A true story of how focused commitment and efforts can make an entrepreneur achieve manifold growth and network expansion!
Madan Dodeja, Managing Director & CEO, Vashi Electricals began as an entrepreneur with a humble beginning and king size dreams. The dream was to change the pattern of response and service to the customer. The business process designed by him was committed to service customers on time. It’s the result of the focused commitment and efforts which made the business achieve manifold growth and expand its network. Vashi Electricals, one of the largest channel partners of reputed brands of industrial products in India was started in 1978. From a mere office space of 400 sq. feet in a Mumbai suburb, Vashi Electricals today offers 17 plus world class brands under 1 roof. It caters to the needs of 15,000+ customers at a national level. Vashi Electricals has a presence in 12 locations across India. In this video interview with Mr. Dodeja, we learn more about his journey. Being a veteran in the business, we are sure that the young entrepreneurs have a lot to learn and implement from his very successful journey.
Here are some key takeaways:
Mr. Dodeja’s Entrepreneurial Journey – The Unheard Way
Mr. Dodeja lost his father at a very early age and his mother somehow managed running the show for the family. Being the eldest among the 5 siblings, he had no option, but to start earning at a very young age. Immediately after completing SSC exams, Mr. Dodeja started working at a very low level and a very meagre salary. It was here that he started his journey of being exposed to the realities of life. In his words, “It was the best opportunity of his career. He was privileged to be in the hands of people who were focused minded and had big dreams to grow.”
Mr. Dodeja was inspired by their dreams and journey. He also silently marked his way of growth. After working with that company for 11 years he realised that he has achieved his potential in that organization and if he had to grow further, he had to do something different. So he left that organization and by using his expertise and contacts, Mr. Dodeja started his own trading company. He initially managed the company from his home and then bought a small office in Andheri. It was a humble beginning, but he knew what would delight the customer. He wanted his company to be different from other trading organisations and decided to be very near to the customer. The idea was that the customer doesn’t have to go to buy products to other electrical markets. His office was in the heart of the industrial belt in Andheri. Customers soon realised that for getting quality and genuine products, they don’t have to travel too far. They could get it just across the street!
While it was a great beginning, the biggest challenge was getting the customer trust. Mr. Dodeja wanted the customer to have full belief in them and give them an opportunity. At that time when everything was short-supplied and getting the supply on time was a big challenge. Thanks to the Mr. Dodeja’s network, their company managed to get material from other parts of the country and supply them to their customers in Bombay. Gradually, they started getting more opportunities and the business started building up ‘brand – wise’. One after the other brand was getting added and the working space and the team also expanded. With things taking shape, Mr. Dodeja shifted his office in New Bombay and along with being a local supplier; they gradually started expanding geographically as well. In the last five years, Vashi Electricals has been able to mark their presence in a number of parts of the country.
Mr. Dodeja shares that his journey had a lot of challenges. Challenges about working capital, the challenges of building trust with their principals and challenges about having believers in this competitive landscape. He feels that after 38 years, the biggest success for Vashi Electricals is that their bankers have a tremendous amount of trust and confidence in their capabilities. Also, their principals truly believe that they are the last mile of service to the customer. Such kind of partnership makes Mr. Dodeja really proud. Their customer count has not just added, but multiplied. In fact, the vision of Vashi Electricals for the coming 5 years is to be the primary source of supply to every industrial customer in India, either in electrical products or in power transmission products. Mr. Dodeja wants Vashi Electricals to create a benchmark of service and reliability in the electrical trade, which the customers should experience as delight in their relationship with them.
Advice to the young entrepreneurs
Mr. Dodeja says, “Be patient in achieving your goals. Perceive and do not give up ever. As an entrepreneur always find out what value addition you can do to the receiver of your services or products. If you get connected and you are able to identify what are the benefits your receiver is going to achieve through your contribution, then the beginning is made. Always remember that apart from the advertising and promotions, word of mouth in any business or for any entrepreneur is most important. Patience and perseverance can only build a big business and I would request all the new generation entrepreneurs to believe in themselves and their talent. There is no shortcut to hard work. There has to be a lot of hard-work and multitasking. In the beginning, sometimes you might not be able to deploy people, so you should know multi-tasking and honour the commitments you have made. These are very simple things, rather the basics. If you follow them, success will definitely come to you in the shortest possible time. Don’t worry about the success, just focus on the basics!”
We bring out to our viewers some unseen and unheard stories of the individuals who stood by their words, ideas, and vision, but never got a chance to be heard or seen as what they have become, achieved, enhanced and still ascending!