In 1991, when Shopper Stop was setting up its retail outlets, its CEO Nagesh B.S was keen to appoint Muchhad guys as security guards for the stores. This is when his friend Dr Diwan Rahul Nanda intervened and told him that time is changing and such men will scare away their customers.
Today, if you visit any of the outlets of the retail chain or for that matter any restaurant or cinema hall, you are greeted by formally dressed men and women, frisking you with a gentle smile on their faces. This revolution in the private security space can be accredited to Nanda’s father retired Major RC Nanda and his four-decade-old company Topsgrup.
During his recent visit to Mumbai, Topsgrup Chairman Nanda, in a conversation with Entrepreneur India, shared the working procedure of the people’s company.
In the early 90’s, if one would ask Nanda what was his vision for the private security company, he would give this curt reply: survival.
The company has grown since then to be one of the largest services group employing about 1,30,000 people with around 10,000 clientele and 251 offices.
In keeping with his vision, Nada said, “We want to cautiously remain India’s preferred security brand. Though I am the chairman of the group, I don’t know how to talk numbers. For me, our employees and customers need to be happy always.”
Tops is people’s company and it’s not a very easy job to do, said Nanda, adding that each and every person is different. If you have to align their goals with the company’s and align their capabilities with their expectations.”
About his secret ingredient in managing his company he said, “I believe in taking care of my people and once you do that, they will go out of the way in serving your client.”
In a couple of years, Tops has grown from a private security company to services group by venturing into multiple segments like logistics, government services, business services and strategic services.
Topsgrup is a technology-enabled company. For Nanda innovation, especially in the robotics segment, will hardly impact the people-driven industry. “Robots will simply complement humans just like other machines,” he said affirmatively.
Citing an example of how technology is helping his business grow, the global entrepreneur shared details about his youngest venture Cheep. The application, which is meant to provide on-call services like summoning a plumber or a yoga instructor at home, has partnered with 27,000 professionals. Each of them are licensed and their backgrounds checked and insured.
So does the competition in this crowded market concerns him?
No! Instead he thanks his competitors like Urbanclap and HouseofJoy for educating the consumer. “We now just have to work on better services at good rates and aim to make it Uber of home services,” he added.
Cheep will be soon launched in countries like Malaysia, UAE, Spain, UK, Vietnam and Singapore.
For the past two-and-a-half-decades, Nanda has been putting his heart and soul in the group, but he knows when to get out of it. “I have CEOs and VPs running my business. The brand will live through them.” Nanda’s post-retirement plans are as exciting as his business plans — he hopes to lie on the beach and party with no calls from the assistant.