It is hard to rebuild yourself, piece by piece, with no instructions book or clues as to where all the important bits are supposed to go. The narrow alleys and weary routes are given to us only to prepare us better for greater hurdles in life. However bad the situation gets, it is important to move from the point where you are standing.
Ashok Kapur is a person who shows that you can achieve anything if you are determined enough. When he was left with nothing, he put all his learnings and hardwork to build a company of his own.
Ashok grew up in a business family. His family owned Sona Koyo Steering, a jewellery business that was founded way back in 1889, and Ashok was the co-promoter.
Everything was going smooth for him until the family settlement came in, in 1993. This changed everything as now the major business controls were transferred to his brother. At the age of 47, Ashok was completely shattered, he suddenly had nothing. Ashok would spend nights thinking his way out from this devastation.
Pulling fortune out of a misfortune
With nowhere to go for help, he planned on using his business experience to take care of himself. In 1994, he started from the scratch and set up Krishna Maruti Ltd., a company that would supply car seats to the Japanese Auto giant Suzuki. All those hours when Ashok sat scratching his head thinking about business ideas were about to start paying off.
The market was hot and Ashok knew how to develop it into a land of milk and honey. Soon enough, their business multiplied and started supplying seats to many big companies.
However, things did hit off notes in the beginning. In the first year itself, Ashok experienced an 18-day labour strike. He spent days dealing with this issue and suffered major production loss. He even slept at his workplace on various days.
On another occasion, Rs 11 lakh worth of seats were scrapped because they were marginally off the ‘error tolerance range’. Despite these setbacks, Ashok never flinched and kept on making improvements in their business.
His company became the first car seating company to win the Deming Prize for Total Quality Management. Over the years, the workforce increased and so did the production. In 2005, the company bought out Mark Auto and renamed it Sat Krishna Hanuman (SKH) Metals. He soon shifted his attention from day-to-day operations to focusing on broader strategic goals. He drafted plans for many new joint ventures to enable greater diversification. Since since then, there was no looking back.
Giving back to the people
Apart from his business, Ashok is also involved in philanthropy. He believes in giving back to the society and serving people. He began working on a community complex near his village in Narsinghpur, Gurgaon. This complex presently includes a hospital, school, technical institute, and an orphanage.
With more than Rs 700 crore investment in new projects, the group is targeting a revenue of a whopping Rs 5,000 crore in financial year 2017-18, according to a report in The Economic Times.
People like Ashok have shown us that a sudden abysmal downfall is nothing but a test of one’s grit and determination to succeed. Had he given up all kinds of hope, India wouldn’t have been blessed with Maruti Suzuki, the leading car seller of India for decades. His lone resolve to bring himself out of his miserable state has now affected the lives of millions of Indians today who can afford a comfortable car at a cheap price.
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