‘Employees saved us from difficult times’
The 5,500 crore rupees conglomerate, Suguna Holdings, started with seed money of Rs.5000 in poultry business during the 1980s faced difficult times in 2000, but made an astounding recovery after employees of Suguna Poultry raised Rs.12 crore and gave it to the company.
B Soundararajan, Managing Director, Suguna Holdings, with The Weekend Leader - VIT Amazing Entrepreneur Award at VIT Vellore (Photos: H K Rajashekar)
“The employees took the risk, because they had faith in the company,” remarked B Soundararajan, Managing Director, Suguna Holdings, addressing students of VIT Business School after receiving The Weekend Leader – VIT Amazing Entrepreneur Award at VIT Vellore last week.
Suguna Poultry, later rechristened as Suguna Foods, registered rapid growth, and today is the flagship company of Suguna Holdings, contributing 98 per cent of the group’s revenues.
Dr. S K Sekar, Dean, School of Mechanical and Building Sciences, VIT, presented the award to Soundararajan, who was one among the top entrepreneurs featured in The Weekend Leader’s Amazing Entrepreneurs series.
Dr. S K Sekar, Dean, School of Mechanical and Building Sciences, VIT, presenting the award to Soundararajan. Also seen are P C Vinoj Kumar, Editor, The Weekend Leader and Dr. Kalyani Rangarajan, Dean, VIT Business School
Felicitating Soundararajan, Sekar said the Suguna success story was inspiring and urged the students to become entrepreneurs.
Soundararajan made a PowerPoint presentation on his entrepreneurial journey and revealed that in 2010 he had planned to exit from the business, handing over the reins to his brother G B Sundararajan.
But his brother prevailed upon him to reconsider his decision. Soundararajan then travelled to the US and UK and studied the best business practices there.
Soundararajan during an interaction with the students
He came back enlightened and with a clear vision to diversify the business. The result was the creation of Suguna Holdings, which was formed with the mandate of looking at multiple businesses.
The group has stakes in poultry feeds and vaccines, assets management, and gold and iron mining.
Sravanthi, MBA first year student, receiving the 'best question' prize from Soundararajan
As MD of Suguna Holdings, Soundararajan does not involve himself in operations of the group’s businesses, but is focused on exploring new opportunities.
“In the Middle East, there are families running as many as 30 businesses,” said Soundararajan, who has set himself a target of starting one new business every year.
Soundararajan at the customary selfie session with the students
Soundararajan later interacted with the students in a lively Q & A session that was moderated by The Weekend Leader’s Editor, P C Vinoj Kumar. Kalyani Rangarajan, Dean, VIT Business School, also addressed the students. – TWL Bureau
‘People are the most important assets of any company’