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  • ‘Quality is our Mantra , Dedication is Our Strength’

    Published on September 14, 2010

    Navas Meeran, the unpretentious Vice Chairman of the multi-million

    Navas Meeran; Soft and Sophisticated

    Eastern Group of companies, is a perfect performer.  With his entry Navas could take Eastern into the next energy level, thanks to his soft, but sophisticated approach.  With his refined personality Navas has won over his clients and employees alike.  This young executive believes more in production oriented actions, less in time consuming deliberations. “ For every disciplined effort there is a multiple reward,” he believes.  Talking to APN News at his newly built corporate office at Kochi, Navas recalls the track he traversed.

    How was your entry into Business? Was it predetermined?

    I should thank my father, Mr Meeran , the founder of Eastern Group, for my entry into the  business. He is my friend and philosopher.  He used to involve me in business related deliberations from my early teen.  The discussions benefited me,  to understand the niceties of business related deals.  My father, was a wholesale dealer in FMCG  from big brands like Nestle and Britannia.  In fact in my early days itself business had almost become an obsession for me and I decided my  future. By the time I completed my graduation in 1996 we had our Masala business scaling new heights  and  our brand Eastern had almost become a household name  in the state of Kerala.  As on date we own over 65 percent of the market ( masala) in the state and we are third largest in the country.

    What prompted your father to shift from FMCG to Masala

    The Group Corporate Office at Kochi

    Business?

    As I said we were into wholesale business. My father was dealing with spices. May be, at some point of time he would have, within himself,  deliberated the idea to establish a Masala production unit.  In 1983 we started commercial production (of masala) and we were well received in Kerala market.  My father had taken the right decision at the right time.

    Could you recall your earlier days in Eastern as an executive?

    Let me be frank. I was thrilled to be part of the management team, that too under my father. I had taken up the responsibility with a resolve. To begin with I took up marketing which is the most crucial segment for such an industry.  I felt proud; I could explore new territories like Wayand and expand the existing market.  I use to travel with the distribution team to far off places to personally have a feel of the locations. In fact this direct experience perfected me as professional. One has to know the ground realities, like the people and their preference, to formulate an effective business strategy.

    Have you at any point of time thought of doing something different from your core Masala business?

    Yes, I could successfully establish a company, Eastern Tread, with my earnest efforts. This was just a small company and in couple of years, when I was just 26 years the company went for IPO. This success really enthralled me. This made me more confident.

    What prompted you to take such a challenge, instead of being with the well established Masala business?

    I knew it was a real challenge. During my student days in Mumbai I have seen companies growing. A company, Masda Packaging, owned by Harshad Mehta was one among and its performance inspired me to take up this challenge.

    Once you go for public issue you are answerable to the share holders the dealings have to be perfectly transparent.  Of course this (transparency) I am maintaining in all my dealings. Any one wrong incident can topple the whole reputation and fortune of your company.

    Transparency in dealings is the most necessary ingredient for success both in business and personal life and I maintain that.

    What is the key to the success of Eastern as a brand.

    Eastern: The Taste of Millions

    My quick answer is, quality of our products. We believe in quality. Customer is always our prime concern and their satisfaction is our success. This we are maintaining in all respects. Our quality control and labs are equipped with state of the art machines to ensure the desired quality. The distribution network is another contributing factor to our success. We have about 40,000 plus outlets and we directly distribute our products to all these outlets. This has also infused confidence in our customers. Apart from all these our dedicated work force is our real strength. We have about 3000 plus employees and every single employee, irrespective of their designation, contribute their maximum.

    Who do you treat as your role model in Business?

    The successful entrepreneurs who made it on their own. For me my father tops this list. I have drawn enough inspirations from him and his success. In fact his inovative ideas have catapulted Eastern to these heights.

    In the next five years what quantum of growth you foresee

    Our efforts are not for a paltry 20 or 30 per cent growth.  We will double our growth in the next five years.  It is our challenge.  The strategy for this is simple. We have over a quarter billion households in this country, and every family uses condiment  in one form or other. We  Indians cannot think of a regular dish without spices. This industry is worth over a billion. This explains the scope of growth.

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