IndiaGBnews Profiles: NEEL RATTI, of Tuscor Lloyds (UK)
Position? General Manager
What are your main responsibilities? I handle the day-to-day running of the company, operations and commercial activities.
What are your company’s Unique Selling Points (USPs) in India? Our knowledge of the Indian logistics market is extensive, including complicated and difficult inland transportation and customs paperwork issues. Our specialism in heavy lift and abnormal load transportation puts our offer in a very specific niche. We certainly have a unique product to offer the Indian market, particularly those Indian businesses buying these types of goods from Europe and the rest of the world.
What achievement are you most proud of? During my tenure, the company grew in the last three years to such an extent that we are now being watched by the London Stock Exchange and was placed on the ‘Companies which inspire Britain’ list. This has been achieved despite the worst recession in living memory and is a testament to the quality of the team we have assembled.
What would you still like to achieve (in life, leisure or business)? We have a unique and specific business model which is knowledge based and highly specialised in complex heavy industrial logistics. This model is difficult to replicate overseas due to the service levels and knowledge required to offer this type of service locally. We have done this successfully in Mexico and Spain, but would like to see this in India and wider Asia as well.
What do you think makes India an attractive destination to do business? The historical ties is the one of the main aspects. Being a second generation person of Indian origin myself there are several cultural similarities I see with my own experience which makes India an attractive place to do business personally. India is obviously a huge market and there is real and tangible respect and desire for European goods and services, particularly those from the UK. This presents a huge opportunity for British businesses, with plenty of room for new entrants to the market.
What sectors do you think will thrive in India and the UK in the coming years and why? In our own experience the energy sector is an obvious example where Indian authorities and firms are importing components, expertise and capital from the West to help facilitate a growing demand from a rapidly industrialising nation. We think retail will grow quickly with Indian consumers looking to buy British brands and quality as they become more affluent personally. Britain’s current strength in education and training is very much applicable in an Indian market, and of course culturally arts and media industries create many opportunities because of our shared history and language.
What is the best business advice you have ever received? There are so many things that come with experience which you take with you in your career, it is difficult to say what is the most important. One of the things I try and do is encourage people around me to work at pace and use their own energy to get things done. Some people have to be encouraged more than others but in my experience everyone wants to do a good job and so will keep up with the team and will create their own energy.
Favourite destinations in India and why? India is a vast country with so many things to see and do. Every place I have visited has been a revelation! As a tourist however I enjoyed the far South – Kerala is a very relaxing place with fantastic food and culture. I do like the mountains of Himalaya and couldn’t recommend Kullu valley enough.
Favourite destinations in the UK and why? I particularly enjoy the high ground such as the Cairngorns in Scotland and the Lake District in England. I lived in Brighton for 15 years so that town will always have a special place in my heart.
Favourite restaurant in India and UK? In India the food is amazing and so much variety but if I had to choose it would be Sravana Bavan in Connaught Place, Delhi. I think it is a chain, but it’s inexpensive and has very tasty South Indian cuisine. In the UK the restaurant at the Oxo Tower in London is my favourite, excellent food with a fantastic view of the North Bank of the Thames. Nothing could be better!
Describe your character in five words? Friendly, focussed, sensitive, conscientious, tenacious
What are your hobbies? I take frequent walks in the country, I love the fresh air and exercise. I read classical literature from around the world (unfortunately the English translations where possible) as I believe there are books which everyone should read once in their lives. I also cook a great deal at home and I enjoy learning the new techniques and recipes. I have a 1 ½ year old son which keeps me young and very busy!
What five items would you take to a desert island? Like many people these days I can’t really do without my phone, although I’m not sure how much signal I’d get! I’d also like to keep some books – possibly the complete works of Dostoevsky if I was allowed. I’d like some art materials I was always a keen artist and it something I’d love to take up again if I had the time. A radio is essential for me because I couldn’t imagine being cut off from world news. I think I would certainly need a decent condiment and spice collection – I enjoy cooking so I would be happy to spend time creating some tasty foods.
What public figures do you most admire and why? Very difficult question! My most admired are from the world of politics, art and science rather than business. If I were to choose someone alive today I would choose Barak Obama, because I see his meteoric career progression against the odds as remarkable. What is most incredible is how he made it looks so easy. If I were to choose someone from history it would have to be Mohandas K Gandhi for obvious reasons. The impact of this man is still felt today. I don’t always agree with his politics, but his drive and determination were unquestionable in bringing together such disparate group of nations such as India and create a united country. Although he felt he had failed because of partition, the country which remains is extremely diverse and multicultural, and still one of the most complex societies in the world.