“Be Honest To Yourself”: Shashank Agarwal, MD, Salasar Techno Engineering

Shashank Agarwal firmly believes that there is no substitute for hard work. The managing director of Salasar Techno Engineering has, in fact, been working hard to make his company one of the leading players in the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) industry. Salasar, which has its registered office in New Delhi, has been catering to a diverse range of industries. Sharmila Chand chats up with Mr Agarwal – who is an engineer with over 30 years of experience – to get to know his management ideas and practices that have been boosting growth, year after year.


Your five management mantras

Innovation: The real challenge to achieving success in business is sustaining it. While it is easy to create a company and even prosper, success is simply much more than that. Innovation is essential to maintain and grow your business.

Adaptability: It is imperative that businesses keep reinventing themselves to sustain through challenging times swiftly. The world is changing very fast, and if you are not innovative, you will find yourself in the back seat. Successful exploitation of new ideas is crucial to a business being able to improve its processes, bring new and improved products and services to market, increase its efficiency and, most importantly, improve its profitability.

Know your market and your customers: Know your market, its segmentation and your position in it. Constantly ensure that you know your customers’ wants and needs. Use market research to understand your customers’ buying habits. Promote the benefits of your offer and not just the features.

Create a culture of lifelong learning and education: Invest in the development of your staff, encourage skills development and a lifelong learning culture. Skilled and motivated people make fewer mistakes, produce better quality and are more productive. Promote enterprise and participation.

Lead from the front: Show your leadership – be visible, active and supportive, express a clear vision and show confidence and determination – develop your plans for the business.


A game that helps your career

I am not an avid player but what keeps me fit is a regular morning walk of 45 to 50 minutes and then Yoga of 30 minutes. I personally think out of the many physical activities suggested for a healthy lifestyle, and a morning walk always shines at the top of the list. Many people find heavy exercise and jogging difficult, and some even lack the motivation for it. A simple and effective alternative to these is a morning walk.


Turning point in your career life

I have been an entrepreneur all my life. I have been through a lot of failures and ups and downs in life. But that has never deterred me from taking the next step or trying something new. I thanked God for everything and accepted whatever He decided for me. Founding of Salasar Techno has truly been a turning point in life, and it sure has given a lot of opportunities to grow at all levels. God has been kind.


Secret of your success

Hard work, honesty and Integrity, trusting people, a lot of delegation of responsibilities, appreciating and giving due credit to the team around, and, most importantly, not committing more than you are able to deliver.


Your philosophy of work

Take life as it comes. Man proposes, and God disposes. You cannot plan your life on an Excel Sheet! But yes, you must have the ability to visualise yourself wherever you want to be in future, and then start working around it, have a lot of optimism and positivity, don’t be judgmental of others, and learn to accept any circumstances.


A person you admire

I don’t have an idol, and if you have one, you are limiting yourself. What one has to understand is that he or she has unlimited potential, and only sky is the limit. Every individual is unique and should try and exploit his or her potential to the maximum, rather than trying to imitate someone. People can be inspiring, and that’s it. Your aspirations should not stop there.Try and grasp something good from everyone, no matter how small or big he or she is.


The best advice you got

People and time will teach you more than the books. And your entire life can change in an instant. So, instead of passively taking what you have for granted, be grateful for it, and do whatever good you can with it.


Your sounding board

My inner voice, my sixth sense and my gut feeling


Your favourite books

Since the evolution of the digital age, reading of books has somehow disappeared. It’s not that I was an avid reader earlier, but I had been reading, and, now for quite a few years, I have been listening to Osho’s discourses. His sayings are very simple, but then to understand those, you got to listen and absorb them through repeated listening and, trust me, whatever he has said is the last word, the ultimate word. There is nothing left to say after whatever he has said on any topic. Even if you are able to grasp a few teachings, your understanding of life and people around will be much different. All modern-age, so-called Gurus are trying to imitate or copy from his discourses.


Your five business mantras

Hard work: This age-old, golden mantra still holds true for everyone. If you want to be ahead of others, you must give more than 100 per cent in everything you do. There is no substitute for hard work. Luck, of course, plays a part in your life, but that too comes only with hard work.

Honesty and integrity: You should be honest to yourself rather than proving your integrity and honesty to anyone else. You sure must check and ask yourself at times if you are being honest in whatever you are doing.

Decide to succeed: Success comes to those who dare to dream and to those who truly want to succeed. It does not come knocking on the doors of people who only wait for things to happen. So, if you want it, go get it.

Be bold: Success does not come easily. If life throws you a challenge, fight back hard. You might fail numerous times to achieve your ambition but never let failure be an end as there is always light at the end of every tunnel.

Have faith: Believe in yourself, and have faith in the supreme power. You will be rewarded whatever you deserve. Karma never fails.


Your message on management to youngsters

Life does not happen the way you plan. Someone up there has a different plan for you, and, trust me, HIS plans are the best. Acceptance is most important, learn to accept any situation. You may not like it sometimes but probably that is what you deserve and that is the best for you. So, learn to accept and be happy in any situation. Give your best shot with all your integrity and accept whatever the results are. Don’t plan your life, but visualise, and start working towards it.

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