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Identifying New Business Opportunities is the Success Mantra of this Entrepreneur Tapping the opportunity and effective networking have helped Somani take the group ahead in last few years.

By Baishali Mukherjee

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Being born and brought up in a business family has always fuelled his affinity towards entrepreneurship, and quite rightly so. In spite of getting the opportunity to work in the USA post his MBA at Thunderbird School of International Management, Arizona, USA, the entrepreneur in him brought Praveen Somani back to India. The journey since then has been an exciting one as Somani, Director, Strategy and New Business Development, Inland World Logistics, focused on standardising the process, aligning with IT resource to make the organisation more system driven. Tapping the opportunity and effective networking have helped Somani take the group ahead in last few years.

"When I joined the family group company, Inland World Logistics, in 2001 it was at Rs 80 Cr. Company. Today it is crossing Rs 900 Cr," says Somani who has also focused in different verticals of Inland Group firms. Kolkata-headquartered Inland Group was founded by Chunni Lal Somani and is known for pioneering courier business in India in 1969.

Not age but idea is the key to entrepreneurship

Brand development, corporate strategy, public relations, handling financial portfolio, establishing processes and systems for continuous monitoring are the areas of interests of this present generation Somani who is always keen to identify and develop new business opportunities and build a world class enterprise with enthusiasm. Networking, delegating responsibilities, time management, passion for creation, and focus towards excellence are the qualities that Somani vouches for in an entrepreneur.

"I feel it is not one's age that should determine the scope of entrepreneurship. It is hitting upon the right idea along with right execution and persistence which should be the determinants. One should have an independent sense of ownership, self gratification, higher public acceptability and fighting spirit in order to be an entrepreneur," opines Somani.

Technology is a game changer

The new age entrepreneur is a techie himself and considers technology as a game changer for businesses. "Since my first years at Inland Group, I have focused on building technology platform to streamline process flow. Sticking on the SOP have become easier, various leakage points have been identified and resolved, overhead costs have been attacked aggressively increasing profitability and the entire process has become transparent," shares Somani who was into jewellery exports and had handled international trade in Dubai before joining the family business.

Scaling new heights

Somani has big plans to take the company to newer heights. Inland Group of companies has already drawn up an ambitious plan to become a Rs 5000 crore by 2025, mostly by increasingly its power portfolio (thermal and renewable energy) and f&b business. The present turnover of the group stands at close to Rs 2200 crore. The group will invest Rs 3700 crore to take its thermal capacity to 400 MW by 2020 while it will invest few hundred crore more to raise its renewable capacity from 50 MW to 200 MW by 2022. It will also shell out another Rs 100 crore to put up a corn-based weed manufacturing plant for snack makers "The medium term goal for Inland World Logistics is to reach a top-line of 3000 Cr by 2020 and 5000 crore by 2023. In the long run the group is looking at taking major leaps in power, foods and beverages, jewellery exports and trade," informs Somani.

Baishali Mukherjee

Former Freelancer

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