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H. M. Bangur: Empowering Employees

What catapulted Shree Cement to the big league is its winning formula of empowering employees to work as owners

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Under the stewardship of managing director H. M. Bangur, Shree Cement has achieved stupendous heights. Today, it is a Rs 5,900-crore entity. In 2017, the company’s cement production capacity went up to 29.3 million tonnes from 22 million tonnes in 2014. Its operating profit rose to Rs 2,874.94 crore in 2017 from Rs 787 crore in 2014. During the year, its revenue from operations was Rs 9,496.52 crore, net profit Rs 1,339.11 crore, and its net worth was recorded at Rs 7,698.14 crore as of 31st March 2017.

In 2016, Bangur was awarded the prestigious Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year (EOY) Award 2016 (in the “manufacturing category”), a program which felicitated 17 exceptional entrepreneurs. “If a mason says he is putting bricks together, that’s a normal thing. If he says he is making a wall, that is also okay. But if he says he is making a temple, that would make things different and it would mean that he is acting like an entrepreneur. That is how everybody works at Shree Cement and (that is the) secret of our success,” said Bangur in the latest annual report of the company on receiving the award.

“At Shree, we believe that management is a combination of the rationality of science, imagination of art, and execution of craft. It can never be rigid and static. It has to be dynamic and free flowing. It cannot conform to a single style. At Shree, we go beyond science; our style is that of no (fixed) style,” he said further in the report, adding that, “Empowering people to work as owners and allowing calculated risk-taking without being afraid of penalisation for failures, ignites the entrepreneurial spirit amongst all. We at Shree, however, allow our people to be practical, understand each situation as different and deviate from set procedures, if required. If a machine can be operated with variations to meet our requirements and allow us to do business more profitably, we do not mind deviating from the norms. (The) Idea is, if going beyond the norms costs us a rupee extra but has the potential to save much more than that then we have to evaluate and decide with an open mind.”

The book value of Shree Cement has grown up steadily since 1991, while Bangur has ensured a steady financial performance, along with better risk management and human resource relations and  special focus on sustainability. He has also allowed Shree Cement to innovate extensively and in the last 15 years the company’s share price has risen from Rs 50 to Rs 18,500 at a compounded growth rate of 48.3 per cent. With Bangur at the helm, the company hopes to breach the 40 million tonnes cement production mark by 2020.

Apart from being the main man at Shree Cement, Bangur is also the president of Rajasthan Foundation Kolkata Chapter, an executive member of FICCI, and has also served as the president of the Cement Manufacturing Association (CMA) between 2007 and 2009.