Grounded and firmly committedShriram Group of Companies, Dhanbad

Ganesh Prasad Singh, CMD, Shriram Group of Companies, has one primary mission in life. That of providing quality education for children at an affordable price. He also promises quality healthcare to the common man through his hospitals. For hundreds of students and patients, he is more than just a name. He is a mentor who has made a difference to the lives of many. From a small sweetmeat shop to a multimillion empire of education and hospitality, he has much to cheer about in his journey from a small-town nobody to head honcho of a revered education society. And that too in a city where the education scenario otherwise, does not exactly paint a rosy picture.

For this enterprising entrepreneur, every project runs on two or three basic things, most important of them being good foresight. "Not only does this help me forge a distant vision but also prepares me better for the contingencies." He is a firm believer that a multilayered planning always gives adequate insurance against unforeseen circumstances and keeps up the interdepartmental balance. A robust financial management imparts the strategic advantage and boosts future prospects big time, is his strong contention.

"He is a firm believer that a multilayered planning gives adequate insurance against unforeseen circumstances"

"Above all it is the honesty and propriety with which you go about your job that matters at the end of the day and this is what gives most satisfaction. There is none in this world who can digest money acquired from some wrong source. It won't let you sleep. But nowadays the whole concept of doing business has taken a different turn. Most amongst us would like to believe that it is impossible to be honest and successful simultaneously," Ganesh says with a wry smile.

As a master's degree holder in Zoology, he took up his first job at Hindustan Zinc but soon quit to join his father's business of a sweet shop. However, his ambitious soul pressed him to do something of his own. He started taking construction contracts from big companies and soon, sensing big opportunity, earned an enviable reputation amongst the clients through quality and swift work.

"We started our first project with a paltry Rs 6000, but more importantly it coincided with our conviction to learn. As we moved from one project to another, the learnings gave us insight into the business, which slowly fine-tuned into expertise. We would take far lesser time to execute assignments, than our competitors. This is what gave us the competitive edge. No wonder our business grew rapidly. My qualification and sophisticated mode of working helped to liaise with clients and maintain the distinction that was crucial to acquire business," Ganesh says with uninhibited pride.

As an obedient son, as per his father's wish to do something for his village, he constructed a cold storage in Balia. Though unfortunately his father did not live to see the day, he would have been supremely happy, as this gave employment to at least one hundred locals.

This was the time when he started exploring more meaningful engagements. It was in the year 2006 that he wrapped up his contracting business and started the Ganesh and Gita Charitable and Educational Trust Society. Through this endeavour he sought to channelize the growth of his businesses in the sphere of education and healthcare, two quintessential requirements of a modern society. To his pleasant surprise, Amrendra, the eldest of his three sons and daughter, readily joined him in this cause. A qualified software engineer, he chucked his job with Satyam, a leading IT company in Bangalore and joined his father.

"Gradually I grew in confidence and gathered courage for entering other businesses "

They ventured into this sector without prior exposure and with a lot of apprehension. But then they plunged headlong into the work area with all their heart and soul, working with unmatched determination.

The technical finesse of Amrendra and the vision of Ganesh materialized into an international school for children and a general hospital named after the latter's mother, Asarfi. Says Amrendra, who is also Director of the school, "We are a class apart because we have tried to address the basic problems of this region. Unfortunately children here go outside to study for quality education under the impression that they can only get it in big cities and by paying fat fees. We endeavour to bring superior quality education within the reach of the common man. We understand local requirements and have been continually investing in our projects for the purpose." True to the vision of his father, the young entrepreneur plans to come up with twenty new schools and an equal number of hospitals by 2018.

This is something that has the power to change the whole education and healthcare scenario of the region. Ganesh's wife Gita who dons the hats of a doting mother and a supporting wife, has extended her role beyond her family. She teaches underprivileged children from the locality in the premises of her own bungalow and not only arranges for their meals but looks after their other concerns too. "It is my husband who has done all the hard work all these years. I am happy to play second fiddle and have never interfered in his area of work. I have completely taken up the responsibilities of the family. With Amrendra married, today I am too busy with my grandchildren," she smiles indulgently. Ganesh sits in his modest office, unassuming in a white kurta

"Ganesh believes 'karma' is more important than 'fal'. He has always kept conformity with this philosophy of life."

pajama, submerged in work. With their dedication as an example, it is no cause for wonder that the Singhs have an extremely loyal staff, most of them fifteen to thirty years in their employ. The senior Singh is very fond of 'ghar ka khana',

especially chane ka saag and rice prepared by his wife.

Incidentally, all of them have a sweet tooth and having bits of sweetmeat after every meal is almost like a ritual for the family. Their country style bungalow bears an earthen, sylvan look with rabbits running about in the verdant kitchen garden. A great follower of Shri Shri Ravishankar, he believes 'karma' is more important than 'fal'. Over the years he has kept conformity with this philosophy of life. He wants his kids to retain the basic values of life and never ever disrespect their elders. 'These are the two things that impart the real meaning to life," he goes on to add, thus outlining the core belief that keeps him going. With the blessings of the beneficiaries from his ventures solidly with him, Ganesh sure is set to travel further up the success path.