Someone just came and screwed up my brains!
And he came across highly unassuming, shrewd and honestly I didn’t expect him to be that great — Mr. A. Velumani, founder CEO of Thyrocare.
He likes to call himself “Velu-money”
Thyrocare , a chain of diagnostic and preventive care laboratories offering preventive and health wellness tests on human blood samples. The company has 1,122 outlets and collection centers across India and parts of Nepal, Bangladesh and the Middle East. Current revenues are pegged at Rs 1870 million!! (source: Wikipedia)
I was fortunate to have listened to him twice within a span of 6 months and also pleasantly surprised to read another blog dedicated to him by a Medium blogger.
In the translated novella Ghachar Ghochar (original Kannada), the author Vivek Shanbag succinctly conveys how wealth…
In both the occasions, his presentation went like a template where he made the crowd stand up in ovation, made them cry and literally roll with laughter.
And, I have tried to capture some of his business principles
1. Giver always wins
Every business wants experienced people to come and work, but how about freshers? Thyrocare is one of the few companies in India that takes freshers, grooms them and provides employment.
His famous quote was “the one who feeds will never go hungry. The one who makes other win will never be defeated and the one constantly gives, will always be taken care of.
Again, when diagnostics used to be expensive and the pricing was pushed on the customers, Mr. Velumani decided to import the kits in large scale thus reducing the unit price and hence his customers got the cheapest diagnostic service in the country.
There is a huge business lesson from this giving philosophy.
Give your employees, shareholders, customers the best and give them more, someone somewhere is taking care of you.
2. Hunger for a Niche
One of his powerful stories was how he during his early youth landed in Bombay from the South of India to seek employment. It was raining heavily and he had no roof above him.
People were easily able to connect because this is what immigrant stories are famous for — came with nothing, hustled, and made a name in the city of dreams.
Hunger, in any form, be it for food, knowledge, wealth, skills is the only motivator for our success. It thrusts us from our inertia and takes us to a place where we feel uncomfortable and thus expanding us.
Hunger keeps us going because we get used to being uncomfortable.
Compare this to the majority of people who ask little of themselves and to this Universe. They get little and hence remain mediocre through their lives.
His anecdote was that he never knew where a Thyroid gland was and how he was supposed to test it. He studies, faltered, struggled and eventually started a business around a tiny gland.
So, he made his riches by zeroing on a niche that everyone else ignored.
Riches lie in Niches can’t any more truer than this. How much deeper can we dig to find our niche?
3. Money chases people of value
When Thyrocare went for an IPO, it was hugely oversubscribed and investors had to move the court to get Thyrocare shares allotted to them.
His advice to young entrepreneurs and businessmen were to stop doing anything for money. Look at what your customers are getting out of you. Ask yourself, if you are able to touch maximum lives, are you able to create massive employment?
Money just happens and it’s an energy exchange for the massive value you are adding to your marketplace.
Value happens because you fill a gap, scale happens because your business model can be replicated.
What can we create that people want and can be easily copied?
4. Live within your means
Guess, its embedded in the Indian genes and especially the South Indian genes to be frugal naturally. They just don’t spend on things that they don’t need.
Velumani was saddened to see so many young entrepreneurs buying fancy Audi cars within 2 years of their business. It wasn’t necessary and it comes with a cost, either your employees are not paid well or your customers are getting short changed.
It won’t be a sustainable business model where the promoter is growing at the cost of the business.
He and his family stayed in the basement of their diagnostic clinic for decades because all of their needs were met and there was no need to move to a lavish house and buy things that people considered as status symbols.
Huge lesson in economics and humility.
Most of our financial problems coming from our impulsive buying and trying to prove someone else, who doesn’t matter that “I have arrived”. There is a huge price to pay for such a lifestyle and is not conducive to wealth-creation.
5. Every business is show-business
The last lesson within 20 minutes of observing him was Sales pitches or any kind of presentation where you are at the spotlight is show-business. Period.
Whether we go for an interview, meet a customer, or do demo, think like an actor. Lights on, and you are on. Lights off and you pack up.
It’s incredible how he was able to maintain the same energy, have great voice modulation and articulation when describing his sorrow and high moments.
He was speaking in a conference which had Dennis Waitley, Kevin Green and many international speakers however he just stood out as the best amongst them.
Velumani had very ordinary looking powerpoint slides however had crisp messaging in them with very simple layouts. Its again a lesson, that the presenter has to be always better than his slides.
He had humor, references to Bollywood and Rajinikanth, he danced, swayed and clenched his fist, this was all theatrics but yes they worked.
Make yourself interesting first, before people are interested in you.
Author bio: Karmesh Ghosh, is Sales professional; has been hustling, and closing deals for the past 1.5 decades. Avid reader and loves foreign language movies. Writes on sales and marketing strategies for small and medium businesses. Currently, lives in Mumbai. Loves food and fast bikes.