An entrepreneur with prominence in all power fi elds possible and a deep understanding of the strategic market in the country, shares how he has managed to achieve zeniths in the highly competitive and fragmented market in an interview with SAIMIK SEN CHEIF OPERATING OFFICER – WCRC
Rakesh Malhotra built a business for himself in 1988, with five years of work experience and all of Rs. 40,000 in savings and an engineering degree. Scouring extraordinary lengths isn’t a woebegone. Rakesh Malhotra sets an example with his years of hardwork and endurance. His brand, Luminous that first came out with power back-ups for computers and then invertors for homes and now captures the service industry at large.
What’s the story behind SAR group?
SAR was founded in 1988. As a young engineer I had just finished working for few companies, and the last one being Siemens, in those days entrepreneurship was not as fashionable as today, but I had to start something of my own thing and be my own boss. So I started my own business and back then this company was called ‘SAR silicon systems Pvt. LTD.’
We started using the Brand ‘LUMINOUS ‘ when we started our business in the Inverter space, with time the brand became far better known than The Company Name.
In 2006 we took a call to change the name of company to the name of the Brand. And then that’s how the company started to be called Luminous Power Technology.
This is the story of SAR.
We landed in the market being opportunist. And started making Inverters which were visibly good, and Like a T.V or anything else were kept in the drawing room. So Inverters from Power back-ups devices became a core house hold appliance.
You are a big name today; did you ever imagine in your college days that you’d establish such prominent leadership?
It never starts by envisioning anything for you because that’s then no longer a vision, vision is all about or a greater cause that would then become a personal goal not an organisational goal.
For Luminous the vision was that everyone should be able to enjoy a normal, comfortable and convenience lifestyle without worrying about the electricity supply from the Grid!
Everyone should be empowered to lead their life without a glitch…
So our social causes are linked to energy and our motto is ‘energy for all’.
That’s pretty much our vision.
What is the unique factor that differentiates Luminous Power from other industry participants?
Relentless focus on innovation and product quality, solid and deep engagement with our people and channel partners are differentiating factors. Of course then they all come inside Brand preference and they are foundations that built the brand.
It all counts, great service, efficient employees, product quality, innovative solutions they all form the DNA of a brand and are embodied in the Brand. These are our 4 fundamental pillars
In terms of focus within your organization, what are the business segments that are driving growth and why?
For Luminous it’s naturally power Business which is the core segment of our company. We stand to be the market leaders in this segment and it’s doing very well. But, apart from this we have also entered into other segments like solar business. We are creating lot of products pertaining to the grid, which are Solar and renewable products. They are fairly doing well in the end. We are experiencing 60-70% growth in this segment.
For coming years in both India and the Asia Pacific region, what do you view as the most significant challenge for Luminous Power?
Biggest Challenge is to evolve from being a power backup company to being a Smart energy management company- smart appliances, smart management, and time off date if it gets introduced in the country we will have to see.
The major challenge for the company is the evolution of the business from one from to another. But I guess we have strong built up organisation to deal with it.
How do you seek to expand through different sector in near future?
We very clearly want to evolve from a power back up company to brand of choice for Home Appliance and energy management brand In India and Africa and other potential parts of the world. Because having partnered with Schneider which operates in 110 countries currently, we have the scope to take new ventures to a higher level right at the beginning. Where ever the opportunity takes us.
SAR Group is a huge conglomerate, which project or field area had maximum number of challenges during the time of establishment?
We don’t consider our self as a huge conglomerate, we consider our self as a start-up, which is completely focused on creating business out of whatever comes our way. The DNA of our company comprises of entrepreneurship and passion, we actually get bored when something gets too big, we want to something new all the time.
And that’s where we are.
What things fascinate you the most when you travel?
The whole idea of meeting new people and visiting new places. So far i have visited 70 odd countries for work now that i have more time in hand i would like to see them as a tourist.
What are your hobbies?
Travelling, reading. sports…. I am not much of a sports person but i liked to play cricket till university. Give me a bat and a ball and I’ll be a 12 year kid again.
What is the best and the worst thing about your job?
Best-is that i get know new things every day.
Worst-i really don’t know what’s worst, but haven’t to remould your organisation when you are hit with empathy is really difficult
I think everything can be handled, because nothing is worst it’s just a challenge.
What is a Sunday?
Every day for me is a Sunday. I don’t wait for a Sunday
Be your own fortune teller! Tell us how you’d be five years down the line?
If you had to give credits to someone for your success, who would it be?
I can’t name one!
Its everybody together – family, coaches and own self, but if I had to pick one I would pick my team.
Lastly, a message from you to all the rising entrepreneurs?
Go for it. There is no better place , no better time!