Sandeep Sabharwal FMG-2 (Batch 1993-1995)
CEO- Sohan Lal Commodity Management Group
Recognized as one of the Most Innovative CEOs, Sandeep Sabharwal, CEO of Sohan Lal Commodity Management Group, reflects on his entrepreneurial journey paved during his days spent at FORE.
Mr Sandeep Sabharwal (Class of 1993-1995) is CEO of Sohan Lal Commodity Management Group. He was conferred with Mahatma Gandhi Ekta Samman by IIFS in January 2016 and was awarded the Bharat Jyoti Award by India International Friendship Society in December 2015. In recognition for his innovations in the agriculture sector, he was listed amongst the Most Innovative CEOs by Inc India in December 2014. He is an eminent speaker in several National and International Seminars and was recently conferred with the Alumni Recognition Award by FORE.
Here, he shares his perspectives on his FORE experience and entrepreneurial journey.
I feel grateful and humbled receiving the Alumni Recognition award from FORE. Amongst all the awards, this has a special place. It feels great to be recognized by my mentors and peers who have contributed towards laying the foundation of my professional career and enabled me to create SLCM Group.
I do convey my gratitude to the School for everything I learnt here. Among them, the biggest learning has been persistence; believing in yourself and finding inner strength, especially when you are challenging the perception and beliefs of other people. We, at SLCM challenged and continue to challenge peoples’ thoughts and understanding of the Agri domain. The fact that FORE inculcates these thoughts through constant interaction with industry stalwarts and innovators goes a long way in shaping attitudes.
In some ways, my decision to set up my own venture also had a lot to do with the time spent in FORE. I had not particularly made up my mind on pursuing an entrepreneurial path – a lot of what led to my journey was shaped here. The experiences that we have during our lives, and especially during our foundation years, pave the path in becoming who we are.
There is a high degree of motivation required to be an entrepreneur – the fact that your thoughts become business decisions and those decisions collectively become the super set of the organization are key motivators for me. Of course, a great deal of responsibility also comes with this power. And this also entails many sacrifices. The demand on time, the stress and the sense of responsibility are not for everyone. Family support is absolutely vital for success and I must thank my own family for what I have got from them.
From what I have learnt in managing my own business, I would like to share a few ‘must haves’ for the benefit of those considering taking this path:
Believe in Yourself Bad decisions are not so bad – they teach you lessons Prioritize customers over anything else Be open to Suggestions Trust Your Team Be very logical and evaluative of your decisions, keeping emotions in control and goals in sight At last, take care of yourself and manage stress
Finally, the journey has been both exciting and challenging. If we say that we have come a long way, then we assume that the destination where we are headed is close; therefore, I would say that we have just started our journey. I am as excited today about SLCM as I was 7 years ago. Similarly, I believe FORE has evolved, but is still in its teens from a growth perspective.
Change is the essence of our life; the human species is here because of change and adaptability. So, embrace Change.
FORE School of Management has been designing, developing and conducting innovative Executive Education (EE)/ Management Development Programmes (MDPs) for working executives in India for over three decades.