Values create economic value: Ajay Piramal

| Updated on: Jan 08, 2018

Ajay Piramal, Chairman, Piramal Group at Tiecon Chennai 2017 in Chennai on Saturday ( November 11, 2017)
Photo : Bijoy Ghosh
To go with R. Balaji's report

Successful Indian businesses have always dared to do different: Ajay Piramal

Successful Indian businesses have always “dared to do something different” and taken the “path less travelled,” says Ajay Piramal, Chairman, Piramal Group. Addressing entrepreneurs at TiECON Chennai 2017, Piramal drew on his four decades of experience to illustrate the key factors for success — acting on a driving desire, realising that challenges present an opportunity, associating with people with good values and being a value-based organisation. These contributed to building a home-grown global enterprise, he said.

Piramal’s grandfather, a farmer from a Rajasthan village, had decided to do something different, and moved to Mumbai with ₹50 to start a business. Later, when the textile business went through challenging times, he himself decided to enter the pharmaceutical business. Even though the two businesses had nothing in common, “I realised that was the future,” Piramal said.

In 1988, the firm was ranked 48th in pharma business. He had committed to the goal of being among the top five by the turn of the century and managed to do so by 2000. It is important to initially set a goal, and “a clear strategy evolves with the broad direction,” he assured.

“We have repeatedly done this,” he asserted.

Piramal Group entered real estate development when it decided to convert a pharma unit in the heart of Mumbai into a shopping mall. The unit was a high cost one and loss-making. This resulted in Crossroads, the country’s first mall.

Always associate with “good people — people with values who do not need to associate with you”. It is such people who give honest advice. “Entrepreneurship is a tough journey with lots of distractions,” and having the right set of people on board is important, Piramal said.

Equally, a strong set of values for the organisation stands in good stead.

Piramal Group always keeps to an agreement in letter and spirit. Even with its entry into the pharma sector, it respected the seller’s conditions to maintain international standards of quality since the brand was present in other markets and not gotten into exports of those products, he asserted.

But this is “the single-most important reason for Piramal becoming the first port of call for multinationals that plan to exit India. And we paid a lower price,” he said. “Values create economic value.”

Published on November 12, 2017
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