Moloobhoys Vision in a Pandemic
Nafeesa Moloobhoy- Managing Director, Moloobhoy Group of Companies.
With absolutely no experience whatsoever in shipping or any other sector in September 2001, I took over the company from my husband due to his ill health.
Moloobhoys was in its 96th year, we had just separated from our partners and the business had become an unsteady trickle. There were many “not so well wishers” who were gleefully certain that the Company would never complete a century – a historic milestone indeed !!!!!
I was fiercely determined to revive the company and at least ensure that it reaches its 100th year, a noteworthy landmark!
My personal view in hindsight, is that being knowledgeable on the technical aspect of the business is not as important as just having the right attitude – “never say die!”
Technical competence can always be purchased by hiring the experts, but it is the ability to handle all odds and resolve problems and deliver successfully that proves the ability and leadership of the man, in this case a woman, at the top !
I have always recruited on attitude and not on skill.
I am also indifferent to gender, caste, creed.
It is the fire in the belly and the passion and energy level of the candidate that lures me into recruiting them.
Some of the basic principles that I used in running my business were common sense and logic. Since I am not even a graduate; due to my early marriage, I empowered myself with my available faculties.
I also discovered along the way that unfortunately, common sense is not so common !
I often resorted to housewifely logic to handle my finances. At home, every housewife is taught you cut your coat according to your cloth.
Today when I look at so many companies which are so highly leveraged and I look at the debt they are carrying in their books, especially debt used to fund working capital needs – I am aghast !!!
Business is not business if you donot make a decent margin of profit and if the money is not collected from debtors in a timely manner.
By the same token, creditors and others need to be paid too within reasonable time frames.
Then only it qualifies as ethical and fair business practise.
This is especially true during the current Pandemic.
Therefore, for me the housewifely logic of expenses must be within income received; has saved my company during these challenging Corona times.
I staunchly believe in customer satisfaction.
I have zero tolerance for customer complaints and dishonesty.
This is reflected in our company culture. It is the very DNA of Moloobhoys.
Those working in our company will corroborate that a valid customer complaint means death !!!
I go into every customer complaint personally and audit it to determine – is it a process fault or person fault ? If it’s a process lapse – we set our SOP right immediately and if it’s a “person” error – a genuine mistake is condoned with a warning; a mistake arising out of carelessness or negligence, results in a strict warning and if it is established that there is malafide intent on the part of the employee – its instant termination.
I believe and swear by audit. Anything left unchecked will never get done. At Moloobhoys – audit is a way of life.
Constantly improving processes as an aftermath of an audit and training people is the key.
With the Pandemic, my new thrust area is “digitization.”
Change is the only constant in life – and now with this new virus, we must, inspite of being a 115 year old company, be agile and swift, and reinvent ourselves in the virtual world; since the real world is lethal, where masks and social distancing is the new normal.
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