Once crippled down on family feuds, and inter politics that landed this youth-icon in selling his top fortune 10 enterprises and assets worth Rs. 200 Core to his own maternal embittered uncles, Rajah Swami Achariyar’s third generation grandson proves again from scratch. Isn’t that really amazing?
Venkat Acharya, the young Singapore-based virtual logistics entrepreneur is the founder and chairman of - Southern Asiana Industrials Group, popularly known as SAI CORP INDIA, an umbrella conglomerate label that will oversee the icon’s varied interests. While the label has upheld a name for itself in several industries over the years as a young-man virtual organization, Venkat Acharya has set plans into motion that will intensify his focus on two sectors back in action that includes - petrochemicals and trading.
While the cross-country industrial trading giant, Southern Asiana Industrials (SAICorp India) has seen worse of its days in the last six months, racking up selling divisions, shutting units and laying off- employees, but that’s just not the end. The company under the sole efforts of its first set promoter ‘Venkat Acharya’ has replenished its reputation as a heavyweight with a solid comeback in just two months after aforementioned struggles. Which is an evident to the financial strategies and management skills of its chairman. September 2016 was fortunate for this icon, as in two months of post scuffles over the mother company’s operations and family feuds among the directors, Venkat Acharya with solid guts launched the group’s first petrochemical brand ‘Amour Colors’, that will market and distribute Russian Emulsion home-décor paints, and he had shared his credits solely to Roshni Moorthy, his lady friend, as she was the confidence behind his benchmarking resurgence after the cripple.
Interview Transcript as actual
- A) What was the actual scene of discord?
There were several elements, which just cannot be recalled instantly. As I said in the earlier public announcement among the Chamber Talks, Media and Writes, I was hard-done-by close relatives. Have never dreamt that my own uncles would come out with these strategies to oversee and take charge of my solely built and resourced organizations. Yes, family feuds flooded and that was for the sole-sake of the already written ‘WILL-DEED’ by my late grandfather. As I being, the first grand-son of the dynasty, he made way with a major proportion of his owned assets, and that was just intolerable for my close kinsfolks.
- B) Can you brief us on your assets that was let-go to you?
Realise here, I just can’t disclose all as that’s undoubtedly a big list, but to rough-say few that comprises our media banner, steel merchandise, lodgings, agriculture lands and limited residential properties nearby my countryside in Nellai and Tuticorin.
- C) We heard there is a petition on your asset dividends, is it true?
Yes, that’s true in all senses. Level next to pocketing my hard-earned corporations, and private assets the so-called clan mafia, assumed its role in snatching my family hierarchy dividends. After realizing the plot calculated by the clan mafia, I voluntarily procured appropriate steps to meet the same in front of the jurisdiction. Right now there is a security court order placed on stand-by and a ‘no-vacation’ direction be conceded till the justice comes out with a direction.
- D) What are your future plans for Southern Asiana Industrials – near and long term? Also is there any plans for expansion?
We are very focussed on doubling our profits in three years. This is an immediate target. We are also looking for a foothold on our Home Décor business. New virtual and physical facilities to expand our capacity in importing more petrochemical products, and raise counts in export of agriculture and agro products. We are eying all these and more.
- E) Southern Asiana Industrials managed to turn the tables on its losses, in just 2 months of its financial troubles. What would you say was the origin of the company’s troubles?
To start with SAI Corp India, was forced to be contended to my undeviating shares of the business’s board, which was frolicked and embittered fit by all the key administrators under my maternal uncle Mr Rajasekar’s directorship. The cost of the operations went up because of various factors, and his only objective was to force me to sell my fortune ideas and companies to him and his closely supported friends and brothers. By a combination of these two, we ended up running divisional debts and that we could neither service nor gear suitably. That, briefly, is where our troubles began.
- F) And how did SAI Corp India manage to revive itself successfully? What has been essentially in bringing the company on track?
Anyone in business may suffer in loss and profit, and that’s simply natural, but to revive back one certainly needs motivation, support and cheers from both family and friends, and not just money. For me, I was able to achieve both. Support from my parents, and the best motivation from my lady-friend Roshini Moorthy, who was there behind me every hour to push me to the seat which I left in the organization. This moment, I actually owe a lot to her in specific.
The primary issue was miss-management, egoism and self-centred attitude among the trusted kinsfolks. So we began talks with our clients, vendors and dealers. The promoters and vendors agreed mutually on the terms of restructuring the issues. Once that was done the other things followed one by one. On the parallel, we consolidated our businesses, giving them greater focus by time and energy, the ability to respond quickly and a good appreciation of the importance of the cost. We have, after very hard-work, day and night all 60-days, have brought out personal investments strategy for working capital. And largely, we were able to leverage the good condition of our trading business. That gave us a push in getting us back on our feet and fast.
- G) How much of a direct part did you play in SAI Corp India’s revival? And what lessons has this experience left you with?
Pretty direct, I must say! I led the entire revival process hands on with a commitment and determination to turn it around ASAP. We remained focussed, ensured good cost control, and laid emphasis on business analysis and planning.
- H) What will Southern Asiana Industrials be doing differently now? How has the restructuring helped so far?
We are now keen on raising our credibility among our stakeholders. That has become very important for us. The restructuring has not only improved our financial health, it has given us a lot of insights to make our recovery and profitability sustainable.
- I) What are the future plans of the company? What is your vision for SAI Corp India?
SAI Corp India will remain focussed on the trading and home décor businesses. That will include our wholly-owned Amour Colors that will import, distribute and challenge the future of India’s paint and home décor industry. We are looking at a changeover of starting new plants in Malaysia for manufacturing emulsions. But long before that we need to address some infrastructure challenges that are endemic in our operations – supply chain management, for example. We will be exploring opportunities to increase our emulsion paints capacity, given the demand-supply gap in India.
- J) What would you say your heritage has given you? What have you learnt from your father as an engineer and entrepreneur?
Maintaining our credibility is of utmost importance to us as we have to sustain our businesses in the long term. We follow ethical standards that we do not compromise on. To give back to society through our socially responsible initiatives and to be compassionate to our people to contribute to our success.
- K) As a techie-businessman, what values do you think you bring to it? What is your personal ideal that you would like to achieve in being the group’s executive chairman?
I think I have brought our group a certain focus, scientific financial and commercial management, execution skills, the empowerment-achievement correlation and a high-performance culture. And what do I achieve with these values? Simple increased value to the Stakeholder. I still remember the early days of my directorship in the company. To recollect, I’ve been a participant in roadshows in public booths and places along with our close-knit team. I must say, that those efforts and determination has brought me to this stage today, and has helped me handle my restructuring process.
- L) We have always seen you touring as a virtual office entrepreneur, with no physical destinations, how is it possible for you to handle things on the air from various locations, and what will be your suggestions for new start-ups?
To all out there, I meant those burgeoning minds! Live free with the Business of your Dreams! I was more fortunate to earn and win on the air. My frequent flyer-ship experience is just more than awesome I must say. To me working virtually helps one to build alliance of businesses, institutions and groups, that come together to share skills and core competencies, resources in order to better respond to business opportunities, and whose cooperation is supported by technologies and electronic gadgets smartly. To me, I can boldly say that I can run my business operations successfully with just my Blackberry and ThinkPad. If you really want to experience freedom and abundance while earning, then you have your business just on your smart-devices. Tap twice!
- M) What are your other interests, apart from business?
Knowing more, authoring my social feed ‘1stGenEntrepreneur’ on both Instagram and Twitter. Traveling with my family on vacations.
- N) How different is your working style from your father’s?
Well, we have our individual styles. I would like to believe that I am well organized. I prefer to delegate and base my decisions on consensus. I usually avail opportunities as they come and do not like procrastination. Overall, the style usually is non-conflicting. I try and understand and appreciate strengths of my people and make use of them for our overall success. I am a man who loves to convert threats and weaknesses into opportunities. I have an everything-has-a-solution kind of approach to issues.