"Most importantly those super cool classes taught by Rajita Ma’am gave me the courage to challenge the conventional ways of doing business and go ahead and implement new ways and new ideologies that I learnt in the institute."
He is young, bold and very focused. Meet Shivam Narayan Mathur,who at 23 has managed to turn his traditional family business into a thriving modern and forward looking enterprise. He dared to question the status quo and today thanks to his initiatives the business is looking stronger than ever before.
This young leader shares with us his views on entrepreneurship and how to survive in today’s very competitive market place.
Q. A brief about your business.
A. Founded in 1994 by Mr. Sanjay Narayan Mathur , Master Safeage has grown to become one of the largest parental company of manufacturers and traders of physical security products, compactors and fire resistant cabinets in India. State of the art manufacturing combined with old-world craftsmanship proudly made by our own associates in our own factories allows us to produce the most reliable equipment in the marketplace.
Simplicity has been the essence of product design for the past 50 years. Since we manufacture our products, we pride ourselves in being able to provide custom solutions for our customers.
Our products are sold through a network of authorised "dealers or channel partners”. With over 75 channel partners in more than 200 cities we have a presence in all the states of India. An international sales team looks after the overseas market.
Our dealers are local independent business owners and security professionals with their homes, hearts and businesses invested in their own respective communities.
Safeage today is trusted by numerous private, public and nationalised banks. It is also the chosen brand for many PSU’s and jewellery brands too.
Q. Any new ideas that you have in mind to take the business forward ? Any of those ideas that you were able to implement successfully ?
A. The first and foremost idea that I had in mind was to make the business IT centric.
When I joined the family business I realised that a lot had changed in the business world since my father started the business. Those days one either required years of legacy, a family name or a strong financial base if one wanted to start a business. The nternet changed it all.
Today all you require is a good idea and a virtual presence and you are in business literally. I realised the world is moving from brick-and-mortar stores to online stores, its moving from the streets onto your mobile phones, and laptops. So the first thing I did was build a good online presence of my brand in the virtual space. The move paid off and today our new products are selling better through the internet as compared to our super expensive showrooms which have a very high running cost.
Q. What is the best advice you ever got ? From whom ?
A. While I was in IIPM, my professors taught me a simple theory of entrepreneurship and that is Don’t be afraid! Don’t be afraid to dream big. Don’t be afraid to fail big either. Don’t be afraid of criticism. The whole world will tell you how it cannot be done, so relax. All you need to be sure of is that you want it to happen and you have to want it real bad.
Q. What are the key elements to running a successful business ?
A. I believe good management is not just about knowing how to manage the business, but it is just as much about how you manage people. It is the people, after all, who build successful businesses . If your people are full of passion and positivity there is no hurdle that cannot be overcome.
Secondly, I strongly believe that its very important that we keep learning and adapting in this dynamic world if we want to stay ahead in the race. Not only should we learn from our experiences but also from our competitors.
Q. “Great leaders are also great speakers” Do you agree ? How did your personality development classes help you in your business ?
One of the most important qualities of a leader are his ability to speak in a manner that can convince his people , motivate them and make them perform at their peak level. Words have the power to do that. So yes the ability to speak with impact is very crucial for any leader.
Our personality development classes in IIPM gave us a whole new mindset of knowing the real game and the power of good communication skills. They taught me the importance of first impressions and how to create a great and lasting first impression.
Most importantly those super cool classes taught by Rajita Ma’am gave me the courage to challenge the conventional ways of doing business and go ahead and implement new ways and new ideologies that I learnt in the institute.
Q. Marketing is the most important aspect of a business. How do you market your business ?
A. Marketing is the key to success for any business. The best of products can fail if they are not positioned correctly and a proper marketing strategy is developed around them. I found the same problem when I joined the business. While our brand was the most loved in the banking sector ,there was no proper awareness about it in other markets. I have worked on building the band awareness in other markets too.
I also realised that a business that has a purpose which is larger than profits is loved much more by the consumers. I believe when you give back to the society you win a place in the heart of your consumers and that is exactly what has happened with us. My brand and I are focused on doing something good for the society, the community and that has helped us win over our consumers who have seen and appreciated the genuine efforts that we have been putting in. As a result in today’s very competitive market we have not just been able to create new markets and new customers but also make good profits too.
I feel that every business has to continuously innovate to remain relevant, and use both conventional and unconventional ways to market their product. In the end the customer is the king- allow need to do is think from his point of view to make any marketing plan successful.
To sum it up- the survival of a brand depends on its ability to adapt quickly and all efforts should be directed towards that. A smart marketer understands the changing trends and plans to mould and modify his brand accordingly.
Q. If you had one piece of advice to give to someone just starting out what would it be ?
A. First invest your resources wisely, they are limited. So anyone who is just starting out has to first and foremost very judiciously decide where and how much should the resources be used.
Secondly do not try to copy your competitors because everyone has a different position in the market.
What works for them might not work for you even though you belong to the same industry.
Q. What motivates you ?
A. “Success” is the best motivator.
When I start something I get obsessed with it and want to give it my utmost and do it to the best of my ability. It is this feeling, this love for my work that motivates me and makes me work hard daily.
Q. What makes you happy ?
A. I love interacting with people, talking to them and getting to know them, and it makes me happy.
Q. What sacrifices have you had to make to become a successful entrepreneur ?
A. I am 23 years old and like most people my age I would want to hang out with friends, but that is something I had to give up as most of the days I am working till late or traveling for work.
Q. Your favourite quote ?
A. “Much more to do, with “YOU” in focus.”