'If I Could Give 100x Growth To My Employer, Why Couldn't I Do It For My Own Company'
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Work harder and get lucrative incentives - is a goal that most of us set before going to office every morning. But there are some who think beyond yearly incentives and focus on what they are doing for their individual growth and not the company’s alone.
If you've ever wondered what your hard work could do if your energy was rather invested in your own venture, this story is for you.
Being Your Own Boss
The journey of Lavinder Duggal, a Mumbai-based mechanical engineer-turned-entrepreneur, is a story that almost every one of us dream of.
What makes it uncommon is the conviction that's gone behind this success story. It is surprising what the zeal to change one's fortune could really do.
Working for a short stint in big corporates, Duggal realized how his work experience can carve his journey to becoming a successful entrepreneur. Today, he is the founder of India’s Top 100 SME of 2017 HTL Aircon which boasts of an annual turnover to the tune of INR 70 crore.
Find Your Way
While working with top companies such as Batliboi & Voltas, Duggal realized how his sales and marketing capabilities can help him build his own empire.
“That time I realized that if I could do it for some other company then might as well I do it for the company. As an engineer it was difficult but I had to find my way,” said Duggal.
“It was an open market at that time, and we did not know how to tap the market,” he added.
Way back in 1996, Duggal saw how a lot of international companies entering the Indian market to sell air conditions for offices and homes. He decided it was time to find a partner. Carrier Corporation became his mate.
"The company wanted dealers in areas that had not been covered so far. I was the 28th and the last dealer when I signed up for Carrier,” he said.
Masters of Dealerships in India
Duggal recalled that it was a good start for the company. For six years, the company helped Carrier Corporation get customers from the B2B and B2C space. “In 2001-2002, we were the second most promising dealers in entire Mumbai, for which we were conferred with innumerable accolades consistently. We were also given a chairman award for the best dealer.” said Duggal.
On being asked what set them apart from the other 28 dealers working with same company, Duggal's obvious reply was the connect with consumers.
"I realized that the connect we had with the clients as well as complete know-how of the industry made us do well. At that time, we had such a good connect with clients that anybody getting any sort of requirement would definitely reach out to us,” exclaims the 44-year old entrepreneur.
When HTL Aircon ended its dealership with Carrier India, the company had to patch up with six dealers to replace the kind of sale HTL generated for the company.
In 2006, HTL signed a successful dealership agreement with the Japanese giant Daikin Ac in India.
How we Brought a Top-Scaling Model
Working for years as a dealer with international clients, Duggal felt there was abundant scope to grow.
His entity existed because of a partnership with the other company and that made him uneasy.
In his quest to make his own identity, Duggal introduced HTL Aircon as a premium category commercial air conditioning company in India.
In 2002, when market was opening up for other brands like Samsung, Daikin, Bluestar, LG etc. in air conditioning segment, HTL tried multi-branding retailing. But soon realized that it’s didn't give the company the identity that it was looking for.
“We wanted to do the kind of sale where knowledge could get imparted. Being an engineer, we do not wanted to do just distribution or marketing thing. So, we adopted ‘Raising the Standards’ as a tagline & brought in quality in all the aspect of business i.e. pre-sales, post-sales, execution and services,” said Duggal.
Today, a company that was founded as a dealership entity in 1996, is a premium vendor for commercial air conditioning in B2B space with a Pan India footprint; operating in six cities and is one of the most consistent partners with Daikin.
From Microsoft to BMW to MakeMyTrip, the company has its name on air conditioning systems installed in every MNC in the financial capital of India.
For this successful SME, INR 100 crore doesn't look too far.
Interviewed by Sunil Pol