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COVID-19 impact | Only companies with innovative ideas will survive: KP Singh

"The economic upheavals which are bound to unfold after the recovery from the COVID-19 episode are unimaginable at this stage. However, one thing is certain that eventually recovery will happen. When? God only knows," he said.

KP Singh, who called it a day at realty major DLF on June 4, has said that post-COVID-19, only companies with youthful energy, innovative ideas and a striving passion for quality and excellence will be able to survive.

He also expressed hope that eventually recovery will happen.

"Constant change will be the name of the game," he said.

Singh, 90, joined DLF in 1961 -- a company started by his father-in-law in 1946.

At the company's board meeting on June 4, his son Rajiv was appointed as Chairman and Singh was made Chairman Emeritus.

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"The economic upheavals which are bound to unfold after the recovery from the COVID-19 episode are unimaginable at this stage. However, one thing is certain that eventually recovery will happen. When? God only knows. COVID-19 may not disappear in one go but may follow the pattern of somewhat like Spanish Flu where "it will come, go and, recur again and eventually settle down when a vaccine is successfully developed. In view of this, we have to learn to live with it which will require major changes in our mindsets in the way we live and the way we do our business now. A new normal would be altogether different from what we have been practicing so far," he said in his address to DLF employees.

Due to this unpredictable situation, in future only those companies will survive and thrive which have abundance of youthful energy, innovative ideas and a striving passion for quality and excellence, he said.

Also Read | DLF posts Rs 1,857 crore loss in March quarter, expects normalcy by Q3 FY21

He said that a  new normal would be altogether different from what has been practiced so far.

On his son taking charge, he said: "Rajiv is destined to become one of India's most successful business leaders in the coming years. I know for sure, Rajiv will lead the company to even greater heights in the new India of tomorrow."

Asked why he is passing on the baton at this critical juncture, he explained it was due to the "march of time".

"I am not getting any younger. But the second reason is more important, India is entering into a new era in which the marketplace will not only be much more competitive but will also be full of exciting growth prospects for organisations as well as individuals.”

He also recollected that almost half a century ago urban land development laws in India were were stacked against the private sector and even banking institutions were not permitted to lend to urban land developers.

DLF was founded in 1946 by Chaudhary Raghvendra Singh. It started with the creation of 22 urban colonies in Delhi. In 1985, the company expanded into the then-unknown region of Gurugram.

"Counselling them and making them to agree to part with their family land holdings was indeed a herculean task. I personally spent time with each family members, I ate with them, sometimes slept with them in their dingy huts, attended most of their religious and family functions, helped their youngsters to get jobs, helped them in settling their family disputes and even helping their children getting admission in good schools and eventually becoming a member of their family," Singh said.

Areas where change is required within DLF are individual productivity and personal egos, he said.

He said continued existence of sycophants in any company becomes counterproductive and therefore such persons should be edged away to ensure that "you always have a lean, hungry and productive team of employees".

“Elsewhere in the world, it is being increasingly recognized that higher individual productivity contributes to the overall productivity of an enterprise. Frankly, in our society individuals are rarely as productive as they are capable of being and it is often the case that several employees are engaged in work that a single person can do, especially with the advanced technological tools now available,” he said.

Good corporate culture requires everyone to develop humility rather than flaunt their egos. By doing so they encourage everyone around them to do the same, and together, enhance job satisfaction and productivity, he added.

He also warned that for those who "are unable or unwilling to change, then I am afraid they will have to face an old saying: Either Shape Up or Ship Out".

On his new role, he said that he shall continue to keep his finger on the pulse of the company.

"Every successful step DLF takes will gladden my heart for as long as I live and wherever I may be situated," he said.

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Vandana Ramnani
first published: Jun 5, 2020 06:40 pm

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