'Between u & me' from the CEO's desk
My father started his first business venture, which was the foundation for what is today the Kohinoor Group, on 7 December 1961. This was not intentional, but he tasted success, and one of his well-wishers told him that the number 7 was lucky for him. Then it became a practice to start a new venture on 7 December. Kohinoor Technical Institute, Hotel Airport Kohinoor (now Kohinoor Continental), the new branches of Kohinoor when we went national and even Kohinoor Corporate House at Dadar were all inaugurated on 7 December.
All our personal vehicles bear the registration number 4444. Why 4444, you may ask. Well, there is a story behind this. Add the digits 4444. Don't they add up to 7? My father became the Mayor of Mumbai in 1976. He was given two official cars bearing registration numbers 4444 and 7000. Digits adding up to 7 in both cases. Kohinoor too has grown over the years beyond his expectations. Whether 4444 or 7 has brought him and us luck may be debatable, but yes, we do feel more comfortable with these numbers, as the going has been good for us.
The number 7 plays an important role in my life. That is why Kohinoor Corporate House is Level 1 (instead of ground) plus 6 storeys so that my office is on Level 7. Let me share another little known fact with you. The city survey number of the plot where Kohinoor City is coming up happens to be 637 (once again adding up to 7). Now this is certainly not purported or manipulated, but it is on this plot that Kohinoor is developing its first township.
Another number that is lucky for me is the unitary number 1, perhaps because the digits of my date of birth (June 28) add up to 1. So if 7 is not possible, I settle for 1. When i purchased Maruti Gypsy, the number of the car was 2413.... so again it adding up to 1. The Gypsy holds a special place in my heart and has given me many memorable moments. The city survey number of Kohinoor Mill is 46 which adds up to 1.
And I don't need to repeat why I consider Kohinoor Mill lucky. One more factor which has played an important role in my life is the Devanagari letter 'क' or the phonetic sound of the letter 'K', in English. So many of my successful ventures and associations are related to k/K. Kohinoor, Khandala, The Kohinoor City plot too is located at Kurla.
What's more? I got married to a girl from a place called Kelwa and she is not only the light of my life but has brightened my life. Call me superstitious or charm struck, but if 7, 1 and k/K bring me luck, I'll always go along with them. Wait a minute, isn't 'K' the 11th letter of the alphabet? Now add 7+1+11. What do the digits add up to? 1...
The world is constantly changing. In fact, paradoxical as it may seem, change is the only constant factor. Over the past 15 years that I have been involved in business, I have seen a sea change, rather, ocean change in the business scenario. Kohinoor took its first step in business with Education. Even in the '90s when I plunged full throttle into business, the educational scene was very different.... it's not just the managerial top brass that is important in any organization, but the people down the line who actually execute the job who are equally important. Can any organization
survive without them? I would say that each person is a cog in the wheel contributing to the smooth running of the organization. No one is less or more important, because a breakdown anywhere would result in a breakdown of the whole machinery.
I thought that the formula for success in business was a simple one - Strategy plus execution equals results. But this rarely happens. That set me thinking. What is that hidden variable which tilts the balance of the equation either to the left hand side or the right one? And I found the answer as I was going through a book by Stephen Covey, The Speed of Trust. Yes, that hidden all important factor, friends, is TRUST. As I read the book, I reflected on some of my recent experiences and was convinced that the magic success formula is - Strategy plus execution plus trust equals results. And if the third element trust is abundant it yields faster, quicker results, at no extra cost. So you are a winner all the way. The speed of trust is really incredible. I d like to quickly share with you what I learnt through this wonderful book. There are five waves of trust.
First - Self Trust
Second – Relationship Trust
Third – Organisational Trust
Fourth – Market Trust
Fifth – Societal Trust