Wednesday, 19 July 2017

‘If you think big , you will make it big’-The Journey of Rahul Sanghavi

‘If you think big , you will make it big’-The Journey of Rahul Sanghavi
Here is some food for thought for everyone – ‘If you think big , you will make it big’

Rahul Sanghvi, the  lead of Sanghvi Foods smilingly narrated that his father started it with a small plant of capacity 60 tonnes per day which has now swollen to a capacity of 2300 tonnes per day.

Sanghvi foods Pvt. Ltd. was established in 1990 by Mr. Dinesh Sanghvi and is currently recognised as one of the leaders in wheat flour milling in India. Sanghvi Group owes to its credit India's highest wheat grinding capacity.  Sanghvi Group started its operations under the brand name Silver Coin. The brand has now extended its product range from wheat range to Rawa, Daliya, Besan, Suji, Maida and so forth. Rahul joined his family business in 2006 after completing his studies in the U.S. Family business had caught his fascination since childhood and he dreamt of taking it to the next level. After graduation, he worked in companies to gain practical knowledge and experience. He found that the working style in US was very different from that of India’s and initially had difficulty in adapting himself to the work culture of Indian companies.

In the beginning, the company focused on wholesale market but gradually shifted their focus from wholesale to retail realizing the huge potential that a retail market entailed. The biggest challenge he faced was the shift over from wholesale to retail. He started Sales and Marketing team with small pockets like Indore, Bhopal, Ujjain and the nearby areas. It was the time when Retail Sector was at its boom and there was no major player in the market. This boosted his confidence to venture further in it.  Now the major chunk of the company’s revenue comes from retail market.

Right policies and pricing of the products helped him to cover majority of the market and command an extra price .

He strongly feels that there are humungous opportunities for expansion in this sector as a lot of  potential lies untapped. He highly recommends family owned business as he feels that there are better chances to grow in traditional business in comparison to other businesses. His astute advice to everyone ,”Take on the family legacy and make a difference”

Yash Maheshwari

Acropolis South Campus

Indore (M.P)

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Stay Humble,Hustle Hard:The Journey of Simarpreet H Singh

As college students, most of us belong to the breed who have least clarity about their future goals / ambitions, and tend to take a lot of things for granted. I can relate to this fact as even though it has been more than a decade since I graduated, I still remember how I knew nothing about what my professional life is going to be like. The same holds true for another gentleman, a proud entrepreneur by the name Simarpreet , who belongs to the family managed business of HARTEK group. He has enjoyed good success over the years and is highly driven by his passion to make a difference to the society we live in.

However, Simarpreet is the first person to admit he was not always like that. Till the last year of his engineering, he was not sure about his future goals. And his parents didn’t discuss about his career, as they wanted to give him the freedom of choice.

Wake Up Call

He didn’t have much idea about the kind of activities that his father was involved with at Amtek (which later on became Hartek). Still, being a family business, he assumed that he would straight-away walk into his father’s business one fine day. However, Simarpreet soon realized that he was day-dreaming when his father placed three stiff challenges in front of him if he intended to join him at Amtek. These were:

-To get a job offer through campus placement

-To undergo training at a company and place, as per his father’s choosing.

-To work in his father’s company at the ground level without expecting any special privilege

It was probably these challenges that woke up the ‘entrepreneur’ in Simarpreet and he decided to take them head on. He soon realized that the road ahead was going to be a tough one when he faced back to back rejections from no less than four companies. Finally, Simarpreet made the cut with a job offer from I Gate Patni Computers and he was a relieved man. At the back of his mind, he knew that the first challenge was just a trailer of hardships that lay ahead of him.

Turning Point

He set out to complete the second challenge put forward by his father which was to undergo training for 8 months for Schneider Electric at Vadodara, Gujarat, with just a couple of thousand rupees and an ATM card with an unknown pin.  Upon arrival in Vadodara, he got a shocker – there was no stay arrangement done for him. The training was going to start after four days and he had to manage his stay from the limited money he had in his pockets.

That was when he learnt the first entrepreneurial lesson – getting work done at the lowest possible budget. He stayed at the railway station for a night, and then, got hold of a cheap room to suit his budget, with the help of locals.

As per Simarpreet, he was ready for the surprise challenges being thrown at him one after the other. However, his determination got a major boost when he had a talk to his father over phone. His father spoke about ‘lack of electricity’ being the major problem plaguing Indians and wanted to focus on ‘why’ to get relevant answers. He advised Simarpreet to never look back and shared his vision of seeing a developed and sustainable India. The manner in which his father spoke and conveyed the message, Simarpreet was totally convinced that his father’s purpose is now going to be the purpose of his life – such was the impact! 

 He learnt the value of money and facing hardships in life while undergoing the gruelling training at Schneider Electric, where he was inducted as a shop-floor engineer, working almost 13 hours every day. Thus, Simarpreet managed to complete the major challenges in front of him and got selected as an engineer for the BD (Business Development) team at his father’s firm, Amtek. This learning experience made him quite stronger and ready to face the world. Simarpreet felt a great sense of achievement as he had proved himself worthy of inheriting his father’s legacy and carrying it forward.

And he was thankful to his father for throwing those challenges, especially the training one, along with the inspiring talk over phone from Vadodara. As per Simarpreet, this period was the major turning point of his life, and he was well prepared to achieve bigger things for his family business.

The Hard Yards and Bold Decisions

Under his father’s guidance, Simarpreet was exposed to a variety of sites and was made to interact with a lot of customers. He continued to work hard and take as much learnings as possible from his father, who was a real taskmaster (as per Simarpreet). After joining Amtek, Simarpreet made his first major strategic contribution by convincing his father to change the name from Amtek to Hartek (his father’s name). The reason being there was already a company with the name Amtek, and that made Simarpreet feel uncomfortable.

And Simparpreet managed to get the brand name change from ‘Amtek’ to ‘Hartek’ even though his father was sceptical about such a big change for a company that had done business under the name ‘Amtek’ for more than two decades. He managed to do so by convincing his father that the North Indian public relate more to the entrepreneur than the company. And even several big companies like Tata, Dell, HP, Schneider, etc. have been named after their founders. Thus, Simarpreet managed to get the first decisive move towards formation of Hartek India Pvt. Ltd, under the Hartek group. And this lead to the flagship company of the group changing its name from Amtek Energy & Power Pvt. Ltd. to Hartek Power Pvt. Ltd.

Major Accomplishments

To achieve his father’s dream of a sustainable India, Simarpreet focused on sustainable energy sources and strongly believes that they are the future. In 2014, his business came up with the rooftop solar division of Hartek Group, and later founded Hartek Solar Pvt. Ltd. in 2015. Natural energy sources like solar, especially rooftop solar panels were the stuff with which Simarpreet and his team started getting involved in (for residential space).

As part of Hartek Solar, he travelled to more than 11 states in around 18 months for the purpose of solar panel installation. And all of this realizing that it is completely futuristic work. He tasted success with his first commercial project for Hartek in the city of Chandigarh.

That’s when his resolve and determination received a major boost. Thanks to the preachings of his father, Simarpreet has always been focused on nation building. Everything that he and Hartek does is from the point of view of growth – rising from the belief that when the nation grows, you grow and so does your business!

Incidents that have Contributed to His Entrepreneurial Growth

Simarpreet believes that every experience in life teaches you something invaluable and there have been many such experiences in his life that have helped him grow as an entrepreneur. He had never seen any employee of Hartek India ever leaving the company.

So, when one such employee came to him and cried, he was taken aback. He dug deep to realize that the reason was an injury to his mother and lack of money for her treatment. This was when he pitched in, on behalf of the business feeling a sense of being a social entrepreneur.

The employee started working with double enthusiasm and Simarpreet could feel the difference his help had created during trying circumstances for him. It was the first time it struck him that Hartek was not just his own family business, but, was in turn taking care of a large number of families and their livelihood.   

Role of Family Managed Business Course

One of the most important experiences for Simarpreet has been his tenure at SP Jain for the Family Managed Business program.  As per him, the biggest takeaway from this rendezvous was the mentoring he got.

Their ‘Guru-Shishya’ model has nurtured thousands of entrepreneurs by helping them to not only to become better businessmen, but, also better human beings. He is still grateful to the program for giving him mentors with whom he is still in touch and seeks valuable advice from time to time.

He realized that to become a great leader, you have to be a great follower. And SP Jain imbibed good reading habits in him. In fact, Simarpreet claims that he has become a voracious reader only because of his student experience..

One of the key learnings from  SP Jain was the difference between ‘blood equity’ and ‘sweat equity’ – to earn your rights through the hard grind and sweat, rather than just being lucky to get them.

The story of Simarpreet is quite inspiring as he has matured quickly to become a responsible entrepreneur who is driven by his larger than life ‘purpose’ which is to clean and build a sustainable India. He has stayed grounded and is a live example of the phrase “Stay Humble, Hustle Hard!” He has never shied away from challenges thrown by life or his father, enjoyed the learning experience on the job as well as at college, and feels responsible towards the needs of his employees.

Clearly, he has all the makings of a successful entrepreneur and Hartek group is definitely in safe hands!

Written by Mr Tejas Savla