Feel it, do it, live it
- strictly business
Mar 26, 2018-
Karan Chaudhary was still in his teens when he began his career in the automotive section at CG Motocorp in 2007. With time, he embraced more responsibilities ranging from sales to finance and eventually management there.
Meanwhile, he was also simultaneously completing his business school. By 2012, Chaudhary had already slipped into the shoes of the Executive Director at CG Holdings. In this interview with the Post’s Alisha Sijapati, Chaudhary talks about his corporate journey and what makes or breaks a brand. Excerpts:
You are a busy man. How do you manage multitasking between home, business, and other aspects of your life?
To be honest, I cannot multitask at all. While multitasking, I think, one’s focus deviates. If you fail to give your 100 percent to the company, holes to fill will eventually emerge. As the executive director at CG Holdings, what I try to do is assign myself a deadline to wrap up a certain task and wrap it up within that time frame. That way, I can focus 100 percent in excelling at what I do. If I don’t complete something within the targeted time, there always lies the threat of things going haywire. I think one needs to learn the art of time management.
How important is education when compared to skills?
Even when I was working, I was also going to school. Formal education and practical learning went hand-on-hand for me. Business has never been just business for me; it has been a process of growth—personally and professionally. But, I also believe in the power of education, I value it because it has helped me empower myself. In fact, to address the need of quality education in Nepal, we have a new school opening—Kathmandu World School.
As the authorised distributor of Suzuki, can you tell us how your company has managed to help Suzuki evolve as a brand in the market?
About 38 years ago, when CG automobiles came out as the pioneer in automobile business in Nepal, cars were a rare sight. The scenario has completely evolved. Earlier, if people owned cars for luxury, today owning a vehicle is more of a necessity. As an automobile distributor, our focus lies in providing everybody vehicles at an affordable value. This is where Suzuki as an international brand also strikes a win.
Suzuki has vehicles starting from the entry level to the high-end, luxury ones. We have vehicles available for people from all walks of life.
We, as distributors, believe that the loyalty we offer to our customers has helped us survive in this cut-throat competitive market. CG Motocorp and Suzuki both have become one of the most renowned brands in the country now. The trust and faith that our customers have placed in us alongside the value for money they get have worked towards the brands’ benefits.
Customer service is inevitable in your field of work. Can you share how you have managed to set examples in the area?
I believe, the drive to provide world-class customer service is something that has to come from within. I have been through multiple situations where I witnessed a Suzuki car get into trouble. This one time, I came across a cab driver whose vehicle just wouldn’t start. I immediately connected him to one of my colleagues at MotoCorp and helped him get a new vehicle while the cab underwent repair. It is important to understand that the vehicles are tools of livelihood for the cab drivers. If their daily lives are at stake because of our vehicles we have to take action immediately. It’s always ‘customersfirst’ no matter which end they belong to.
How do you motivate your employees?
I feel like if I need to motivate my employees I can only do it by setting examples. Mere sight of my face has to motivate them. When they see me, they should feel happy and not disappointed or upset. I try to put myself in my colleagues’ shoes and ask myself, how motivated am I at my job? What should I do to keep myself happy? Is satisfaction important? It is important to know what motivates and what puts the
colleagues off. I believe more in democracy than I do in autonomy, hence, the decisions I make come with consensus. Time and again, as a stress buster, we also have small get-togethers where the team simply enjoys each other’s company. I think it’s necessary to do that often. If I want to stimulate growth in my colleagues, I
believe that I need to have a personal connection with them.
What sort of characteristics must a leader have?
Leadership is something that should never be taken for granted. If somebody lets the position get into his head, he is likely to fall flat shortly. I do not like to call myself a leader, but if my colleagues see me as one, it is only because I have always worked at being the best version of me. I feel like a good leader should keep honing his skills and keep himself motivated and upbeat. A good leader also meets and surpasses his colleagues’ expectations, so that it is also vice versa. It is important to be open so that the colleagues can respect and support you too.
What are your top tips to maintaining a brand image?
I simply have one tip: Feel it, do it, and live it.
You started your entrepreneurial journey when you were quite young, so when you meet young aspiring entrepreneurs, what advice do you always have in store for them?
Why did Facebook work, but not previous instant messaging apps? Your ideas need to be practical.Co-incidentally, I met a budding entrepreneur recently, and I realised that the young graduates who aspire to become entrepreneurs are just there for the heck of it.
I feel that the fire and zeal are not there. When I was starting out, I had passion. I wanted to get to know everything about the automotive sector to the details. We had ideas and we weren’t scared if the ideas were crazy. Unfor-tunately, many aspiring entrepreneurs today lack ideas too. I consider myself as a catalyst. Give me ideas; I’ll
channelise them because I have experience. But I have noticed that there aren’t many substantial ideas. People are doing things just for the sake of it. Many fresh graduates want to become an entrepreneur for the position and the money. They do not focus on change. New investments fall flat because there is no fresh idea at all.
You started out very young, not many know the challenges you have gone through. What kind of challenges and criticisms have you experienced?
My office is not an office—it’s home to me. So, in my formal seven-year journey at CG, I have gone through immense challenges and criticisms. Thankfully, the criticisms have always come out as constructive. When I started my journey, I was sceptical of people’s prejudice about me like they said before—‘Rana huney bittikai rathi bhayo’, I thought I would have been perceived in that way but I think I have surpassed people’s expectations and I think there is still more to achieve and fulfil in life. It’s always important to keep your feet in the ground.
Published: 26-03-2018 08:14