Expert Advice from Ashwin Reddy on Overcoming Leadership Challenges
Ashwin Reddy, Managing Director of Aparna Enterprises, expresses his views with SiliconIndia about Aparna Enterprises Limited, the challenges it successfully overcame following the pandemic, how modern-day buyers are looking forward to getting innovative building materials, and AEL positively keeping up with all of the advancements, client expectations when purchasing the ideal building materials, how Vitero had a huge success in the tile manufacturing industry, and much more.
Can you describe leadership challenges you overcome as a leader?
The biggest challenge a second-generation leader faces is acceptance from existing stakeholders. Since people look up to leaders for inspiration and decisiveness, every leader requires to develop the wisdom to steer the organization in the right direction.
The other crucial challenge often faced by leaders is to constantly refine policies and processes to ensure a learning and progressive culture in the organizations. Policies and processes define the organization’s growth span. Mentioning it in the HR manual is not enough, as a leader one will need to practice and lead by example. For instance, if you want to build an organisation that has an open-door policy, you may have to keep your doors open for feedback and suggestions from across employees.
Do you ever face challenges in getting to a consensus with other leaders in the company?
Disagreements are bound to happen between people, however if clarity in objectives is aligned across stakeholders, it reduces friction and facilitates an agreement.
The ability to articulate the purpose clearly and openness to hear others' feedback are must-have skills. If you are able to communicate your ideas while also understanding your team’s views and opinions, you will be able to come to a decision that is beneficial for the organisation.
How do you measure your progress in terms of being a business leader?
Turnover and profits are primary indicators of an organization’s growth. However, an organization’s success can also be measured by observing how it manages and grows its physical (employees & machinery) and virtual (brands, intellectual property) assets. Measurement of progress should not be unilateral, rather it should take into consideration all the different factors that are critical for the organisation. Creating a positive work culture and imbibing values such as equal opportunities with a growth path, laying down a vision, and charting down a long-term growth strategy with measurement metrics are also yardsticks that allow measuring success.
Can you tell us about the brand, “Vitero” and what are the steps you took to make it a success?
Vitero as a brand had grown significantly in a short span of time. Started operations in 2018 Vitero now produces 30,000 sqm of floor & wall tiles every day. These tiles are sold through a rapidly growing network of dealers across several states in India and Vietnam. The growth is a result of constant focus on durability and high quality in the tile manufacturing process. Vitero Tiles are manufactured using cutting-edge technology. The manufacturing process is followed by stringent quality-checking measures which ensure that only high-quality tiles make their way out of the manufacturing facility.
What is your overview of the building material market in the country?
Building material is an emerging market and has grown significantly since post covid lockdowns were released in India. The growth of the infrastructure industry and the revival of the real estate industry are having a positive impact on the growth prospects of the industry. Currently, the building material industry stands at around $225 Billion in terms of market size. The sector is projected to register a growth of 10% in 2022 and a CAGR growth of 8% to 9% over the next five years.
What are the major expectations any client (Individual or organization) has from a building material firm?
The expectations may vary slightly from product to product. However, the most sought-after requirement or expectation of any client, be it an individual or organization are:
- Quality of the product- Customers go for products offering higher value for their money. Offering quality products is a value that clients always appreciate. Offering client-quality products improves the trust and faith in a particular brand. Word-of-mouth is the strongest publicity and there is nothing better than being known for quality.
- Timely delivery: In today’s world time is money. Be it organisations or individuals they appreciate building material providers who can help them with the timely delivery of products. Timely delivery helps in streamlining the construction process and even ensuring the construction is well within the budget. Apart from labor-related delays and costs, delay/nonavailability of building material on time is a major concern during construction.
- 3. Customisation: Customers are increasingly looking for products that are best suited to their needs. Agility to provide customisation is a key factor that customers are looking for while finalising the building material products.