Offbeat: Akshaypat Singhania – The Ironman on mission to eradicate hunger
Adgully’s special feature section – ‘Offbeat’ – seeks to give a peek into the lesser known facets of our very well-known industry leaders. We present, in the industry leaders’ own words, an interesting read on areas that are not usually highlighted in regular media coverage – be it about their childhood days, secret skills that they possess, how they unwind from their hectic schedules, and much more.
Akshaypat Singhania, Chairman and MD of JK International and Director of JK Organisation, has a proven track record of business leadership and excellence. This spans his 20-year association with Raymond Limited as Whole-time Director. He showed pioneering spirit with the launch of Park Avenue, India’s first national ‘ready to wear’ brand offering a complete solution for the male wardrobe. Mindful of the Chinese threat to JK Files and Tools, he beat it through innovative cost engineering. He’s had similar success in the cement and denim businesses. Singhania is firmly focused on society, focusing on national challenges such as poverty alleviation, infant mortality and unemployment. He is a keen aviator and a motor racing enthusiast. He is a national champion in motor racing and has competed on racing tracks across India, and in his words, “Speed is a way of life, and winning is its essence.”
Singhania is leading the group’s next generation initiatives in the services arena. He is presently pursuing the group’s objectives in setting up business ventures in high growth industries such as media and entertainment, healthcare, F&B, venture capital, private equity and wealth management.
A precious childhood trait that you still possess?
The ability to gasp matters very quickly and to be able to ask questions where money lays in a proposition. I must say these two traits have come in quite handy.
Ever wished you had superhero powers?
I would love to be Robert Downey Jr. of Avengers - Ironman. The man has panache.
What is your biggest fear and how do you face it?
I don’t have any fears as such. And even if I might feel some momentary fears, I ensure to win over all of them, following my belief, “Dar ke aage jeet hai”.
A secret that you have which no one knows about?
My life is an open book, especially to my near and dear ones. And if there is a secret at all, telling you about it would mould make it cease to be one.
What would one find in your playlist?
Versatility. Everything that you need to listen to is just there. There’s a song for every mood and that’s what I believe makes my playlist so dynamic.
Your go-to activity to relax?
What is the greatest lesson that you have learnt from life so far?
Not every time will kindness be repaid with kindness, even so one should never stop doing good deeds.
A social cause that you are most passionate about?
Eradicating hunger. It pains me to see that after so much man has achieved, there are some who still go to bed hungry. Providing food to the millions of people in India who are below the poverty line is something that I feel very strongly about.
What’s the one thing that you would like to change about yourself?
My dependence on Coca-Cola.
If not with JK International, what would you have been?
A cricketer by day, a movie star by night!
What are the three apps on your mobile that you couldn’t live without?
It bewilders me to actually believe that we are so dependent on apps these days. WhatsApp, definitely to help me stay connected with my work and friends; In Shorts, to help me stay connected with the world; and my music, to help me stay connected with myself.
Any content/ film or book you saw or read recently and why?
I got to see the movie ‘The Shape of Water’ before it won at the Oscars, I just knew it when I saw the film that it was a winner. I love watching movies because they not only provide me with entertainment, but also enhance my creativity and outlook.
Which two organisations outside your own do you know the most people at and why?
I know people in the financial world and the start-up community extensively as my area of business revolves around this.
Two things about this industry you don’t like or don’t understand?
I don’t understand why so many businesses are burning hard cash to purchase start-ups only for the sake of their valuation.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?
Why would I live at just one place? There’s so much to see, to learn. The vast number of cultures, traditions, geographical locations – if I could, I would wish to see it all, hence would like to live at different places in the world at different points of time in my life.