It is indeed rare for the road to success not to be paved in inspiration, and soaked with perspiration. Successful people rarely do different things, they do things differently. They focus almost all of their energy on doing a few things, so that what they eventually do and achieve stands out in the crowd, away from the clutter and the noise. And finally when they have made their mark, they manage to inspire generations to come.
Something similar is the success story of octogenarian Mr L D Mittal, a man who could have chosen to retire from a Government job and done the usual things retired people do. Instead, drawing upon his plentiful reserves of inspiration, he chose to walk the road less travelled, and that eventually has made a difference to farmers across the world. Today, the Sonalika brand of tractors is present across 80 countries of the world, in every continent, a truly phenomenal achievement for an entrepreneur who started relatively late, but strove tirelessly to build and sustain a world class Indian product. No wonder that encomiums and accolades have walked besides him like constant companions for the better part of his business life. He is now regularly listed in the Forbes World’s Billionaires List.
They say one must count his days by what he sows—Mr Mittal sowed plenty of hard work, technical intelligence, world vision, and marketing acumen in his initial years as an entrepreneur. Today he is reaping the fruits of his wise sowing, and the harvests of his empire are plentiful. He has managed to move workers from shrinking agricultural lands into manufacturing, and given them a new life, a new hope, and a new tomorrow. We have profiled him because he is a perfect example of what Make in India can do in this country. It can, literally, take India to the world.
We have two key interviews, one of a political heavyweight who has been part of almost every Government since the 1990s. Mr Ram Vilas Paswan first won his Lok Sabha seat in 1977 (and has since been elected 7 more times from Hajipur, the last in 2014), and that implies that nearly 70 per cent of Indians today were not even born when he was first stepping inside Parliament. Today he has been tasked to bring in pro-consumer policies, much needed given the advent of new brands and new services each new day.
Another key interview is with Mr Ajay Sahai, the highly respected Director General and CEO of the Federation of Indian Export Organizations. It is a tribute to Mr Sahai’s hard work and top management skills that today 70 per cent of India’s export earnings take place through the efforts of FIEO’s members. When Mr Sahai took up his assignment with the FIEO a decade ago, there were about 7,000 members in this apex export organization. He’s managed to more than triple that number to 22,000 during his time, and turned FIEO into one of the most respected business chambers in India.
Joining us for a guest column is Mr Malay Mishra, who only last month retired as India’s Ambassador to Hungary, and to Bosnia and Herzegovina, and is now pursuing doctoral studies. We are carrying the second part of a special column by Mr Gauri Shankar Gupta, India’s present High Commissioner to Trinidad and Tobago. An interview with the Slovenian Ambassador to India, Ms Darja Bavdaz Kuret highlights potentialities that lie in this southern European nation.
There is a very interesting revelation in a recent documentary whose maker-director, Ms Linda Ainouche, we’ve interviewed. It is that there exists a direct connect between Indian Sadhus and Rastas of Jamaica. Remember Jamaican reggae legend Bob Marley and how he immortalized the Rastafarian movement through his powerful songs? Could he, one of the world’s best selling artists of all time, have known that his belief system, and expression of freedom, may have been intrinsically connected to that of the Indian Sadhu?
Happy navigation through the pages.