- Let’s start to know you as a person. Please share about yourself – where you grew up, the significant books or people who have influenced you in your life, your favorite shows or movies & what you do to relax?
My birthplace small town called Kishangarh in Rajasthan in a business family. I enjoy reading books and use the knowledge gained in day to day running of the company. My favorite books are “innovation and collaboration” by Mr. C.K.Prahalad, “Managing People in organization” By Michael Usher. I also derive my management philosophies from ‘Bhagwat Geeta’, which I have read many times.
- Let us now move to you the entrepreneur. What made you consider being an entrepreneur?
I was born in a business community so, a desire to be an entrepreneur was also there in me. My elders started to train me in business management since childhood. This favorable experience and my desire to do something big in life motivated me to become an entrepreneur.
- What were the key initial challenges that you faced when you took over and decide the evolution of Sangam into a conglomerate that it is today?
Sangam started in pre liberalization. We had to face lots of red tapes and other bureaucratic hurdles while running our business coupled with a very slow-growing economy with limited demand. Our company saw growth once liberalization was announced in 1991 and from there we expanded our business to become a textile conglomerate.
- What was your first taste of success and what did it feel like?
I first felt truly proud of my achievements; when we installed the Rapier weaving machine in 1991. Another big milestone was when brought an IPO in 1993 to drive the expansion of Sangam India Limited and decided to become backward integrated by started spinning units. From there on it was a matter of identifying opportunities in both new markets and new products from time to time. Today, not only we are one of the largest producers of PV dyed yarn in South East Asia but also running a denim unit and the country’s biggest seamless garment manufacturing unit. It has been an exhilarating journey so far.
- What did you do to tide over the challenges & hard times?
In my view, challenges and hard times are part of the journey of life. We at Sangam collaboratively face big issues with result-driven teams. Our employees and worker are our biggest strength who helps me in getting over all the roadblocks in the path. Apart from this, my mentors and our chairman Shri Rampal Soni also keep guiding us in turbulent times.
- Have you had any mentors during your journey? If yes, who are/ were they & what is the role they played?
I am especially blessed to have two people who have guided me during my life. The first one is Shri D.P. Maloo ex MD Mangalam cement, Kota under whom I spent formative years of my management career. He taught me the value of smart thinking and passionate work in whichever field we choose. He also trained my giving key project during my work with him and helped develop my leadership skills. My second mentor is Our Chairman Mr. R.P Soni whose business acumen and guiding principles have aided me multiple times. He is both a personal and professional mentor and has a profound effect on what I could become today.
- How did you build your team over the years? What is the role they have played in shaping the business with you?
We consider our employees as family. We have shaped our policy for their inclusion in decision making to enable better performance. A mark of our good employee policy can be seen in our very low attrition rate. Almost all our senior employees are internally promoted, having slogged with us to take our business to the current position. The team we have currently is highly experienced and their input forms a large part of our ongoing business strategy.
- What are the changes (if any) that your business and customer proposition go through & what is it today?
Customer has become more demanding since we started our business, in terms of variety, prices and service. Making loyal customer takes time and constant engagement and we have mastered this art. Addition of new product lines denim and seamless garments is due to customer demand is we also keep tweaking our internal processes to constantly provide good customer service.
- Going forward what are the trends that you see for the industry you are in?
There is a lot of emphasis being put on sustainable clothing currently. For sustainable clothing to become a reality there will be a lot of changes in current supply chain at raw material, production and distribution level.
- Given this, what are your plans for the coming years to ride the industry trends & continue to grow?
We are going to forward integrate in coming years. With our manufacturing from yarn to garment, our company holds an advantage. Our focus is also shifting on premiums product to increase revenue by changing product basket we offer to our customers.
- With all this experience under your belt, what are your key learnings for being a successful entrepreneur?
An Entrepreneur should always be inclusive. They should strive to surround themselves with smart and driven people who believe in more than earning a living and do something big. One more quality which is of paramount importance is self-believe and confidence on one’s vision.
- Given your learnings, what is the one key message that you want to give to your fellow entrepreneurs?
I think an entrepreneur should always be on lookout for opportunities. This world is full of them and a driven and intelligent person can find it easily. They should build and ecosystem of loyal customer who support them through thick and thin and collaborate with them to create value.