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Who says Industrial Components Industry is Tough to Manage? Rama Kirloskar's expertise in driving the go-to-market strategy, product value management and restructuring for the mass production business; material grade rationalization and streamlining for the foundry business and product rationalization for the made-to-order business makes her stand out of the crowd

By Aashika Jain

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Rama Kirloskar, the current Managing Director of Kirloskar Ebara Pumps Limited (KEPL), a joint venture between Ebara Corporation, Japan and Kirloskar Brothers Limited, is a second-generation leader donning many hats.

Her expertise in driving the go-to-market strategy, product value management and restructuring for the mass production business; material grade rationalization and streamlining for the foundry business and product rationalization for the made-to-order business makes her stand out of the crowd.

The flagbearer of equality in the way one looks at work without being gender-specific, Kirloskar in an interview to Entrepreneur India spoke about the advantages and disadvantages of being in the family business.

Previously, she was General Manager and Head of the Product Portfolio Management at Kirloskar Brothers Limited, parent company of the 130-year-old Kirloskar Group.

"Family business and old business like ours have a much engrained culture. At one time it can be a bit difficult to deal with 130 years of history and products that have a huge number of use cases. There are so many things that are already set with time, changing things with time can be a bit difficult.

She believes when one starts a new business, one can start with the latest processes and latest technology and pick up on the latest business strategies and it becomes very easy to create that change. She says it is very flexible for the new startups and for the new ventures that are coming up or are nurturing initially but company like hers are not very flexible.

"We have big heavy assets; it is difficult to deal with and I think that is a challenge and at the same time it is a boon because those assets still have values and you are still able to generate value with them, but how do we utilize the resource base and innovation to change with time - that will always be a challenge for all companies like ours." says Kirloskar.

Kirloskar stated that it easier for the new companies that are starting at the moment - they can use the best of the technology and avail it whereas the companies that are already established for ages, it becomes difficult for them to change with time and adopt any change that is prevailing in the market in a go.

Women at the Helm

Kirloskar doesn't believe being a woman creates a hindrance in running a family business; one pre-requisite for being a leader is you need to be confident and competent as long as you have both of them she believe leading an organization isn't difficult.

The double major in Mathematics and Biology said it takes confidence and competency of an individual to become a fine and a good leader.

"He or she should be able to accept any challenge and deal with it patiently, explained before.

Among her tips, focus and being well planned in order to run an organization tops the list. Kirloskar believes people resist to change, whether it's adopting new technology or any new updated or latest processes or new methodology to work but if we can make them understand the need as to why the change is required and the benefits of the change, they will accept it .

Aashika Jain

Entrepreneur Staff

Former Associate Editor, Entrepreneur India

Journalist in the making since 2006! My fastest fingers have worked for India's business news channel CNBC-TV18, global news wire Thomson Reuters, the digital arm of India’s biggest newspaper The Economic Times and Entrepreneur India as the Digital Head. 
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