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Shiv Nadar explains what it takes to become a successful businessman

Shiv Nadar explains what it takes to become a successful businessman

Shiv Nadar explains what it takes to become a successful businessman
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By Suman Singh  Apr 3, 2019 7:16:57 AM IST (Updated)

HCL Technologies’ Shiv Nadar is among the first generation of entrepreneurs who took a bet on the IT sector when it was a tiny business. Nadar’s journey from creating a renowned tech company to being one of the most successful philanthropists in India has been most inspiring to young businessmen.

HCL Technologies’ Shiv Nadar is among the first generation of entrepreneurs who took a bet on the IT sector when it was a tiny business. Nadar’s journey from creating a renowned tech company to being one of the most successful philanthropists in India has been most inspiring to young businessmen.

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Entrepreneurship is a state of mind. It's a state in which you have to be flexible, alert, aggressive, inspiring and positive and use every low as a learning opportunity to bounce back.
Having a diverse employee portfolio in the organisation will help grow the business well. However, most entrepreneurs make the mistake of not expanding their bandwidth and utilise the talent at hand, according to Nadar, the founder and chairman of HCL Tech.

The job of being an entrepreneur also dictates to be a one-man army, i.e. you have to do all sorts of things and ignore everything else. You need to take up any work that comes your way despite the hierarchy, but also need to distribute work amongst your team members, Nadar said.
He recalled his early days when HCL was just starting out and his employees and team members worked overtime as they loved the company and did not want to go home. Nadar added, right from the beginning, HCL never compromised on the quality of hires. The company always approached IITs and IIMs to recruit students for the company.
Nadar took pride in saying that HCL was the only company at that time which gave opportunities to freshers right out of college to actually do design work. “At HCL, they got an opportunity to lay hands on a microprocessor and do real design work,” Nadar said. This was a time when engineering students left for the US to study further or to do a job and never got down to do actual design work.
When the US economy hit a recession in 2001 and dragged through 2002, HCL lost a lot of business as most of its revenue was generated from the companies in the US. However, the company reinvented itself and explored the healthcare and aerospace sector where it had some anchor customers. In the face of hardships, the company had no choice but to create new opportunities for itself and create the ‘Next Big Practice.’
I have always believed that the paranoid strive for the best, but are always prepared for the worst. One needs to identify and exploit every crisis point that challenges the business.
Like every organisation, even HCL wanted to invest in training but hardly had the capital to afford it. While the industry badly needed trained manpower and we were struggling to find the resources, no one had the financial muscle to invest in training, Nadar said, adding that the first opportunity of setting up the NIIT was realised when he was visiting Edutronics in Singapore.
The board of a company is of utmost importance. It steers the way the company functions as well as the capital generation in the market. Recently when Jet Airways’ founder Naresh Goyal stepped down from the Board, the debt-laden air carrier’s stocks soared high. As the organisation grows, the role of the board becomes increasingly important and critical to the success of the company.
Ensure that your aspirations exceed your resources.
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