Business Today 14th January 2018 - Page 60

The Best Management Lesson I Learnt ‘Th rive Th rough Change’ BY G.V. PRASAD Co-chairman and CEO, Dr. Reddy’s Adversity builds resilience. It also helped me discover my reason for being – which was to create a self-sustaining high-performance organisation. It was 1990. I was 29 years old, with some experience in running a construction business and a not-so-successful start-up. I was asked to lead one of the two companies that is today Dr. Reddy’s. Here’s an account of what happened and how the events that shaped the purpose of my professional life. I graduated in 1983 with a master’s degree in management from Purdue University, after completing an undergraduate degree in chemical engineering from Illinois Insti- tute of Technology. My father had multiple businesses. After dabbling in a few things, I started a pharmaceutical business with my family called Benzex Labs. It was my first en- trepreneurial experience and did not do too well. Meanwhile, Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, just founded by the legendary scientist-entrepreneur, late Dr Anji Reddy, was looking to expand. It made an offer to acquire Benzex, which we accepted. I returned to my family business that was primarily into construction. However, I was on boards of the companies that Dr Anji Reddy had founded and continued to have a ringside view of how they were doing. Dr. Reddy’s was a small company that time, about $50 million in size with about 350 employees. However, it was in a rapid growth phase with fundamentals in its fa- vour – a well protected market with only high-cost European competitors and a promis- 60 I BUSINESS TODAY I January 14 I 2018