Roben Dass, Koochie Global – India’s Transformational Leader 2019
Roben Dass is the driving force behind Koochie Global, India’s fastest growing playground equipment manufacturer and India’s own multinational brand, now spanning 5 continents and 13 countries, with owned-infrastructure in France, Australia, Hong Kong, India, Lebanon, U.A.E, Thailand, Canada, Italy, Philippines, Morocco, Vietnam & South Africa.
Years of working in the industry, your contribution reflects versatility and volubility. What has influenced your decision making process at various stages?
With humble beginnings 15 years ago, Koochie Global has consistently evolved from a provider of outdoor equipments to become a unified organisation that provides a complete solution for outdoor play and a holistic fitness experience. Innovation and creativity form the underlying basis of our objectives, decisions and consequently our actions i.e. to make that special difference and change the way the world plays. With safety at its core, our philosophy remains stable alongside the genuine adaptability to meet current needs and demands of the 21st century. We strongly believe that decisions must always be taken keeping the brand’s image in the forefront. The implication of each decision has ramifications that strengthen our principles and further our growth at every level.
A project or an accomplishment that you consider to be the most significant in your career?
GetFIT India is KOOCHIE’s project that targets India’s serious health problem of obesity and non communicable diseases due to lack of physical exercise. Through our GetFit India program we have installed our world class outdoor fitness gyms in hundreds of parks across India that are freely accessible to the public at zero cost to them and are even conducting training classes’ complimentary learning service to the public. The equipment is specifically designed to promote cardio-vascular movement along with muscle building endurance and strength training and flexibility exercise regimes. Providing free access to all, to use anytime at convenience, is a sincere endeavour towards a fitter, healthier individual and community at large.
How do you integrate corporate philanthropy or corporate social responsibility as a part of your business strategies?
The get fit India program is one example, In addition to this we launched the NLAS (National landscape architecture scholarship) program under which we sponsor young deserving students of architecture. We believe in the importance of connecting architecture, design, technology and the arts to better serve society, and propagate the value of education. Again, it is this holistic approach towards research production, design, installation and all facets at Koochie Global that pervades our brand values and inspires all our efforts.
What has been your driving force or philosophy in life?
Always address a cause and let that be the driving force. The crucial concern is brand safeguards against a child safety (with our playground division) and addresses the challenge of non communicable diseases (with our outdoor fitness gym division). An empathic approach towards humanity, a cause that unites will always perpetuate strong bonds and foster long-lasting healthy relationships.
What are the other philanthropic works you are involved in?
We support a few NGO’s where we send a portion of our profits every month. One such NGO SOCARE INDIA. A Proceed from the profits of every sale that KOOCHIE PLAY SYSTEMS makes is given to www.worldvision.in wherein we sponsor Poor, Underprivileged Children to educate, feed and Clothe them. To know more about our Social Responsibility Programme please visit www.socare.ngo
How do you define success and how do you measure up to your own definition?
Success is a relative concept. There is no universal definition of success, We identify ourselves with our very own yardsticks of ‘success’ and attempt to get better and better at ‘what’ we do and ‘how’ we do – this comes from a clear perspective and clarity of ‘why’ we do the things we do . This is embodied in our vision, our words and actions as well. Koochie today is the most specified brand in the industry purely because of its consistent deliverance of great design quality and after sales service. Globally, we are the fastest growing brand in its space, our product and brand verticals are exhaustive and cover all segments of the markets besides also offering many solutions under one roof. We are our very own critics, the toughest ones at that and we lay the benchmarks for success!
We are constantly making things better, faster, smarter or less expensive. In other words, we strive to do more with less. Talk about a recent project or solution to a problem that you have made better, faster, smarter or less expensive?
Smart Cities need Smart playgrounds! Our all-new digital playground concepts that create a brilliant combination of outdoor play and electronic entertainment are indeed what today’s generation needs. Adaptability, innovation and development are synonymous forces at Koochie Global.
In your opinion what is the most significant aspect of leadership?
Always take an action today based upon what you expect as its reaction in the next five years. What may look rosy today, might come back and bite you hard in a few years, so look ahead, well ahead and then keen plan. In effect, planning with a sense of foresight is as important as detailed organisation, followed by accurate evaluation, timely execution that is further reinforced by obtaining continuous feedback. Such is a motivational cycle of learning at Koochie that defines leadership- truly by example!
Your perception of an empowered society. How far your industry has/can contribute for the same?
Our brand is recognised as being the one to have transformed the industry in India. We brought the concept of using tested and certified equipment to this country. Prior to our entering the market, unsafe products rampantly existed and anyone made and installed any kind of product without adhering to the required international safety standards. Today, thanks to our brands tireless efforts in educating the key stake holders of these industry most reputable builders, schools, resorts insist on products to be safe and of good quality especially as little children use these. We are a brand with a cause. Each of our product lines serves a greater cause, our playground equipment highlights the importance of child safety which our outdoor fitness gyms addresses the issues of one of society’s biggest concerns which is obesity and other such non communicable diseases.
One thing you wish to change and one thing you wish to retain about your industry?
For the past decade, we have single handedly been championing the cause to introduce regulations and standards in India to ensure that child safety playground equipment used by little children have to be tested and certified. The one thing I would like to change is to be able to get the government to introduce stringent standards and regulation governing the same in this industry. I would like to retain and further encourage the current demand for outdoor fitness gyms that governments are presently pursuing with interest.
One thing you have to let go off as an entrepreneur/leader?
The need for everything to be absolutely perfect and precise.
Whom do you owe your success to?
To sum it up in three words-Focus, Consistency & Determination.
Best thing about your job?
I enjoy what I do thoroughly.
A message from you to all the future entrepreneurs/leaders?
“Think Big, take risks, take action. Most importantly believe in yourself, challenge yourself and never lose faith.