The typical success story of starting up, making mistakes, learning, and following the basic rules of the game that made C. K. Ranganathan, MD, Cavin Kare, the inspiration that he is today for young entrepreneurs delivered his keynote with panache at TiECON Chennai 2009. His simple demeanour belied his stature of a successful and innovative entrepreneur, and his sincere expression of his life’s lessons made this keynote on timeless principles worthy. He started with differentiating for success. Then he went on to show how his style of “armchair” leadership did not help.By venturing into field and getting hands dirty provided right pointers and helped him grow is a valuable lesson from the man who had humble beginnings. He dwelt upon in detail his struggles to establish the right mix of talent and his struggles to keep the team’s morale high despite salary disparity among staff of equal rank showed the hard work and tenacity of C.K. Ranganathan in not giving up.
The most valuable lesson he delivered was on tax evasion. When generally people in low-margin, high-volume retail business believed in evading the exorbitant 105% excise tax and a high 20% sales tax, C.K. Ranganathan stood a class apart by paying the taxes without evading. This helped him secure a loan without collateral from a bank manager who found his tax credentials worthy. Then when people had faith in him, he soared to heights.
The sachet pioneer [he bought sachet into shampoo by marketing Chik shampoo in a sachet for the first time to differentiate] also explained the importance of involving all ranks of staff in decision-making as each one of them could bring insights that would not be available at the top. He wished all the budding entrepreneurs all the best in their venture in conclusion.
Venkatesh Krishnamoorthy’s report from TiECON Chennai 2009