Success Story

It's the story of a common man with the uncommon achievements.Meet the self made man, Mr Sathya Shankar, with no high and impressive track record in formal education,he big good bye to studies with just being a pre-university scholar.Born in bellare,Puttur Taluk in an agricultural family,Mr Sathya Shankar's family condition realized him at an early age that education always doesn't assure a better job.

Mr.Shankar wanted to start his own business but had no money; hence he chose to start his humble career as an auto rickshaw driver under the aid of self employment scheme of the Central government. The role model of Mr Shankar was Dhirubai Ambani and the former was determined to summit new heights similar to Dhirubai Ambani.The stage in Mr Shankar's life was indeed the turning point.

The auto Shankar with his disciplined professionalism did well in the first phase of his career and less than in an year he closed his auto loan and soon sold it.In the successive step,in a filmi style Mr.Shankar bought a diesel ambassador car, he himself drove the vehicle to offer best possible service to his customers. After about an year and half he again wanted to rise above further, his inner self desired more and therefore he chose to sold his car to make a profit of 1 Lakh in the year 1987-88.

Mr.Shankar was now ready to take the next big leap and challenge. Accordingly he started his automobile spare parts shop in Puttur in December 1987 as a naive in this business town despite apprehensions from his close associates. Puttur is a small town in the western ghats of Karnataka. The place is a scenic green abode gifted with pollution free nature and tranquility far away from the din of urban habitats.In the year 1989 he sensed the demand and set up the tyre dealership shop too.

Mr.Shankar being a man from a middle class family always intends to help the people around him. He initially used to lend money to deprived drivers to purchase the used transport vehicles.He reads the writing on the wall,on one side there were more drivers from the neighbouring areas seeking banks to lend loans for used vehicles and on the other side the banks within the purview of their banking protocols had no policies to issue any such loans.

Here too, Mr Shankar sensed a business feasibility and expanded his business horizons by moving into auto finances by setting up Praveen Capital in 1994. The business picked up very well and with 9 branches spread now accross the state of Karnataka,the Praveen Capital provides vehicle and land loans as services.

Mr. Sathya Shankar is a man of dreams and aspirations having set high targets and pushing boundaries. He always had his feet firmly on the ground but aimed high. He yearned to provide employment to his fellow beings and mitigate their migration to cities in search of jobs.

Mr Sathya Shankar always had the craving to set up the manufacturing industry to provide large employment to the people and so he tried his tryst with to set up packaged water plant and so launched the product 'Bindu Mineral Water'

Pleased with the response to the product,he was more decisive to launch another flagship product-Bindu Jeera Masala in 2002 despite a lot of negative reviews and perceptions from all stackholders. The critics not only wanted Mr Shankar to manufacture a product resembling cola or orange but they also predicted the near death of jeera masala drink calling it a 'flop product'.But Mr Shankar didn't heed to the negative responses of the people around as he expected this conventional product to do well in the market.

In the midst of the pandemonium and mixed responses,Jeera Masala drink was finally launched in 2002 but much to the displeasure of Mr Shankar,the product failed to excel in the market as about 40% of the drink shall return back to the company in the formative years of the drink.But Mr Shankar did not lose the heart as he strongly believed that the indigenious jeera masala drink shall be accepted by people of all classes and today it proudly stands as the most selling product of SG Corporates both nationally and internationally.

Mr Sathya Shankar has tried his tryst with organic farming to fruit processing to packaged food products. In all this,SG group is united by the single cause to provide the taste of happiness to the customers.The pleasure in innovation and commitment of the SG Corporates is mirrored in the heart winning quality of its wide products and the staggering success story of the company stands as a testimony to it.

The turnover of the company was just Rs 35 Lakhs in 2001. It dramatically jumped to 6 Crores in 2006.Then the company dared to dream a frightening figure of 100 crores mark by 2010 and it sealed it too with focus & determination. SG corporate's insatiable thirst for the growth of the company went unabated.It challenged its own figures of success and went on to clinch the unbelievable mark of 250 Crores in 2013.

Mr Sathya Shankar,the man behind the glory/splendid story of SG Corporates disagree with the usage of the word 'impossible'.According to him it is to be aptly replaced by the words 'possibly difficult'.It is this belief of Sathya Shankar which is powering the SG corporates to be the one of the fastest growing and highly successful companies in India.This perhaps made him the iconic industrialist of Karnataka.

The next interesting milestone of the company to reach is the business with the turnover of 1000 Crores by 2020. The journey to this destination has began and the eyes of all stakeholders are set with the vision to reach the mark to 1000 Crores.

Excerpts from the interview with
the Managing Director and Executive Director

Mr.Sathya Shankar

The Managing Director

Interviewer: The attrition rate at Bindu is incredibly low at a mere 3-4% successively indicating that SG corporate is a great workplace. How do you achieve it?

MD: The core team of SG Corporates constantly tries to be in conversation with the employees with the touch of esteem and empathy. Our approach of direct dialogue with the employees instills the sense of belongingness in them. We show our good will towards them by recognizing their workmanship and their dedication towards the company. I try to maintain a thin line of distinction between the management and the employees. We engage regular team building and motivational exercises besides offering a conducive environment for the employees to work. I strive to set the mind of the employees to orient towards the growth of the company, thereby leading to their personal growth. Honestly I intend to take the entire flock together. All in all our efforts to connect with them have reaped mutual benefits and we share an excellent relationship equation. Hence our attrition rate is astonishingly low.

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Interviewer: In the next step of SG corporates, what are the products lined up for market release?

MD: We are excited to begin an innings in the category of health oriented drinks such as milk shakes. The natural fruit pulp added to milk and its byproducts shall be our next product segment to further strengthen the market share.

Interviewer: The plant in Hyderabad set to operate from January is the new feather to the cap of SG Corporates . What is the capacity of production line installed in the plant?

MD: The capacity of the production line installed in Hyderabad in terms of the financial turnover is 700 crores. A similar mega plant is in the pipeline to surface in Bangalore. The manufacturing plant at Puttur has been upgraded with the latest machinery. The tetra pack units of the mango drink Sipon are fully automated. This roadmap is in sync with the vision of SG corporates to accomplish the turnover of 1000 crores by 2020. This is certainly achievable even if all the 3 plants operate at half of their capacities.

Interviewer: Your Message for young entrepreneurs

MD: My message to the young entrepreneurs is – Hard luck always pays off though luck play its part. Being positive is always good but at the same time not being prepared to face the failures leads to distress . Do not just read and follow success stories but read more about failure stories because success stories inspire us but stories of failure prepares to face challenges and overcome failures .

Interviewer: Tell us about your recent CSR initiatives

MD: SG Corporates greatly believes in giving back to the society and so in its direction of Corporate Social Responsibility, the company’s significant monetary contribution to the local Panchayat to construct the drainage system earned appreciations. This shall benefit a large number of the dwellers of the town of Puttur.

Interviewer: Sir your take on demonetization and its aftermath

MD: I shall stand by any bold idea of any government undertaken to curb corruption and counterfeit currency. Coming to Modi’s demonetization, the idea sounded workable but the execution was poor and so caused significant distress to the common man. The manufacturing sector was hit by poor sales. Nevertheless we look forward for the positive impact of it with the thought that every process comes with its own hits and misses and we wish that demonetization unveils a spectrum of more hits and less duds collectively.

Mrs.Ranjitha Shankar

The Executive Director

Intervierwer: Ma’am could you share about the milestones you are looking forward to achieve in 2017

ED: We look forward to the year 2017 with a sense of excitement and achievement. We have charted a roadmap to give a major boost to our branding activities, market share and to set up a plant in Bangalore.

  1. Wall painting across the state of Karnataka is already in full scale. The distribution of shop boards for all the retailers at all major places across various states is on the verge of picking momentum. The branding on buses and autos in the city of Bangalore shall be extended to a larger segment of the city while promotional advertisements across print and visual media including TV is in the process to take off.
  2. In a bid to catalyze the improvement of market share, SG has in store to produce health oriented drinks made of milk and its byproducts.
  3. Alongside we plan to set up our third manufacturing plant at Bangalore.

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Interviewer: You being the Executive director, you manage all day to day operations of Business related to Finance, Marketing, Human Resource, Material management,, Machines etc. Which one division among these is according to you is in general hard to administer and which one among these is the easier ?

ED: The general notion to this question is that managing the Human resources is a relatively difficult task as emotions play and spin out at every step. Sometimes even well established and larger organizations derail due to disrupted human equations. Materials, Machines and Money are lifeless entities but the entity ‘Manpower’ is the most important lifeline of any organization as it not only drives the organization but also adds life to it.In fact this subject reminds me the saying - “Where there are humans, there is no paradise” but believe me , we are glad that we are blessed with a matured and ethical workforce proficient enough to resolve the problems and stand with the company at all times. For our workforce, company comes first and egos at last.Our workforce is our biggest asset and it’s my pleasure and privilege to head it.

Interviewer: How do you manage to strike a perfect balance between work and personal life?

ED: I got to associate with the business of my spouse almost from the day one of our wedding ceremony. Our beginning was humble as we had the business of the tyre dealership along with Praveen Capital. Fortunately as the business grew and expanded, I became a firm part of it. I extend my fullest gratitude to my spouse who has been an excellent support system for me to manage personal life and work both efficiently and effectively. Without his unconditional support and unbiased understanding, I would have not been in this honorable position of the Executive Director. The propelling force behind my career and personal is himself first and my family next. Besides it, I enjoy learning new tasks and this instinct of mine helped me to strike a balance between work and personal life. My proud daughters need a special mention in this context as they encouraged me at every level of the journey.

Interviewer: Your employees admire and emulate you immensely for being their idol of trust and compassion. How do you keep yourself so grounded?

ED: Today SG corporates stands tall as a company with turnover of 400 crores plus. This surge in the growth is the result of our employees, distributors and customer base supporting us all through the thick and thin of our times. I often go back to the times of our humble beginnings, the times of my spouse driving auto and taxi, the times when we started tyre dealership, launch of Praveen Capital and so on. Thus I always remain connected to the roots and look forward with content.

Interviewer: Your message to working women

ED: According to me, women are best multi – taskers and reliable analysts. Research also shows that women are extra-ordinarily good at emotional intelligence and in handling tricky issues. Hence I appeal all women to dream big and carve their own identities. To begin with nothing is a cake walk. Taking the first step out is difficult, the next step shall be even more daunting. But only thereafter your determination and perseverance will take you through and potentially there would be no looking back.