Business Lessons learnt from Havells Founder, Shri. Qimat Rai Gupta


Recently i was watching videos from the F8 Conference, where Mark Zuckerberg launched Facebook’s goals for the next 10 Years. We’ve heard so many times that setting such ambitious goals (BHAG) could set you on the right path. But as startup entrepreneurs we sometimes get so involved in the day to day tactics that we loose track of what's important. In this day and age when businesses die every day how does one go about building a lasting organisation ? How is legacy created ?

As i pondered over the question, it reminded me of my notes from the biography of Havell Industries founder, MR. Qimat Rai Gupta. The book is filled with timeless advice that will be appreciated by any entreprenuer trying to build something of value.  So I thought why not share it here for posterity's sake :) 

QRG had very humble beginnings but was driven by purpose to achieve greatness in life. He was a practical person who took calculated risks in lives, always pushing himself and his team out of their comfort zone to achieve their goals. He understood the importance of fear and how to use it to his advantage.

Few Key Insights from the book that any entrepreneur would find useful


  • Invest in the right team - QRG always hired the best professionals and left the nitty gritties to be managed by them. Make sure you have the right team that wants to make a difference.
  • Never Compromise on Quality - QRG understood the importance of quality & its importance as the biggest differentiator. Always set high standards for yourself and make sure your product / service is the best. .  
  • Build a brand - QRG understool very early on about the importance of perceived value of a brand. Consumers don’t mind paying a premium price if the product is good and of high quality. Always put Brand Reputation and image over revenues and profits.Spend money to build your brand’s position in your customers mind.
  • Spend more to earn more - Always have a long term perspective in life. No one’s made a good product by cutting corners. Never let go of a good opportunity to save some money.
  • Have the growth mindset - Business is not a profit game, its a turnover game. Growth & scale are the key factor.  5% profit in a 100cr business is always bigger then a 50% profit in a 1cr business.
  • Be a good listener - You don’t hire smart people to tell them what to do. One of QRG’s biggest strengths was his ability to listen to other and build insight. When in doubt he would consult people, talk to them, ask questions & ask for Inputs. He may take his decisions in consensus with people who matter but was not afraid to make the final call if needed.
  • Delegate Responsibility - Lack of delegation is the biggest enemy of an efficient organisation. Always remember, delegation will free your time to grow your business.

"If your mind can conceive it and your heart can believe it, then you can achieve it. So, If you decide to do something, believe in yourself and don’t let a blow or two knock you off your course - QRG" 

Top power rules I learnt from QRG

  1. Decide Fast, Fail fast, React fast
  2. Be hungry for growth
  3. Manage your finances on a daily basis
  4. Expand fast but cautiously
  5. Invest carefully
  6. Don’t make decisions for your employees
  7. Talk openly about business problems with your team
  8. Be Strong - Nobody respects a weak man
  9. Avoid herd mentality
  10. Be as honest as you can be

In the end know that 'History is a creation of great people with vision, and greatness comes to those who are ready to risk it all'.  Are you ready?



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