When you are an entrepreneur like me, you get to see the reality of doing business, as you're actually in it.
In conversation with Rahul S. Dogar - Co-founder and Director of Holisol Logistics India
Q. Rahul, how do you perceive change?
A. It is a living reality. It is not an event, it's a constant. You cannot afford to be complacent about it so we have discussions about change. We as management, ask our people 'what are you doing today, that is 'new'? We teach our people to anticipate change and to be proactive. We take their opinions on Holisol very seriously. We ask them 'what does the future of Holisol look like?, how can you work on it?' Holisol doesn't like people to 'settle down'. We make sure our second line of leadership is in place and they hold the same values, and mindset so they can take the company forward.
Q. What is Holisol's approach towards it's people?
A. We prefer to work with young people. You can mould them and they are willing to acquire new skills. Ours is a knowledge-based innovation company. At times, I believe 'experience' can be a dis-advantage. Of course experience is great as it matures people. However, 'in-experienced' young professionals don't have preconceived notions and can think out-of-the-box. In the many jobs I previously held, I observed that the 'experienced' guy gets used to working for the same thing, in the same way for too long. They tend to 'debate' over the necessity for change more than simply live with it. Holisol does not micro-manage its people. You come and go as you please. No office timings. We give all the flexibility that youngsters want but have clear and measurable performance indicators. We have a performance management system that measures their performance and tracks client feedback received. Any co-worker works on a particular project for no more than four months, and they need to work across functions as well. This keeps them alive, they are constantly challenged, learning, growing and never settle into secluded comfort zones. It keeps them sharp, and on their toes which benefits them as well as Holisol.
Q. What are the core values that Holisol lives by?
A. Holisol believes in simplicity and trust. We convey this in the very way we interact. We discuss our values openly and regularly, we walk-the-talk. So it is kind of injected into our very beings. Naveen and me hail from Shimla, in Himachal Pradesh, and the value system that we grew-up with extends into what Holisol holds precious. Manish, though from Delhi, is just like us and that's why we came together and we work beautifully together. Our culture is such that it naturally attracts people. Maybe a meagre 2% feel that it's a different culture. 'Simplicity and trust' and 'Respect for Individuals' are the two key elements that are of utmost importance to Holisol.
Q. In a nutshell what does your experience in logistics tell you about the future?
A.In the 90's there was no such thing as a real Indian 'logistics' company. There were only foreign companies with Indian fronts. I worked for various foreign logistic companies at a time when the definition of 'supply chain management' was not quite understood. Many of my colleagues and I have had to educate our customers often. Those were times when 'logistics management' actually became a function which never really existed before. And the 'logistics managers' of that generation are now boardrooms members of many Indian logistics companies. India is leapfrogging and as a result it is far more advanced today, compared to the West, from an E-commerce perspective. When you are an entrepreneur like me, you get to see the reality of doing businesss, as you're actually in it.