Leading with ambition

Deepak Babani, CEO, Eros Group

In an industry marked by unrealistic attrition rates, Deepak J Babani has been with Eros Group for 30 years spearheading the growth of Eros Group from a turnover of AED 6 million in 1981 to AED 2.2 Billion in 2010.

Under his leadership, the company has aligned itself to a strategy that emphasises importance on each and every one of the company’s stakeholders, customer satisfaction and most importantly elaborated the path for personal growth and learning.

“I am a very positive, straight forward person, who believes that success is possible if you take your team along with you.  I believe that knowledge is to be shared, and no idea is too small or too petty. I hate bureaucracy and believe in catching the bull by its horns,” he says.

“Early on in my early childhood, I dreamt about being a doctor, suffice to say the dream changed when I was about 10 years old when I decided I’d grow up to work in technology.  Now 37 years later, the electronics industry continues to be my bread and butter,” he adds.

Babani graduated from the Manipal Institute of Technology, Karnataka, India, with a degree in electronics and communications, following which he worked across prominent organisations such as Murphy India Limited and the Jumbo Group before joining the Eros Group as marketing manager. In 1988, he was promoted to general manager overlooking the company’s burgeoning operations across the region.

“In consumer electronics, we are used to working on small margins, coupled with eroding product prices and product obsolescence.  The challenge is to be innovative in the way you work with the channel.  In any business scenario you have to strike a balance between the company’s interest and the interest of its channel partners.  Finding this balances, dictates a company’s success in effectively marketing and selling its products and is something I enjoy the most,” he says.

With the rapid pace of change in technology and business dynamics, he feels that there are times a person finds himself short of answers and must resort to his business instinct and gut feeling to make the right call.  “Working with the channel has always kept me attentive to the needs of the the market. I keep a keen track on  the changes our competition makes to stay on top of things and devise strategies to ensure we keep going,” Babani states.

A disciplined person by nature, he is careful to switch off from professional pressures when not at work. “I think about work only when I’m on my way to the office and never when I’m home unless the matter is of urgency. Work pressures are always going to be around, especially when the organisation is still growing, but it is important to draw the line.  We all feel that the organisation runs because of us, but surprisingly a good management team, is at times more capable of taking the important decisions.  It’s all a matter of delegating and allowing room for growth,” Babani elaborates.

Babani is careful to start his day with yoga, to relieve him of professional stress and ready him for the beginning of a brand new day. With no intention of stopping, he finds that his true ambitions and goals have only just begun to see the light of day. “Money is not my only goal in life, a sense of self actualisation, accomplishment, knowledge and experience are,” he says.

Babani adds, “I believe that I have still a lot of to look forward to and I would like to continue to explore and experience the opportunities that lie ahead of me. I am an entrepreneur and venturing into an all new line of business and making it a success is perhaps my one true ambition.”

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