Venkat Raman –
Family owned and managed businesses have the unquenchable thirst to innovate, improve productivity, increase profitability, offer employment to more people and participate in community and social welfare.
They enjoy the flexibility to adjust the decision-making process to quickly cope with the evolving market trends and promote a high degree of stakeholders’ welfare.
They also have the ability to foster closer relationship with employees, participate in their welfare and provide for their career advancement.
Companies that monitor their growth and ensure that their financial success does not lead to complacency have the potential to become national players, earning citations and awards.
Among such family-owned enterprises which are being acknowledged for good governance and management principles is the Auckland based Link2 Services New Zealand Limited and the Link2 Group incorporating Apparel Solutions Limited.
Group Managing Director Indra Sirigiri belongs to a generation of people who first learnt to obey before sitting to command; people who were a part of the workers’ team before venturing into entrepreneurship and lead the team; and people who believe that every dollar earned is contributed by employees and customers.
Polite in manners but firm in his commitment to honesty, integrity, transparency and accountability, he does not allow emotions or friendships to impede in the smooth operations of his business. He attends to duties along with his growing number of employers (more than 200 full-time staff now), understands and partakes in their efforts to achieve customer satisfaction. The Group’s offices on Allens Road in East Tamaki is as busy as a beehive, emitting the essence of hard work day after day.
“All of us as belong to one family; we share our joy and sorrow with the same degree of ownership. But we cannot allow good relations to hamper either our quality of service or commitment to customers. Everyone including me is accountable,” Mr Sirigiri said.
Such an uncompromising approach is also a part of the upbringing of his only son Rahul, who as the General Manager, adds value to the Group’s activities.
As well undertaking the ongoing responsibilities, he is also constantly in search of new activities to expand and diversify the business.
In many ways, Rahul represents the young generation of entrepreneurs and managers who have the urge to quicken the pace of growth and achieve higher levels of productivity and profitability faster than planned. But he, like other sensible youngsters, from time to time takes a step back to pause, reflect and realise that progress must be planned and success should be manageable. Introspection provides him the opportunity to understand the market trends and realign strategies accordingly.
The father-son combination has been the hallmark of the Group’s success. They always arrive at their workplace together in the same car; there ends the commonality. Moments later, they become accountable to each other, to the company’s board of directors (they and their respective wives), external consultants and of course employees.
Link2 Services provides about 150 personnel every day to commercial undertakings such The Warehouse, Farmers, Mainfreight, DHL, Pumpkin Patch, Pernod-Rickard and Mondiale. The Company is regarded as a reliable logistical link for uninterrupted contract services.
It was while working as a logistics manager more than 15 years ago that Mr Sirigiri saw a different way of managing contract labour in this sector. Instead of hiring inexperienced casual staff on an hourly rate, he offered clients a fixed price and then supply them with trained Link2Services staff with an onsite supervisor.
This has been developed as an innovative and result-driven model and Link2 Services is the only company that provides personnel on unit price basis as well as hourly basis, working onsite of clients and offsite at its own facility. These wide-ranging options have proved to be of benefit to its clients, offering them quality and cost-effective human resources solutions.
Established in 2000, the Company has made more than 35,000 average placements every year for the past three years, up from about 9000 in the preceding three years.
“Our aim is to retain our position as a unique provider of human resources solutions on unit and hourly bases onsite of customers and offsite our own facility,” Mr Sirigiri said.
Rahul seeks business development with his penchant for expansion.
“Tele-marketing and follow-up visits have enabled us to explain the benefit of our services, leading to increased placements in national and multinational companies. People looking for work are identified for their strengths and attitude and trained for specific jobs at our East Tamaki office complex and then placed at clients’ workstations,” he said.
Link2 Services has a flat management structure intended to maintain flexibility in meeting client’s requests and allowing swift communication within the business.
The Company has set performance standards at corporate, team and personal levels; and monitors progress of each of these on a monthly basis. All personnel including the Directors work to achieve higher levels of productivity and profitability and then set higher targets. These factors promote high levels of financial performance of Link2 Services, which in turn reflect staff placement, customer satisfaction and other measurable factors.
Detailed discussions are held in-house with managers every month to identify internal and external challenges; the managers in turn hold similar meetings with supervisors, site managers and placement personnel and resolve issues as they arise in the initial stages.
There is a strict code of conduct in respect to all finance matters, which include daily balance sheet, cash flow statement, bills receivables and payables and invoices generated. The Company prides itself of zero loss of human-hours owing to safety and health.
These measures help the Group to maintain financial soundness, promoting higher income on year-to-year basis.
Rahul is customer focused and his willingness to listen ensures that the Company delivers what clients want, when they want it. Understanding client requirements sparks his entrepreneurial spirit and he can identify new opportunities to improve the business model of the Group.
- Good father-son combination and 2. Son-father combination
(Pictures for Indian Newslink by Ashok Kochhar)