Pralhad P. Chhabria began his career at age 12, as a cleaning boy in a small cloth shop in Karachi for a monthly wage of Rs. 10.

Working his way through stints as a domestic servant, a collection agent, a trader in electrical accessories, and a supplier of defence contracts, he flourished with the unrelenting instinct of the entrepreneur. Finolex, established in Pune in 1958 by P.P. Chhabria and his younger brother Kishan or K.P. Chhabria, is today the number one manufacturer of cables in India, and second only to Reliance in the manufacture of PVC resin.

Witness to the misfortune and disruption of Partition, P.P. Chhabria himself suffered a series of tragedies. It was only his single-minded persistence and commitment to work and growth that gave him the strength to forge ahead.

P.P. Chhabria’s formal education ended when he was only in class 2. In this book, this reserved and even rather reclusive gentleman describes how he learned all that he needed to know to be the leader of a large corporation. He shares his experience and subsequent learning in the areas of Sales, Finance, Quality, and people management, and tells what he did to build an enviable, almost formidable, reputation for both Finolex and himself.

With no management mantras to follow, he applied a hands-on approach to his powerful vision, absorbing the various lessons of each step. His unassuming style attracted a devoted team to whom, as Finolex turns fifty, the company now belongs. He attributes his every success to this team, and to the forces of nature that guided him through difficult circumstances and helped him take decisions.

Perhaps it is this modesty and humility that inspires him with the energy to continue planning and envisioning so that even today, at age 78, he embarks on new large-scale projects with the same passion and determination as ever.. 

This fascinating story depicts a unique Indian businessman with an international business outlook and a very traditional personal life, and is a must-read for every student of management in this country, every young aspirant setting out on the rocky road of entrepreneurship, and for every forward-thinking human being struggling with various facets of existence. 

 

Book and website text by Saaz Aggarwal
Copyright© 2008 International Institute of Information Technology, Pune.