Indian entrepreneur, a force to reckon with: Mammen

Our Bureau Chennai | Updated on January 20, 2018 Published on March 22, 2016

(from left) Rajshree Pathy, Chairperson, CII- Southern Region; KM Mammen, CMD, MRF Ltd; award winners — Srikanth Bolla, R Sundaram and J Haja Funyamin —; Shobana Kamineni, Vice-President, CII; and Ramesh Datla, Deputy Chairman, CII- Southern Region, at the sixth edition of the CII- SR Emerging Entrepreneur Awards 2015, in association with BusineseLine, in Chennai on Tuesday BIJOY GHOSH

MRF CMD advises entrepreneurs to work hard and strive for excellence

The “emerging Indian entrepreneur is a force to reckon with, a force that borders on the brilliantly frightening,” according to KM Mammen, Chairman and Managing Director, MRF Ltd.

“They are the future giants of Indian industry who are taking the world by storm, people look up to them and learn,” he said before giving away the CII-SR Emerging Entrepreneur Awards 2015, in association with BusinessLine, to three first-generation entrepreneurs from diverse fields.

Addressing a function to mark the occasion, Mammen advised entrepreneurs to “never stop believing in yourselves and never give up.” He recalled how his own father, KM Mammen Mapillai, had started out in business making toy balloons, a business that over the years he nurtured and worked hard to turn into the giant, MRF, which is the largest manufacturer of tyres in the country. At the time he started tyre-making he had to contend with large global players like Dunlop and Firestone.

Mammen also had a word of caution to the young.

“Start small”, he said, “but strive to excel. There is no harm in building on existing strengths. Do not stop learning or stop because others did,” he said. The CII Emerging Entrepreneurs Awards, which is in its sixth edition, recognises first generation entrepreneurs in business for 3-10 years and having a minimum turnover of ₹5 crore. The three award winners this year are: Srikanth Bolla, Managing Director, Bollant Industries; R Sundaram, CEO, Aerospace Engineers; and J Haja Funyamin, Proprietor, Hafa Food & Frozen Foods.

Executing a business plan

Shobana Kamineni, Vice-President, Confederation of Indian Industry and Executive Vice-Chairperson, Apollo Hospitals and Enterprises Ltd, delivering the special address said “ease of maturing a business idea, a place for bright young minds to come together, and ease of accessing funds,” are crucial for start-ups in India. She said incubation centres are needed to support start-ups as they execute a business plan.

With India having a young population, over 1.5 crore youth join the workforce every year and new businesses are needed for job generation.

The government has come out with a number of measures to support start-ups including a ₹10,000-crore fund and identifying start-ups in the MSME sector as a priority sector for lending. Even private sector companies are supporting start-ups by outsourcing work to young entrepreneurs with potential. Rajshree Pathy, Chairperson, CII Southern Region, commended BusinessLine and CII for their initiative in recognising new entrepreneurs over the years.

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Published on March 22, 2016
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