As Gujarat races ahead in its growth story, there is a strong crop of young professionals and entrepreneurs propelling this journey. 'India Investment Journal' profiles three such next-generation high-achievers here. Munjal M. Jaykrishna
Munjal is Joint Managing Director, AksharChem (India) Ltd, a manufacturer of Dye Intermediates (Vinyl Sulphone) and Pigments (CPC Green). Apart from being the largest exporter of Vinyl Sulphone in India with over 45 per cent share in exports, AksharChem also claims dominance in the export of CPC Green. Under his stewardship, the company counts itself among the largest players in the field, with a global market share of 10 per cent. “Our products have varying end user applications in Textile, Paint, Ink, Plastic, Rubber and Leather industry,” he explains. The firm's manufacturing facility is strategically located in the chemical belt of Gujarat, at Mehsana. Why Gujarat “Apart from being located along the coastline, I feel, Gujarat has had a stable government for a while now with sound policies. Recent reforms in online tax payments, construction, permits, electricity connections and environmental clearances in a specified time is bound to immensely benefit the local businesses for a long time. “As per the World Bank 'Ease of Doing Business' list, Gujarat has consistently featured in the top three states, proving our point. “Even for our future expansions, AksharChem will look at Gujarat as a destination as it has the right combination of policies, people, raw materials, ports and customers.” Goals for 2017 “We are looking to expand our product portfolio to strengthen our position in the dye intermediate and pigment space. “Our growth plans currently include increasing our product basket and catering to leading global colourant customers. As a key to running a successful business, we are always open to various ideas, provided the right opportunity comes along.” Motivations & Career Highs “Seeing the dedication and commitment that my mother has shown towards the business over close to three decades keeps me motivated to take the business to newer heights and make AksharChem (India) Ltd a brand to reckon with. As the Joint Managing Director, I am responsible for the AksharChem family of more than 250 people who have been a great support during the growth of the company. “I have also been very influenced by my grandfather, Shri Jaykrishna Harivallabhdas, his morals and life lessons have helped me grow both as a person and a business man. “Since inception AksharChem (India) has grown manifold, both in terms of topline and bottomline. In the history of the company, we haven't faced a single instance of goods being returned or any bad debts. “Till date, we have been conferred with four awards from the Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) and the Gujarat Dyestuffs Manufacturers' Association (GDMA). Away from the boardroom... “I enjoy a leisurely swim every morning. When time permits, I also enjoy skiing, scuba diving and adventure sports. These hobbies help me focus better and achieve my goals at work.” Chirag Parekh
Chirag is Chairman and Managing Director of the Acrysil Group of companies and Founder of the Polo League. The Acrysil Group is the fourth-largest composite quartz and granite kitchen sinks company in the world. Besides Carysil Quartz Sinks, the group has diversified into stainless steel sinks, faucets, food waste disposer and kitchen appliances like hobs & cook tops, ovens, wine chillers and dishwashers. It also launched a range of sanitary bathware products under the brand name Sterhangen. Apart from having a successful career as a businessman, Chirag is also credited with promoting the sport of polo. Traditionally considered a sport for royalty, he has made significant strides over the years in taking polo to the masses. Why Gujarat “A positive government, ease of business, no labour problems and available infrastructure for running an industry are the key reasons which make Gujarat a special place to do business. “Also, being a Gujarati first, it's a matter of pride to see industrial growth in the state.” Goals for 2017 “To become the world's best manufacturer of Carysil quartz kitchen sink and Sternhagen bathroom premium series. And, to bring Zone polo format on to the world map. “We are seeking foreign collaborations/ foreign investments in the field of kitchens and bath segments to increase our global presence by optimising marketing networks. We aim to strengthen our manufacturing capability locally and market our products globally.” Motivations & Career Highs “Excitement and passion towards any creativity that has not been unearthed by anyone and is exclusive. Though the game of polo is very exciting and challenging, it is limited to the rich and watched by a few. This motivates me to make this game popular with the common man by making it more live and fun filled. “On a personal front, I won the Army Commando Cup, Chikara Polo Cup, H.H. of Jodhpur Polo Cup, Kota Cup, Jaipur Polo Cup, ARC Polo Cup and many other prestigious polo awards. “On the business front, there have been many esteemed awards for Acrysil Group companies.” Away from the boardroom... “I am passionate about Polo as it is a game of taking calculative risks. This has taught me to channel all my extra energy into business. Polo has turned me into fitness freak. Music keeps me relaxed and rejuvenated.” Vishal Mehta
Vishal is Managing Director, Infibeam Incorporation Ltd, a company making waves in the global e-commerce landscape. It provides all necessary platform tools to generate higher sales in the e-commerce space. The company has leveraged its technology assets to develop cloud-based advanced and scalable platform BuildaBazaar (www.buildabazaar.ooo), which enables complex, modular and customisable digital solutions including online storefront, mobile applications, digital catalogue, content management, social media integrations, payment gateway and fulfilment services. “As part of strategic initiatives, the company has launched .ooo top level domain registry. It results in acquiring merchants as well as helps the company bring them on to the BuildaBazaar platform. The domain registry business places Infibeam in an extremely strong position, wherein it would have the ability to earn revenues in future,” he explains. Why Gujarat “Gujarat provides the most business-friendly infrastructure and very favourable business policies. It offers dependable connectivity and utilities and plentiful human resources in management and IT skills. “Some of the premium institutes in the world, like the Indian Institute of Management, Indian Institute of Technology, National Institute of Design and Mudra Institute of Communication (MICA), allow us to employ the best talent and team members.” Goals for 2017 “Going forward in 2017, the company will continue to focus on merchant acquisition across the e-commerce eco-system comprising of the BuildaBazaar platform and Infibeam.com retail platform by leveraging established customer base and experience, offering digital solutions to established brand and enterprise customers both in India and globally. “The company has a strong focus on international expansion by way of entering into strategic partnership arrangements.” Motivations & Career Highs “Solving hard problems at scale that empowers the business ecosystem and commitment to do my best consistently and at all times. “Promoting the goal of gender equality by offering training development and implementation of an e-commerce platform to SEWA women, which helped generate economic empowerment and create equal opportunities for urban, semi-urban and rural women. “Mentoring and training young entrepreneurs to enable them to becoming self-sufficient and creating job opportunities and engagement in mainstream business processes. “Infibeam, the first Indian e-commerce company to go IPO and get listed on stock exchanges, was judged the E-commerce Platform Service Provider of the Year 2016 by Frost & Sullivan.” Away from the boardroom... “I love spending time with my kids and family and reading books of my interest.” Dr Sharvil Patel Deputy Managing Director, Cadila Healthcare Limited
Dr Sharvil Patel is the son of Pankaj Patel, CEO of Cadila Healthcare - one of the largest pharma companies in India. He has a PhD from the University of Sunderland for his research work in breast cancer at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Centre in the US. He combines both pharma and research expertise as he believes research and innovation are critical for growth. Recently, the company acquired six brands from global drug giant Merck for an undisclosed amount as it seeks to strengthen its portfolio in the therapeutic segment. Kulin Lalbhai Executive Director, Arvind
Kulin Lalbhai is the younger son of Sanjay Lalbhai, Chairman and Managing Director of Arvind. An MBA from Harvard Business School and a BSc in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University, Kulin has initially worked with management consultancy McKinsey & Co. He has been spear-heading Arvind's foray into the e-commerce space and plays an active role in company strategy with a focus on B2C businesses. Arvind today retails its own brands like Flying Machine, Newport and Excalibur and licensed international brands like Arrow, Lee, Wrangler and Tommy Hilfiger, through its nation-wide retail network. Karan Adani CEO, Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Limited (APSEZL) of Adani Enterprises Limited
Karan Adani is the son of Gautam Adani, who is the chairman and founder of multinational conglomerate Adani Group. With a degree in Economics from Purdue University, US, Karan started his career by learning the intricacies of port operations at Mundra. Over the years he has successfully steered the growth of Adani Ports from two ports to a string of 10 ports/terminals across the Indian coastline. He is technologically savvy and believes in setting the highest benchmarks in all areas of business. The Adani Group has diversified businesses across resources, logistics, agribusiness and energy sectors. Arjun Handa Vice-Chairman & Managing Director, Claris Lifesciences Limited
Arjun Handa is the eldest son of Sushil Handa, the founder of Claris Lifesciences, a leading player in the lifesciences industry. Arjun has a Masters in Business Administration from Northeastern University, Boston, US. Under his leadership, the company has won several awards including the Frost and Sullivan Manufacturing Excellence Award. It has also achieved significant milestones including the launch of niche, difficult to develop products and expansion into the regulated markets.