Print Summit 2019: Three entrepreneurs share success mantra

The highlight of Print Summit 2019 was a panel discussion that featured three entrepreneurial success stories. Moderated by Times Network’s Sunanda Jayaseelan, the panel consisted of Thyrocare’s Dr A Velumani, Havmor’s Ankit Chona, and Ashirwad Pipes’ Pawan Poddar.

24 Jan 2019 | By Rushikesh Aravkar

(l-r) Sunanda Jayaseelan of Times Network, Ankit Chona of Havmor, Arokiaswamy Velumani of Thyrocare and Pawan Poddar of Ashirvad Pipes

Kickstarting the discussion, Velumani spoke about his journey as a son of a landless farmer in a small village near Coimbatore to become a mathematician who then established Thyrocare that has become an industry leader and a brand worth over Rs 3,000-crore. 

Pawan Poddar narrated how he, along with his brothers, founded Ashirwad Pipes in 1998. Today, Ashirvad Pipes is the largest manufacturer and exporter of UPVC column pipes with over three million installations in over 40 countries across the globe. The company has built a strong distribution network of 20 warehouses, over 1200 distributors and over 50,000 dealers across the country.

The third entrepreneur, Havmor’s Ankit Chona, whose grandfather started the Havmor business, didn’t want to be a third-generation entrepreneur and that’s why when opportunity arrived, he sold the business to a Korean company, Lotte. Today, Chona is working on his new venture that will be launched soon. 

Jayaseelan asked the panellists a pertinent question that is on every printer’s mind: how to take the business to the next level.

Poddar said, “One must focus on creating value for his product and convince his customer to pay for this additional value.”

Chona said, “Invest in people for the future and make yourself redundant and just a thinker is the most important thing for a business to go to the next level. Also, invest in technology for the future.”

Stressing on the importance of taking risks, Velumani shared, “I left home without discussing with my father and I came to Mumbai. I got married without discussing with my mother. I left a government job without discussing with my wife. In life, you can either discuss or decide.”

“When I established Thyrocare, I priced our services lowest in the market. Everybody called me a fool. Remember one thing: If people call you a fool, you're a visionary.”

The panelists unanimously stressed that the Indian entrepreneurs must come out of their comfort zone.

Velumani’s mantra: “Make enough mistakes. Learn from them. Don't repeat.”

On the topic of succession planning, Poddar said, “Don’t force your children into the business. Check for three things: Are they inclined to do business? Do they have the capability to run a business? and What part of the business are they keen on working?”