East Corp: Making major disruptions in the Fire and Security sector through state-of-the-art technology and diligence
German Philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel suggested that the ideas change the world and guide history. But the introduction of individual-centric economic philosophy contested this notion with full rigor. Individuals from time to time have made significant impacts on the world. Such is one individual/Group CEO Hemant Khadse, a production engineer from Amravati University who is disrupting the Fire safety management sector with his earnest efforts. Since the discovery of fire and rise of the civilization, humankind has seen both its wrath and fruitfulness. The dangerous and filthy working conditions generated through the Industrial Revolution augmented to the fire hazard incidents. But the individuals took up the task of challenging the issues threatening the collectives.
Hemant's career commenced in year 94 with Mather and Platt Mumbai then a leading British company in the Fire safety business. Since the start, he has constantly been working in the same industry serving various companies assuming different capacities in India and the Middle East for 20 years. During this span of time, he gained a lot in understanding of this industry – demand, and supply. Even being on another side of the table as an employee, Hemant was very much determined to get into the consultancy role for contributing more back to society. The motivating factors that led him to establish and build the entity were not only the commercial purpose but to provide a platform where he can share his learnings and elevate the fire safety standards in the form of consulting and training services. Twenty years in the field helped Hemant to understand the know-how and the gaps within different stakeholders and also the lack of fire safety understanding amongst users. These desires and factors made him ponder over the idea and come up with a business plan to start own venture to bridge the gap in the industry– solving problems related to Fire and safety.
Let's hear the rest fons et origo of the Saga from the Vanguard itself. The Start-Up City magazine caught up with Hemant for a candid conversation. Here are the edited excerpts.
The size of the firm and services offered
We are a growth-oriented firm operating from Mumbai with a resource pool of 14 in numbers serving clients not only pan India but even in SAARC countries. In our Fire and safety domain, we work we work with end users, architects, developers, Industries, and contractors in terms of design consulting, Audits and awareness training. The industry was more than receptive to our core activity Fire and life safety. Further, we have also acquired a security consulting company EMI India Pvt Ltd for inorganic growth to enter into security systems domain as a specialist consultant.
Building personal reputation
I strongly adhere to the belief "People buy from people." Winning hearts and mind along with trust is the key to running any business, and I always keep this objective in mind while dealing with people. We are in the business of protecting people's lives, property and hence our deliverables must not lead to any situation that questions our offerings. Our biggest asset so far is our relationship with our clients and the trust we won in the industry speaks of our reputation.
Views on success and risk
My mantra is; Leader must be passionate about doing the things. The leader only becomes successful, when he/she is able to produce more leaders in the organization. I left a secured and fat salary job and entered the entrepreneurial waters without any partner in a downward economy. It is a big risk I took in 2013, but in the end, it paid me off. Life is always with ups and downs, but without taking the risk, no one can achieve greater heights.
Hemant further elaborates on the personal aspects of his professional life. He finds a sense of fulfillment 'When someone, a person or an organization gets apt guidance in fulfilling their objectives by us. This joy of satisfaction brought by helping people saving life, property, and environment through our offerings is more important than money.' Hemant's passion to interact with people and providing the best solutions for the issues they face by the help of knowledge gained while working as an employee motivated him to be a leader. On further questioning, he adds, 'I always start my day with a Plan, if it is a success, then it is a happy day for me. Motivating everyone is important, my enthusiasm and willingness to share my knowledge inspires and brings people around closer. We have successfully made the organization a 'system driven' rather than individually driven and aligned resources to each business. I believe the process and people are the key drivers to transform the organization and make it successful.
On the issue of handling an unpopular decision, he says, I contemplate a lot before taking any hard step and then communicate the decisions. It is also my view that if you put forward both perspectives well backed with strong reasons of why diffuses the unpopularity of the decision on another side. Hemant considers 'communication' as strength and listening to heart rather than brain as weakness. He finds retaining the good talent is the biggest challenge for a leader in today's world. He would like to name his autobiography "As you think so you become" taking the inspiration from his spiritual guru Swami Vivekananda. LinkedIn, professional WhatsApp groups for reference materials and Newspapers brings his daily dose of information. Having his own home and office in Singapore will make the city his favorite place on the globe. Hemant is a gluttonous reader who finds content in reading books that inspires him. Involvement with people in the process has made him approach democratic style of leadership. He asserted that associating and learning from great leaders can bring improvement in his leadership skills.
Hemant's advice for the budding entrepreneurs to put 'Feet on the ground, look for positives in everyone and lead the team. For forthcoming days, Hemant elaborates on his plan of creating a group of companies focusing on Fire, Security and Safety verticals independently and offerings Audit, Consulting and Training to the market. 'We have footprints in India and plans are in motion to cater to global markets in addition to SAARC. We want to be the preferred choice of the customer with excellence in consulting solutions and achieve ten times growth by 2022. He adds, 'I am a man of ethics and values. We are doubling our business every year however quality service shall never get compromised. I also urge the corporate industry to come forward and associate our training awareness programmes under CSR for mutual benefit.'