Executive Interviews: Interview with Anand Sundaresan on Managing Troubled Times
March 2009 - By Dr. Nagendra V Chowdary

Anand Sundaresan
Anand Sundaresan, MD, SCHWING Stetter India Pvt. Ltd

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  • In the present scenario, how difficult has it become for manufacturing industry to raise working capital finance? In view of the all round reduction in demands which directly affect a company’s cash flow, how do you think companies can keep their financial commitments?
    It is indeed a significant challenge for the industry to raise working capital. The fact is that banks and NBFCs are not refusing to finance companies with good track records. However, they are not open to financing the end customers, which severely affects the cash flow, especially in the construction equipment industry.

    Over 70% of the equipment is financed by either banks or NBFCs and in the present situation, these institutions have started adopting a lot more caution in choosing their clients. It is also understood that NBFCs themselves have severe cash crunch. Under such circumstances it is better to have lesser sale than having more debtors and creditors. This has to be balanced very carefully.

  • You are the recipient of an award for your outstanding contribution to the manufacturing industry. Do you think now is the right time for the youth to take up any entrepreneurial venture on their own? Do you think any kind of entrepreneurial orientation will help youth to channelize them in the right direction?
    I received the Rashtria Ekta award for the outstanding contribution to the construction industry. Personally, I would suggest that one should not initiate a new venture at least for the next two years, unless he has significant financial backing and sustaining power. Having said that, there is no right time or wrong time to start a new venture. If the choice of product, approach and attitude is right, anybody can be successful at any time. One should not blindly follow any other person’s success or successful product. Instead, it is better to create a niche for oneself rather than jumping on the bandwagon of successful industries or products, especially where there are many players.

  • You know there are large numbers of students passing out from various business schools every year aspiring for a bright future ahead. Suggest some strategies which management students can adopt to benefit from or position themselves in the global market.
    I have observed that many management students, especially in India, are more keen on getting into highly-paid jobs once they complete their studies. In fact, the emphasis that is laid on this often by the management schools and media is such that it becomes all-important to get a highly-paid job rather than pursuing a career of their choice. There are many examples of individuals giving up their highly paid jobs, or being unsuccessful, due to lack of job satisfaction. The management graduates should spend a lot more time in deciding what they want to achieve in their life and take up a job of their liking and interest, irrespective of the remuneration. Once they gain experience in their chosen field for at least 4-5 years, they can then work towards their own goals.Money is a key factor, but career and job satisfaction should come first.

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The interview was conducted by Dr. Latha Ramachandran, Professor, The IBS Mumbai.

This interview was originally published in Effective Executive, IUP, March 2009.

Copyright © March 2009, IBSCDC No part of this publication may be copied, reproduced or distributed, stored in a retrieval system, used in a spreadsheet, or transmitted in any form or medium – electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise – without the permission of IBSCDC.

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