Chandrashekar V: Leading Gmmco Ltd. Towards a Future of Growth and Innovation

Chandrashekar V: Leading Gmmco Ltd. Towards a Future of Growth and Innovation

Chandrashekar V: Leading Gmmco Ltd. Towards a Future of Growth and Innovation

The CEO Magazine - Cover Story - GMMCO Ltd.pdf

Led by an innovative and forward-thinking leader, a company poised for an exceptional transformation, targeting a remarkable $1 billion conglomerate by 2027. As the MD & CEO of Gmmco Ltd., Chandrashekar V brings a blend of innovation and foresight to the helm.

Established in 1967 as a CK Birla Group company, Gmmco Ltd. has become synonymous with excellence in serving the construction, energy, mining, and transportation sectors. With a trusted partnership with Caterpillar, spanning over three decades, Gmmco has solidified its position as an undisputed leader, driven by principles of innovation, sustainability, and customer-centricity.

Boasting a 20,000+ active clientele and 3000 personnel strong workforce, Gmmco’s annual revenue has already surpassed 5500 crores INR, signalling its steady progression towards achieving its ambitious targets.

The Captain of the Ship

Mr Chandrashekar V took the helm as Managing Director and CEO of Gmmco Ltd. in 2019. His customer-centric focus and strong emphasis on technology, people, and process have been pivotal in driving the company’s success, consistently delivering outstanding value to its customers.

Under his leadership, Gmmco underwent a strategic restructuring to enhance profitability and foster growth. Construction, Surface Mining, Underground Mining, Energy, and Transportation all started operating as independent profit centres.

With his visionary approach and pursuit of excellence, Chandrashekar has been instrumental in steering Gmmco towards unprecedented achievements, setting the stage for continued innovation and prosperity.

The Making of a Leader: From Humble Beginnings to the Helm

Growing up in a modest family, Chandrashekar harboured a strong drive to improve his life and that of his family. Guided by his mother’s unwavering support and belief in him, he cultivated a winning mindset.

Excelling in academics from a young age, Chandrashekar pursued a mechanical engineering degree driven by ambitious aspirations. His college years in 1990 saw the fruition of his drive, marked by a groundbreaking project that earned him widespread recognition, further strengthening his self-belief. This journey culminated in him being honoured with a gold medal for outstanding academic performance from Bangalore University. This robust educational background has been instrumental in shaping his subsequent success, providing a solid foundation for navigating the dynamic and challenging sectors he encountered throughout his career.

His professional journey began in 1990 at L&T, initially on the shop floor assembling earth-moving equipment. However, with his exceptional work ethic and talent, he quickly ascended the success ladder. Transitioning to sales and marketing two years later, he managed operations in the Northeastern region of India, Nepal, and Bhutan. Later, he played a pivotal role in establishing the Swedish multinational Svedala business in southern India.

Before assuming the role of Managing Director and CEO at Gmmco Ltd., Chandrashekar dedicated over 14 years to the infrastructure industry, overseeing procurement, equipment management, and the execution of diverse projects in sectors including hydroelectric, irrigation, mining, oil & gas, and roads.

A Legacy of Innovation and Excellence

Delivering tailormade solutions to the mining, construction, and energy sectors, Gmmco is the leader in the industry. With a focus on innovation, excellence, and customer satisfaction, it sets new industry standards through continuous enhancement.

As the representative of Caterpillar in India for over three decades, Gmmco has emerged as one of the top global Caterpillar dealers. Serving as a priority dealer, it caters to large clients and state-owned enterprises. This association grants Gmmco access to cutting-edge technology, superior build quality, and a highly efficient service network, distinguishing its equipment and service from competitors.

Gmmco’s comprehensive product support packages ensure maximum equipment reliability, productivity and utilization. Gmmco provides complete solution of rental and used equipment.

GmmcoAssist platform offers a wide array of services, including repairs, genuine spare parts, condition monitoring, maintenance plans, fluid analysis, and training. These services are easily accessible through multi-channel touchpoints, including the website, call centre, WhatsApp, and mobile app/web portal, ensuring customers receive top-notch solutions that drive business profitability.

With Workshop-on-Wheels vehicles deployed across multiple locations and geographies, Gmmco facilitates convenient access to its services, setting new industry benchmarks.

Future-Ready Strategies at Gmmco

Mr Chandrashekar recognises the crucial role of digital technologies in the present and future. While Gmmco currently uses digital solutions, it seeks to further leverage advancements for operational enhancement and customer support.

To accomplish this, Mr Chandrashekar stresses automation and the adoption of AI and ML technologies at Gmmco. Automation alone can boost efficiency and cut costs, but integrating AI and ML will yield even greater enhancements, optimising processes, providing intelligent insights, and elevating customer service. He views AI and ML as essential for Gmmco’s future growth, empowering the company to meet evolving customer needs and maintain competitiveness. Mr Chandrashekar says,

“With the ever changing customer requirements and expectations, we redefine ourselves by embracing the new. We are continually leveraging digital technology to provide a seamless experience to our customers in conducting business with us. The trust imposed in us by our customers strengthens our resolve to continuously maximise value for them.”

Gmmco is integrating technology at every step of the customer journey, ensuring easy access to information, superior customer experience, and safety while expanding across sectors like e-commerce and logistics.

Leading with the ‘12th-man’ Approach

Mr Chandrashekar employs a distinctive and highly effective leadership approach. He adopts a hands-off stance, akin to the 12th man in cricket— always ready to provide support and resources whenever required but stepping back when not needed.

He firmly believes in empowering individuals to take ownership of their work, fostering motivation and business growth. In times of adversity, he opts to retain his leadership team, granting them considerable leeway to perform, provided they demonstrate dedication and skill.

When recruiting new team members, Mr Chandrashekar prioritises both talent and commitment, recognising that while talent is valuable, dedication is indispensable for success. He shares, “Qualities like commitment, honesty, sincerity, and hard work are inherent traits that cannot be easily taught.”

Empowering Tomorrow’s Leaders

Embodying a distinctive leadership philosophy, Mr Chandrashekar treats the company as a community of 3,000 families. He emphasises both the company’s growth and the personal and professional advancement of its employees, recognising their integral role in the business’s success.

As the head of this “family,” he advocates for a culture of transparency and individual contribution. Valuing entrepreneurialism and innovation, he encourages employees to leverage their unique talents and perspectives. This collaborative approach creates a dynamic environment where every employee’s input is valued.

“Leadership is not about power or position. It is about taking responsibility. We allow people to take chances, make mistakes, and move on. As an organisation, we believe the biggest risk is riskless living”
Mr Chandrashekar

As the CEO, his focus extends beyond traditional metrics of revenue and profitability. Instead, he prioritises a work culture that empowers individuals to excel, resulting in a team that consistently exceeds expectations and drives overall success. Mr Chandrashekar also leads initiatives to maintain a balanced diversity and provide equal opportunities for young talents to assume leadership positions, reflecting his commitment to inclusion.

Driving Success Together: Gmmco’s People-Centric Approach

Under the astute leadership of Chandrashekar V, Gmmco has earned numerous prestigious awards and recognitions, solidifying its status as a trailblazing organisation.

For five consecutive years, it has been honoured as a Great Place to Work and the top company in the Construction and Infrastructure sector by Great Place to Work (GPTW). These accolades underscore Gmmco’s commitment to fostering a positive and rewarding work culture where employees are valued, empowered, and motivated to excel.

In addition to the organisational achievements, Mr Chandrashekar V himself has been lauded for his exceptional leadership and human resources orientation. He received the Asia Pacific HRM Congress Award for ‘CEO with HR Orientation,’ highlighting his dedication to empowering and nurturing the workforce, recognising their pivotal role in Gmmco’s success.

Mr Chandrashekar emphasises, “In the organisation, we are one large family. We are proud of each other’s success. Every individual has a chance to grow and develop. We believe in teamwork - everyone rises or falls together. We believe in entrepreneurship - everyone should think like a businessman. All team members have the freedom to make their own decisions. If they win, it is to their credit. If they fail, it is my fault - this is what the leaders in the organisation believe.”

Mr Chandrashekar V has also been honoured with prestigious titles such as ‘Global Indian of the Year’ and ‘World’s Most Influential Business Leader,’ further highlighting his impactful leadership.

Conquering Challenges with Agile Thinking

The COVID pandemic shook the world economy, causing significant disruptions to life, livelihoods, and social and economic systems globally, and Gmmco was no different.

The company encountered numerous challenges. Although offices had to close temporarily, the business continued uninterrupted. Essential industry segments, such as coal for power generation, hospitals and pharmaceutical companies relying on generator sets and engines in oil rigs and patrol vehicles, necessitated continuous servicing.

Recognising the challenges posed by the pandemic, Gmmco’s leadership strategically opted to maintain operational continuity while strictly adhering to regulatory guidelines. Engineers worked on-site and visited offices and customers as needed despite the high risk of infection. The company was well-prepared for any exigencies. Taking proactive measures, Gmmco deployed 24x7 emergency response teams equipped with ambulances and mini-hospitals at project sites to mitigate potential harm. Additionally, a vaccination drive was swiftly initiated, ensuring timely inoculation for all personnel and their families. Through meticulous planning and flawless execution, Gmmco successfully navigated the hurdles presented by the pandemic.

Looking ahead, Gmmco anticipates the challenge of finding, retaining, and nurturing talent amidst India’s rapid development. Additionally, with the pace of technological advancement, staying updated poses another concern. To address these challenges, Gmmco is investing in in-house talent development with two large training centres in Chennai and Nagpur, ensuring a skilled workforce remains accessible.

A Visionary Guiding Gmmco’s Pathway

India, over the next decade, is positioned for substantial growth, solidifying its status as one of the world’s fastest-growing economies. “It is not just the next decade but the next century that belongs to India, which is poised to outgrow many other countries. And we are excited to be part of that growth,” shares Mr Chandrashekar. India’s power demand is on the brink of a surge, with total installed capacity anticipated to skyrocket from the current 400 GW to 1000 GW by 2030. Thermal energy is slated to contribute around 40%, which will consequently drive the demand for mining machinery.

Moreover, the government’s emphasis on domestic manufacturing is poised to unlock substantial opportunities in India’s infrastructure sector, which is anticipated to be among the country’s major industries. Additionally, the nation’s ambitious infrastructure development plans, with an estimated investment surpassing $10 trillion in the next decade, will spur growth and unlock new avenues for businesses operating in the infrastructure sector.

Capitalising on these favourable opportunities, Gmmco aims to become a $1 billion company by 2027. It is actively pursuing various avenues to facilitate business growth and capitalise on emerging opportunities.

Mr Chandrashekar has successfully forged strategic alliances with industry titans like Schneider Electric and JLG, expanding Gmmco’s product portfolio and solidifying its position as a formidable player. Moreover, he is engaged in negotiations with other global leaders to enhance the company’s growth and global presence.

Gmmco has also established a subsidiary named GTS (Gmmco Technology Services), which has entered into a joint venture with the German company Hauhinco. This subsidiary houses skilled design engineers capable of customising cutting-edge equipment and components to meet specific customer requirements. GTS is poised to be a leader in Mining Technology Services.

Leading with Insight and Innovation

Mr Chandrashekar V’s unwavering commitment to progress and relentless pursuit of excellence has propelled Gmmco Ltd.’s remarkable ascent. His leadership journey serves as a powerful inspiration, both within the company and beyond, for aspiring leaders across industries. His story epitomises the transformative potential of vision, dedication, and a people-centric approach. As Gmmco Ltd. advances toward its ambitious 2026 goal, one thing remains certain: Mr Chandrashekar V’s adept leadership will continue to steer the company towards continued success.

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