Success is all about differentiating

CK Ranganathan, promoter and CMD of CavinKare shares his business success with Venkatchari Jagannathan.

Chennai: Forty five year old CK Ranganathan, promoter and CMD of the Rs572 crore CavinKare group is a master differentiator. At a time when the tough, fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) market was dominated by multinational companies (MNC) and Indian corporate giants, Ranganathan spotted opportunities in unconventional areas and exploited the same.

In the process, Ranganathan, a teacher's son - his father Chinnikrishnan was a maths schoolteacher in Cuddalore - taught industry giants business basics. Today, the group's cosmetics company CavinKare Private Limited logs a turnover of Rs400 crore.

For him, problems are actually opportunities for betterment. For instance, when he found the transition from Tamil medium schooling to English medium in the college difficult, he made it a point to choose two new English words and frame five sentences daily. "I also read lots of English magazines. Extensive reading of autobiographies, books on economics etc, helped to improve my speaking and writing skills in English."

He started the business with an investment of Rs15,000 in the early '80s. Here, he shares his views on leadership. According to him, a leader becomes obsolete when he stops to enthuse, energise his team members. Excerpts.

What are the principles on which CavinKare is built?
The first rule is having faith and not be a doubting Thomas. The two words that can create magic are 'We Can'. Ever since the company was started, it has grown in size. Never in its existence was there a negative growth. This was possible because everybody in this organisation believes in the We Can concept and not the converse 'Can We'.

When you believe in the 'We Can' concept, then you will look at ways and means to achieve the goal. On the other hand, if there is a doubt, 'Can We', then one will always find reasons for not achieving targets.