India’s Inspirational Leaders, Chandru Kalro, Managing Director, TTK Prestige Limited
One of India’s true Inspirational and Innovative business leaders, Chandru Kalro, Managing Director of India’s largest Household Kitchen Appliance brand TTK Prestige is driven by Inclusiveness, Empathy and Long Term Perspectives.
Joined the Company as a product manager in marketing. The growth happened since I had actively taken on more than my job description. Strong strengths on collaboration meant that I was working closely with other departments and therefore always got more and more on my plate. From marketing to heading sales to sourcing I made a success of what I was doing. The company was around a 100 crores in top line largely in pots and pans. Today it’s a 2000 crore company, most profitable in the industry and the undisputed leader. Succeeded the previous MD in 2014. Was COO for 4 years before I took over as MD
It’s often said that leaders these days must operate in an environment of extreme volatility. Do you agree? How does that affect the way you lead?
That’s true. The key is to foresee problems and that volatility. I see an opportunity in all this and have created several opportunities for the company. Therefore, any such situation has been very profitable to me and the company.
Approach to Change
Adapting to change, and proactively reinventing oneself is the essence of staying ahead and leading. I have always believed that with change you learn new things that makes you stronger.
What are you really into outside of work?
Movies, Cooking and Family
5 key roles of a successful leader?
Looking at the future and creating opportunities for all round growth – Visioning, building a culture of fairness, collaboration and high performance, Developing future leaders and a robust organization, proactive approach to problems – preventive and corrective action and being approachable to all so that you get the bad news as fast as possible
How do you see the company changing in two years, and how do you see yourself creating that change?
The Company will be more efficient and nimble footed. New competitive edges will be built through an enhanced customer focus. Customer will be at the centre of it all irrespective of which function the person works in. Its all about customer delight and not just customer satisfaction.
I will be leading the change in thought processes, attitudes and collaborative working to make this hard coded in the organization through a series of interventions.
What are your goals?
To add to the strengths of this company. To make it so powerful for all stakeholders that everyone stays more and more invested in its success. Personally there are not goals for myself other than seeing this company and its people prosper, spread all round positivity as a culture.
3 Biggest Accomplishments/Achievements?
Bringing about a change in our attitude to what growth is possible. From the dumps we targeted a growth of 30% (with a history of poor or not growth) and actually leading the team to achieve it for 10 years. I would be unfair not to recognize my superiors here at that time who allowed and encouraged me through this journey even though I made some outlandish proposals.
Secondly, to gain the confidence of all my colleagues senior and junior to come with me in this journey. We were a company of nice people who worked in silos. To get them to work with me and make such fantastic contributions was a great accomplishment.
Most importantly to grow to become the CEO in the face of competition from a very accomplished team and also lead them now and gaining their loyalty even though I went past them.
One word that describes you the best
What’s your biggest Dream in life?
To retire being known as the peoples Managing Director
Would you rather be respected or feared and why?
I would rather be loved.
Whom do you owe your success to?
God and my father. They taught me to deal with situations and people the way I have.
Best thing about your job?
It’s a family I love
Message from you to all the future entrepreneurs/leaders?
Stay humble and focused. Let your talent drive the organization and not your EGO. Be a great listener.
What is Sunday to you?
Recharge at home with my wife – without her support at home physically and emotionally, I would not be where I am today.
Profile of Chandru Kalro
Started career in March 1986 and has a total work experience of over 31 years spanning sales, marketing, corporate planning and strategy, alliances and sourcing.
An engineer by academic qualification. Started career with BPL limited, Chennai branch in sales and handled several product categories that included Test and measuring instruments, Office Automation and Telecom products.
Moved to Head office after four years of sales into marketing of all instrumentation products including the cardiac care equipment marketing.
First foray into consumer durables was into audio systems in BPL.
Total period in BPL limited was seven years and left them in 1993 to join TTK Prestige in 1993 and has been with them since.
Joined TTK as Product Manager and moved up quickly to General Manager Marketing in two and half years. Currently he is the Managing Director of the Company, which is the widest range of Kitchenware in the country with one of the widest and unique distribution networks of the durable industry.
Chandru is part of strategic management group in TTK Prestige and has played a key role in changing the course of the company from being a pressure cooker company to making Prestige India’s number one kitchenware brand.
Chandru played a key role in several strategic initiatives that were taken to make TTK Prestige Limited to become the fastest growing company in the Kitchen appliances space in the past three years.
The most important being TTK Prestige’s foray into retail by setting up a retail chain across the country. This is a unique competitive edge that has made the company India’s number one Kitchen appliance company in three years.
The other major initiative was to strategically transform the company from being a manufacturing focused company to a marketing focused company and therefore create core competencies in sourcing. Sourced products will account for almost third of the company’s revenues.
Consequently, the company today is transforming itself from being a Kitchen appliance company to becoming India’s first TOTAL KITCHEN SOLUTION provider.
He took over as Managing Director, TTK Prestige in April 2015 and today manages the largest and most profitable company in the Kitchen appliances space.