University. However, during my college days, I wasn’t really clear about what I wanted to do after my graduation. But since I’d always wanted to stand on my own feet and provide a strong foundation for my family, I decided to work right after my graduation.
From humble beginnings, my family has come up the hard way, and I was always taught to find pleasure in the little things. From my parents, I learnt invaluable lessons about hard work, appreciation and perseverance, which influenced my life profoundly.
Both my parents are from Shimla. However, they moved to Delhi after their marriage. My father worked in an insurance company and my mother was a homemaker. My father was a really simple and hardworking man. He was always content with whatever we had and this quality of his inspired me the most. Growing up, I shared a very loving relationship with my mother. She taught me the value of being kind and empathetic towards others.
The one thing that I’ve always believed in is that there is no substitute for hard work. Good things don’t come easily, but if you believe in what you are doing and give it your best, the rewards will always come to you, sooner or later.
I also believe that one should always try to maintain a balance between personal and professional life. Success and happiness mean nothing if you have no one to share it with. I believe in achieving greatness with honesty, dedication and integrity.
My spouse and children
My wife, Renu and I were neighbours, and we studied in the same school. We’d known each other for five years, before we decided to get married in 1993. Renu has always believed in me and has been my biggest pillar of strength. I could not have achieved what I did without her support and constant motivation. We have two wonderful and beautiful daughters, who’ve always made us proud.
My elder one, Tanya, is an economics graduate from St Stephens College in Delhi and is currently working. My younger daughter, Sanya, is studying for her degree in sociology honours from Sri Venkateswara College. I’ve taught them the importance of hard work and being disciplined in life, and have always motivated them to follow their dreams and to believe in themselves. Marriage and fatherhood changed my life in many ways. It helped me become a much more responsible man and motivated me to work harder to provide a stable future for my family.
I’ve a younger brother, Puneet. We understand each other very well and share a strong relationship. My brother has been a huge support to me through every phase of my life. Puneet is a graduate from Shri Ram College of Commerce Delhi. He is very hardworking and intelligent, and I’ve always been really proud of him. He runs his own LED lighting business, working with some of the leading architects and interior decorators on various residential and commercial projects.
Since my childhood, I’ve had a keen interest in photography. I remember buying my first camera for ₹ 100 at the age of 11. Apart from the beauty of nature, I enjoy capturing those special moments and emotions, creating memories with the help of photography.
Since I’ve been a really active sports person since childhood, I’ve been interested in fitness. I think physical exercise not only increases your overall health and sense of well-being, but also helps you release stress. I love running and working out.
I also enjoy travelling and listening to music. I think music is an incredible expression of emotions and it is one of the best ways to relax.
I would say that my idol has always been my father. He was a very simple and hardworking man. He always encouraged me and my brother to study and to pursue our dreams. He instilled in us the belief that faith is the most important pillar in life. His trust and belief in me helped me reach where I am today. He gave me the wisdom and strength to not only achieve my dreams but to master them as well.
My first job was as an office assistant in an insurance company, which I took up during my college days. After my graduation, I decided to work instead of studying further because I felt it was the right time to follow my dreams and my passion. In 1990, I decided to work in my uncle’s company, which dealt in electronics and electronic components.
The field of electronics and electrical engineering had always fascinated me and ignited my passion. Working in my uncle’s firm helped me to grow as a person. I always felt encouraged to stretch myself, improve my knowledge and develop new skills. I gained a lot of experience and knowledge, which not only sharpened and honed my skills, but also changed my vision of work and life. So, in 2005, I decided to start my own business venture. I felt it was the right time to put my own ideas to work and to be in control of my own future.
The turning point in my life
So 2005 was the turning point in my life, since I felt I had gained enough knowledge and experience to start out on my own. It definitely wasn’t an easy decision to make, but with a belief in my ideas and my ability, I was able to overcome my fears.
However, building my own company was not easy. With limited capital, increasing competition and an inconsistent demand pattern, it often seemed impossible to carry on and manoeuvre in the business world. But I was determined to prove myself and achieve my goals.
In 2007, I realised that there was a potential market for electric vehicles (EVs) in India. This is when I decided to introduce batteries for EV applications, thus becoming the first brand in India to launch batteries for EVs on a large scale.
During the same period, I visited China and Hong Kong and found LED lights were technologically more mature and commercially more viable for general lighting. At that time, other companies were mostly importing LED lights from China as a finished product. In order to bring down costs and to have better control over quality, we started manufacturing LED lighting fixtures in India. This gave me a sense of direction and an insight into how the markets really work, which enabled my company to achieve higher sales gradually, with every passing day.
Preferable work environment
I believe an ideal work environment is one that is adaptive and cooperative for the employees—one that encourages commitment and communication. There should be a good sense of team spirit as well as a strong work ethic. There should be a dynamic and progressive approach towards one’s work. All the employees should work together as a highly committed and professional team.
Qualities that attract me
Honesty and straightforwardness, sincerity and punctuality are all very important qualities.
I like people who have a strong sense of self and are passionate about learning.
Because of my company’s commitment to focus on quality management, bring in new innovative ideas and constantly improve, we have been able to introduce high quality technological products in the market.
My company, Fusion Power, is an OEM supplier of batteries to Hero Electric A1 cycles, Lohia Motors, etc. In 2011, we began manufacturing sealed lead acid batteries in India. And, in 2015, we began manufacturing lithium-ion battery packs in the country.
Fusion Power introduced batteries for EV applications in 2007, thus becoming the first brand in India to launch EV batteries on a large scale. We also started manufacturing high quality LED lights during the same period.
When an idea grows into a business, it’s natural to want to expand its reach and attract new audiences. That’s how I decided to expand my business to cities like Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Chennai and now in Kolkata as well.
The journey so far
I personally think that success is not possible without a struggle. My journey of pursuing my dreams has been full of ups and downs. But I always looked at these problems as opportunities. I see them as situations that I can change. Life is a constant climb and one has to face the challenges that come with it, and try to turn these challenges into opportunities with one’s own sweat, tears and hard work. My journey so far has been challenging yet equally rewarding.
Advice to budding entrepreneurs
One piece of advice I’d like to give is that there is no shortcut to success. To succeed, entrepreneurs need to channelise their thoughts and plans of action. Success requires hard work, dedication and perseverance. They should have complete devotion towards their work. Striving for excellence is important for one’s profession so budding entrepreneurs must try to implant quality into everything they do. Honesty and hard work is the key to success.
What’s next on the agenda?
In the near future, we aim to scale up the type and level of products and services we offer so as to cater to an even larger group of people and satisfy their needs more efficiently. The goal is to translate new, innovative ideas into high quality products and services. Our emphasis is on an expanded concept of innovation and technology. The vision of my company is to introduce new technologies and high-quality products into the Indian market. I want to help India move into the future.