R Thyagarajan,Shriram Group founder bets on math for success than on B-school grads
R.Thyagarajan at 75 is still energetic as he was before four decades when he started the Shriram Group. The finance company has loyal customer base who was benefitted from the company’s used truck financing system.
His Shriram Group was one of the few non-banking financial companies that survived stringent norms imposed by Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in the late 1990s to control fraud.
He has never been overwhelmed by private equity(PE) – scores of whom have invested in his group companies- while the evidence in other business groups is different.
In two years, if his latest prediction is on the dot, Thyagarajan might be able to add one more to this list. And that is: “We will make the biggest profit in the general insurance industry in 2014.” Then for effect he says,”No other company can come close” Why is the usually forecast-shy Thygarajan so certain about this? “Because,” he says, ” I am a mathematician.”
Thyagarajan, who did his masters in math from Indian Institute of Statistics more than half a century back, now wants to make sure math and mathematicians will play an important role in decision-making in his group forward.
Thygarajan’s belief is math can help create certain yardsticks, with which decision making becomes easier. “This isn’t available in B-schools. There thought is half-baked,” he says, giving where numbers worked in their favor. “The entire general insurance industry was 100% convinced that commercial vehicle insurance industry is unprofitable. I collected information and found it was good business. I tried to present it to the insurance industry but they said they are not interested.” Now, Shriram makes a good profit on that.
Group director S Natarajan says the group has developed the ability to analyse and solve industry problems. He gives the example of general insurance where settlement time was brought down to two months(compared with the then norm of a year).
“That’s why we don’t listen to credit-rating agencies, we have our own yardsticks.”Thygarajan says. The key for him is to collect statistical info and then analyse, not arrive at conclusion from existing data, which is the norm. “People just jump to conclusions. Everything should be measured, and there should be objectivity in quantification. U have been trained like that.”
That’s also why he believes he would rather look for talent in Tier II, Tier III towns rather than B-schools. “Talent doesn’t reside in B-schools,’ he says.
This article is an excerpt from economic times, to read more about it follow the source link below,
source : economic times
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