I feel that youngsters today have more passion and drive than the earlier generation. We dream bigger, we are risk takers and we can work hard to go the extra mile to achieve success. I don’t think I’m qualified yet, to give advice to youngsters on business, but I can share the experience and values that I follow.
People were skeptical when I announced the construction of one of the most luxurious residential projects in Hyderabad, in one of the poshest localities in India – Banjara Hills. Experienced people thought it would not succeed, because the real estate market was going through one of the lowest periods.
Today I’m proud to say that I the project has been a landmark in the Hyderabad real-estate. But it was not easy. It was long and hard work, and I made sure that I was involved in every step of the project – right from the blueprint to the finishing touches. My engineers thought I was out of my mind when I made them pull out and re-lay the paving stones on the driveway. I flew to Thailand to personally pick out plants for the landscaping. I worked with a single minded focus for over 3 years to make sure that the project was complete flawlessly. There is no compromise for perfection. And perfection will sell. I am happy to say that my first project – Signature One, by Signature Developers, was completely sold out; at a time that other residential projects were struggling to sell.
People ask what’s my secret?
I’m happy to share what I follow. I’m sure most successful people – like my mentors, Richard Branson and Donald Trump – also follow the same.
1. Make your own path – By following the herd, you will always be just one among them. In order to stand out and be noticed, you have to do something different. Challenge the accepted wisdom and inspire others to do the same.
2. Believe in yourself – Follow your heart and your gut feel. If you are passionate about your idea, you will make sure you find ways to make it a reality.
3. Don’t be afraid to take risks – There is always a chance of failure. But if you fail, learn from your mistakes. But if you don’t take a chance, you can never achieve anything.
4. Set the goal – Write down what your goal is. Be very specific and work towards achieving it. Mine was – Build a luxury residential project in Banjara Hills, Hyderabad
5. Create value – Don’t try to do something crazy. Whatever you create or build has to have value for your customers. The customer is always king. Make sure that whatever you are doing is the best for your customer.
6. Be the leader – You have to practice what you preach. If you want your employees to work hard, you have to show them how. Without you partners, associates or workers, you cannot create something on your own. Believe in your people. But you need to be clear who the leader is.
7. Focus – You need to be extremely focused on and dedicated to what you are doing. Work when you need to work. Holiday after you finish.
8. Be realistic – Especially about timelines and finances. Do not over promise anything. If somebody else is investing, you need to make sure you your shareholders get their returns. They will not believe in you the next time if you don’t.
9. Integrity is most important – It is one of the most important values of business ethics. Without it, you cannot succeed, especially in the long run. Every business goes through rough patches and bad publicity, but if you practice good business ethics, people will believe in you.
10. Work hard, very hard – Nothing comes easy.
I am today a successful businessman in Hyderabad because of all these values I follow.