Monday, June 16, 2014

Journey of a Decade, named Sanjeevani!

Sharing something personal as just felt like,,,,

It’s not what you have got on your exterior but what you have become from within is what decides your success… From the movie “How to train your Dragon”

I had been always a great fan of cartoon movies & especially of late the classic from Pixar, Disney, DreamWorks productions, have taken the characters out of the typical fairy tale borders & has become very much human & philosophical. Rather in the age where humans are forgetting emotions it’s these cartoons & super hero characters are making us realize the importance of emotions through the movies, that’s irony of our times! This week while I was going through the gallery of snaps during a search for a site snap, suddenly I realized it nearly ten years completed for Sanjeevani i.e. the company which I work in & supposed to lead! It’s difficult to decide what we call exact birth date of the company as whether to take the date on which the thought of forming the company came to my mind or the date the company has been registered or the date on which first project started; which date should be considered as birth date can be the debatable issue. But going as per my logic the date or the week in which the company started its project i.e. actual working should be the date & so June second week of 2004, it is for Sanjeevani.

I sat back forgetting about the image I was looking for & let the reality sank in me that I have started the company ten years i.e. a decade back & many images started flickering in my mind which weren’t ever taken by any camera & not been stored in any PC or hard disk. First was the image of a middle age Jt MD, who has put his entire young years from age of merely twenty to thirty five for a public limited real estate giant &  who was having  heated head on argument with his MD &  then came sudden realization that it’s enough of corporate life! That moment actually the thought has generated that I will do anything but won’t do a job where I can’t dream my own dreams & I can’t do the things which I want to do for my very personal self. That’s where birth of Sanjeevani has been took place though the middle age man didn’t knew or even haven’t dreamed that he will start his own company. Then came the second image to mind that of the same man who after getting through the first wave of temper started thinking rationally about the future of himself & obviously the only thing he knew was to build homes. But for that one needs to form a company & then need a piece of land; with some luck & some good friends to support, all things fall in place. The name Sanjeevani has three dimensions, long back his parents had build a home at native place in a town named Khamgaon in Vidarbha & they have decided to give the name to their home as Sanjeevani but never did actually; the home remained nameless. And then what better name than Sanjeevani which as per Hindu mythology means “New life or a New Start”! Another aspect was the man has decided that whenever he will start anything of his own it will not reveal his or family name as all the major companies in the world have followed that trend, you take Larsen & Toubro, you take Microsoft, see Apple or Toyota; you don’t know who runs them or owns them yet they are a major success. Though the man hasn’t any fancy dream that he want to become that big ,it was just his logic to whatever he does & Sanjeevani was ok from that angle also!

The next image was of start of first project, Agnipankh! The man was & is fond of books & movies & Agnipankh is the book by Dr APJ Kalam, whose quote at the time of his oath taking as President of India was on board of his cabin. It said “ I need no special time i.e. Muhurt for oath taking as till there is a beautiful life cycle of The Sun , The Moon & The Earth around , every time is good time for me”. So there wasn’t any special muhurt for the formation of the company neither for the project Agnipankh i.e. Wings of Fire & my journey with Sanjeevani has started! One more coincidence, name of my elder son is Rohit i.e. Flamingo which again means Agnipankh, it’s because of the orange fiery wings of the bird! Then come the image of the setup of startup days, as the mind & the body which was used to control nearly thousand people at work on site or office, suddenly its staff of just three; a peon, a driver & a salesman! Correction not staff but team as the day Sanjeevani started, it was birth of the term Team Sanjeevani, never it’s just staff or tag like Director or President or even partner, and it’s just my name & Sanjeevani that’s it! I always believed that a person is recognized by his output & people are wise enough to know your output, so why we need to carry a post tag around the neck?

Then followed the images of the set up in make shift office at Gharkul lawns, an office made up with partitions of Gaodrej cupboards & plywood boards. The set wasn’t much of fancy & many of the man’s friends when visited has indicated this to him, at least some good décor or he could rent a small good premise. But one thing was clear no "show baji"  just stick to the basics as he was never been in business by himself, so before making any expense ensure that its worth to every rupee. The whole thing has started with just Rs fifty thousand capitol & every rupee was important! It was total new phase of life, being technically expert & execution master is one thing but right from learning balance sheet to understanding legal language , everything was new. Most important was marketing as the man has experience of handling clients but how to bring the clients to the office was main thing to learn!

The major challenge was to create own image which one may call as a brand also. It was like coming out of huge shadow & trying to make his own shadow & there his liking or love or passion whatever you can call, for the environment came for the rescue. Now with lots of free time at hand the man could work for many NGO’s, started writing write-ups in newspapers & give presentetations in various seminars, making his image as eco consciences builder. But never was it just for the sake of image building, it always came as a byproduct as now he could choose what to use his time for which wasn’t possible earlier.

Then as the projects continued came the phase of team building as he has experienced alone he won’t be able to travel long rather with trying to do all things single handedly he will never be able to live the life as per his wish. The better you build your team the better way you can make your dreams a reality, is what he knew. And the team needed space so in midway nearly five years after start the premise has been shifted to new place, accommodating a decent setup. He wrote a letter to the team for this achievement & the letter is still displayed in the reception of the office. The man knew marketing isn’t just advertising your product but to make the client know what you are as a human being. The philosophy was simple, we are in business to make money but what you do with that money defines what you are & this has to be seen by the customer as transparency isn’t just a word but it’s an action to be felt by everyone associated with it!

There were images of many social works right from helping wild life too adopting public toilets to giving lectures at schools for environment conservation. At the same time giving commitment to the customer as well the people who are working along like contractors, supplier & fulfill those commitment was equally importance as by now he has realized business is balancing all fronts & in the process the word commitment has great importance. The man believed in systems & many new systems got generated along with team building. For e.g. giving possession of the flat with check lists filled by the client itself is one such. But again the system should be for better output & not just for name sake was also clear to him. Whatever he has learned in past organization, to take along the best & improvise on that was the best way to walk ahead which he did. As the projects grew so did the team mates & friends were always there to support & to keep the man on the path. Also necessary was to reach out for the friends & the team as well public at large for them to know the thought process of the man regarding his work, his way to life & so came blog writing & column writing in many newspapers. It also helped a lot in reaching out to the society & creating a different image towards entire industry. And the best moment was publishing of a book written by the man! Who could have imagined so many things would happen in the ten years span! Regarding product development one thing still prevails & that is build for the need & not just greed! That means housing is still the most need base product in developing country like ours & all the majority of the flat holders need is a simple home with no luxury or fancy amenities but their four walls, which has strength & simple planning to accommodate their family & yet in their budget.

Coming out of all past images spread over the decade, I returned in the present; I still have faith in this logic while planning any of our projects & try to fit the homes accordingly & build them. As its high time the real estate should understand for whom they are building the homes! No harm in dreaming big but what my logic is, I should not force my dreams on my clients or on the team, rather will like to dream together with them & work along to fulfill the dreams together! And for knowing this I have to be in direct touch with the customers to understand their needs, for that each mail by the customer inquiring about home comes to me also along with marketing team. And happy to share, my clients proudly tells that their builder is always accessible to them!

In the entire journey it was important to analyze how as a human being I have developed from within as by now I have realized as the quote from the movie says, success isn’t just in the figures of millions of rupees turnover or what I possess externally as assets but what I have become in the process! Here is where when I was watching the movie I caught up the above mentioned quote & realized this can be perfect start of the sharing! And who better than your friends can do the analysis for you, as what you are! And I was lucky to have few real good ones along, all I will say that it was a wonderful journey as never realized that it’s a decade which passed in the process & happy that Sanjeevani has gained respect for its values & commitment not just towards the job at hand but for entire society! And what better contribution I could have done to this profession & to myself than being recognized as a developer with social values & committed to whatever he undertakes! At the same time this is a biggest responsibility too, is what I have realized.

Icing on the cake was two things happened in this decade copleting week, one is we handed over Sadafulee ph2 & its most wonderful thing to see the name board of flat holders in the lobby with all flats booked & second is, I got an award by PugMarks, a major organization in wild life tours & camp. The award was for extraordinary efforts for wild life conservation! So both fronts of life i.e. business & personal are at par for Sanjeevani & me!

Thanks to everyone for being with me & keeping me on course is all I can say! As no success is individuals & only that success has been sustainable where it’s collective success!

Sanjay Deshpande

Sanjeevani Dev.

MSEDCL (Power) Committee, Credai, Pune

Please do visit my blogs to know about our philosophy at Sanjeevani !
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  1. Thought provoking and inspirational!!!

  2. An amazing journey indeed along with a well presented article.
    I could relate the birth of "Sanjeevani" to "Astitva", the former have completed an decade in this industry while the latter have just born.
    I wish to see Sanjeevani more decades so that it will keep on inspiring peoples life.
    Good Luck Sir,
    Ashish Pawar


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