Brijmohan Lall Munjal: 6 leadership lessons to learn from the man behind Hero Group Building of Hero Group into the world's leading cycle-maker and Hero Motocorp into the world's biggest two-wheeler manufacturer (by volume)

By Priyannkaa Dey

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Brijmohan Lall Munjal

Business world is familiar with the name Brijmohan Lall Munjal. The journey of starting from scratch and then building and managing an over $4-billion worth group was not an easy task even though Brijmohan Lall Munjal made it look like a smooth dream.

He gave equal importance to his family too and spent generous amount of time with them. Every entrepreneur can learn a lot from his life journey and strive to be a better human being apart from being an admired entrepreneur.

Few lessons from the life of this renowned entrepreneur:

Patience is the keyword

Brijmohan Lall Munjal faced many challenges on the way to his dream goal. With each difficulty, he emerged stronger and patient. He never gave up during adversity, whatever the magnitude.

He started in the post-independence era and gradually moved towards making Hero Group a name to reckon with. Slowly and steadily, he built a business empire that every entrepreneur aims to build someday.

Relationships are important

Munjal was a highly respected man in the business circuit. The Hero Group was made up of suppliers, dealers and employees. Munjal was regarded as a person who not only built a flourishing empire but also valued each person he met.

Even though an astute businessman, he knew that relationships are important and networking can take an entrepreneur a long way ahead.

Don't lose faith and respect during tough times

In 1984, the landmark deal was signed with Japanese major Honda to manufacture motorcycles. Initially, the plan was to manufacture scooters as that was popular in India.

However, Honda had already partnered with someone else. As was destined and due to the grit and determination, Hero Honda's motorcycles became a household brand and was hugely successful.

Revenues kept growing and then came the bolt from the blue in 2010 when Hero Honda had a bitter separation. Munjal bought Honda's stake. The competitive environment led to negative publicity and an uncomfortable environment.

Munjal gave priority to trust and respect rather than playing dirty games that time. He always regarded even his competitors with immense respect. This led to each competitor and entrepreneur in turn value his every opinion.

Not forgetting your roots and generally polite with everyone

Brijmohan Lall Munjal always used to say that both his father and mother were his idols; and he learnt everything regarding running a business from them. This comes from a man who is the face behind a business empire that the world knows about. He treated his boss, subordinates and his employees equally.

No one was different for him. Whether it was his secretary Rakesh Vashisht or the company's suppliers and dealers, he treated everyone as a family member and even went to the extent of calling and wishing them on their birthday. That says a lot about this globally renowned down-to-earth business icon.

Listen and discuss with people who work with you

Normally it has been observed that the top management in organizations are not reachable and you can hardly ever walk up to them to discuss issues as they have an air of exclusivity.

This was not the case with Munjal. It was common in his organization that everyone who had an issue was welcome to meet the chairman.

Passion for work

Even when he had crossed 90 years of age, he used to go to office, work every day. He firmly believed that till the time he is capable to work, he would never give up.

This can only come from a man who did not see his entrepreneurship goals as "work'; rather he believed in his dreams and went on to nurture them. The results are there for the world to see!

Priyannkaa Dey

Sr Sub-Editor, Entrepreneur India

With around five years of editorial and writing experience from magazines such as ‘DataQuest’, ‘Leisure & Resorts’, ‘Voice&Data’; Priyanka has also worked in the digital communication department of organizations like ‘Brentwoods’; ‘n & n Chopra Consultants Pvt. Ltd’ and ‘Delhi Public School Greater Faridabad’. Her interests include blog reading and writing. The author is a senior sub-editor at 'Entrepreneur Online' and has completed her studies from Jamia Millia Islamia.

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