Why do you think it is important for young leaders to understand both the old ways and new ways of running a global company?
The benefits of doing so occur at multiple levels. One is at a personal level, where the young minds put themselves in a position for career advancement and recognition & high quality of their work, which is arguably the goal for anyone who is ambitious. As for the company, they put themselves in a position where they are truly contributing. That’s why I think it’s important in terms of both – personal & professional incentives.
Sustainability is central to Elgi’s business. How are you working on turning your manufacturing plants into green hubs?
Our company is very vertically integrated – we have high control over our production processes. Right from having our own motor plant to designing & manufacturing the machines that make the critical components for our air compressors has helped us achieve a lot of sustainability objectives. Controlling the entire production helps control its impact on the environment. Close to 90% of the sand in our foundry is recycled back into the process. And moving further downstream, all the metal waste that comes from production is packaged and sent back to the foundry to be remelted for new products.
ELGi is to train 1,000 of its employees under the NASSCOM FutureSkills Prime initiative. Which technologies is this programme focused on?
This is a platform that focuses on providing a solution to challenges when upskilling people with emerging technologies, from Artificial Intelligence & cloud computing to cyber security & Big Data analytics to Robotic Process Automation & blockchain and more. The registered candidates can develop core proficient skills, take aptitude diagnostics tests, acquire SSC NASSCOM certifications and become more digitally fluent.
What are your current initiatives/investments in R&D?
R&D has two basic tracks – continuous improvement and white space. Within continuous improvement, the primary goal for us is to be the lowest in terms of energy consumption and the best in terms of free air delivery. We have performance-based improvements centred on industry standards and our competitive benchmarks that go along our improvement track. As for the white space, we have invested heavily in oil-free, compressed air technology.
As a young leader, what are your future visions for the company?
Today, we are roughly US $250 million in sales, and our aspiration is to be amongst the top three air compressor manufacturers in the world, which is more than a billion dollars in annual sales. This calls for considerations for the talent, recruiting, leadership, management, processes, technology and all round governance & capabilities. Hence, going forward, my focus is going to be on making sure that the company’s foundation across these dimensions is extremely solid.