Chandigarh, January 23: Former Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court, Mr. Justice S.S. Sodhi (retd) released a book on “Making Entrepreneurs: Lessons from a Lifetime” written by Padma Shri Chandra Mohan at a function organised at The Hatch Centre in Chandigarh.
Chandra Mohan, former Vice-Chairman and Managing Director of Punjab Tractors and Swaraj Mazda, and currently Chairman of Punjab Technical University’s First School of Excellence, has been an iconic entrepreneur and a thought-leader in Total Quality Management in the region. Keshub Mahindra, founder and Chairman Emeritus of Mahindra & Mahindra, in his foreword to the book writes: “The true genius of Chandra Mohan is his inquisitive searching mind and his capacity to think out of the box.”
Punjab’s Chief Minister Shri Parkash Singh Badal in his message for the occasion remarked that the book “would go a long way in imbibing the spirit of entrepreneurship amongst the budding industrialists.” He reiterated that even the honour of Padma Shri has been bestowed upon him for “his rare entrepreneurial acumen, business strategies, and being a management guru.”
In his address, Justice S.S. Sodhi, said that “entrepreneurship is a way of life, and is a powerful force deep down inside that drives you to achieve your dreams, despite dubious odds and doubts of others.”
For the emerging entrepreneurs there are at least three major motivations, the first being “a yearning to create something novel and useful”; the second, to “build something that will last forever, and the third motivation is “to have freedom, and being your own boss.”
An entrepreneur must have the passion, laser focus, and the courage which are defining traits of an entrepreneur.
Looking back, at the age of 80, Chandra Mohan has been entrepreneuring for the last 48 years of his professional innings of 57 years, with technology and innovation as the focus. That journey still continues, with a patent in photovoltaic filed as recently as 2008. Of course, he says, there have also been failures on the way – but they have not deterred him from sculpting new dreams. “Innovation is seemingly an organic component of my blood-stream,” he writes.
The author has coupled his vast experience in promoting several young techno-entrepreneurs in diverse fields with his recent involvement in higher technical education to evolve a pioneering concept of sandwiching entrepreneurship with technical education. The book is what he himself describes “a critical self-analysis in search of a process for identifying potential entrepreneurs out of students pursuing higher professional education and then grooming them for setting up their projects along with their professional courses… and mentoring them all the way through till they are ready to commence implementation as they graduate.”
With each of its chapters ending with highly useful tips encapsulated under “Learnings”, Chandra Mohan sees entrepreneurship as a social responsibility. In the last chapter, “Creating the Zen for Entrepreneurship”, he aptly concludes, “This self-analysis of a lifetime journey began with the objective of drawing some lessons to help a society promote the cult of entrepreneurship for raising its living standards.”
The programme was organised by PTU’s Gian Jyoti School of TQM & Entrepreneurship and The Hatch in association with TiE, Chandigarh & Punjab, of which Mr Chandra Mohan himself was the founder Chairman.
(Book has been published by Gyann Publishing House, New Delhi, pp.296. Rs.500)
Mr. Chandra Mohan, former vice chairman and managing director of Punjab Tractors Ltd and Swaraj Mazda, he is currently the chairman of the PTU’s Gian Jyoti School of TQM & Entrepreneurship.
He is a rare blend of an engineer-scientist, an inventor, a visionary entrepreneur, an educationist and, a top-class leader.
After leading the development of the totally Indian Swaraj tractor in CMERI (1965-70), he raised India’s first large-scale venture based on totally Indian technology, Punjab Tractors Ltd (PTL), for its commercialization. He led PTL for 28 years as its CEO into the nationally and internationally known Rs. 1,500 crore Blue chip Swaraj Group of companies. Not only was promoting sound Techno-entrepreneurs an integral part of PTL, this hands-down experience led to apex-level involvement with every National Institution involved in entrepreneur-promotion.
TQM and bridging the gulf between Industry & our Labs and Technical Education have been his lifelong missions. He was a Member of the board of governors of IIT-D in early eighties, Chairman of AICTE-North & President ARAI-Pune in the nineties. After retirement from PTL in 1997 and fully active, he has pursued these issues full-time.
A driver of Change in re-orienting technical education and research towards industry and application, he is currently on the board of governors of various reputed educational institutions :
• Chairman, BOG : PEC University of Technology, Chandigarh
• Chairman, GC : PTU’s Gian Jyoti School for TQM & Entrepreneurship, Mohali.
• Member BOG : Punjab Technical University, Jalandhar.
• Member BOM ; GGS Indraprastha Technical University, Delhi
• Member BOG : Shriram Institute of Industrial Research, Delhi
He is also Chairman/ Director on the Boards of reputed listed companies. He recently joined the Board of System Biology Worldwide, a Finnish JV between Helsinki University & an Indian entrepreneur to accelerate commercial exploitation of its R&D.
His book “From Zero to Blue-chip” (2001) is a lesson in management in the Indian environment.
String of national & international Awards include :
1999 : IMC-Juran Medal for Life-time Dedication to Quality
1995 : QIMPRO Platinum Standard (TQM)
1985 : Padmashree
1980 : Ind. Society for Agricultural Engineers Gold Medal for Outstanding contribution to farm mechanization
1979 : IMM-Toshiba Marketing Man of the Year Gold Award
1977 : ASSOCHAM For Promotion of Ancillaries
1976 : Sir Walter Puckey Prize for outstanding contribution to Prod. Engg. in the sub-continent (Institute of Mechanical.Engrs., London)
1975 : National Gold Shield for Import Substitution
1974 : FICCI Award for Research & Technology