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Inspirational Indian Leaders: Pawan Agarwal, Managing Director, Naini Papers Ltd and Naini Tissues Ltd.

Inspirational Indian Leaders: Pawan AgarwalManaging Director, Naini Papers Ltd and Naini Tissues Ltd


A belief that a corporate leader is the one who creates robust systems for various functions in the organisation. Also, a leader creates an environment that motivates everyone to contribute in the best possible manner.

Pawan Agarwal, Managing Director, Naini Papers Ltd and Naini Tissues Ltd

Pawan Agarwal, Managing Director, Naini Papers Ltd and Naini Tissues Ltd

The Journey

My journey has been with lots of “speed breakers” initially. We had to struggle on various fronts like technology being adopted, financial distress, environmental challenges in manufacturing, etc. We made a tectonic shift in our thinking by innovating in our process technology so as to develop absorbent kraft paper (used in making laminates) from agricultural residue i.e. bagasse and wheat straw. Then, we brought in sea change in the group policy for environment which was “zero tolerance” for any kind of pollution.

The Change Agent

I approached change at every level. At the technology front, I had to convince my team to think “out of box” and use technologies that was put to use for the first time in our application of agro-based paper. In fact, we brought in many changes within the industry in terms of quality, environment and production.

What are you really into outside of work?

I am a great lover of Indian music. I also enjoy playing and watching cricket and reading books. I am also involved in various social organizations like Rotary.

5 key roles of a successful leader

Create effective systems in the organization at all levels.

Open channels of communication at all levels from top to bottom and vice versa.

Motivate people to take up challenges in a positive way so that they can find ‘opportunity’ in ‘challenges.’

A leader should create an environment where people believe in innovation and are willing to accept ‘changes.’

Leader should help in evolving a positive “work culture” where everybody feels motivated to contribute his/her bit.


How do you see the company changing in two years, and how do you see yourself creating that change?

First of all, I am a great believer of ‘technology.’ Our companies are continuously investing in “world class technology” since 2011. We have pioneered the application of various technologies not only in India but globally as well. In next two years we will be having the best-in-class technology for paper manufacturing. We are rapidly moving towards Industry 4.0 which means digitization of all processes and systems and inter-communication at various levels. We are the most “environment friendly’” paper mill in India, but in next two years we want to be the same in the world. We want to contribute positively to environment.

What are your goals

I want my group to be the most respected paper manufacturing group in terms of quality, services, environment protection and social responsibility. We want to contribute in best possible manner towards the “inclusive growth” of the society.

3 Biggest Accomplishments

The three biggest accomplishments are:

a) Producing “world class” quality paper from agricultural residue i.e. bagasse and wheat straw.

b) Running world’s fastest ground floor machine producing writing-printing paper.

c) Making both our units environment friendly by adopting state-of-the-art environment technologies like anaerobic treatment of effluent, oxygen delignification of pulp and tertiary treatment of effluent.

One word that describes you the best

I will prefer two words: Ethical and Innovative

What’s your biggest Dream in life?

My biggest dream is to make our group one of the most reputed paper manufacturing group in the world. I want to contribute in making my country 100% literate.

Would you rather be respected or feared and why?

I would surely like to be respected because respect comes automatic whereas fear is forcefully extracted. Respect lasts long and the fear fades away in times.

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