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Srinivasan, however, points out that TSWCGC’s differentiation lies in quality, not size. “Right from the start, the focus was on sending two people (the ones that best their opponents in the Indian leg) as more than tourists, to the world finals. The best golfers should represent the country. To find quality, the net had to be cast wider, more venues added. Wherever the tournament went, it was well received. Today, it is a given that the team that makes it beyond the Indian leg will stack up against international standards. The results speak for themselves: The team from India has finished in the top five four times in the last five years. In 2008, we won!”
After eight years dedicated to an almost single-point agenda of putting Indian corporate golf on the global map, the company has now taken on the additional responsibility of sponsoring promising Indian golfers on the pro tour. At present, TAKE Solutions supports S.S.P. Chowrasia, who has won twice on the European tour and Khalin Joshi, India’s number one amateur who has just turned pro, and owns a three-member professional Chennai team in the Louise Philippe Cup.
Like a leitmotif in a musical composition, the subject of ‘differentiation by capability rather than size’ recurs throughout the conversation. It comes up during a discussion of strategies adopted by TAKE Solutions over the years. From the beginning, Srinivasan wanted his company to be niche and this meant shutting the door firmly on general purpose software and catering to the technology needs of companies engaged in life sciences. “We focused on United States a lot. Now, it is Europe. All our expansion drives have always come after consolidating and securing our previous positions,” says Srinivasan, who served as civil servant in the Railways before moving on to the private sector. Before hewing out his own trail, he held positions of leadership in other companies, including those of executive director at Shriram Group, managing director at Sembcorp Logistics; and managing director at Temasek Capital.
This first-generation entrepreneur believes all aspects of life, even the apparently remote and insignificant, impinge on one another — nothing can really be viewed in isolation. This view of existence explains his faithfulness to a fitness programme structured by a personal trainer and a dietician. “If I am not fit myself, how can I be trusted to keep my company in good health?” asks the 48-year-old, whose office is packed with health foods, which go into his suitcases while he is travelling, which often accounts for a major part of a month.
From this information, a picture of a man in a hurry seems to emerge and he is quizzed about how he manages to create time for his family, which includes two daughters. At home, breakfast is a ritual that encompasses family bonding. Going to a temple with his wife every Sunday is a punctiliously observed practice. Golf at the Cosmopolitan Golf Club in Nandanam is another source of bonding. “I encouraged my wife to take up golf. Following her recovery from a back problem, she is making a comeback to the sport.”
Also, golf is valued for the time spent in a sylvan setting and the company of like-minded people that it brings. Unless hopelessly tied down with commitments at work, he never misses his round of golf. His responsibilities at TAKE Solutions include creating teams, and he believes allowing people enough autonomy within a framework of clear guidelines is a way to develop initiative and drive. Tongue-in-cheek, Srinivasan adds, “It has another benefit. It allows me time for golf!”
The best golfers should represent the country. Today, it is a given that the team that makes it beyond the Indian leg will stack up against international standards