By Santosh R Kenkre
In July 2011, Guala Closures (India) Pvt Ltd, an Italian multinational company manufacturing closures at Haravlem, Goa, made a momentous decision.
For the first time in India, instead of having an Italian as managing director, it chose an Indian (based in Goa) Mr Ravi Gupta for that post, to head its Indian operations.
The company, with over Rs 300 crore turnover, having plants in 24 countries, indeed took a premeditated decision. After all, Mr Gupta part of the team increased the production, which was 4 million closures a month in 1999 when he joined the company, to 5 million closures a day, a 30 times increase.
It has been certified to ISO 9001.2008 and ISO 22000.2005 standard. Mr Gupta, an engineer from the University of Roorkee came to Goa in 1983 with a very young family. His dream ride has taken him from the scooter which he drove in 1983 to the door of the cabin of MD of a multinational.
He says that all along, his wife Ms Vinita stood like a rock behind him through thick and thin. His two children Mr Anshul and Ms Tanu are settled abroad. He explains some of his qualities and tactics which helped him along his way. I believe in doing my karma and throughout my life I have never negotiated for my benefits — God is great and he takes care of the rewards according to our deeds.
Working with targets and devising a plan to achieve the targets, involving personnel at different levels. I always tell my people that if someone wants to accomplish his tasks, he shall find 100 ways to complete his task --- while other people can give 100 reasons — why the task could not be completed. So, be part of the 1st group of people and reap the fruits of your success, instead of blaming others for the failures.
Transparency and Team Working --- i.e. sharing of information at different levels in the organisation — explaining what is expected and why; how their job function is important to achieve the goals of the company; assessment of their weaknesses and arrange training to increase the capabilities.
He believes and practices in the following 2 famous sayings--- “Those who tell, it cannot be done — have always been around; but throughout history, progress has always come from those who said it could be done.” “There are no great wins in life without great risks.”
He has good words about Goan workforce too: Almost 98 per cent of our work force is comprised of Goans. My experience with the Goans has always been good. I have found them sincere and working with commitment — unlike the general perception that Goans are easy-going. As I have said earlier that most of the people want to perform well in their job responsibility — we only need to provide them the right direction, good training and a healthy working atmosphere.
He feels that there is a shortage of good technically trained people in Goa both at ITI level and Diploma Engineering level. The courses here need to be aligned with the needs of the industry.
He has a piece of advice for Goa’s policy makers: One, big impediment for the Industry is poor quality of Power supply because of which big losses are suffered due to production loss and unwarranted damages to the machines due to sudden stoppages.
At 61, Mr Gupta can look back at his journey with satisfaction, and others can recap his journey only with a sense of awe. An Urdu couplet reads somewhat as follows. “Prepare yourself to be so competent, that at each juncture, God is compelled to ask you as to what do you want, so that God can give it to you”. Mr Gupta didn’t even have to ask, the corporate God i.e. Guala company, on its own, appointed him as its CEO in India!