Having spent practically all of my years in the twenty first century at Gandhar, I can categorically say I have grown both professionally and personally with the company. My beliefs are a reflection of the company’s, and our value systems mirror each other. So, when I speak of management truths, it is very much intertwined with the professional setup in which I work and the personal environment in which I have grown. Here’s an overview of these truths and what they mean to me:
- Goal Orientation:
In a hyper connected world, with information overload and distractions from all sides, it is extremely important to follow the straight and narrow path of your purpose. Goal orientation has been the reason I wake up each day with energy and enthusiasm. It has also steered my decision making ability. At Gandhar, I accepted the responsibility of our production facility at Silvasa, a plant that remains close to my heart to this day, with this keen sense of goal orientation. Silvasa was our second production facility after Taloja and we built it with a strong focus on quality, productivity, and meeting customer requirements. We also achieved our goal of developing a state-of-the-art Research and Development Centre at Silvasa, which got the much coveted Department of Scientific & Industrial Research (DSIR) approval in 2014. Managing the Silvasa project gave my team and me the self-confidence that comes from identifying and realising an ambitious goal.
- Attention to detail:
Having a background in marketing and operations, I have since the beginning of my career had a penchant for creating and delivering well-defined and comprehensive programs and processes that enhance our offering for our target audience. From an operational perspective, we ensure that controls are adhered to, be it in strategy, marketing, finance, risk or cyber security. This has now become a fundamental work ethic for me, and I am pleased with our operational diligence which has also accelerated our production and sales efforts.
- Nurture customers and their needs:
Many organisations are great at responding to customer requirements but not at proactively understanding customers’ objectives and addressing them through value added offerings. I am driven by enabling our customers to successfully meet their challenges with Gandhar’s innovative and customised products and solutions. We are committed to customer satisfaction, which means fulfilling each of their unique requirements. We owe our growth and success to the trust, confidence, and faith that our customers have reposed in us.
Gandhar was founded in an era when starting and running a business in India was a painstaking process with the ‘License Raj’ hampering the growth at every stage due to red tape. Still, it was my father’s dream to build a global brand with customers across the world, and to dedicate our efforts to something larger than ourselves. This undaunting spirit is what enabled us to tackle the many challenges that were hurled our way and to reach where we are today.
- Honesty in all dealings:
Gandhar is a family run business that spans two generations and the growth, reputation and goodwill we have achieved over the years would not have been possible had we not adhered to time-tested values of honesty, integrity, consistency and dependability. It is what won the trust of our stakeholders including employees, customers, partners and investors. In the cut-throat business world, we constantly need to remind ourselves of these fundamental truths.
- Act with Awareness:
Renowned psychologist and exponent of Emotional Intelligence, Daniel Goleman, has said that ‘85% emotional quotient and 15% intelligence quotient’ is what is needed for leaders to succeed. I strongly endorse this view. I believe the ability to do an accurate self-assessment of one’s emotions and moods, and strengths and weaknesses, is the starting point for a high EQ. It gives us the self-confidence to lead our teams, especially in these very challenging and distressing times. Leaders who can first perceive and express their own emotions and insecurities during this crisis will be more successful in navigating and taking care of the safety and mental well-being of their people. If in these times we don’t focus on our people and ensure their safety, security, as well as mental and physical well being, we definitely will not be productive as an organisation, or be able to meet our targets.
- Resilience Redefined:
In the best of times, resilience is a ‘must have’ trait for success in work and relationships. The pandemic has put this characteristic in the spotlight as our work and workplace and the way we interact with the workforce have permanently changed. As leaders, we will be successful only if we can help each other build resilience and motivate the most vulnerable in our teams to evolve for this new ‘better normal’ and perform while meeting unprecedented disruptions.
The author is Director, Gandhar Oil Refinery (India) Limited