Business Today 14th January 2018 - Page 79

PHOTOGRAPH BY SHEKHAR GHOSH
BY ONKAR S . KANWAR
Chairman , Apollo Tyres
It is unbelievable the things you can achieve with an uncluttered mind . In 1979 , when I stepped up to the task of managing my father ’ s long-distance tyre business in Kerala , I had no idea what I was getting myself into . My father , who managed his business interests in Delhi , had little time to oversee the venture down South – Apollo Tyres . Perhaps as a consequence , operations at the Kerala factory ran into trouble , escalating to a point where the company had wiped out its net worth three times over . I volunteered to go and have a look and resolve matters if need be . My father agreed . It was an assignment that would set the course of my professional life .
Upon reaching the factory , I realised the enormity of the task ahead . I was greeted with anti-management slogans . In terms of business , things did not look promising . People had stopped working on the factory floor ; tyres were being returned faster than we could manufacture them and on a capital base of `80 million , losses mounted to `300 million .
I was young and determined then . With hindsight , I think what
January 14 I 2018 I BUSINESS TODAY I 79
BY ONKAR S. KANWAR Chairman, Apollo Tyres It is unbelievable the things you can achieve with an unclut- tered mind. In 1979, when I stepped up to the task of managing my fa- ther’s long-distance tyre business in Kerala, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. My father, who managed his business interests in Delhi, had little time to oversee the venture down South – Apollo Tyres. Perhaps as a consequence, operations at the Kerala factory ran into trou- ble, escalating to a point where the company had wiped out its net worth three times over. I volunteered to go and have a look and resolve matters if need be. My father agreed. It was an assignment that would set the course of my professional life. Upon reaching the factory, I realised the enormity of the task ahead. I was greeted with anti-management slogans. In terms of business, things did not look promising. People had stop Yܚ[ۈHXܞH܎\\\HZ[]\Y\\[H[X[YX\H[H[ۂH\][\Hو Z[[ۋ\[[Y Z[[ۋH\[[[]\Z[Y[][Y H[][X\H MH NHTSTVHH