There’s nothing more inspiring than a true “rags to riches” story. And that’s exactly the tale of Polycab India Limited. It dates back to 1964, when Thakurdas Jaisinghani set up Sind Electric Stores, a company that would later morph into Polycab India Limited under the stewardship of his sons, Girdhari, Inder, Ajay and Ramesh Jaisinghani. Now it is one of the country’s leading cable and wire manufacturers.
“Over the last 50 years, our Chair Inder Jaisinghani and his family have given their blood and sweat to making Polycab India Limited the country’s number one cable and wire manufacturer,” Executive President and Chief Business Officer Shashi Amin tells The CEO Magazine. “Their story has been nothing less than from rags to riches, and it’s been truly inspiring for me.”
Shashi joined Polycab in 1996, becoming the company’s first sales employee. Back then, operations were humble, and Shashi worked out of Inder’s garage in Wadala. “I remember, those days I would travel with the CMD to places like Vadodara and Daman on local passenger trains in second class,” he recalls. “We have spent many sleepless nights together, seeking various approvals and fulfilling many orders.
“Polycab was very small then; just an upcoming cable company closely driven by its promoters. At that time, the major challenge at hand was to get the product and brand approved by the customers. Getting the Polycab brand accepted by multinational companies and consultants while competing against other established and reputable brands in the market was, indeed, a tough task. But it’s also been the biggest achievement of my career.”
By the year 2000, Polycab had started to expand aggressively. “I’ve found my share of success having been part of the journey that’s taken Polycab from a INR60 crores [US$8 million] company to a INR9,000 crores [US$1.2 billion] company,” Shashi states proudly.
As a leader, I believe one must have a vision for the future, and then align strategic initiatives to achieve it.
“With my focused approach, I was able to achieve major breakthroughs in terms of brand approvals with various companies.” With Polycab’s solid foundation now firmly in place as a reputable leader in providing electrical solutions for household and industrial needs, Shashi says it’s time to kick it up a notch. “We are currently focusing on getting Polycab ready for the next level of its evolving journey,” he says.
“We have set out our vision of achieving INR20,000 crores [US$2.7 billion] in revenue by the 2026 financial year and we are also evaluating new opportunities for business, whether that’s reaching out to new sectors and customers or increasing our reach in Tier-1 and Tier-2 cities.” Polycab is also working steadfastly to become its customers’ go-to when it comes to both cables and wires.
“Our strategy for the future is to become a one-stop electrical solution company for all of our customers. By adding more value, we believe this will help improve our customer stickiness,” Shashi explains. “We have implemented Salesforce CRM to better manage our customers, and now we have very good visibility of our sales pipeline as well as employee productivity. Also, our digital application ‘P-Connect’ for channel partners has now been fully accepted, realising similar benefits.”
When it comes to planning for the next 12–18 months, Shashi first looks to Polycab’s past. “Over the last decade, we have clocked market-leading growth by evolving our business model. And we intend to continue our path of exceptional growth over the coming years,” he says. “Our actions over the next year will involve aligning with Project Leap, where we aim to achieve industry-leading growth rates in line with marquee value creators and cement our market leadership in wires and cables.
“As a leader, I believe that one must have a vision for the future, and then align strategic initiatives to achieve it,” he continues.“So, right now, we are focusing heavily on automation, digitisation and optimisation while also enhancing our distribution presence by onboarding new dealers and distributors. We also have an in-depth focus on rapid product and process innovation and green, efficient products. Our goal is to grow sustainably while improving profitability and efficient working capital utilisation.”
Of course a good story wouldn’t be a good story without a proper supporting cast in place. And for Polycab, those characters are its strategic business partners. “Our wide distribution network and loyal channel partners have been the engineers of growth for the company,” Shashi says.
“During this journey, we have developed a network where some of our partners have become long-term friends rather than just business acquaintances. To nurture a relationship, it’s important to share a common vision. “We are blessed to have channel partners who can see the future that we want to create in this industry, and even more, that want to be part of it.”
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