Keep unlearning

FPJ BureauUpdated:Saturday, June 01, 2019, 08:05 PM IST
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Mayur Shah |

In 1969, an educationist, Ramniklal Shah, started Marathon Group, with small contracting jobs, and went on to create around 50 buildings in Mulund, a Mumbai suburb, including the first seven- storey building with an elevator.

Today, his son Mayur Shah is ably carrying on the legacy with his brother, Chetan Shah. Mayur Shah, a civil engineer from University of Bombay and MS in structural engineering from University of Oklahoma, has over 20 years experience in construction. As Vice- President of Maharashtra Chamber of Housing Industry ( MCHI) and former Chairman of MCHI Property 2000 exhibitions, he is also an industry spokesperson.

INNOVATION IS THE KEY TO SCALING NEW HEIGHTS, BELIEVES MAYUR SHAH

Shah believes that innovation is important for success; it is a core principle he learned from his father.

Day- to- day functioning revolves around ‘ dharmas’ – values which shape their reward and recognition programs, competency measurements and promotion decisions. These include integrity and transparency; customer delight; and continuously improving and scaling new heights – a task that they take quite literally, in the towers that they create.

Marathon Group has developed over 70 projects with built- up area of over 2 million sq. ft. The Group’s ongoing projects, worth over 1 billion USD, are likely to create over 8 million sq. ft. in Mumbai alone.

Education builds a world view “ My father was a B. Sc, B. Ed and M. Ed; education was very important to him and he ensured his sons had the best as well because it is important to build a world view. My brother and I went into civil engineering. I graduated in 1988, and we joined the family business. We moved out of Mulund, into areas like Nashik, Deolali, Dadar and Lower Parel.

I believe that education, particularly in your own field, is important. I learned the best technologies from the US, and we went from building a seven- storey building, to 18, then 25 and 36; we now have a blueprint for a 60- storey building.

Innovation is at the heart of the group.

What you learn must be adapted Implementation is also very important. What you learn must be adapted and implemented. For instance, the US is not labour- intensive but in India you have to be, even if you are going high- rise… We also have a Next Generation Leaders ( NGL) program where 30 people are chosen for training to take up jobs two levels higher. I believe continuous improvement is important.

The vision should penetrate to the bottom There are different styles of leadership such as leading by example, or dictating what needs to be done. A leader has to mix various styles, and the vision should penetrate to the bottom. Competent people should head the verticals.

We have core values, our Dharma Principles and reward people with awards such as Dharma Champion of the Month. If an office boy deserves to be rewarded, I would personally congratulate him. I believe in one- minute appreciation and one- minute reprimands.

As a leader I have to ensure timely follow- ups and monitor quarterly targets, check for choke points and anticipate problems. ou need to be aware of the external environment and how it will affect your business.

Sound body, sound mind I give great importance to personal fitness, play badminton four or five times a week, from 7.00 to 8.30 a. m. I was table tennis champion in school and college. Fitness and a quality diet are very important. I like to travel and adventure sports are my favourite; these short breaks can keep you going a long time.

Navigating the rough times In real estate we have passed through several depressions and stagnation. Till 2008- 09 we were growing fast and hiring constantly. Now we have a committee to scrutinize all requests for new hires. There is also a committee for compliance.

From 2008 onwards, we have also put in place new Entrepreneurial Resource Planning ( ERP) software to capture all business processes. ou need business intelligence and improvement systems, because nothing remains the same.

One of my favourite books, from which I have learned a lot, is The Toyota Way of Management . If you have to achieve perfection, you have to continuously unlearn. That is the way to succeed.

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