The flavour of Passion Amarpali Group, Patna

A heap of documents on his large table, he barely looks up as one enters. A mesmerising number of awards, trophies and citations cover every conceivable corner of the room. It is only after a while that he shares exclusive time. Let’s deconstruct the man by trying to understand ‘Anil’ the person instead of Dr. AK Sharma. Born in a small yet historical place Pandarak or Punyarak, famous for its Sun temple, he did his schooling here before moving to Science College, Patna followed by BTech and MTech. quot;A couple of jobs later, I decided to start my own business, that of building homes,quot; he says. Academic dabble in BTech, Calicut, Engineering MTech, (IIT, Kharagpur),

MBA and LLB, career progression with NTPC, NPCC, the Bihar Provincial Civil Services, an honorary doctorate in management, a business empire which touches such diverse domains as realty, education, hospitality, vocational and intellectual training and development, bio products and very recently, film production. Yes, all of this and more belongs to Dr. Anil Kumar Sharma. Today with immaculate business sense, the Amrapali group boasts of 4,000 flats, commercial malls, townships, SEZs IT hubs, hotels, resorts and hospitals.

" ‘I always give this message to my two children- not to lose sleep over the action or inaction of others.’ "

One distinct feature you notice as you are ushered in to wait in the lounge area is the absence of blue collared stuffiness usually associated with a corporate office. The atmosphere is relaxed. Each forehead dons a ‘tika’ after the regular morning ‘aarti’ in office. The lobby is partitioned to accommodate the secretariat of the CMD behind the glass panelling.

quot;In all my endeavours till date, the flavour of honesty stands out. This has helped me build credibility in the market and has provided satisfaction to the stake holders- from vendors to buyers,quot; says Anil, who had never visualized that his dream would one day bring him or lead him to where he is. quot;I always give the same message to my two children- not to lose sleep over the action or inaction of others. Instead, question yourself whether you have fulfilled your own commitment.quot;

With a strong employee base of more than 25,000, Dr. Anil feels privileged to be instrumental in their growth and success. He insists he is what he is, because of and also for them and not the other way around. He lapses into nostalgia and reminisces about a young Anil with his younger sister and cousins during his matriculation days with a reasonably strict regimen enforced by his father and grandfather who ensured he valued time and discipline.

His father forms a natural and strong influence on him while he idolises his grandfather, his memories clearly etched on his mind. With the Ganga flowing close to his ancestral home, he has learnt to be a good swimmer and the child in him always comes alive in a swimming pool. The Pandarak home with its mango and guava trees is witness to his adolescence getting a spiritual makeover with his grandfather spending most of his time in the front garden meditating, singing bhajans and tending to the plants.

His father, MM Sharma, recalls fondly the good old days and feels proud of his farmer background. ‘A very modern farmer,’ as he would call himself, he had a kind of down-to-earth influence on his son. He spends his free time creating collages out of dry leaves and barks of neem and dhatura. quot;I was strict, yes, but Baua (Anil) was a dutiful child.quot; However, he recalls his son’s fascination for drama and the trouble he would get into in order to participate in it, though told otherwise. He has sustained his interest till date, we come to know. Clothes are his weakness. A compulsive shopper, Anil’s wardrobe is one of the best kept secrets. quot;He never repeats his dress,quot; rues the father, simply clad in dhoti, kurta and bandi.

" ‘He never gave us any reason to be angry with him. He has always been a good son,’ says his mother. "

A woman of few words, his mother chips in, quot;He never gave us any reason to be angry with him. He has always been a good son.quot; Today the parents are living with their son in Delhi but have not change their lifestyle. The simplicity in the family and in their disposition despite such humongous financial success is an eye-opener.

Wife Pallavi, an ex-Professor of Physics, is a self-confessed poet and has already published two of her books in the ghazal category. Pallavi has also penned the lyrics of the first film produced by Amrapali Group, a multilingual film tracing the extremities reflected in the personalities of Gandhi and Hitler. Jagjit Singh lends his voice to one of her creations. Anil’s elder daughter Swapnilshikha is studying medicine and the younger, Deepshikha, ‘pampered princess’ that she proclaims herself to be, is a budding writer.

She is proud of her inheritance and wishes to emulate the works and achievements of her illustrious father. quot;Of course we have conflicts but his parenting is very balanced. He will be a strict father one moment and a ‘bindaas’ dance partner the very next,quot; confides the chirpy Deepshika, an honours student. Simplicity, focused approach, efficiency, commitment, punctuality, taking a task to its logical conclusion and the deep and a sincere endeavour to impact the society are the basic mantras Dr. Anil Kumar Sharma embodies. quot;You will find the stunning beauty of Amrapali, the courtesan of the historical city of Vaishali, in all our creations.

" ‘He will be a strict father one moment and a ‘bindaas’ dance partner the very next,’ says Deepshika. "

The courtesan not only stood up against the enemies of the state of Vaishali but even preferred to surrender to the Buddha Order, rather than become a queen to the usurping victor Ajatshatru,quot; shares Anil. Both national and international awards and recognitions have been conferred on Dr. AK Sharma, with the international ones coming from Nepal, Dubai, Spain, UK and Mauritius. However, his most coveted recognition has come from his own village, Pandarika, that has certified him, A Son of the Soil. quot;Every award pales in comparison,quot; he states proudly. Among his workers are Vivek Agnihotri, the personal assistant who considers AK, as he is fondly called, as more than a father to him.

" His most coveted recognition has come from his own village, Pandarika, that has certified him, ‘Son of the soil’. "

The canteen chef has chucked his job with a seven star hotel to be here, while Meghna, claims, quot;This is the safest office for a woman to work in.quot; Amit Gogia, the young and restless troubleshooter has declined his H1N1 visa to be with his boss and budding students of IIT and IIM, try drawing from his expertise. Free medical facility as well as lunch for all employees, is another unique feature of this organisation. It is not without a reason then that there is a consensus among the staffers that Dr. Anil Kumar Sharma is a messiah!