Selected as World’s Best Emerging Business Leaders 2022 in the food chain category, Dev Raturi is a trend setting entrepreneur who has fuelled impressive growth through immense passion and innovation
IN CONVERSATION WITH DEV RATURI, AMBER PALACE & RED FORT RESTAURANT CHAIN
What makes a strong leader? What are your key leadership strengths are make the strongest attributes of success.
From my perspective, a strong leader is the one who leads by example, a person who is the last man standing in worst circumstances, a person whom your team can look upon.
One of the quality I am blessed with is perseverance and believe in always keep going irrespective of how adverse the situation is, in past few years, I have faced the toughest challenges where usually people give up however, I did not even think of giving up but always tried to find solution at every step of the problem . There has been numerous times when our business was in turmoil and we saw extreme turbulent times however I always stood by and resolved it. My core team members and my friends always stood by me during the tough times.
An accomplishment that you consider to be the most significant in your career? What challenges did you face to reach to the success.
When started my career in China,I was a waiter in an Indian restaurant, in a span of 5 years , I was a General Manager in one of the prestigious USA company, I found it highly rewarding and had a sense of accomplishment . The journey was not easy, I put myself on fire of learning, be it hospitality management, language, presentations, dashboards, P&L,excel reporting etc. I faced rejections also many times however ultimately I climbed the ladder and reached the position I wanted.
What is a role of leader in these challenging times.
A leader should be visionary and should not think short term.
A leader should be self driven and lead by example.
A leader should be perseverant and should never give up.
A leader should think of growth of this team members , he will grow automatically.
A leader should be smart and good decision maker.
What is your vision and how do you share that with your shareholders, employees and others?
My vision is to grow and make the brand international with presence in various locations. Although I am far away from it due to various hindrances specially in past three years however there is still no deviation from the vision . I am aligned with my partners and stakeholders about the vision and we are working together to plan it and achieve it. We are striving towards expanding the business and enter in different sectors related .We are discussing the plan and working out the possibilities along with our team. We may be late but we are confident to reach our destination.
How do you drive active business innovations and how does that impact your subordinates?
In the present times, the businesses are very dynamic. No business can survive today if they are having following the same pattern due to the current changing markets and emerging trends . We need to be innovative and think out of the box from time to time and make new positive changes in the business that can attract your customers and give a new paradigm to your business too. We also assign the task to subordinates and take their feedback and implement it together. This also keeps the team to learn and keep driving.
How do you integrate corporate philanthropy or corporate social responsibility as a part of your business strategies?
We have established a set of values and a sense of relevancy that explains why the business is socially responsible. You need to identify how can you make an impact to your employees and to your customers , not only by providing good product and service but also by winning trust ,values and principles. You can’t survive in long run if your company lacks the corporate social responsibility .
We have defined set rules, regulations and ethical practices that everyone follows without deviation. Today , we not only have the brand presence but a great amount of trust and integrity among our customers .
What has been your driving force or philosophy in life?
In Indian sacred book Bhagwadgita, it is said that you came to the world with nothing and you will leave this world with nothing.Only karmas will prevail your identity. You only do karma without thinking of the result. This is my driving force and I have utmost conviction in this. I always feel that there is so much pain and agony in this world, if I can make anyone smile and bring different to their lives,I will feel contented. My ultimate aim is make serve the society and do social welfare.
How do you plan to drive your business at a global level?
We have been working with different strategies to drive the business and global level however as you know, due to the severity of covid pandemic, the scalability of the business has been impacted worldwide, in fact many business have suffered and got deeply impacted. We are optimistic of China government to open international borders so that we can initiate and implement the new plan. We are already working on few projects with our partners however they are on hold currently . We hope things will shape up with soon .
How do you define success and how do you measure up to your own definition?
To me success has a different meaning. I feel success is not only to earn money and fame . As I stated earlier, I find a man successful if he contributes towards building his society and nation. A person who has come up beyond his personal growth and selfishness . All entrepreneurs work towards growth and making fat profits. I am no different however I don’t believe in ultimate luxury and saving for generations. I am yet far away from being successful . Certainly growing your business to global scales and make profits is critical but corporate and social responsibility is equally important. I am deeply inspired by Indian Tata group, they are a big global conglomerate and have brands in every industry including automobile,banks, power,consumer goods,finance and technology etc however their chairman Ratan Tata donates everything to the social welfare. Tata has developed tools such as the Tata Index for Sustainable Human Development, a model for measuring the social work that the group enterprises undertake. Although I may not be able to be even close to how big they are but I whatever capacity I have, I want to be involved completely into social welfare,I will consider myself successful if I am able to achieve it one day.
In your opinion what is the most significant aspect of leadership?
As mentioned earlier, leadership qualities remain similar which includes vision, perseverance, team building, making good decisions, continuous learning and personal development. A single quality does not make a good leader but he/she must possess all the attributes and always strike a balance.
One of the most significant aspect of leadership is clear vision of a good leader. If the leader is clear about the vision and have qualities to find the way of achieving it, he/she will pave the way to success. I believe is a famous quote that says a good leader knows the way,goes the way and shows the way,
Your perception of an empowered society. How far your industry has/can contribute for the same?
An empowered society enables creative mindsets that innovates the way towards making the society a better place to live and creates new ways of finding new opportunities for themselves and for the people in the society. I am a part of hospitality and entertainment industry. My vision is to create lot of new opportunities for people across the nations and contribute towards betterment of society and make difference in people’s life. We also have opened a NGO whose aim is to provide educational opportunities for underprivileged and talented children. As we grow as an organisation and as a family, we would like to make a big impact in the society through the NGO. It is at a very elementary level currently however we have vision to make big and play significant role in years to come. As a student, I was deprived of basic amenities and faced tremendous hardships due to our financial constraint. I see lot of talented children who deserve good education but end up with something which they don’t like. Based on my capacity, I have helped various such children with their educational expense and let their financial hindrance not stop from getting educated. I will be delighted when such children are successful tomorrow and replicate the same in the society.
Esprit de corps: How do bring fairies and equality to all? How do you bring fairness and equality to all
This is a macro question and is being pondered and discussed in big international forums by big leaders, economists and thinktanks. I am a very small fish in the ocean to make such a difference. I can only express my opinion and follow it based on my capacity.
I believe, globalisation has provided various new opportunities to people across the globe however the gap between rich and poor in the world has widened. It highly ironical to see that most of the wealth in a country specially developing country is in the hands of 10% people. The biggest chunks of people struggle to survive and live a decent life. I believe government of every country has the most significant role in making strategies of bridging the gap. Every child deserves the basic education, every family deserves basic amenities, every patient needs to be treated, every person deserves to follow his passion and every person deserve to live a happy life.We as business community need to empower and educate our team to provide equal growth opportunities to everyone.This is very important to have equilibrium in the society to have a prosperous nation.