Bantwal Ramesh Baliga, CEO, Watertec: Leading the industry by participative and passion based Leadership
Bantwal Ramesh Baliga, CEO, Watertec India has been chosen as India’s Most Trusted CEO 2020 for his exemplary leadership that builds and drives passion, hard work and sincerity with cultural values and ethics
Years of working in the industry, your contribution reflects versatility and volubility. What has influenced your decision-making process at various stages
I have completed 33 years in the industry in manufacturing, design, finance, sales and marketing. Building brands in India and SAARC countries has always been very dear to my heart. I am involved in building of the company in all aspects of organisation. My focus is basically on building the infrastructure, creating an R & D on various innovative products, building a team, delegation of work to the team, developing SOP for the production, strategies for sales and marketing. I consider the addition of value engineering in the process of each action and process I follow. I have my strength in developing brands in India which I am utilising in building my present job. Deep thinking on future of the industry, the way forward, and the present draw backs are major influencers in my decision making.
A project or an accomplishment that you consider to be the most significant in your career
Building an infrastructure within 3 months with latest industry standards 4.0 getting the entire production going on in 100 days from the start of the construction of a testimony of my accomplished project. It gave us advantages over the other sin terms of business growth and also offering product of international standards in MAKE IN INDIA products. Also building a team of 15,000 channel partners for the company who believe in us, trust us for the business we do with them gives us all the required satisfaction and motivation. This also adds on to my career accomplishment.
How do you integrate corporate philanthropy or corporate social responsibility as a part of your business strategies?
We have provided assistance to many people in the field of education, sill training, provide assistance to poor tribal by offering them jobs in the company, we have recruited female workers to the tune of 70 % of our manufacturing and production team giving them equal responsibilities in the company building exercise. We have built a skill training institute wherein we train plumbers and then recruit them for employment. We have appointed 60 tribal from Orissa for the training and now they are working for us in the field and also in production. We have built many toilets in old age homes, government hospitals, government schools, as a part of our social responsibilities. We have invested in plumbing labs in south and north as a part of our industry focus.
What has been your driving force or philosophy in life?
Work Hard with passion, be sincere to the job, and provide best of human support to the people of the country. Give back your contribution to mother earth, be focussed on vision and mission of the job you do. Success will be come to us if we are true to our efforts and in right direction.
What are the other philanthropic works you are involved in?
We have focussed on education, skilling, medical and building toilets for below poverty people Pan India. We provide free education to youngsters from poor economic back ground , we have so far trained millions of plumbers in the country, we have provided assistance to many people in need of medical facilities and support to poor rural women by providing them means to earn their own living in terms of skill training, giving them sewing machines, have recruited and trained 60 plumbing technicians from tribal area to provide them jobs, placing them across the country.
How do you define success and how do you measure up to your own definition?
On professional front to me success means creating a business and organisation that empowers customers and community in equal measures. I would like to add value to people lives for both professional and personal standpoint. It also means provide greater quality of life to our people and to my family of Watertec.
On personal front success for me would be if I can live each day with positivity, have a feeling of contentment, have a good work life balance and last not the least to have time and resource to pursue what I am passionate about.
A recent project or solution to a problem that you have made better, faster, smarter or less expensive.
We had skill manpower issue in terms of producing our products due to non availability of skilled manpower. We were in mid part of the year and we had to scale up our production due to excess demand in the markets. We created the unit 3 of the company in just 100 days a huge infrastructure of 100000 sqft of industrial structure, imported the entire machinery from Germany which was as per the latest
industry 4.0 Standards fully automated with ROBOTS and production was ahead of our expected time. This caused a huge relief as we had better products, more accurate finishes, done at a shortest time frame and more importantly produced at the shortest time. Of course it needed an investment, but on the longer term considering the cost of manpower, labour etc. We had decided that this to be the assets to the organisation
In your opinion what is the most significant aspect of leadership?
The most important should be ability to delegate work, communication to team, customers, honesty, passion, true cultural values, work as a coach to the teams, caring of company, its employees, team and mission of the organisation, all these aspects are very important to be a leader. Above all self-confidence to achieve the goal and work towards creating and fulfilling the vision of the company.
As a leader, which organizational function are you most inclined to and why? Is it Marketing and Sales, Workplace Culture, Product development, Finance and Accounting, Training and Development, Business Development or any other function?
As a leader in my present role I have given my equal support and focus on re-building all the functions of our organization. For me each function needs focused individually. What I am more inclined is to provide new products design keeping in mind customers point of view and make our infrastructure to produce, prepare and sell on the merits of innovation. The origination grows when we produce an innovative product which gives USPs to the team and in turn helps the company to grow.
According to you, what are the 5 most serious CEO attributes that contribute to organizational development, leadership development and workplace governance? How do you ensure that these are followed?
1. Making the transformation meaningful. People will go to extraordinary lengths for causes they believe in, and a powerful transformation story will create and reinforce their commitment. The ultimate impact depends on the CEO’s willingness to make the transformation personal, to engage others openly, and to spotlight successes as they emerge.
2. Role-modelling desired mind-sets and behaviour. Successful CEOs typically embark on their own personal transformation journey Their actions encourage employees to support and practice the new types of behaviour
3. Building a strong and committed top team. To harness the transformative power of the top team, CEOs must make tough decisions about who has the ability and motivation to make the journey. Delegation of work to the teams would be most important factor in creating an organisation.
4. Relentlessly pursuing impact. There is no substitute for CEOs rolling up their sleeves and getting personally involved when significant financial and symbolic value is at stake. His involvement would create a sense of passion among the team to perform better and also learning’s will help them to build as a team.
5. Everyone has a role to play in a performance transformation. The role of CEOs is unique in that they stand at the top of the pyramid and all the other members of the organization understand their working. Those who fails to model the desired mind-sets and behaviour or who opt out of vital initiatives risk seeing the transformation lose focus. Only the CEO can ensure that the right people spend the right amount of time driving the necessary changes in a focussed approach and desired results.
The key driving factors that make you a successful task master and an empathetic leader.
My focus has always been result oriented organization. The targets, the way to achieve them, focus, innovation, having the grass root level working knowledge, willingness to learn from the market’s reaction, working with the team at all level are my key factor which has made me successful in my entire career. I have always believed my people are my power, strength and taking them along with me in every aspect of life has been a key to my success story. I work with them to achieve their goal which is ultimately the goal, vision, mission of the company and I have not missed my goal even during the testing time.
How do you create balance between target creations, achievements and an effective workplace culture and motivation?
We have a very practical way of creating targets for the team. We go with potential of the markets, the dealers, and the size of the markets. We consider our previous records, but that does not become the bench mark for creating the targets. We also consider the market disasters, market issue before the targets are set and forwarded to the team. It is not only the value target, we create market analysis, market reach, market visits, keeping the competitors in-formation handy to be a part of the target to the team.
The achievements of the team are purely based on efforts put in by them to achieve. The KPI are split into sales value, efforts put in the field, sales of new products, number of customers they meet every day which ultimately values for the sales pattern and growth.
We provide a package which is as per the market’s standards, and with lots of incentive offered for achievers. This has only 40 % in value terms rest are the efforts put in by team to achieve those. We offer promotions for performing employees, a proper work life balance, and even offer them international tours as holiday for all the performing teams and individual. Our people are our strength which has been the focus of the company from the day we had created the organization.
One thing you wish to change and one thing you wish to retain about your industry?
I wish to change or outdo the unorganised segment into an organised one by giving them an opportunity to be a part of organised sector and I wish to retain the innovative product creation as it changes the human’s way of life. Ease of bathing made easier and simple is the positiveness in the industry.
One thing you have to let go off as an entrepreneur/leader?
EGO should be away for being an entrepreneur or a leader. Working and learning should be the biggest assets for any entrepreneur or leader and that is possible only if you start understanding and working with your teams.
Who do you owe your success to?
I owe my success to my parents, my wife, my professors, my gurus in the industry and most importantly the team and people who have worked with me all along in my career.
Best thing about your job?
It gives me a complete freedom to work with passion, innovate and rede-sign products ,create a strategy as per the markets needs and the love and affection my team has given me in many organisations I have worked in my career. This motivates me to perform better over years.
A message from you to all the future entrepreneurs/leaders?
Work hard, be sincere, be passionate on the job you are doing and work with the right set of people, be focussed, work with a vision and have all plans for working through mission, create innovative products to make life easier, simpler and be proud of our nation.
About : Bantwal Ramesh Baliga, CEO, Watertec
Having one of the most well-rounded and diversified profiles in the industry, profound working experience of over 3 decades and successful stints at many reputed organizations has made him a truly exceptional leader. However, it’s not just his impressive CV and millennial-friendly appeal that has made him so popular. A skilled speechmaker who can command a room of any size, he comes across as articulate and genuinely accessible personality, who also harbors a deep passion for “big ideas”.
Leading from the front, he has industriously shaped the growth path of the company over the last few years with a textbook-style focus on the 3Ps – Product, People, and Promotions. The company’s emphasis on a strong distribution and dealer network has also been a key part of the growth strategy. With this astute leader at the helm, Watertec has launched a plethora of avant-garde products, such as Chrome plating on Polymer that is a trendsetter in the industry. Besides, it has also broadened the portfolio by adding sanitary ware, floor drains, stainless steel range of products, water management system based on high end technology and life style luxury faucets & fittings.
The leader focuses on devising and distributing functional and viable solutions. Watertecs’ Aqceto showcases a premium range of bath fittings & accessories that are made for the ultimate modern living experience. Put together by an elite panel of world-class designers, architects, and engineers, every product bearing the Aqceto label is crafted to perfection. Its chrome-plated range of concept bathroom fittings is both eco-friendly and sustainable. Watertec’s entire sanitary ware range has been designed to keep bath spaces sparkling with a 93% Snow White Finish and a Glaze Finish. The antibacterial protection and the latest flush types keep bath spaces hygienic, germ-free, stain-free, and are eco-friendly.
In an effort to offer the most technologically-advanced solutions, Mr. Baliga has joined hands with several like-minded vision partners from across the globe. Watertec collaborates with Rubintree Teorema, an Italian brand well known for its world-class taps and faucets. Their alliance with Thailand’s first and largest Stainless Steel faucet manufacturer, VRH is another feather in the cap. In line with its mission to keep raising the bar, Watertec has also partnered with a leading Swiss brand, CONTI+ to deliver innovative solutions for hospitals, hotels, and office and leisure facilities.
Mr. Baliga is a progressive people’s leader. A believer in people-centric management, he engages directly with all the employees and tries to bring the best out of the organization’s human assets. Under his brilliant headship, Watertec has introduced several people-oriented training programs as well as productivity-oriented training modules that motivate the employees and help them to chart a growth plan for themselves.
The highly impassioned forerunner is extremely focused when it comes to numbers. He closely monitors the performance of the company based on targets and data to ensure fiscal prudence. Under his command, the company has been successful in achieving a turnover of INR 1,400 crores in 5 years, based on year-on-year growth of 27%. In the coming years, Watertec is looking to branch out into new markets across the globe.