What do you currently do?
I am the Global Chairman of India’s largest security group called TOPSGRUP. We are a conglomerate of 11 companies that specialize offer Enterprise Risk Management Solutions to our customers.
Our services include Manned Guarding, Close Protection, Investigations, Security Consultancy, Facility Management, Emergency Response Services, Training, etc. We employ 90,000 employees in India and approximately 3000 employees in the United Kingdom.
We partner with over 8000 customers and operate out of 120 offices in India, Israel and United Kingdom.
What is your inspiration in business?
My inspiration in business is to make India and United Kingdom a safer place for our parents and children to live in. We work with the government on many social and community initiatives where we try and improve security awareness in local communities. Our Emergency Response Service in Mumbai is one of the prime examples of such an initiative of ours.
TOPSLINE 1252, India’s first private emergency response service was launched in 2005 as a non profit service for the citizens. TOPSGRUP in consultation with an American specialist, invested millions of pounds in this project to create a life saving service akin 911 and 999.
Today, within 6 years of launch, we have over 900,000 citizens of Mumbai and neighbouring cities who are members of this service and our Life Saving Crew have saved over 15,000 lives and counting.
During the 26/11 terrorist attack in Mumbai, TOPSLINE 1252 in joint collaboration with the law enforcement agencies, rescued and saved over 150 lives.
Who do you admire?
I look upto every single employee of mine who risks his life for the sake of his duty in TOPSGRUP. I look upto all the family members of all such employees of ours who encourage and support their commitment to the organisation and never once weaken them or demoralise them from performing their duties.
It takes far more than a salary and bonus to take a bullet for your job or jump into the fire to rescue an unknown human being and I am proud to admit, that most of our men and women do that all the time for the sake of the crest of TOPS they wear on their chests.
Looking back, are there things you would have done differently?
I would have done everything the same way as I have today and made the same mistakes I have today; except that I should have launched our Education Fund for Victims of Terrorist Activities much earlier in my life.
After 26/11, TOPSGRUP launched the ‘Diwan Harichand Nanda Education Fund Trust’ for educating and supporting all such victims of terrorism in India and elsewhere who need support and education.
What defines your way of doing business?
I am a very hands on, committed, ethical, aggressive and innovative leader who never takes no for an answer and believes not in going around the hurdles/impediments, but breaking all such barriers/walls/hurdles and going right through it.
These and many more traits that I have are quite similar to most of the entrepreneurs who I know and respect. For me execution of strategies and ideas takes more predominance as compared to any other attributes that I may have. In simple words, I am a kick-ass when it comes to execution!
What advice would you give to someone just starting out?
You have to believe in your guts and not what consultants say. Consultants and advisors always want you to remain safe and play it with caution but you simply cannot become a businessman if you cannot take risks.
I have never listened to any advisors and always listened to what my heart says and what my team members believe in.
And if you make mistakes and lose, you need to have the requisite resilience to stand up again and again as you fall again and again. If you cannot do this, I recommend that you choose an alternative career path and do not pursue becoming an entrepreneur.