“Think Big, Think Disruptive”, Says Manasi Kirloskar

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Executive Director & CEO Kirloskar Systems Ltd, and Director on boards of Kirloskar Technologies and Toyota Tsusho Insurance Broker India Pvt Ltd, Manasi Kirloskar is a GenNext entrepreneur par excellence.

Politically correct and always with her ‘head on her shoulders’, Manasi Kirloskar is the only child, hence sole heiress of industrialist Vikram and Geetanjali Kirloskar. Her family name enjoys a rich and timeless legacy of over 130 years and is considered amongst the most respected names in the Business world. But apart from her Blue Blooded heritance – she is the great granddaughter of the legendary SL Kirloskar – Manasi has already become a Business Icon, which the youth in India identify with.

THE CORPORATE GIRL

Presently, Executive Director & CEO Kirloskar Systems Ltd, and Director on boards of Kirloskar Technologies and Toyota Tsusho Insurance Broker India Pvt Ltd, she also works with her large inherited business group. In addition, she has set up her own ventures as an entrepreneur and is even involved in community service through her registered not-for–profit Trust “Caring with Colors” where she is Managing Trustee and CEO.

Her first project is a joint development with Embassy Builders for an approximate Rs 1400 cr Residential Luxury Apartments complex spread over 2.2 million Sqft. The project involves the construction of 467 apartments and is now near completion. All apartments of this project have been already booked and occupancy is expected to start in fiscal 2017-18.

In a 50-50 joint venture, she is further building on her Real Estate business to acquire land for a large Commercial 800-1000 cr project, at Bangalore. This will be behind their Kirloskar Business Park which has a large hospital (Columbia Asia) and a Large IT Office complex.

THE MULTITALENTED PERSONA

She is a persona of many facets – Painter, Deep Sea Diver, Mountaineer, Traveller and Writer and speaks about her passion within and outside of her business realm with pride. On being asked how she has inherited the fine art of running a business and how her love for art has helped her grow as a business professional, she says, “I’ve been a painter ever since I can remember. It’s good to have something to be passionate about outside of the business realm. It makes the mind more flexible and open to new and creative ideas. It’s that flexibility and openness that helps me in the business professional world”

Many think that her degree in painting would be of no use when it came to running a business. She disagrees and explains, “My degree at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) didn’t just teach me how to paint. It taught me how to think, how to apply and how to push boundaries constantly. It taught me to be innovative and pay attention to detail. These values and acceptance of limitless possibilities have helped me immensely.”

Manasi is also a trained deep sea diver. In a recent article published in a leading daily, she mentioned that diving and corporate life find meaning in each other. “While scuba diving, I have to be aware of the fact that I have a limited supply of air. I have to ration my breathing and concentrate. If I feel concerned about something, I cannot panic, or else the people I am diving with and other life around me will begin to panic. Whilst factoring all of it, I also need to just live in the moment, explore and enjoy the ocean for all its beauty. Similarly, at work, it is very important for a leader to not panic. It is important to concentrate and ration time (the way I ration air from the tank while diving). It’s also very important to enjoy the working process,” explains the charismatic business leader.

While the international political scenario is volatile, thanks to the Brexit and the US travel ban, India is considerably growing, not only as a business hub but, as a popular travel destination. Manasi thinks PM Narendra Modi deserves an applaud and enthusiastically says, “I think we have a fantastic Prime Minister. I believe that our PM cares for the growth of our country. India is not an easy country to govern. We have diverse cultures and ideologies. It’s our job to allow our government to govern us.”

THE THOUGHTFUL CITIZEN

Manasi has actively participated in community service work since the age of 13.

She has recently founded a social impact start-up called “Caring with Colour – A Manasi Kirloskar Initiative” that has three verticals. The first two will work with government primary schools:

  1. Education through the arts (visual, dance, performance, music)
  2. Using the arts as a tool to diagnose specific types of mental illnesses and there after using the arts as therapy.
  3. Creating awareness and a campaign to promote youth to give back and engage in community service

She has been brought up in a business joint family, with strong work ethics, culture and values. This has helped her become a fine business woman. She shares her advice with young entrepreneurs in the industry, “Don’t stop believing and persevering. Think big and think disruptive. In the process, don’t forget that corporate governance will take you a long way. Taking short cuts is short lived.”

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