What’s in it for You?, Ravi Kumar Mehrotra, Macmillan Publishing India Ltd, Pp 192 (HB), Rs 985
This is the story of a shipping magnate who talks about his career while teaching the lessons he has drawn from his experiences. His name is Ravi Kumar Mehrotra who starts as a marine engineering cadet, gets rusticated for ragging, goes out to the sea and comes ashore to start a corporate career in shipping.
Not that his life is any bed of roses; on the contrary it includes hazardous years in Iran before and after the Revolution. He could have continued as a corporate man but he takes the huge risk of founding his own shipping company named Foresight Shipping, which takes birth in September 2004 with considerable enthusiasm but not the capital to match. This he does still because, to quote him, he “did not wish to miss the opportunity…to change from being a professional to being an entrepreneur.”
There are occasions one too many when he finds himself sailing through choppy waters but he weathers the storms, scouts into other areas and is now executive chairman of his Foresight Group. The secret of his success is to “remain positive but discontented with what you achieve; it will keep you aiming even higher, a sure way to keep the fire burning in your belly.”
He is a talented engineer as a cadet; a hardworking manager when he is transferred from his ship to an office job and an enterprising entrepreneur of his own shipping company. He says that hard work is necessary to achieve lofty ambitions, but this does not mean all work and no play. He adds, “Balance, plan and enjoy your life. It is important that you weigh all your options in order to make choices that support a healthy and happy life for you and your family.”
On gaining experience in life, he realises that the happiness of any organisation for which you are responsible is important. So employees should be treated as members of a family. As a boss, he ensures he is approachable and social. Though, of course, he does not tolerate inefficiency or ignores the bottom line or is deaf or blind to modern management theories.
(Macmillan Publishers India Ltd, 2/10, Ansari Road, Daryaganj, New Delhi-110 002; www.macmillanpublishers.com)