‘I believe in bringing technology to the table’

Nandana James Mumbai | Updated on March 15, 2019 Published on March 15, 2019


After taking over the post of Chairman of Blue Star Ltd from April 1, Shailesh Haribhakti intends to focus on technology-oriented digitisation, innovation and productivity, brand-building and a deeper push into rural areas of the country to steer the company forward.

These would be the key points for the company to achieve the goal of moving to a ₹8,000-crore company five years from now, from the current ₹5,000-crore, he said.

“The real measure of a great company is being one that can continue without volatility, to continue growing and enhancing customer satisfaction. That’s where we want to be. That’s the slot we want to occupy” Haribhakti told BusinessLine. Asked about his plans for the company’s growth story, Haribhakti said the key focus would be to maintain the ethical and “very strong people-orientedness that Blue Star is known for”. “Beyond that, I am a great believer in bringing technology to the table. So, that is one of the areas — digitisation — (and) making sure that we are able to extract value from all the new technologies that are now available. Blue Star has already begun to experiment with them. And I would like to see that get deeper,” he said.

Blue Star will be connected with all the latest technologies such as robotic process automation, IoT, data analytics, and blockchain. “What we are doing is, all the routine processes, which were...error-prone, are all getting robotised. That’s the best place to become error-free. So we are choosing those areas to get quick wins,” he said

Productivity and innovation are the company’s other priorities. The company’s advanced enterprise risk management system enables it to focus on innovation too, he said. He said there are also plans to “significantly encourage” the company’s R&D set-up, which operates at Thane.

Suneel M Advani, who is stepping down from the position of Chairman of the company, had told BusinessLine that Blue Star wants to be ready for technological disruption. Haribhakti said that the company has a “good international approach” for this.

Global footprint

“We have a reasonable global footprint. We source a lot of our actual components from all over the world. We are an extremely global company, although our market is largely domestic. We are trying to change that as well. We are trying to see how we can address global markets. The pull will come from the global markets access. The push will come from all the technology hubs that we have created, and the empowerment that we have given to our people. And governance will provide the umbrella which will allocate resources and make sure that all these efforts are done in a way that will get down to the benefit of customers, our people and society at large,” he said.

The company currently has a market share of 13.5 per cent in the air-conditioning segment, and the company is targeting a 15 per cent market share.

On what would be different under his tenure as the Chairman, he said: “I would rather make sure that we continue along our part of growth. I would like to see far superior profitability. Being a financially oriented person, I believe in matrices...And I think we we will see far more profit and productivity in the years to come. If I can achieve that in the next five years, I would feel that we have done a lot,” he said.

Published on March 15, 2019
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