Thanks for showing so much love to my book – The Anexas Story. Based on many requests to publish chapters of the book on LinkedIn, I continue to write a series of articles based on these chapters. Please read on and keep believing that there is an entrepreneur in you…and everyone!
Strengthened by the success in Saudi Arabia, and with someone to take care of the operations there, I turned my attention to scoring more work in India. The best place to look for was with old acquaintances.
I have known many people during my times as a company executive. Without much design, I have kept the connection with people continuing over the years. Sometimes, inviting people over for dinner. Occasionally, going over for lunches and teas. These days, we tend not to give credence to these simple acts in life, but these create relationships.
Relationships that work.
Moreover, I have realized that it does help when you don’t burn the bridges while leaving your employers. I have seen many employees while leaving organizations, feel so liberated that they use this occasion to vent out their frustrations without even realizing the damage they do to themselves in the whole process. In my case, one of the biggest contributors to my success have been my past employers.
I started contacting many of my past colleagues in the organizations where I had worked previously. Many of my close friends and erstwhile colleagues started referring us to reputable organizations in India when they came to know about Anexas. Some of my ex-clients also started referring us to their organizations or even started speaking about us in their industry forums and meetings. This constant word of mouth publicity gave a huge fillip to our business.
Like, the way we got the contract in Bharat Petroleum refinery. If you remember, I had mentioned earlier that Bharat Petroleum was my first job. Moreover, you know, after the campus recruitment and getting into one of the best PSUs that the country had to offer back then, what would have been my state of mind. I was simply blown. Bloated with achievement and cowering in fright at the sight of superiors. Alternatively.
Seshadri was my colleague then. A good guy. Fixed in mind, desirous of attention and diligent at work. When I was leaving the company, he had come up and said, “I feel sorry for you Amitabh! You will never get such benefits and happiness at any other workplace.”
I left all the same. Though I remembered him from time to time and kept a simple friendship going. Then after around twenty years, when I was looking for a foothold in India, Sheshadri told me about the tenders floated for Six Sigma implementation by Bharat Petroleum. It was a very touching moment for me when Anexas won a contract to implement Lean Six Sigma in Bharat Petroleum refinery. It was like a professional homecoming.
The aroma in the surroundings was the same, the building was the same except some minor additions, and the equipment was also the same. My hair was much lesser, of course. Experience, they say. Now I met Sheshadri again, this time to thank him. He marveled at my success. He questioned me again and again as to what I did after leaving chemical engineering and I told him the whole story. He came to my training sessions and there the trainees told him about my prowess.
He was visibly impressed. He, of course, asked me the dreaded question. How much money did I make? I answered generally, his eyes goggled. During consultation and guidance of the projects in the refinery, I went back to that monsoon month twenty years ago when a group of ten fresh graduates from our college had joined Bharat Petroleum Refinery as trainees. As part of our training, we were asked to trace the pipelines in the refinery to understand the processes better. We thought of some improvements back then during those line-tracing exercises but did not have the confidence or authority to implement it. Some of these ideas got implemented during the Lean Six Sigma implementations after a quarter century!
That is like Maradona coming out of retirement and scoring half a dozen goals against Germany. Or Tendulkar scoring a century again in Wankhede Stadium after twenty-five years!! But Maradona and Tendulkar were one-man performing wonders who helped their teams win. But what if there were many like them in the team?
I needed to change the mindset if we needed many Maradonas and Tendulkars in our team.
For subsequent articles, please watch this space.
You can buy the book directly from its website on https://www.anexasstory.com
or on Amazon on https://www.amazon.in/ANEXAS-STORY-There-Entrepreneur-Everyone-ebook/dp/B07ZGLN8C7
Amitabh Saxena is founder of Anexas, a well-known lean six sigma and project management consulting organisation. He has trained over 50,000 participants and has 30 years of experience in consulting more than 300 organisations around the world including Fortune 100 companies across industry domains. With a strong team of 25 Master Black Belts, his organisation Anexas has been helping individuals and organisations achieve eminence through excellence since 2006. They can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org.