An interview with Mr. Uttam Bose, MD & CEO of Hindustan Motors Pvt. Ltd.

An interview with Mr. Uttam Bose, MD & CEO of Hindustan Motors Pvt. Ltd.

An interview with Mr. Uttam Bose, MD & CEO of Hindustan Motors Pvt. Ltd.

Mr. Uttam Bose, the Managing Director, and Chief Executive Officer of Hindustan Motors Ltd., is known for his exceptional decision-making skill.  He has spent his childhood in Patna, Bihar and is now shining as the MD and CEO of Hidustan Motors Ltd.  We got the opportunity to take his interview.

Do you remember the first time you started managing somebody?

A. After, JKW, I joined Usha Martin as Project Manager in Jamshedpur. Very soon, I was promoted to Deputy Manager of the plant in Ranchi and within 9 years, I got the position of MD.

Was that an easy transition?

A. It was. I would say it’s probably because I was capable of doing those things without actually knowing that I could. And if you ask me since when, then I’d say since my childhood.

Tell us about your childhood.

A. Since childhood, I have always been curious to learn new things. Way back, when I was in J. K. W, Mr. Kanak praised me and commented that one day I will be the president of a very big company. So, I guess I was always inclined to take right decisions and that is why today, I am on this position.

How has your leadership style evoloved?

A. In the world we live in today, the single most important thing is ‘THE EARNING’. I am Mechanical Engineer by profession. But, with experience I realized that to take the right decision at right time you must understand the financial statement involved in the project.

Can you talk more about the leadership lessons you took away from your experience?

A. Leadership or success boils down to 3 ingredients: hard work, thirst for knowledge and take right decision at right time.

First, it is paramount that one should have the ability to work hard.

Second, the curiosity to develop a broad knowledge.

Third, the capability to make right decision at right time. In any business, if you don’t balance these 3 ingredients then you are finished.

In your opinion, what are the changes required in the work culture of Bengal? 

A. When it comes to Bengal, I mean Bengalis. People in Bengal have talent and skills, but they are lacking in professionalism. They fear to take the decision. This is the only reason for not having enough businessmen over here.

What are the experiences did you have in the UK?

A. I with my family immigrated to Hampshire, when I was 35 year old.  In the beginning, it was all about learning how to get acclimated to life in the United Kingdom.

I visited the UK as chief operating manager at Usha Martin. Members of the Board decided to significantly expand the company’s operation. I proposed the strategy to develop the last two phases of the products in-house. It turned into a profit making strategy. Over time, I began looking into trading along with manufacturing.  Eventually, trading made double the money than manufacturing.

“ Mistakes are done by the one who really performs.” In Lord Swraj’s company, in UK, a young associate of the Expert Consignment made a mistake.  As a result the company had to suffer with a loss of almost Rs. 1 crore. The authority wanted to fire the employee from the position but I had decided to give him another chance. After, 2 year he was awarded as the best employee.

After four and half years, I came back to India. I was not so pleased with the education system of UK. It might be good for people staying there but it does not teach student to survive in other countries. I always wanted to serve my nation.

What are the other key experiences did you have?

A. Probably the most important experience I had in that regard was working at Samsung. As I mentioned before, I am Mechanical Engineer by profession. The members of the board meeting inquired , being a mechanical engineer what can I serve to the electronic sector. I can still recall the reply of my boss to the members. ” Uttam is an open-minded person, always have thirst for knowledge. This positive quality of Uttam will be benificial for us.”

At that time, Samsung was developing picture tube for TV. I replaced the lead with graphite in the tube. It reduced the manufacturing cost and improved the quality of the tube by reducing the temperature in the tube.

The other experience that I want to share is when I joined Hindustan Motors. The Government had banned the BS III. The company had already spent a huge amount to apply for BS IV. The board of advisers and Mr. S. M. Birla realized that the BS IV is not going to success. But we got a significant amount of orders in that ’12-’13 financial year.

However, the business that we had with Mitsubishi was making profit. To save Hindustan Motors from bankruptcy,it was necessary to find a suspension of work notice. It was a huge challenge to differentiate both companies, Hindustan Motors and Mitsubishi, and convince the shareholders.

Then you entered into the medical sector.  How did you have this transition?

A. I give my opinion in other sectors in board meeting, including medical sector. Subsequently, board asked me to supervise the medical sector. Eventually,I landed up in medical sector.

In 1978, Wold Health Organization (WHO) decided that by 2000 it will provide the primary health care to all. But, India’s GDP is just 2 percent whereas world’s GDP is 6.5 percent. Recently, in the conference, Mamta Banerjee, the chief minister of West Bengal stated,  “do the business, but why the profit is only the concern” What is your view on these allegations?

A. I won’t deny the fact. Let me discuss my organization. C. K. Birla Hospital is providing service in Kolkata for almost 48 years, and the C.M.R for 27. So if you count the service weak, is it going to be an excuse? Just to inform the readers that our institution has the highest footfalls. We used to provide a 20% of service absolutely free for emergencies. Is it not a service to the society?

As per the statistics, we have lack of resources in medical sector. we have only 80 doctors, 68 nurses for per 1 lakh patients, and 12 beds for every thousand patients. What advice do you give to improve the condition?

A. We are lacking in the infrastructure in medical sector.  Influence of corporate culture in medical sector is affecting the quality. The government should structure the norms.

Are super specialty hospitals providing fake bills against an unnecessary admission, and even doctors are accepting this interference to save their jobs.

A. Yes, the patients are being charged in the name of unnecessary tests. And if the patient has a medical insurance then it’s a goose of golden eggs.

Doesn’t the term ‘Super Specialty Hospital’ a gimmick?.

A. As per my experience and perspective, I completely agree with your comment. What was the rate of death when we didn’t have these technologies, supposed tests etc? what is the rate of death today? A life-saving technology of 5 Tesla costs Rs. 4 crore and 6 Tesla costs almost Rs. 10 crore. Where the difference lies?

Do we need 128 slide scanning instead of 64 slide?

A. No. 64 slide scanning can accomplish the task. Actually, the government is lacking prudence, they should bind a limit for the corporate sector.

If  you would be the Health Minister of India, what kind of changes would you bring in medical sector?

A. If I’ll get a chance to become Health Minister of India, I would make following changes-

  • Corporate hospitals should increase the number of beds.
  • We don’t need the term ‘Super Specialty’. Start category can be used to describe the status of the hospital.
  • Hospital does not need the technology that cost more than Rs.4 crore.
  • I will ensure the audits of private hospitals and doctors.
  • I will make compulsory for the doctors to write the generic names of the medicines.
  • The hospital authority will have to provide a fixed salary to the doctors.
  • I will ensure that the corporate hospitals are not giving commission to the doctors.
  • The medical insurance process should be more systematic.
  • To institute a hospital PPP vision is helpful.

Like, C K Birla hospital and B M Birla hospital, there are few hospitals which are run by trustee.  Mostly, people are unaware about it. Have you raised any public awareness campaign?

A. We haven’t worked on that. We will consider your suggestion.

As per the survey of 268 patients in 2012-13, almost 70 percent of patients are suffering with the super bug bacteria post surgery. Hospital authority claims that it is a global problem. Please share your opinion.

A. Indeed, it is a major problem. We cannot resolve the issue but we can reduce the rate. National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Healthcare (NABH) should consider this as a serious issue.

We are raised by a point in Moody’s report. Do you think it will impact our industrial sector? 

A.  I don’t think so. The major issue in our country is the diversification of culture. We have different culture in every 200 –250 kms. Like other developed country, we should also have the data bank of infrastructure and human resource. There should be IT sector in places like, Kolkata, rather than being saturated at few areas, like, Bangalore, Gurgaon.
Since, 1990s, we are seeing the downfall. We are lacking in the work culture. We are not having new industries. The students are wasting their time and money in learning to weld and fitter. We don’t have nurses, a well-equipped physiotherapy center or a well-rehearsed OT assistants. The youths are not interested in that. Bengali’s have their emotion but not focus.

Do you see any industrial revolution in next few years in India, let us be specific in Bengal?

A. No.

Any other lessons you’ve learned over time?

A. We all  know that there are three phases of life: First, the childhood, when one runs himself by the emotions. Second, the adult stage, when one prefers the logic. Third, the parental period, that values the discourse. These three stages are not only important in life but are also important in professional world.  During these stages, if you get a support of your family, then this is a ‘lady luck’. I was entirely lucky in to get these. That’s why 80% of my decision came to be correct.


Bubai Bhattacharjee

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