Claro Energy’s growth has been aided by the wonderful work our partners have done. Pramod Kumar is one such partner.
In our seventh year of business, we have reached a point where we can afford to look back and draw from specific experiences, rather than just go full steam ahead, as most early-stage start-ups do. During one such retrospection, we realized that the growth of Claro has been instrumental in the consequent growth of some its partners. These are the partners who make it possible for us to conduct our business efficiently and deliver the quality that we have come to be known for. Be it the IT services company which solve tech issues in our offices, the transport partner who ensures that material reaches its location on time, the training services provider, or the vendors who provide us with the parts and materials required to construct our installations. These partners are imperative to our business, as our business is imperative to theirs.
Pramod Kumar, Director of P.K. Enterprises in Patna, has been supplying supporting structures for solar panels, ever since our inception. The following conversation is between him and me, Anirban Banerjee, the Brand Marketing Manager of Claro Energy (henceforth to be represented as P and A, respectively).
P: Only an outside person can evaluate the overall growth of a company. He actually knows about the good or bad in terms of the company’s work.
A: Your story is quite interesting in terms of your growth in parallel to our company’s growth. But I’d like to know more.
P: We extensively focused on the energy sector, since our initial days. Back in the time when the company was started, the team at Claro was so small that we just needed a single car to transport the requirements. Although I was never an employee at Claro, I was always treated as part of the team. We were focused on the growth of our business, and the co-founders of Claro were very supportive of our venture since the beginning. All three of them had a fair exposure to foreign society and contrary to the Indian scenario, people in foreign countries are more proactive in helping others and their businesses. There, people tend to focus more on their work and how to prosper. When Claro was started, all of us were focused on a structured growth, all of us worked together without any personal ambition or abuse of power. The team is always concerned about continuous growth; we question ourselves regarding growth. In a startup, it is a mandatory criterion to take care of your team and it is very necessary that everyone is satisfied else he may hamper the growth of the company. Over these years, I gained a lot of exposure in terms of organizational workflow e.g. how to schedule meetings efficiently, work on outputs. In my lifetime, I have worked with many companies not just as a supplier, but with Claro, I consider myself a part of the family. I was working as a supplier in the middle east, with a reputed Oil and Gas company. My lifestyle was lavish and luxurious and at a later stage, I was on the verge of bankruptcy. Claro was a new beginning for me and the team here was very supportive and never let me relive the negative feelings of my past. I then started supplying structures for Claro’s systems. Back then, Auto-Cad was not known to many in this line, and I was aware of these technicalities as after surveying I used to extensively work on designs on Auto-CAD and other automation tools.
A: So, you are an engineer?
P: No, I don’t have any engineering background. My company in Dubai helped me get an AWS training. Till date, all my knowledge is based on the practical experience so far. I was always dedicated towards my personal growth and whenever my company assigned me a project, I would diligently follow that up with its completion.
A: How has your company’s journey been so far?
P: We started with Claro and provide them with structures, poles, and other structural requirements. We manufacture our products and have a galvanizing plant as well. We are constantly expanding and are looking for expansion in terms of manufacturing of other equipment as well.
A: What about your growth.?
P: Claro was our first partner and today we are working with 20 Companies.
A: How did this journey, from a single company to 20 companies, come about?
P: I was always focused on two aspects related to business. Firstly, the most important element is trust. Secondly, a friendly relation is equally important. These two are mutual requirements, and that’s the primary reason for my success. Claro was very cooperative with me since the beginning of this journey. I have my full faith in Claro and I believe that even if I don’t show any productive output, the company will forever support me.
A: So, your main vision behind the business is not only about the money?
P: No, the main motive is not about money. I develop a lifelong relationship with our partners so that we are mutually reliable under any circumstances.
A: The main motive behind your business is about maintaining the relationship?
P: Exactly. We don’t want our partners to leave us and we never give them a chance to leave us. We manufacture systems that are cost effective, reliable, and provide maintenance and after services. So, there is no need for our partners to switch and we work according to their requirements. Say, for example, Crocin and Calpol are both made up of paracetamol, but their effect may vary from person to person. In the same way, we sit with our partners and try to find out what suits them and what is best for them. Our approach towards customers is to provide them with such a high-quality service proposition that they will never want to leave us. They know that the benefits we provide are long term.
Pramod Kumar, Director of P.K. Enterprises
(This conversation was originally in Hindi, but has been translated to English for a wider reach.)