rishabh-sethi-smplWhat according to you is leadership?
Leadership for me is empowering people to think and act beyond what is conventional. What is the toughest challenge you have faced in building up SPML Infra Limited’s brand name? We started SPML in 1978. It got publicly listed in 1981. At that time the biggest challenge for us was to convince people about the importance of effective water management – an uncommon issue during those days. Acquiring a new business was difficult initially. We had a very demanding timeline, from the design concept to completion. Thus, we adopted the most suitable contract strategies to satisfy all quality and business requirements in a scalable way.

What has been the role of your employees in SPML’s success?
A brand is all about the people who build it. Our employees play a key role in creating and nurturing the brand “SPML” and they are the biggest assets of our company. It is our endeavour to make all employees feel connected to the corporate brand and make them understand their role in turning brand aspirations into reality. We encourage our employees to become brand ambassadors. We want them to engage, connect and commit themselves to the brand.

What values does SPML stand for?
In today’s scenario, a brand is not just the name of a product, a company or a service; it is much bigger and beyond. With the rise in consumer awareness and media proliferation, a brand cannot just meet the expectations but also has to exceed it. Effective brand communications build the brand’s reputation and SPML’s brand is supported by its idea of “Engineering Life”. We are an engineering company and we build world-class infrastructure to make human life comfortable. SPML has executed almost 600 turnkey projects and created significant value for our country that has touched the lives of millions of people; be it provision for drinking water, improved sewerage facilities, better municipal waste management, building roads and highways and lighting up homes. Our brand communication is very clear which helps to unify our employees, clients and other stake-holders involved.
Access to safe drinking water is becoming a difficult task day-by-day. SPML has been promoting sustainable water management over the years and has established itself as a preferred partner of municipalities and other such bodies to provide access to safe and clean potable water supply to people. Our clients have faith in our services and come back to us because we walk that extra mile for them. We are a forward looking and future oriented company and today attract some of the most energetic minds in the Indian water sector.

Where do you see SPML five years down the line? Also throw some light on SPML’s annual turnover.
The annual turnover of SPML in terms of revenue collection is $330 million, in terms of projects under execution it’s more than $1.17 billion. SPML Infra is the only Indian company to be featured in the World’s Top 50 Private Water Management Companies. Today we have one of the finest urban infra teams capable of handling any project of any scale with sophistication. We have a vision to make SPML a leader in the water and urban services sector globally in the coming years. In the process of building a self-sustained and truly developed India, especially in the water sector, SPML will build a large platform which will have the strength and capacity to take up larger roles in sustaining India.

Is there a particular philosophy you follow in life?
If your goals are realistic and you have a dedicated team to support your endeavour, the limitations become your advantage. I have learned from my father that a right mindset can transform your weaknesses into strengths. I focus on one step at a time and turn each step into a success. I put emphasis on short-term goals while not losing focus of my long-term plans. I continuously work on my weakness and celebrate my successes.
I have trained my mind to stay relaxed even in the most difficult situations so that I can focus on the issues with a cool head.

India hasn’t seen many iconic brands which have reached the international market even though we have the talent. Why do you think is that?
India has also created iconic brands; Tata is a suitable example of a global brand. Indian talent has always been considered to be dynamic and professional. Look at the number of Indian CEOs heading some of the most promising brands at a global level. We are an emerging economy but our pace of development is much higher as compared to other similar economies in the world. India has already surpassed Japan to become the world’s third largest economy after the US and China. With all the positives in our favor and the kind of talent we have, I am sure that we will create more.