Ashok Aggarwal

I have lIved by a sIngle mantra that Is If you cannot do great thIngs, do small thIngs In great ways”

Marching Ahead on The Green Road to Prosperity

Besides possessing a rich experience of more than 45 years and receiving numerous professional accolades, the Founder-cum-Managing Director of HPM Chemicals & Fertilizers Ltd., Mr. Ashok Aggarwal

also has a heart of gold and is ever ready to share his insights with the youth and give back to the society in every possible way

the old adage, “Hard work is the key to success” holds true for Mr. Aggarwal who has been trodding on the path to fame and success owing to his earnestness. His humble disposition is quite apparent from  the fact  that he has high regards for his team and gives it due credit while elaborating on his success. Significantly, he talks about his struggles and disappointments unabashedly: “The story of my success is not just mine, it is the result of our whole HPM team’s hard work. Looking back at the past years,  I have grown and learned so much here in agrochemical industry. I have struggled tremendously in the past years. I never thought that I would actually accomplish my dreams and be successful in my life, but I definitely have proved, myself wrong. Many times I was confronted with huge disappointments, conditions were not generally positive to me. Obstacles came in my way and I continued pushing forward. Failure is the highway to success, ‘If you want to succeed, double your failure rate.’ I love knowing that I am doing great and I will really try to do my best in future.”

OVERCOMING CHALLENGES WITH ÉLAN

Life is full of challenges, it’s our perception which decides whether we choose to recognize them as opportunity or threat and this approach makes all the difference. Sharing with AsiaOne some of the challenges that Mr. Aggarwal faced and some of his self-devised techniques which he employed to counter them, he says: “In our personal and professional lives we face many challenges that test our emotional and mental condition. We are all learning. No one gets it right every time. The dynamic process of life — trying, succeeding, failing, and trying again — is the only way to develop lasting confidence in ourselves. I saw many fluctuations in my life. But I always thought about my farmers, my people and my country, that I could have done better for everyone.”

He adds, “I worked hard day and night and never looked back. Some of the times I had no idea how would I overcome the challenges. But I never lose hope. My whole life is filled with challenges. Many people spread rumours and many  negative  words about  HPM,  but I just did and am still doing my work with dignity and hard work, without paying any attention to their point of view. I specifically learned while overcoming those challenges that facing life challenges with fear will take you nowhere unless you accept the fear and make it your strength. Do something that will make your today better than what’s come before.”

SKILLED FARMERS; PROSPEROUS NATION

A noble soul who is deeply concerned about the welfare of others, Mr. Aggarwal is an ardent advocate of skill development of farmers and believes that they need to be trained in order to gain financial prosperity. He elaborates, “Despite the tremendous success of agro chemical industry, I feel farmers are not getting benefit in the real sense. What I feel is that a huge turnover is generated with the help of farmers so even they should get some real benefits from it. I think farmer education and awareness is intrinsic for improving the financial growth of farmers, as in many foreign countries they produce a relatively larger profit from farming than in India. If I get a chance, I would open an institution for farmers where they would be able to learn tactics to reap maximum profit out of their land, efforts and money.”

CHERISHING ASSOCIATIONS

Mr. Aggarwal is a person for whom family comes first and feels grateful to have a strong support system and always takes pleasure in giving his family due credit for his success. Reminiscing his moments of triumphs, he says, “Everyone has their own unforgettable moments, including me. I have many moments of triumphs. I have received many awards and all those are unforgettable moments. But when my daughter Mrs. Tapasya Goel joined HPM that was the actual moment of triumph for me. My family supported me in every thick and thin. Whenever obstacles came in my way they always stood up with me. As I said before, when my daughter Mrs. Tapasya Goel joined HPM as Executive Director of the company she took every responsibility. Today, the company is at the height of success and she has a huge contribution in it.” He derives motivation to work hard by working for the welfare of others and bringing about a positive change in the life of the people whom he associates with. As he puts it: “If I am talking about my motivation – that comes from providing excellent service to every farmer with whom I come in contact. Whenever I see farmers working day and night, their work inspires me to do better in my profession. I look for opportunities to improve my service skills so that each farmer I interact with will have a positive experience.”

I thInk farmer educatIon Is IntrInsIc for theIr growth … If I get a chance, I would open an InstItutIon for farmers where they would be able to learn tactIcs to reap maxImum profIt out of theIr land, efforts and money”

SERVING THE SOCIETY

According special emphasis on corporate social responsibility, Mr. Aggarwal feels that his highest career point was when his employees participated dedicatedly in a CSR initiative rolled out by his company. HPM has been an early adopter of a strong CSR agenda. HPM has had many different CSR ventures, which have proved to be massive crowd pullers & are great initiatives. All tasks are arranged in a participatory way, in counsel with the group, truly sitting with them, and checking their fundamental needs. HPM has taken the path of inclusive development to address their basic needs. HPM cumulatively touched the lives of millions of farmers in villages and various urban locations. HPM strives to uphold its dignity in every sphere of society. HPM had always indulged itself in the processes related to the social, economical & environment viabilities. We have had events like ‘ Green Nation Clean Nation ‘ which proved to be a massive crowd puller & was of great initiative. We have had events like ‘Santosh Krishi Divas’ where books & several goodies were distributed free of cost, enhancing the school outlook in backward areas. We have done CSR like ‘Help him to breathe’. It’s a story of a small child who was suffering from the heart valve blocked disease, we have done CSR like ‘Make Sure they have smile too,’ in this CSR campaign we adopted 9 girl children and took the responsibility of their education and bright future.”

INSPIRING FUTURE GENERATIONS

Mr. Aggarwal’s straightforwardness and humble approach has won the hearts of numerous budding entrepreneurs, giving them their major  life  goals.  His message for the  young  generation  is  “Get  out of negativity, stop blaming everyone else for your problems, and stop blowing up small issues into epic tragedies. If you wallow in misery, you’ll never find a way out. Find the strength within yourself. Stop giving others the responsibility and power to the outcome of your life. Stop looking to others, and be your own hero, be the best that you can be. Save your own life, because when it comes down to it you are the only one who can. Make every day something you can be proud of.”

Dr. Kanwar Deep Singh

An immensely successful international business leader who chose to don the role of a public representative as a member of the Upper House of the Indian Parliament, the man of many shades Dr. Kanwar Deep Singh is richly contributing towards the welfare, growth and prosperity of the nation

A first generation entrepreneur, Dr. Kanwar Deep Singh ventured into the world of business at a young age of 19 as he wanted to chart a unique course for himself. Armed with a bachelor’s degree in English Literature, he had lot of dreams and a whole lot of conviction and willingness to work hard to realize his dreams despite the fact that he had no background in business,  no Godfather and no money in hand, he ventured forth like an efficient frontrunner and ultimately charted newer territories of success owing to his sheer determination to excel.

Dr. Singh laid the foundation of Alchemist Group in the year 1981 with a borrowed sum of Rupees 20,000 from a bank to initiate a trading business in Mumbai, the financial capital of India. Realizing that to grow to the next level he had to get into the manufacturing business, he launched the first factory of the group in 1988. After casting indelible impressions in the manufacturing sector with sheer hard work and innovative thinking, he set out to expand and explore.

EMBRACING CHANGE WITH OPEN ARMS

Charles Darwin has rightly postulated that it is neither the strongest nor the most intelligent of the species that survives but the one which is most adaptable to change. This theory has proved to be true in case of Dr. Singh who utilized the opportunities, which a liberal environment offered, to the fullest. In the beginning of 1990s, the winds of liberalization had started flowing in India and the economy started opening up – the economic reforms which were kick-started in 1991 brought about expansion of the services sector helped largely by a liberalized investment and trade regime which increased consumer choices and reduced poverty significantly.

Taking advantage of the changing economic scenario, Dr. Singh listed his company on the stock exchange and his organization’s first IPO and listing on Bombay Stock Exchange occurred in 1994. Thus, there was no looking back for Dr. Singh, who kept on expanding the Group by organic growth and also by the way of acquisitions of businesses and today the conglomerate has eleven companies operating in different segments and an asset base of more than 2 billion dollars and more than 10,000 employees.

As Founder, Chairman and Managing Director of Alchemist Limited, Dr. Singh has achieved outstanding success whilst forging a reputation of integrity and promotion of fair business practices across a plethora of industries under his Group such as Food processing, Hospitals, Pharmaceuticals, Tea Estates, Aviation, Infrastructure, Real Estate, Hospitality and education.

BUILDING THE NATION

Bent on giving back to the society by serving at the political front, Dr. Singh ventured into the field of politics as he decided to embark on nation-building.” He was inspired by Ms. Mamta Banerjee’s sense of simplicity and her untiring struggle for the upliftment of “Maa, Maati and Maanush,” her honesty and ideals rooted in one’s own identity, own soil and roots and one’s own people – which propelled him to join the Trinamool crusade.

Citing reasons for joining a regional party, he elaborates, “I didn’t want to get lost in a party like the Congress or BJP and sit idle. So I scanned through the regional parties and Trinamool Congress (TMC) came closest to what I wanted. There was instant chemistry and our thoughts gelled.” He was elected to Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Indian Parliament, in 2010. Regarded as respected and dedicated leader, he was made the head and party in-charge of 13 Northern and North Eastern states of India for All India Trinamool Congress party.

He further elaborates, “Expansion in eastern India is on my radar and I’m targeting West Bengal, Jharkhand and the North-East.” He already operates three tea estates in Darjeelingand two in Assam and intends toopenat least four hospitals in the upcoming years. His deep commitment to public service and industrial reform is quite explicit from his tenure as the Chairman of the Central Advisory Board on Minimum Wages, and as Chairman of the National Meat and Poultry Processing Board when he took adequate steps aimed at revolutionizing the food processing industry.

i didn’t want to get lost in a party like the congress or bharatiya janata party (bjp) and sit idle.  so i scanned through the regional parties and trinamool congress (tmc) came closest to what i wanted”

A PASSIONATE PROMOTER OF SPORTS

Having completely realized the significance of games and sports and the positive implications they have for a sportsperson’s mind and body, in addition to being a platform for bringing laurels for the nation, Dr. Singh has always encouraged sports. An avid sportsperson himself, he likes to attend sports championships and encourage the emerging talents. His brand, Alchemist Group sponsored the Federation Cup hockey tournament organized by the Indian Hockey Federation in 2013 and he has held the positions of President of the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) and the Hockey Association of Haryana in the past.

AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS

Dr. Singh’s dedicated efforts in the public and professional spheres have been recognized through a number of awards, including the Rashtriya Ratan Award from the Integration and Economic Council of India, the Udyog Ratan Award from the Institute of Economic Study, and the Jewel of India Award from International Solidarity in New York. In view of his excellent business acumen, versatile personality, innovative thinking, exemplary contribution and introduction of an entrepreneurial revolution in India, a renowned and prestigious Accreditation body of UK – ASIC has awarded him with its highest honor of Honorary Lifetime Fellowship. He has also been bestowed with the Doctorate of Business from Anglia Ruskin University, UK in view of his extraordinary leadership, business acumen and strategic management skills.

An inspirational business leader and dedicated social worker, Dr. Singh has relinquished all positions within Alchemist Group of Companies, which  he very passionately established and spearheaded for more than three decades. After creating history in the corporate world with his numerous successful ventures in varied spheres, he has completely dedicated his life to social welfare by bringing about positive social, industrial and economic changes in India. Incessantly working on building the nation, Dr. Singh is a role model for aspiring entrepreneurs and passionate individuals who dream to make a mark for themselves.

 

Karsanbhai Patel

Conferred with the Padma Shri Award by the President of India, Mrs Pratibha Patil, Mr Karsanbhai Patel has been quite well-known as an entrepreneur and philanthropist and the Founder of Nirma who has developed it to a stage where it has more than 18,000 employees and a revenue of more than Rs. 7,000 crore

STORY OF PERSEVERANCE

Karsanbhai Patel’s story is one of the most inspiring success stories of businessmen of all eras. Born into a farmer family from north Gujarat, Mr Karsanbhai Patel worked as a lab technician after finishing his B.Sc. in Chemistry. However, with an urge to start a business of his own, he started selling detergent powder, which he both manufactured and packaged in his own backyard in a 10 x 10 ft room in his house. However, he could not afford to resign from his job, and started this detergent powder business in the time left after his office. Initially, it was entirely a one-man show, where he himself used to bicycle through the neighbourhoods selling his handmade detergent packets door to door. He would sell 15 to 20 packets daily while going to his office on his bicycle, which was roughly 15 kms away. As he used to sell his detergent at one-third the price of leading detergents, his business was an instant success.

Within three years, he set up a shop at a small workshop in an Ahmedabad suburb, and thus established the brand Nirma washing powder, which is known as one of the most popular household detergents in many parts of India.

He kept the name of his detergent as Nirma, based on his daughter’s name Nirupama. Though it took him three years to bring his business to a level where he could quit his job, he showed a remarkable spirit of enterprise, and made a successful business. The lack of any such precedence in his family meant that the chances of failure were bigger than the chances of success; however, he quickly established Nirma as a brand in Gujarat and Maharashtra. The level of his success can be gauged by the fact that in 2017 his net worth was USD 3.6 billion.

BUILDING THE NATION

Taking acute interest in education, he has also founded a leading pharmacy college – Nirma Institute of Pharmacy, and a leading engineering college – Nirma Institute of Technology, both of which have grown into leading colleges. Next, he instituted an Institute of Management, and then consolidated the entire structure under the Nirma University of Science and Technology in 2003, which is overseen by the Nirma Education and Research Foundation. He has also started the Nirma Labs education project, through which he trains and incubates entrepreneurs.

Born in 1945 in Mehsana, Gujarat, Mr Patel likes to be low-profile and has been unofficially leading a retired life, leaving his two sons and a son-in-law to manage the show. Mr Rakesh Patel takes care of procurement and logistics, Hiren Patel takes care of marketing and finance, and Kalpesh Patel manages human resources and healthcare – the Nirlife Healthcare. There was a time when his low-price Nirma brand had sparked a detergents war with bigger rivals like Unilever and Procter & Gamble; however, today Nirma is one of the largest producers of soda ash in the world, and is so successful that in 2016 it acquired the Indian operations of the French cement major Lafarge.

Mayank J. Shah

Bringing a Ray of Hope to Patients with Critical Condition

Mayank J. Shah is a prominent name in the pharmaceutical industry as a gutsy and energetic leader who has forayed into the pharmaceutical sector as the Director of Biochem Pharmaceutical Industries. This energetic stalwart has made the utmost use of his business acumen to enter into collaboration with the leading international pharma giants from Germany, the UK and Japan to introduce pharmaceutical products that have brought a ray of hope to different patients suffering with critical diseases or disorders and have proved quite effective in their successful treatment, thus establishing the reputation of the Group as a House of Antibiotics among the medical fraternity in India.

This strategic visionary has also been a prominent member of the Indian Drug Manufacturers’ Association, serving as its honourable secretary for 15 years. A foresighted industrialist, he is quite focused and adopts a hardworking as well as a smart approach to consistently strive for his customers, creating great values through innovation, quality, commitment and customer service building a great bond of trust with them.

Offering Customised Financial Solutions

Following a successful stint in the pharmaceutical industry, this stalwart divested the pharmaceutical business in 2011 and made long-term investments through M J Shah Capital in leading real estate funds, including HDFC, ICICI, Ask, Peninsula, Reliance, IIFL and Indiareit. Shah’s visionary thinking and able guidance has led the Group to successfully venture into the real estate sector with a strong portfolio of residential and commercial projects.
Under his strategic guidance, the Group has four residential real estate projects being developed in Bandra (W), Upper Chembur, Lower Parel and Navi Mumbai of over 50 lakh sq. ft with the objective of providing housing to more than 2000 families by 2022.

Shah and his team of financial experts enable custom-made financial solutions through M J Shah Capital Pvt Ltd in the field of capital markets, corporate finance, commercial real estate & mortgages, infrastructure project & structured finance, and debt capital markets & syndication to empower its customers to follow professional growth plans and carry out value-creating transactions. All these initiatives help the company’s customers by providing them finance for investments in the capital markets offering them the benefit of meeting their liquidity requirements. The SMEs and corporate clients are also benefitted with customized financial solutions to meet their working capital and finance needs, and customers are also benefitted with loans against property, lease rental discounting, commercial property purchase loan and construction finance. Setting his eyes on the emerging opportunities in the infrastructure, core and emerging sectors, Shah has been instrumental in expanding the company’s product portfolio to cover project and structured finance solutions serving the needs of growing mid-market customers around India. To achieve maximum excellence, Shah is committed to designing a unique architecture, and developing and executing an exclusive project, thereby, setting the highest standards of innovation and creativity in the real estate sector for its valued customers.