First published on May 23, 2013
The first thing that struck you when you entered Polyhydron was the board that said ‘Keep your ego and footwear outside’. Seeing the Managing Director donning the company uniform, sitting on a simple table and chair, his workstation strewn with neatly arranged Knick knacks amidst Swami Vivekanand quotes, came as a surprise for the first time.
One could never stray in conversation with him. He valued your times more than his own, perhaps. Meeting him on multiple occasions was a revelation of sorts. His chamber had an enviable collection of books and the ‘Music of Business’ that he gifted me stands a place of pride in my collection. He deftly handled his large screen computers, poring into details, excusing himself till the work at hand was done. Our conversation would always be focused. As part of a B-school, we could visit Business Ashram multiple times and still recall one occasion when rains loomed in the skies and he still managed to reach the Ashram in time just so that he could interact with our students. ‘Keep your footwear in that room, or they will get wet’ he advised them.
Our institute, Bharatesh Global Business School, felicitated him last year during The HR Conclave which had the theme ‘Employee first, Customer next’. He was felicitated at the hands of Mr. Rajeev Kapoor, President and CEO of Fiat Automobiles. Polyhydron’s Wealth Distribution System is worth emulating by all business houses. He shared a part of the company’s profits with the employees, never encouraged over time ( Work hard for 8 hours and then go and enjoy life was his simple ‘work-life balance’ mantra!) Hearing him speak about his Reva was another experience. Why he chose to buy the Reva over an SUV, how it saved him thousands, was not just about speaking, he flaunted the savings proudly on his car as well! How many of us would do that?
He was always all ears for any new thing that you’d want to share. Sharing Clayton Christensen’s ‘How would you measure your life’ , he showed his new book that he was reading, by a relatively new author in Marathi, on the same subject. Then for the next few minutes, you could witness his thoughts on life. Then he shared his formula for a happy life. He said happiness in life was inversely proportional to expectations. The more you expect from life, the less happy you are and vice Versa. There’s a difference between ‘ not being happy’ and ‘being sad’, he clarified, wheeling happily from his chair on which he lay confined while he had fractured his leg. One could see the pain, not of the fracture, but of the built up nervous energy of not being able to move freely.
The passion with which he spoke about his company, his work ethics, employee policies, was akin to a parent speaking about his child. To him, business and ethics were synonymous and he stayed true to his beliefs, even sounding eccentric at times. There were many who may have wanted to live life the way he did, but for sure, few will be able to.
It was a proud moment for us when he invited us to come for a special Sunday morning gathering with a select few who would share the best of books and experiences. This meet was timed at 6.30 on Sundays, so that only those who passionately felt, would come. He said he’d let us know when. We’re left waiting.