An Inspiring Article On An Entrepreneur- Sharad Fomra!
He took over the family business when he was twenty. In ten years he had expanded and diversified the 15 crore business into a 100 crore group. Meet the confident, energetic and enthusiastic Sharad Fomra.
He joined his family business of electrical trade at a very young age, and built it into number one organisation in South India and one of the top organisations at the national level in his field. He expanded, diversified and developed his various businesses into strong organisations. His confidence, energy and enthusiasm get rubbed on to anyone who meets him. His mere presence charges up the environment and for all that he is just 30. A great friend, a responsible son, a loving husband, a caring father and certainly an inspiring leader – Sharad Fomra, Director, Fomra Electricals, SMK Fomra Engineering College and Fomra Housing.
“The turning point in my life,” says Sharad, “was when a manager in our electrical business left us all of a sudden. He used to work like a supercomputer and the entire business depended on him. It was then that I was asked by my grandfather to take care of the business and I was barely 20. I was absolutely clueless; there was so much uncertainty within me. I didn’t even know how current passes through a wire. The strongest words of encouragement came from my uncle who said he would support me and asked me to do what I felt was right. When one is left with no option but to perform, and if one believes in himself, he will perform; that’s how we built the organisation.”
When asked what he considers his plus factors are, Sharad said, “I think it is the speed in my decision- making and clarity in my thinking that makes all the difference. I completely endorse the adage, ‘There are no right decisions. You make your decisions right’. I always make the decisions and then go all out to make my decisions right. If I decide to do something, I will always do it. I believe that anything can be achieved and I always prove it by doing it. I derive this strength from my clarity in thinking. The moment I am clear about what has to be done, I find the inner power to do it.”
When asked if there is anything unique in his management style Sharad said, “I don’t compare myself with anyone to decide my style. I believe any process can be evolved and improved. Even though I do a lot of calculations, I finally follow my instincts. There are no gaps between what I feel and what I speak. To me, right is right and wrong is wrong, irrespective of who it is. When things don’t seem to be going right, I always closely observe the top management; most often I have found that to be the problem area and it’s helped me set things right. One has to be always accountable to results, more so if he is at the top.”
He took over a 15 crore business and has built it into a 100 crore organisation. Sharad said, “In the initial stages, I didn’t realise that I shouldn’t be doing everything. It took a toll on my health. Since then, I started investing time in training and developing people, and giving them the freedom to work. I stood by their commitments, accompanied them to the field and led them by example. Resource management has been our major strength and I have been working on it consistently to ensure that we achieve our goals. I am aware that I will not be able to reach where I want to with the existing infrastructure, and hence we’ve been constantly upgrading our technology, and increasing our human resources and training them. The main objective is to create more leaders within the organisation, make them realise their potential and ensure that they develop themselves in order to shoulder higher responsibilities.”
Sharad added, “We make it a point to be synonymous with quality. We are stringent about our quality standards. We have never received complaints on quality. The market has become very competitive. Earlier the clients used to come to us, but today we have to go to them. In fact, once one of our clients didn’t want me to enter his office because of our delayed response. This incident was a psychological slap. We persistently followed-up with the client, procured an order and regained his confidence. Since then, our constant striving is to live up to the time factor. I never over promise, even if it means losing some business. All the competition has only made me look at what else can I come up with, and this has helped us to grow faster.”
Sharad believes that his relationship with his team, customers and vendors has played a crucial role in their growth. “I share a personal relationship with the key members of my team. They are well taken care of in every aspect. I personally meet my primary customers and also keep in touch with the others. This interaction helps me understand how my team has been working and gives inputs to train them further. My relationship with my vendors has been built over a period of time. Initially, I never understood the value of these relationships and I was perceived as arrogant, for I was too straightforward and blunt at that; but now I have toned down. I realise that these relationships help support my business and winning their hearts goes a long way in building a good organisation. In short, I have to do justice to my chair consciously,” said Sharad.
When asked what’s been his driving force Sharad said, “I feel that I have been blessed with too much potential and I will be insulting the giver if I don’t live up to it. I feel I can make a difference in so many more lives and I derive immense satisfaction from seeing people grow in life. There have been instances of delivery boys going up to hold key positions in the organisation.”
Talking about the people who have been his major influences he said, “My grandfather has been my greatest inspiration. He infused into me the qualities of firmness, clarity and standing by values. It was he who taught me that my workplace is my temple and I am only a pujari, and that it is my responsibility to perform my duty and be the best at that. These words keep ringing in my ears every time I enter my office. The other person who is guiding me is my mentor, Mahatria, the Diviner of the path, infinitheism I go and implement whatever he has taught me and triggered in me, for I know that it comes from a higher intelligence. My growth owes largely to that. I have faith in him and he has confidence in me.”
When asked what made him venture into education and housing he said, “It was my grandfather’s wish to play a part in providing quality education. Hence we started an engineering college in his memory. In a span of three months, we bought the land and built 45,000 SFT. The college is in its seventh year and has around 700 students. We constantly work on improving the infrastructure, and in providing inputs and exposure for the holistic development of the student. A casual interaction with my mentor gave me the trigger to get into electrical contracting and consultancy, and his house became my first project. During that project, observing the functioning of the construction industry kindled a desire in me to enter the line and we launched our first project within a few months, which by itself is another 50 crore venture.”
When asked about the challenges he has faced in building the organisation Sharad said, “I haven’t yet felt challenged. Even when I had to face some challenging situations, when I actually experienced them, I never felt like I was going through a rough patch. I am full of positivity and believe that life unfolds itself one day at a time and you will eventually reach where you want to – only the time every individual takes varies.”
To Sharad his family means everything. “My wife, Kirti, and my children, Rachit and Siya, are my lifelines. My uncles have been of enormous support to me all through. When everything is fine at home, it gives you strength and the belief that you can achieve anything. I invest time with my family and understand and fulfil my responsibilities,” said Sharad.
Sharad has set bigger goals for his organisation in the coming years and is geared up to work towards it. He finally said, “I always tell god that He will be proud of the way I live my life.” You bet He will.
- A.S Gopal