E2: Unshattered

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Episode Transcript

Sahil Contractor  [0:05]  

Welcome to another episode of insider investing. When a crisis like COVID strikes, you begin to think about what life is really about. No wonder that ESG investing has grown over the last year. And what's really exciting is that India is at the forefront of this. Indian companies have led with zero targets. In fact, were the only g 20 country on track to meet the goals set up by the Paris Agreement.

Sandeep Jethwani  [0:27]  

I didn't know that Sahil actually, in fact, for me, what is more exciting is that now investors are taking leaps towards accelerating the ESG journey, like some of the world's largest investors have asked their portfolio companies to meet ESG targets. And in a way, therefore, capital is beginning to set up the ESG goals for their portfolio companies. So we thought why not listen from someone who's led from the front on this. And by the way, he is someone we know very well, for a very long period of time as well.

Sahil Contractor  [0:59]  

Shreevar  Kheruka is the managing director at borosil limited. As a fourth generation leader, he has transformed the culture at borosil, something we talk about further, Shreevar is under dual degree from UPenn. And Wharton School, he was chosen as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum and 40, under 40, by the economic times, welcome to the show Shreevar. Hi Shreevar. Nice to get connected. And super to have you with us today. Let's kick off the discussion a bit about, you know, our journeys and get talking as to how we built our businesses over the years as well. So you know, something very interesting. And which really changed, the way I look at things is when I finished my MBA from the UK, and I stayed around there for about two years working with the Inland Revenue tax department. When I came back to India, I found it extremely difficult to fit back in. And that's, you know, I had a family business as well in India, and coming back to that business and, you know, kind of fitting into the overall culture of an old school business per se, was challenging enough for me. But at the same time adapting what I had learned during my MBA became even more challenging, because the Ways and Means that businesses were run way back in the day were extremely different, right. And family businesses, especially were built very differently from the ground up. So want to understand from you, because you finished your education as well at Wharton, thereafter, you worked with Deloitte, I think so how was that experience? And was it always a plan to come back to the family business audit? It just happened by chance?

Shreevar Kheruka  [2:46]  

Yeah, so as far as the plan, yes, it was basically the plan always to come back to the family business. And the idea was to work to get some experience, to understand how you know, the other the rest of the world works, and apply those learnings back in India. I mean I had planned to actually work for a little bit more time. But I think my father got a bit frustrated. You know, he had lots of things on his plate, and he wanted some help. So he called me about a year and a half into my work at monitor in our Deloitte. But at that time it was and he said, I think it's time for you to come back. To be frank, I wasn't really happy to come back. So quick. I was really having enjoying my work as well as the other parts of my life in Boston. And but obviously, once you know, he called I didn't have much of an option. So I kind of came back. Having said that, yes, the first two, three years were very challenging. I mean, what was what is happening, you know, we, the company itself was undergoing lots of pain. But even like you rightly mentioned, the culture, the way of working was completely different than what we had been exposed to in Boston, as well as you know, how things worked in the US. And it was very frustrating. The thing that was positive was, it was known that it would be challenging. And in fact, one of the reasons that I had discussed with my father and my grandfather, at that time was that getting some experience from outside would help us bring new culture into the organisation. And therefore there was an openness to changing the approach. And this was, I would say, much to the credit of my family that they allowed me to have some differences. I'll give you small examples. You know, starting work at nine in the morning versus, you know, in our business, we typically end up starting at 1030. So, first thing first, you know, get to work, start your day. Simple things like having, you know, noting whatever we were talking about every meeting, making sure we start the next meeting with the you know, notes of the previous meeting. Now, this is like in the year 2021, this sounds really basic, okay. But these were not really the way of working back then it was more, you know, you, you kind of show up and you do what needs to be done for that day. But the planning of the day itself was not, you know, done in my way, in my opinion in the way that it should have been done. So having a process having a structure involving, you know, many other people and decision making in also the, you know, challenging your preconceived notions, you know, there's all those things were different back then, and to change that did take some time, and involved a lot of frustration. But I would say that the openness from the other members of his family was there. And they also knew that they could do things in a better way. So

Sandeep Jethwani  [5:53]  

this is, this is very interesting, right? There's this British series called Yes, Minister, right? You may have seen it, and where the minister has all these fantastic ideas, and you know, he wants to do really great stuff. And the bureaucrat would always say, yes, Minister, and then it's up to the bureaucracy to actually implement that. And then they would decide what they actually want to do. And when I talked to a lot of like, you know, second generation entrepreneurs, this is one thing that you hear consistently, like, how they dealt with people who were in the organisation before they got there. And some of these people were in the organisation before you were born, possibly, especially in, you know, multi generational family businesses. So how did you deal with that? Like, and, you know, this is a challenge even for, like us as leaders that how do you manage when the when the when an employee is not aligned with your vision or thought process? Because at the end of the day, that person has to commit to it and deliver along that lines? So how was that experience?

Sahil Contractor  [6:58]  

And I have a question in that as well. Sorry, that in India, typically the age old businesses feedback, that was never a process from the employee to the promoter, right? Did you see that happen? And, you know, did that change? Because we're still struggling with that even in our business today, right? where, you know, feedback is maybe 50% of what it should be, but how do you work towards that and any possible skills that you've built over the years to help with that? which can help everyone?

Shreevar Kheruka  [7:28]  

Okay, so, yeah, I think I can, you know, address what I did on both those counts, as far as why, you know, the real question to ask why would somebody not want to work with second or third or fourth? In my case, it's certainly not second is more like fourth or fifth in the glass business. Okay. Of course, the family goes back even many more generations before that. But in the glass business itself, I'm the fourth generation entrepreneur in, and I think the answer is they feel threatened, or they feel that some new kid is going to come and we have like, 40 years of experience, and this new kid is gonna start directing us, you know, and telling us what to do. So I think the it's a, it's a, it's a communication game. Leadership is all about communication. And it's an interest alignment game. Okay? How do you align the interests of the organisation to the interests of the shareholders, or the you know, the promoters, right, and if you are transparent in the communication, and you align interests and incentives in a way that which is fair to all involved, that I think people will not draw the line. In my own case, what practically happened was a bit different, though, obviously, I didn't know what I'm saying now is after many years of experience, back then I didn't understand interest alignment, I didn't understand any of this, what I just mentioned, back then it was just fortuitous is fortuitous that many of the we will have, we had lots of challenges, when we were when I joined the business, and the business was going down the rabbit hole. And many of the senior guys actually left. So. So in a sense, it was it was a natural, I would say, you know, just changing of the guard, which happened, coincidentally of the senior guys alongside when I joined, okay, so many of the new people who still continue to be in the organisation are from actually people I recruited in some way, shape or form, or who had joined just a year or two before I had joined. So So in that sense, I got a bit lucky. And we had a high degree of alignment, but I do think I do think it's possible for a fourth or a fifth or a you know, any generation entrepreneur to come in as a young person and still get the older guys or the older people let's say to work in conjunction, but the change has to be made by the person coming in not by the people who are already in the system that that will so that is my thought on this front. The to answer your other, you know, let's say question. I, I mean, it's it's a, it's it's a bit challenging, frankly. But I believe what I did well, back then was to over communicate, okay. And that has been the real, let's say go to strategy for me is to be transparent in whatever we are trying to do, seek a lot of input, okay? And own up to my own mistakes, and there are many of them, okay. And own up on open forum. So the old promoter versus employee thing ceases to exist, where everybody is open to failure, you don't screw somebody for failing or for failure, and you allow people to make mistakes, you are open with your own mistakes. And then people automatically are they feel comfortable. And therefore they also give a lot of feedback. And I never, I never, even when people give me feedback, which I think was unwarranted. I never ever kind of, you know, even communicate with them in any fashion, that they were saying something wrong, even if they were saying something wrong. So it was very, very open. And people never got negatively impacted by any feedback they gave me. And I think that's today, people tell me I'm, you know, the people or even now many of the junior guys question what we are doing, and even question their own bosses. So it's not just with me, it's with all at all levels, people should be comfortable questioning the status quo, and also questioning why we do what we do.

Sandeep Jethwani  [11:34]  

Well, this is interesting. You know, Shreevar, I'm just at this point, and I'm bugging Sahil and Vaibhav also to do that, which is to read this book by Reed Hastings, on the on no rules, rules, which is the Netflix culture. And one of the most interesting, like, he's, he's actually prescribed a three step framework, he says that, first, you have to get the highest talent density in the organisation and get the best people if required pay above, like, no top dollar for that talent. Secondly, he talks about the fact that, you know, increase candour and feedback like, and that, especially in an Indian culture is is very unusual, like an either as leaders, or we used to hearing feedback or even giving feedback, I think it's, it's like something that you will do once in a year at the end of the appraisal cycle, etc. And the third thing he says is, once you've achieved one and two, then you give them authority, then you don't, you know, interfere on day to day decisions. But I think this feedback point is very, it's like easier said than done, right? Because in the brain, there is this amygdala, which reacts to feedback almost the way you react when you're stressed out, or when you are attacked. So how was that like, experience? Like, I know, you started from the top you lead from the front and took feedback and gave feedback. But did it like percolate down the organisation too?

Shreevar Kheruka  [12:57]  

Yeah, look, I think, the I didn't know anything when I joined, okay, I had zero idea about g lass and zero idea about anything, how to run a business. So the, you know, there's one default is when you don't know anything, you pretend you know, everything, and therefore you kind of is and everybody, but the thing is, the emperor has no clothes, everybody knows that. Okay, so they don't give you the feedback. The other point is to say, Okay, I really don't know, let's, let's, let's, let's join the cocreate. You know, what, what we need to do, and given the, the stress in the organisation at that time, people were looking for answers, and they knew that they needed to find answers, right. So it wasn't it, there was no ego involved. It's like, if you don't get this, if you don't sort this out, the company will shut down, you know, that that's really the, there was a lot of stress in the system. And that allowed us to do new things, or do things in a different way than we had done. In the past. Taking feedback is something that will always come naturally to me, I grew up in a family with three older sisters. So whether I liked it or not, all the damn time. So anything I did wrong, even stepped out of line for one second, I was, you know, kind of slapped in place. So that taking feedback has been a part of my life since I was probably, you know, one day old. So it comes naturally to me, and maybe even looking back. That was a blessing in disguise. I think I had this is again, more psychology than single children find harder to take feedback then because they never got so much feedback, right? So I'm one of four, you know, as the youngest, and therefore, the the feedback was just basically from day one. And I think that that that loss of ego and that ability to accept that you are not always right, that you are wrong many times and also the ability to give other people the leeway that they also may not be right and they may be wrong, is something that I think has percolated down in the organisation and people watch you Know the culture? And I, of course, there are times when you get irritated they have to and I'm not saying we do it all the time every time we do it well, but I would say we get it right more often than not.

Sahil Contractor  [15:10]  

Yeah, absolutely. So just to put some context when you join the family business, what size was the entire business in terms of Borosil and what is it today so just to you know, give some context to that,

Shreevar Kheruka  [15:24]  

I think in terms of revenue, we were about 100 crores 110 crores or Today we are 1100 crores last year in revenues. In terms of profitability, I think last year, we did an EBITDA of 300 plus crores. And when I joined, I can't remember exactly, but it was very, it was marginal the profitability was very low. But frankly, that's all to me. I mean, that there were also other situations at that time, which were hurting the company. But yeah, we've had about a 10x growth in 15 years, which is not, which is not unbelievable, it's good. But it's not like, it's, I think the the real growth will come down like in the next three years, I think we will triple from here from where we

Sahil Contractor  [16:08]  

are. So no, that's great. And, you know, Borosil has always been a household name for a lot of families, right, especially in India. And I think so you guys have scaled multiple lines as well. Right? So besides just glass and stuff, what else have you're done over the last couple of years?

Shreevar Kheruka  [16:25]  

Yeah, so we have Borosil has two separate businesses Borosil limited, which has the consumer and the scientific business, and Borosil renewables, which has a solar solar glass business. As far as the consumer business under portion Limited is concerned, we had only glass in the past. And we now have home appliances, we have a table where which includes plates and cups and sources, that's another brand called Lara. And we have a steel ware, which is steel bottles, as well as Steel Cookware, which are completely new rages which were not there in the in the past, on the scientific product side, in addition to our consumer as our scientific glassware, now we have pharmaceutical packaging, including packaging for COVID, you know, vaccine, so the class used for filling the vaccinations, as well as lab instruments. So instrumentation for automation in labs. So, so these are all on both consumer and scientific. There are many new product categories, which have come up. And, you know, those have mostly been success stories, they have been a couple of failures, which we left, for example, we got into plastic storage, of course of a period of time, and we got out because we didn't want to be in plastics, it didn't it didn't suit our brand. We call them to melamine silverware which also didn't suit the brands we exited to. We've had a couple of you know,

Sahil Contractor  [17:48]  

failed about auto, auto sorry, on auto glass. So no,

Shreevar Kheruka  [17:53]  

no, we are automotive glass. We are. We've never been there.

Sandeep Jethwani  [17:58]  

Sahil is referring to his own passion about cars is wondering why.

Sahil Contractor  [18:02]  

In our office, we have a lot of Borosil stuff. So thank you for that, and enjoying that.

Sandeep Jethwani  [18:09]  

So you know, you, you came up with these COVID glass bottles for the vaccine, etc. But I think, you know, during the entire COVID time, there was one story that came out of Borosil, which sort of stayed with me, and I think a lot of organisations were doing phenomenal work for their employees in dealing with COVID. What you folks did in terms of for somebody who's passed away because of COVID was actually very interesting. And I, I remember discussing this with vaibhav at that point of time, and how we could structure this in a way that's efficient for the person who's getting that capital, etc. So how did the idea come up? And like, how was the implementation done? Shreevar, because in India, with the multiple levels of tax structures, it's very hard to execute that at the end of the day.

Shreevar Kheruka  [18:59]  

Okay, so idea came, because there's a lot of stress in the system. You know, I mean, when we were talking, I think this was April, mid April, when the second wave hit us hard. Whenever I was talking, I speak to my guys very often, and you could see the underlying stress in the, in the the voices of the people. And, you know, there was a there was a real feeling of negativity, which was around us, as well as the whole country at that time. And I started asking people, where is the stress coming from? Is it the fear of death? What What's going on? So most people said to me, that it's not the fear of dying, which was all fear of getting COVID, let's say fear of getting COVID number one, or the fear of dying, because by then we already knew that the mortality rates of COVID were not that high. Okay. Yeah, it was really the fear of what will happen after in terms of the family, which was really concerning them. So that was a problem statement, which I understood and multiple people. In my own organisation said the same thing. The second thing which was clear to me was that as an organisation, when the chips are down as we, we should step in and really change the narrative, the narrative is all negative, we need to change the narrative, and we need to have something positive that, you know, people can hold on to, a to get out of this. And then I spoke to a couple of people, you know, amongst friends that What are you guys doing about COVID? And you mentioned, like, you mentioned that everybody was doing great work, but more for hospitalisation, and getting people access to medication and oxygen and whatnot. Nobody was thinking key, okay, after all of that, also, if something goes wrong, what what do we do? So then I just amongst my, you know, steering committee, I opened this topic, then, you know, what, what should we do? So, people started opening up here that, you know, there's a fear people, you know, what happens to the kids education? What happens to the spouse? Because many, in many cases, the spouses are not in the workforce, they are homemakers, how, you know, how do they manage their home for for a period of time, so then it was thought that, okay, we should, you know, pay a couple of years of salary. And we should, you know, pay for education, through through through the lifetime all through the education requirements of the kids. In terms of structuring, frankly, I didn't think it through when we announced a policy, because it was we needed to we couldn't get into the second and third degree, you know, bureaucracy of this, we said we happen to have income tax, may jo hoga vo dekha jaayega we'll figure it out. But let us at least reassure our guys. Frankly, we didn't think of structuring at that particular point of time. I mean, we knew that there will be a challenge, but we said we will solve for it, you know, you know, if and when the challenge arose. And we went ahead and announced it, and frankly, we never expected it to be such a big deal. But we did a town hall meeting, and we announced this. And like within seconds of announcing it, I started getting, you know, messages on WhatsApp from my own employees. That was amazing. We didn't expect this and there was multiple and then somebody, one of our employees, put it up on LinkedIn. And there was also like, it wasn't planted, we just put it to sitting happy because he had COVID. At that time he was he was undergoing treatment for COVID. And that post went viral, which was again unanticipated, frankly,

Sandeep Jethwani  [22:23]  

no, absolutely. I think, you know, in India, I think one of the things and when we talk to our users, our users are essentially working professionals, right, and they're very successful, have saved up some amount of money. But the one consistent theme that they that we hear them saving for is their family, like an India is a very like family oriented culture, right, as opposed to an individualistic culture. So even even, like when we do a quiz and ask people like, what are you saving for? So most of the time is about parents, health or kids, kids education, etc. Like the typical holidays, all of that, like your own life comes much lower down the totem pole, than some of these other things.

Shreevar Kheruka  [23:08]  

Education is a big deal in India, so that kids education, how to make sure that we protect it. It's a very, very big deal.

Sandeep Jethwani  [23:15]  

Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. And the other thing is that this overall culture that you know, this, the impact that this has on the culture of the organisation is also very interesting. Like even it gives a lot of reassurance to everyone in the system that look, there is somebody standing behind us, not only for COVID, but the broader message that you know, that people are there, they care for us, and probably that's helped retention and you know, retaining high quality talent. So how was that journey when Shreevar in terms of like, talent management, because yesterday, or this very interesting quote from somebody who said that there's a talent war in India, and talent as one. So, so that was like, really amazing for me. So how are you dealing with that?

Shreevar Kheruka  [24:01]  

Yeah, look, that's a that's I think the most important part of any business is how do you you know, get the right people? How do you train them? How do you retain them? Right? For us, we, like I said before, the culture is very open. And we we obviously have make sure we have to pay our key positions or the positions that may make a difference. I'm not just saying the senior positions, I'm taking any position that makes a big difference to the organisation, we must be them market or higher than market rate salaries. Okay. So we benchmark the salaries for, for for those positions in the market. And we make sure that the fixed compensation is, you know, maybe slightly higher than the market compensation, or over and above that, the two other things we do, we have a incentivization plan, which is clear and, you know, aligned with the interests of the company, which is quite easy to understand, frankly. It's at all 100% of achievement of the business plan you they get a certain incentive. And then over and above that there's a profit share for the form for most of the employees, which is again, it can easily to be easy to be calculated. And by the way, all of this data is shared with our employees. Every month, we have a p&l review, and the key people are involved with that. They can ask any questions, it's fully transparent, and nothing to hide. So people get a about the annual business plan, there's a profit share, which the company shares with all the employees, not just the senior guys, but all like all employees. Beyond that, for the really, let's say important positions in the organisation, they are stock options, we have a soft plan, which giving we are giving you a listed company, it has value, clear value. And people have a you know, maybe three or four year kind of esop window where they get allocated esop's. And there has been, you know, fortunate, we were fortunate that our share prices have, you know, been rising over the past three, four years. So and that's not just as I say, all the companies in the country have been rising. But the people have other people who have the esop's have also got, you know, fairly significant wealth creation, which they have already happened. And we've recently expanded, that is our plan. So compensation, I'm just giving you some examples of overall comp. So compensation is one aspect of talent retention. The other thing is, I would say, which is, is is, you know, empowerment and ability, decision making ability. And decisions are generally made bottom up in the organisation. And there's a lot of empowerment to run with new ideas. And there is very little in way of any, let's say negative feedback on failures, okay, unless you know, that something stupid, which is, or unethical, which, of course, is not acceptable. But as long as you've been an honest effort, and you didn't succeed, it's fine. Okay. So the empowerment and the ability to court to to drive the future of the organisation is something that many companies may not be able to offer, which we offer. Okay. And so that's the second point. And third is basically dealing with respect, right? I mean, you don't, everybody's voice is heard. And if something is going wrong, we fix it, you know, we don't just sit. Right, these are basic points, you know, compensation, empowerment, and, you know, culture of respect, and, you know, appreciation.

Sahil Contractor  [27:37]  

You know, our third co founder, who you know, very Vaibhav, he's been helping you with your finances and investing over a long period of time. You know, as Indians, like rightly mentioned, we all tend to save a lot of money could be for child's education, or it could be for anything else. Right? How has been your overall investment journey so far? When did you start? Did you start really early reached out a little late as per you? How's that been for you? And, you know, any possible, you know, handy hints you could leave us with, which help people think through their finances much, much better?

Shreevar Kheruka  [28:12]  

Yeah, I started too late. I started in 2010. With Vaibhav, in fact, and that was when I was 28. Already, and I think that's too late. I think you should start really speaking, the moment you have a bank account, or maybe your parents should start for you. And at least when you at 18 is really the last time where you should you should start investing whether it's 10 rupees, 100 rupees, 1000 rupees, a lakh rupees doesn't matter, but you need to start investing, okay. And I believe that very strongly, and it's what all people, men, women, you know, at every level need to be I think people need to take control of their own finances. I think. We know we started working with him in his earlier organisation, and I think he's the only guy I think we've stuck with for the last 10-11 odd years. And I think there are multiple learnings that I've had from him, which have helped like, for example, keep things simple, you know, don't obligate, you don't need to complicate your investing investment journey. I think it's clear that the maximum wealth creation can come from your job, or from your company, and investments are supposed to, you know, grow at a reasonable pace. But end of the the real wealth, which may or may not come up rather, may not come from investments, the real wealth will come from what you're doing on a day job. Don't look at your portfolio every day, you know, and our longer term view don't get carried away by euphoria. These are things which I think, I think I've learned from Vaibhav and I think that's the reason why, you know, we taught talking today, but the I think the whole thing was to keep it simple. Start early and keep things simple and be Long term.

Sandeep Jethwani  [30:01]  

But was there like always a family thought process around investing? Or was it new to the family overall,

Shreevar Kheruka  [30:09]  

it was new to the family, frankly, there was not much thought process. And that that was something that probably we changed in 2010. And that's helped us a lot. Right, because having a structured approach, even if you keep things simple, but have a structured approach to keeping it simple, then you know, also, that it was kind of all random all over the place in the past. And since since that period, I think we've done very well in you know, making it easy to understand

Sandeep Jethwani  [30:36]  

youknow sahil, I think one of the things which, you know, Borosil still stands out for initially as an industrial family, but, or industrial business, and now is a very different thing around this whole sustainability. ESG. And I think they were in the, in the thick of ESG, even before it became a very exciting hot buzzword. So what got

Sahil Contractor  [30:58]  

you started on that Shreevar? So, you know, was it a push, or does it just happen as a natural transition,

Shreevar Kheruka  [31:05]  

I think the credit goes to my grandfather, and my father on this subject, because they, you know, we, as a family, we're always conscious work environment. And my grandfather is a botanist, okay. He, that's his passion, he loves plants. And you, you, you can show him any flower or any plant, and he knows the Latin name for that plant, the tree or the flower, and he is very passionate about botany. And therefore, that culture of investment or investment in the environment came right from that period of time, the many, many decades ago, my grandmother herself grew up in, in Rajasthan, with very little access to water. And, you know, everything was a struggle, life was a struggle back then. So the appreciation of having to just open a tap and get water out of the tap is something that even after all these years, not lost on how at that they were able to pass it on to my father and mother. So the whole approach towards a, you know, what they call a circular economy of trying to make sure that we give back or we don't pollute, you know, these were things which were present for decades now. So when we started up plants, rainwater harvesting, which is now become the norm, we were doing rainwater harvesting, decades ago, you know, we were trying to recycle as much of our waste. So, you know, decades ago, we are, you know, obviously making glass, you know, you you, you need to use some fossil fuels, so we have natural gas, we move to natural gas decades ago, you know, maybe 30 years ago, which was not an on people used to use coal, so many things we did decades ago, which were not the norm back then to do, but it was more from a family culture and approach point of view. So it came very naturally to us the respect for the environment. And like I said, that that was coming mostly from my grandparents for writing magnetic, but sometimes

Sandeep Jethwani  [33:01]  

it's anti profitability, also, right? Shreevar, I mean, the most efficient module or the most efficient production line may not be the most, the cleanest, and as a listed company responsible to shareholders, you're dealing with that also. So, how do you like, reconcile these two very opposing things,

Shreevar Kheruka  [33:22]  

you know, that, in fact, we found quite the opposite, we found Sandeep that while there may be higher capex, for the, you know, for, for setting up the infrastructure, the return on the capex was also very high. For example, natural gas has been, you know, not only great for combustion and for environment, you know, the reducing the Sox and NOx that's a sulphur dioxide in the atmosphere. But it's also required now to sell to France, for example, okay, so if you want to sell to larger European conglomerates, they have a very stringent policy on what on how you're polluting the environment. So, and when you sell there, you get a high price point for it. So yes, initially, the capex may be higher, but the return on that capex will also be much higher, your brand value does go up, people appreciate that. And it's a longer term play. Yes, you're right in the if if you want return within 12 months is not gonna happen. But if you take as a lot like investing what we spoke earlier, if you are in it for the long term, then that upfront capex makes sense. And it gives you higher return on capital than if you had saved that capex. Okay. So it's a question of your horizon. Are you a fly by night kind of player? Are you someone who, who is in it for decades, and generations? So that's,

Sahil Contractor  [34:47]  

in fact, this has become a prerequisite if you're doing a lot of exports, right today, globally, it's become a prerequisite that you have to have these bare minimum criteria in order to qualify for those orders. Yeah. And like Shreevar rightly mentioned, your price point automatically changes if you have pre qualified for that. And then you get very sticky business over a long period of time. So yeah, I mean, I think I fell early over there. And if you can start building on that, it will help expand businesses in a big, big way. After applying to the MNCs, yeah,

Sandeep Jethwani  [35:19]  

yeah. Yeah. Very interesting. In fact, you know, I feel like, there is a the purpose around ESG. And for the first time, now, there is capital backing it because with the next generation of millennials, they're talking about investing in ESG, oriented businesses. And I think when capital meets purpose, something magical can really happen. And maybe the takeaway for us is we should think I dezerv have something around this where we facilitate this investing. Yeah, and allow users to target their portfolio specifically to this kind of an asset class.

Sahil Contractor  [35:57]  

No, we should do that. In fact, globally, now, you have users who are only going to ESG investment platforms. Yeah. And they have curated opportunities for people to invest. So I think, I mean, it's a way at least the younger population is looking at it. And we need to kind of build more options for the moment.

Sandeep Jethwani  [36:14]  

But she will do you see that across industry? I mean, you're active in various industry forums and so on, do you see Indian industry also taking this up?

Shreevar Kheruka  [36:21]  

Absolutely. I mean, as explained, the last 12 months has exploded, okay? It is become a buzzword, which is not a bad thing. I mean, because it actually will help the environment. And you do see corporates now, this year's annual reports I've seen many corporates have a entire ESG theme on them and what they are doing, and once you know, corporates get behind it, and they have a theme that they want to deliver maybe take one year more or two years more, but they will deliver on this and I do see in the long term, this will have a higher return on capital. So it's not either environment or profit. It's both environment and profit. Okay. And that's what's really going to happen with the use of recyclable materials with better combustion technologies, you know, for, for, for natural gas, or for fuels, better packaging materials, you know, that there are many ways to really reduce our impact on on what's on the environment. And by the way, we have no choice. If the planet dies, it's as simple as

Sandeep Jethwani  [37:22]  

it's at home. And on that positive note, Shreevar. Thank you so much for doing this for us. We've had a brilliant, fantastic conversation. I think a lot of learnings for us start are leaving one, of course, but your whole messaging around culture around sustainability is something that you know, lots for us to think over. So thank you so much for doing this. Thanks.

Sahil Contractor  [37:45]  

It's been great interacting with you.

Shreevar Kheruka  [37:47]  

Thank you guys really appreciate it.

We hope you enjoyed tuning in today and got some great takeaways.

New episodes of this podcast are out every alternate Thursday.

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