The Isha Foundation edge for leaders
Entrepreneurs and business executives share the insights they gained from attending the annual leadership programme conducted by Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev’s Isha Foundation at its headquarters in Coimbatore.
The next leadership programme is scheduled to take place between 26 and 29 November. Mint is a partner of the programme.
1. RAMESH BULCHANDANI is the chairman of KMB Group, which is a diversified group with interests in retail, distribution and real estate. KMB group began in 1988 as a manufacturing company and soon grew to be one of India’s largest watch-strap manufacturers and now is into real estate. He attended INSIGHT 2014.
“As a busy professional with a hectic schedule, it becomes difficult for one to make time to engage in activities to pursue personal growth which can help in running a business. However, I’m extremely glad I took the time out for INSIGHT–The DNA of Success. The three-day programme not only rejuvenated my mind, but also helped me gain some insight into the workings of some of the leading businessmen of our generation. The programme provided an extremely supportive environment for sharing and discussing problems and issues we face in our daily lives; and to have a range of perspectives and experiences to draw on was invaluable. The session with management guru Ram Charan on “Looking at the way we manage our enterprise and “manufacturing time as a first step to scale up” was extremely beneficial. Some of the learnings are things I can incorporate in my daily life.
Sadhguru is a very inspirational leader and his talks on the qualities of a leader have motivated me to raise the bar for myself. The four days were highly educational and motivating while being extremely enjoyable. It has given me the opportunity and drive to continue my professional development and remain up-to-date with the latest vantages on the business issues that matter. I enjoyed the camaraderie, frankness and confidentiality of the programme.”
2. SAPAN KUMAR JAIN, founder of Blubirch, a start-up for recycling information-technology (IT) products. He attended INSIGHT: The DNA of Success leadership programme in 2012 when he was managing IBM Global Financing as a general manager.
“My entrepreneurial journey, from a general manager at IBM India to founder of Blubirch, started during my participation at Isha INSIGHT 2012, where I met my potential business partners and the seeds for our new business were sown.
The unique combination of spirituality and business from Sadhguru and (business advisor and author) Ram Charan was what drew me to the programme. The different learnings from the programme included ideation to execution of a business which is sustainable, finer aspects of hiring the right talent from the beginning to making sure the DNA of the company is tightly integrated in the culture of the company.
Another very important aspect was to make sure that you make yourself redundant, pull back, let the things go. A healthy mix of entrepreneurs at different stages ensured a fertile ground for new learning.
A key learning was also the process of translating problems into opportunities, which prompted our new business venture. It’s an opportunity, which is a problem… a true problem with enterprises, with individuals where they don’t know what to do with lot of unused IT assets. There’s a market that exists but it’s a very unorganized market—lack of transparency, lack of trust, and possibly exposure to compliance and legal as well. And we said—there is a true opportunity here to organize this market, getting here as a player who will do the business in a very transparent fashion, in a compliant fashion and also bridge this trust gap that’s there and take up this opportunity to build a very sustainable business.
So with this idea, with this view, we started Blubirch, where ‘Blu’ is from color blue, which symbolizes trust and ‘Birch’ symbolizes the tree which is found in the northern hemisphere and is standing for rejuvenation renewal. So what we stand for is: renew an IT product’s life in a trusted way and put it back in the hands of the customer because that is more greener than putting in the landfill. From just one person in a two-bedroom flat, within 15 months this company moved into this four- storey 12,000 square feet office with 50 employees. There is a very clear, perceptible momentum, belief in our business and with other new start-ups taking a similar path, we have reason to believe we are on the right track and growing in the right manner.
3. NAGARAJ KULKARNI, founder of Compegence, a “Real Time Information Advantage” company, founded in 2011. He attended INSIGHT: The DNA of Success leadership programme in 2012.
“An opportunity to listen to and learn from Ram Charan over four days was something I could not let go, and immediately rearranged all my priorities to make sure I could make it to the Insight programme.
The cumulative effect of my learnings from the various resource leaders, including K. V. Kamath, then chairman of ICICI Bank Ltd. and Shanker Annaswamy, then Managing Director of IBM India Pvt. Ltd, helped us stretch our boundaries significantly.
I am still absorbing the many facets of simple yet powerful insights from the programme. At the same time, my company Compegence is on the right journey in the right direction, thanks to the clarity with simplicity brought out by the insight programme. And the journey from “expertise consulting” to a “transformational and innovative product” has been a significant leap. We are excited by the journey and opportunities ahead. My admiration for Sadhguru has grown manifold as the tools he offered has made a significant difference in my life. It helps me keep my energy and spirits balanced and keep the mind clear.”
4. RAGHAVENDRA JOSHI is the chairman and managing director of RJ Group of companies which came into existence in 1987. It has its corporate office in Aurangabad, Maharashtra, and has diversified into agro-related sectors like poultry breeding, granulated mixed fertilizers, neem-based natural pesticides, organic manure and biotechnology. He attended INSIGHT 2014.
“At the age of 26, I decided to quit a secure government job and start my own business. This was a shock to my parents But my wife supported me.
I had only Rs.5,000 of savings. I took some money from my father and borrowed from friends. This came to Rs.1 lakh. I got a business loan of Rs.6 lakh from the state finance corporation and started the business of tyre retreading in 1987. I was lucky beccause four major tyre companies were having labour problems at the time and there was an acute shortage of truck and bus tyres in the market. I became one of the top five tyre retreaders in the country within a year.
Today, after 27 years, my group has expanded into diverse businesses activities like poultry breeding and hatcheries, customized fertilizer manufacturing, developing hybrid seeds of cotton, rice, maize and vegetable crops, along with infrastructure development. I built the group into a Rs.750 crore entity with more than 1,000 employees.
At this stage of my life, I was fortunate to join Isha’s Insight programme in October 2014. The main attraction for me was to listen to Sadhguru and of course the legendary Ratan Tata.
During the three-day programme, after listening to the different business stalwarts, I realized that, I must assess my working capabilities and consolidate my business for which I should part with some of my small companies because of which I had not been able to concentrate on my core business.
Due to my emotional attachment to the first business I started, I was not ready to part with it. I was not able to spare enough time for that, but still I was continuing it. I took an immediate decision to exit this business within 90 days and concentrate on my core business of biotech and infrastructure development.
For details, visit www.ishainsight.org or call 83000 84888