BAP’AT’ AADMI

Nikhil Ballal

How were your childhood days?
SB-I was born and brought up in a remote
sleepy village near Ratnagiri.We were
extremely poor. I was not sure whether I
would get an opportunity to pursue studies after seventh
standard. But because of my brother who was working in a
police department in Pune , I could reach upto eleventh
standard, that was SSC of those days.
After school without wasting any time I started searching for
job. Finally I got a job of typist with a salary Rs. 60. (smiles)

How did you enter the electronic field?
SB-It was because of my friend circle that I opted for
electronics and radio engineering as my career. With an intention to
start earning early I decided to do a diploma instead of degree.

How did you come to Thane?
SB-I got a job opportunity to work in Murphy radio companyin Thane.
However due to company’s deteriorating conditions
withinfour years, I had to switch to an analytical instrumentation
company in Mumbai. This was the turning point of my
career. I got a chance to learn working and functioning of various
analytical products. I also came in contact with many visionary
technocrats, engineers and professionals who later helped me to
become the largest manufacturer, exporter and distributor of
analytical instruments in India.

When did you start Lab India?
SB-My sincerity and hardworking nature
blessed me with luck.I got an offer from a
foreign company PerkinElmer to take agency
of serving of lab instruments in India. As we
had no money, my partners Mr. Shriram
Bhalerao , Mr. Virendra Upadhye , Mr. V. M.
Bibikar were not confident about this
proposal. But as Perkin Elmer agreed to
support us financially, we immediately
accepted the offer.
Initial days were good. We use to work
16 to 18 hours in a day. Managers were
impressed with our performance. No sooner
did we foresee the need for high quality
analytical instrumentation in India then we all
decided to start sale and manufacturing in
India. This is how Lab India came into
existence. (year)

How were the initial days in Lab India?
SB-Those were indeed tough (smiles).
Although all four of us were technically sound,                                                                                                                            we failed miserably in sales and marketing.
We started visiting companies more as
technicians than as a sales people. So
company managers started giving us time as
they knew we are here to help them and not
to do any business (smiles).
We usetorestore their instruments in
sound condition, which made them give us
the orders (smile). Gradually we started
getting sizeable orders and in no time
company got into a comfortable position. In
1994 we also started manufacturing plants
in New Bombay.

What was different that made you
reachthe top in this industry?
SB-Though there was a stiff
competition,wenever incurred losses. Our
sincerity and commitment impressed our
clients. Clients rated us as the best service
providers. Delivering the products before
their expected time has been our key to
success. Perhaps that helped us reach the
top. Commitment enhanced our credibility.

How did your family support you in this
journey?
SB-My wife Kanchan played acrucial role
in mylife. She has wonderfully brought up my
sons and served my old parents. Despite of
not giving time to family, she never grumbled. I
owe my success completely to her. Unfortunately
since couple of years she is unwell.
She suffered from brain stroke. Day and night
I am trying continuously for her recovery. I am
confident that she will come out of this illness.

How will you appeal the budding
businessmen?
SB-If you are working for 10 hours a day,
start working 11 hours from today. Remember
this extra one hour is not meant for business but
for your family. Success cannotbe achieved
without a team work. Team doesn’t imply only
employees but also your family members. It is
necessary to keep them in sound state.
Also I strongly believe to enjoy good
health, to bring true happiness to one’s family,
to bring peace to all, one must first discipline and control one’s own mind. If a man can
control his mind, he can find the way to
Enlightenment. Wisdom and virtue are equally
important. And most important is an exercise
at least for one hour as it is a source of energy.
A person having more energy can deliver
more.

In these days when even real brothers
don’t get along well, what has been the
secret of your relations with your partners?
SB-We share a tremendous rapport with
each other. Most of the partnerships come to an end
because of indifferences. We have demarcated our
roles and responsibilities. So there is zero indifference.
Probably this is the secret for our long lasting relationship.

What are three important qualities which
any businessman should have?
SB-Everyone must have an inbuilt filtration system
which gives purity of thought. Often we come across good
as well as negative thoughts. The art of filtration keeps
you within positive values and virtues.
Dedication is very important. Success is personified. You may
not be where you want to be or do what you want to do when you
are on journey. But you have got to be willing to have vision and
foresight that leads you to an incredible end. Lastly one should
have a positive attitude. We heard , you are a great multi tasker.
Tell us about your various projects. During my childhood I would
crave for good books. I loved reading but never got any
opportunity. This made me come up with a children magazine
“Vayam”. Today more than 10,000 children are its subscribers.
Having faced difficulties in pursuing education I have founded a school in a village
near Ratnagiri, in memory of my mother Parvati
Shankar Bapat. I am happy as more than
1,200 needy children are taking education in
this school.
Apart from this I am an excellent cook. I
love cooking. In my early days my boredom
of eating the same food everyday compelled
me to enter a kitchen of a German restaurant
one day. I taught a chef a simple dish which is
now popularly known as “Bapat dish”(smiles).
This prompted me to start shubh Manas on
Gokhale road. My second restaurant Samudra
Manthan is in pipe line.

Can’t we have a Bapat dish in India?
SB-Yes, you can relish a Bapat dish in
ShubManas.(laughs).We have innovated
sizzling Thaepeeth. Try it someday.Also the
first ever combo breakfast is served in our
restaurant ,where the office goers get a
sumptuous breakfast with three varieties.

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