The Man of Steel says the Best Way to Run a Company is to Take Minimum Borrowing

Naveen Jindal, who grew JSPL from a small company to a conglomerate, advises against getting overambitious with loans

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Naveen Jindal, the Indian industrialist who was born in one of India’s most powerful political families, believes in the power of persistence when it comes to entrepreneurship.

In a conversation with Entrepreneur India, the 49-year old Chairman of Jindal Steel and Power Limited spoke about how to scale up with a balanced mind.

“It’s all about teamwork and the hard work of the entire team and when the team works together with a sense of purpose, sincerity, sense of ownership, you can achieve anything,” Jindal said.

He remembers the time JSPL was being built from a small company to a conglomerate and said there was a very encouraging atmosphere in India at the time when the company was growing with support from all the stakeholders.

Jindal is a former Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha from Kurukshetra, Haryana in the 14th and 15th Lok Sabha. He also serves the Chancellor of OP Jindal Global University.

Among his pet projects is The Flag Foundation of India, which is his effort to foster respect for the Indian National flag among Indian youth.

Tips to Scale Up

Jindal’s tips to scale up are gold.

Minimum Borrowing: “I would like to tell budding entrepreneur whatever they are trying to do they should do with minimum borrowing and they should always remember what Shakespeare has said “Neither a borrower nor a lender be; for loan doth oft lose both itself and friend, and borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.” So, you should not build your empire on loans, or on borrowings.

Try to Raise Equity: “Grow slowly and surely rather than borrowing a lot and getting into a trap. We have seen in the last decade in India, so many large companies getting into trouble because of debts, because sometimes the policy is changing, environment is changing and then suddenly you are sitting on debts; the cost of capital is too high, in the hurry to grow faster there is no point borrowing. We just need money and we will be able to pay, when things are to go bad and they go bad from all angles.” It is very important is to be conservative while borrowing.

JSPL has already invested INR 39,000 cr in various industries, mostly core industries including steel and power. The company aims to be debt free in the next few years in the future. Jindal clarified whatever expansion JSPL does post that is not going to be on debt, it’s only going to be on equity.

India’s Future – Entrepreneurship?

Next question was asked about in the next five years what do you think about the upcoming industry and to this

Jindal feels India is a country of entrepreneurs and the main problem here is that India has too many entrepreneurial people and they do not get the kind of attention from the society, from the government, from the banks, because here everyone wants to be Tatas, Birlas.

“I feel we have such enterprising youth in our country that we need to have a conducive environment to support them,” Jindal said.

He is confident India can be an absolute leader in technology.


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