Tuesday, April 28, 2009: 06:17:14 PM

TJCD Personality of the Fortnight

On the road to success – H Ravishankar, Hariharan Foundations

Freakin' Awesome! Freakin' Awesome! Freakin' Awesome! Freakin' Awesome! Freakin' Awesome!
H Ravishankar, Director, Hariharan Foundations, has led his company on a steady growth path for the last 8 years. His positive outlook and resolute mindset have helped his company scale new peaks of success in the construction sector. Due to his relentless efforts, the company has gained prominence as one of the foremost civil engineering contracting companies in Chennai.
Entering the realty sector
A Civil Engineer by profession, investing in built-up infrastructure, townships and industrial and commercial construction projects always interested Mr Ravishankar. However, he was aware that generating profits in the real estate sector would be quite challenging.
Undeterred by the obstacles facing him, he worked at various small real estate firms and construction companies to gain adequate field experience. Later, upon seeing the tremendous upsurge in commercial realty investment, he decided to make inroads into the real estate sector. Subsequently, he established his company in 2001.
The learning curve
Mr Ravishankar says, “Any new undertaking involves a learning curve. More importantly, the mistakes committed in the initial stages help a lot in the long run. It has been seen that people with a high risk appetite usually become successful entrepreneurs.”
This 47 year old entrepreneur always wanted to explore the untapped segments of the realty market as he saw tremendous potential in these unexplored territories. He, therefore, began by focusing on areas which remained largely ignored.
For example, he observed that in Chennai, there was a dearth of industrial and multi-storeyed civil construction of international standards, and hence decided to capitalise on the situation. His civil engineering background further helped him in fructifying the entrepreneurial venture.
Obstacle course
Though Mr Ravishankar faced a few hiccups in the initial stages, he managed to secure adequate funds from banks and other financial institutions. He believed that appropriate financial management is the key to growth in the rapidly evolving realty segment.
In addition to realising the importance of pumping enough liquidity in the business to keep it growing in the first few months, he was also careful not to make any business presumptions without a comprehensive market research.
Working with limited funds in the beginning, Mr Ravishankar analysed the market well and took cautious decisions on expansions. He also appointed skilled professionals to keep track of the company’s finances.
Creating leaders
Mr Ravishankar’s 22 years of experience in commercial and industrial building construction enabled him to decide on the best organisational structure for his company. His experience also helped him select and guide a team of highly qualified and trained engineers to take the lead in delivering the best.
His industry knowledge helped him to gradually diversify his business. Mr Ravishankar has been felicitated by several organisations, including the Builders’ Association of India, Leighton Contractors India Pvt Ltd and Ceebros Property Development Pvt Ltd for his outstanding contribution to the real estate industry.
Future plans
In the aftermath of the economic recession, market sentiments have turned negative. However, Mr Ravishankar is optimistic of his company’s growth in the next two years.
Currently, he is focusing on construction projects such as Winwind Power Energy Pvt Ltd worth Rs 57 crore, Unipres India Pvt Ltd, worth Rs 50 crore and a Rs 28 crore construction project for Sanmia-SCI Technology Pvt Ltd, a US company.
The maverick entrepreneur intends to take his company to greater heights by the dint of his unique approach to business and his strong leadership skills.
Mr Ravishankar loves reading in his spare time.

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