"Rajita ma’am’s classes helped me in discovering my true potential. When I started I could barely speak for 3 mins without fumbling and by the last presentation I was speaking for 25 mins with exemplary skills, loudly and confidently, without pausing, or fumbling, all thanks to her classes. I wish today also in this hustle-bustle of life I could attend her classes at least once a week."
Since he was 19 Harkirat has been helping his father with the family business. Over the years he has infused new life into the business by taking up new and challenging projects and finishing them with exceptional excellence. He has to his credit the successful completion of 320 flats in Eco Village, 320 flats in Gaur City, construction of T-7, 9, 10, 11 to name a few.
He shares his journey and his views on entrepreneurship.
Q. What made you join the family business and what were your contributions in taking it forward ?
A. Post globalisation in the world of construction the sky became the limit - literally. Not just did opportunities increase dramatically but a whole new market for ‘high-rise-buildings’ opened up. From the conventional 3-storey residential buildings the market expand to 20-storey buildings.
So when I took over the reigns of my business in 2009, it became inevitable to concentrate on high-rise infrastructure if I wanted to touch new heights. So I started bidding for multi-storey building contracts. It was not an easy task as it required the latest machinery, skills and technology. Basically the whole orientation, the way to do business had to be different from the way it was in the past.
While pursuing my studies at IIPM, thanks to the global exposure given to me there I had developed a global outlook which helped me implement the new ways of doing business effectively. All conglomerates wanted to make their presence felt in the high-rise sector but thanks to the confidence and experience that I had gained at the institute, I was well prepared to handle the situation and face my competitors. H.S. Builtech was ready to face any challenge and soon we constructed five high rise towers of more than 20 floors each, with an average height of 230 feet from the ground, which included 640 residential flats. With this we ensured that we had placed our feet firmly in the world of infrastructure and started being recognised as a company to be reckoned with.
Taking my business to the next level has been my contribution towards the business and since then there has been no looking back.
Q. What is the best advice you ever got ? From whom?
A. “Everything is either a blessing or a lesson” this quote has been the driving force for me for the past nine years. Each day has been exciting and challenging and has not just added growth but also given a meaning to my life.
My father Mr Harvinder Singh Sahni who studied civil engineering from the prestigious Delhi College of Engineering has been a huge inspiration for me always. He has been my guide and mentor all along. It is his wisdom and vision that has guided the business for the past three decades and taken it to new heights. He has always believed in hard work and I have often heard him say “Work is worship”, which has also helped me in giving it my best and putting in the maximum efforts to make things work.
Q. Marketing is the most important aspect of a business. How do you market your business ?
A. In my business completing projects on time and within the budget is the most potent marketing strategy. Clients only like to deal with companies that have a proven track record and we have managed to do that. Be it in constructing high-rises or highways, we have never failed to deliver. Today conventional highways are giving way to ‘super elevated roads’, and we have been able to use new technology and deliver our projects on time. We have worked very successfully on the NH-8 highway project which earned us a very good reputation and consequently we could bag projects from big and reputed companies like L&T and GMR(DIAL) at T-3 airport.
So our work speaks for itself and has proven to be the best marketing strategy.
Q. "Great leaders are also great speakers” Do you agree? How did your personality development classes help you in your business ?
A. A leader must communicate in a manner that inspires. So yes speaking well is critical.
The personality development classes at IIPM gave us the confidence to win any race in life. I learnt that it is not always ‘what you speak’ rather ‘how you speak’ which is the difference between success and failure. Rajita ma’am’s classes helped me in discovering my true potential. When I started I could barely speak for 3 mins without fumbling and by the last presentation I was speaking for 25 -30 mins with exemplary skills, loudly and confidently, without pausing, or fumbling, all thanks to her classes. I wish today also in this hustle-bustle of life I could attend her classes at least once a week ( I don’t know whether I am that blessed ) to help me get better than the best and leave a mark after every speech, every presentation.
Q. What are the key elements to starting and running a successful business ?
A. Success has to limits. You set a goal, achieve it and then you set a higher goal. That is the way to reach your final goal.
Many people tend to define success in monetary terms. However I would think I am successful the day I feel I have left a mark in my field with my efforts and skills and people recognise me by my work and not my bank balance.
Q. If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out what would it be ?
A. Always remember that after dark there is always dawn. When you decide to venture out on your own you are bound to face numerous obstacles. Give it your best shot and always hit back harder than you are hit. One day you will definitely achieve what you always believed in and dreamt of.
Q. What motivates you ?
A. Failures and setbacks motivate me. I get stronger every time I am hit. When success eludes me and failure surrounds me I like to put up a good fight, work harder till I get what I want.
Q. What makes you happy ?
A. When people recognize me for what I am.
Q. What sacrifices have you had to make to become a successful entrepreneur ?
A. I feel I still have a few more miles to go before I can be called a successful entrepreneur but I am willing to give up anything and am ready to work hard till I am able to make my dreams come true.
Q. What is the secret to your daily productivity ?
A. Reading. I believe in today’s world knowledge is the critical factor is determining one’s success.
Q. Which other company apart from yours do you admire the most ?
A. I admire L&T.
Q. Your favourite quote ?
A. “Once bitten twice a shy”
Q. Your favourite vacation spot ?
A. Ibiza (Spain)
Q. Your favourite designer? Dress?
A. I prefer ethnic wear. Manyavar is one of my favourites.
Q. Your favourite movie/ actor/ actress / song / book ?
A. Actor: Amir Khan
Actress: Alia Bhatt
Song: You Fill Up My Senses by John Denver
Books: The Secret by Rhonda Byrne and
The World Is Flat by Thomas L. Friedman.