Harsh Sanghai is the director of GP Trading Pvt. Ltd and Triveni Byapar Co. Pvt. Ltd. Triveni Byapar is a part of Triveni Group, which was established in 1940 to look after the import business of Triveni Group. B360 talked to Sanghai about running a successful enterprise. Excerpts:
What have the leaders of the company done right to make it a successful enterprise?
The key to success is hard work. Without hard work, there is nothing. Whether it is the big entrepreneurs or any billionaires, they all achieved success through hard work. They take the world from zero to one; instead of, from one to two. You need to do something outstanding, something everyone has not done and take a step forward, and create value for society.
What can new businesses learn from GP Trading’s experience?
They need to learn four fundamental elements —
1. Bargaining power against the suppliers
2. Bargaining power over customers
3. Threat of entrants and
4. Threat of substitutes.
For instance, if somebody wants to enter the manufacturing business, they should know how to get raw materials at a cheaper rate, how to charge premium for the products, are there any other competitors who will knock them out and so on. These are the things to be looked into while weighing viability of a new business.
An autocratic and arrogant leader gives more productive results or a liberal one?
It depends. Autocratic leadership is the most effective when you want to move forward swiftly; when there is time constraint. Risks are involved as well as the direction may be wrong. The liberal one moves slower and in the right direction. I think a mix of both eventually leads to success.
A company’s success not only depends on leadership but also on overall workforce.
How do you lead an effective workforce?
I strongly believe that there is talent in everyone. It’s more associated with training rather than capability. You need to train your workforce well. After training, people fail being unable to hand over key responsibilities. Every entrepreneur doesn’t want to hand over responsibilities unless there is 100% certainty of its execution. Which is good but sometimes it becomes counterproductive. At the end of the day, you learn while doing the job. You need to train well, give opportunities for growth, and give avenues to your employees to succeed.
How can leadership be tested to ensure that it is effective enough?
It is through Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Ever job should have standard KPIs that need to be communicated to the candidates before they enter the workforce. They should be monitored on the basis of KPIs that reveal how a candidate is performing. This also gives a guideline on what is expected from them.