His ability to spot the gap and quickly act on it has helped his family company — which began in a small backyard — get a good place on the FMCG table in India. From introducing a vegetarian mayonnaise to playing with flavoured mayo, the fresh ideas of Akshay Bector, Chairman & Managing Director, Cremica Food Industries Ltd , have helped the family business grow.

This industrial engineer says books have shaped his thought processes. His take on:

Values that make one a better leader

The old world values of Ethics, Fair play and Honesty always help in becoming successful business leaders

Disruptions facing the industry he operates in and dealing with them

The biggest disruption in the condiment category in India is that consumers are looking for more exotic flavours which were not known a decade ago. They are also switching to vegetarian and healthy products.

We have built the brand Cremica on disruption in the condiment category. From being the pioneer of vegetarian mayonnaise in 1996, we have percolated these disruptions to other categories, like introducing flavoured mayonnaise made specially. Today, our competitors are following our footsteps and trying to find the hidden opportunity in disruption.

Strategies to cope with downturns

If you work hard in good times, you will be able to deal with the bad times. Our brand is developed on three pillars — quality, taste and innovation. We have been able to achieve stable growth during slowdowns.

A management book that has deeply influenced him

I am an avid reader. I have a collection of thoughts that I have gathered by reading lots of articles and books. The Mahabharata and Arthashastra are all-time classics.

The pros and cons of being in a family business

Pros: A family business gives you the platform to grow. You see and learn. It also gives you a foundation for good business. In the past you can see family businesses have grown to become large business. You learn the importance of high-quality work.

Cons: People believe that everything is served on silver platter, you have your downfalls but family always stays there to be your support system.

Personal favourite in the Cremica portfolio, which comprises breads to chips to sauces

I am completely involved in the condiments and snacks category. I have always tried to find the hidden opportunity in disruption. Most of our products are pioneers in their respective categories, be it the world’s first vegetarian mayonnaise or India’s first olive oil kettle chips. Therefore we have been category leaders.

Dealing with stress at work

I never miss my morning walk and swimming. These two habits have helped me cope with all the stress. However, when you are living your passion, it is very rare that you feel stressed.