Shaking up traditional ways comes naturally to the young. Mix it with a grasp of knowing what to change then you have a winning formula.
--By Aashiyana Adhikari
The Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) is a global, peer-to-peer network of more than 12,000 influential business owners with 160 chapters in 50 countries. Founded in 1987, EO is the catalyst that enables leading entrepreneurs to learn and grow, leading to greater success in business and beyond. EO Nepal, founded in 2003, is one of the chapters among the 160 chapters of the global organisation which has 51 members at present.
Shailesh Sanghai has been an active member of EO for the past four years. He is currently the Director of Triveni Byapar Company, the distribution wing of business and industrial conglomerate, Triveni Group. The company deals with brands like Samsung, Panasonic, Yasuda, Sansui, Symphony, Crompton, Opple, Fujifilm and Roland.
Born into a business family, Sanghai never thought of doing anything else other than continuing with his family business. "When I started working, I did not know what I wanted to do exactly. But one thing I was sure of was that I wanted to change the traditional system of my family business," he says.
Sanghai completed his undergraduate degree in Business Management from Purdue University in the United States. He also has a post-graduate degree in Business Administration from the S.P Jain School of Global Management located in Dubai and Singapore. Immediately after completing his education, Sanghai became interested in export and trading."It just intrigued me that I wanted to enter this field and I started looking into some of the operational issues of our company," he says. “I came to realize we were doing all the transactions and the way our business operated was very traditional," he adds. He then took up the challenge of revising and revamping the entire trading and import business of his company.
Triveni Group was very big in importing Konica reels, TDK Cassettes, Panasonic cameras, video cameras and other similar products. "The world was entering the fast pace of globalisation and our import system was still traditional," Sanghai recalls.“Basically there was a certain decline in the technology of these products that we were importing and this was resulting in the slowdown of our import and trading business."
"Someone had to take the ownership to develop new products, develop a brand and a whole new system. That's when I came into the picture," he adds.
Born in 1985, Sanghai is an example that age doesn't define someone's potential to handle an entire company. He joined the business in March 2010 and since then there has been no looking back for him. "When I joined the company, I envisioned a particular goal in my mind- that I wanted to run a business which I could operate from anywhere in the world," he says. Fast forward six years and Triveni Byapar is operating six branches employing over 150 people. Sanghai believes that his company still has a lot of space for growth and expansion.
A very spontaneous person, one of Sanghai’s interest’s is travelling. "I don't like to plan much when it comes to travelling. In fact, I plan after reaching the destination, and make it completely adventurous." he states. He is also an avid fitness aficionado who regularly works out in the mornings and likes to maintain a healthy diet.
He also has a strong sense of family, which, he says, stood as an inspiration for him to get into the business. Even though he was already a part of one that is generations old, Sanghai says that he has faced many challenges along the way. "We are living in a country where electricity is a major problem," he says. “Minor things like logistics, accounting and software procedures are also factors creating obstacles for entrepreneurs."
According to him, finding the right human resources for any company is a challenge at present. His high level of optimism about the future has helped him to overcome the challenges in every aspect of his business."I evaluate any problem of the business with four key decision making factors,--people, strategy, execution and cash. Then I start taking actions to solve one challenge after the other," he expresses.
An avid car enthusiast, Sanghai also keeps outdoor activities in his reach by going golfing or cycling whenever he has the spare time. Being an outgoing and adventurous person, he likes to set up challenges for his employees and occasionally we go out to have a good time."There should always be a motivating factor for people to go to their offices," he stresses. He believes that employees must have a good time and the organisation should keep its employees motivated."The spark that we have been able to drive within people in our company is what is turning our company into a different league altogether, we have an amazing culture," mentions Sanghai.
Sanghai says his passion is not his business but the system within his business. He says that if one can adopt a good system in a single business then that system can be replicated into multiple businesses. Initially, he recalls having problems in the execution of strategies in the company. "When we implemented a good strategy, the employees were not dedicated enough, leading to poor execution. And when we had good human resources, we didn't have a proper strategy," says Sanghai. "So, in the last three years we have aligned a lot of people and strategies due to which we have successfully had rapid growth," he adds.
In a break with tradition, Sanghai also has a progressive and different outlook for doing business in the future, with big plans to change the existing business system in the next five years."The companies are very owner-driven and this actually is the biggest challenge that we are trying to counter as of now," he says. “Our approach was always to create ownership, but now we have changed our strategy to making people more accountable and overcome their challenges," he adds. He also plans to make his company highly integrated in the next five years.