Aparna Enterprises Limited (AEL) Aparna Enterprises Limited executive director Aparna spent five years going through office records before taking up the management role.
Sannareddy Subramanyam Reddy set up Aparna Enterprises Limited (AEL) close to three decades ago in Hyderabad and named it after his only child Aparna. For Aparna, it could have been a cakewalk and she could have just occupied the corner office. Instead, she chose the path less trodden.
“Authority comes with legacy. But acceptance of people is more important,” says Aparna, who spent five years going through office records before taking up the management role. The stint, the Executive Director says, was needed to understand the work culture and people to draw up growth plans.
Aparna chose the building material segment, which is not known to have many women at the leadership position. “Society has a different way of looking at things. For me, sectors did not matter – it was a natural progression. I saw my father toil building the company. He is my role model,” says Aparna, who believes that capabilities, not gender, decide the role.
At AEL, she oversees operations, finance, IT, HR and marketing. It’s been over nine years since she became a part of the company. The learning at ISB comes to her aid in making project reports for board approval.
“Sometimes, it is needed to get our hands dirty. There will be some resistance for change. Plans will be accepted if they are aligned to organisation’s interests and people working in it,” she says.
The company has operations in multiple States but its manufacturing units are in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
AEL is a backward integrated company and the demand for its products is directly related with real estate activities. There have been times when the company had to take some really tough decision. When real estate bottomed out around 2009, customers of one of the group’s projects at Nallagandla wanted the money back. “We decided to give them their money back,” recollects Aparna.
Another tough decision was when they planned to venture into vitrified tiles in 2011, again when the realty was down. “We were going back and forth on the plans. But eventually decided to go ahead and invested Rs 300 crore,” she says. The unit became operational in 2016 and is now operating at full capacity.
“Decisions have to be taken. Some of them turn out good and some may be bad. This is better than indecision,” she says.
AEL, a flagship of Aparna group, is on course to be a Rs 1,000-crore in turnover company by 2020. Its current turnover is pegged at Rs 800 crore. With the other group company Aparna Construction and Estates Limited, the overall turnover is around Rs 1,700 crore.
For her, it is a habit to review the day’s work at dinner. “Work-life balance is fragile in our case. We end up talking business matters at home,” she says. That is because her husband Ashwin Reddy Pochana and father are part of the company management team.
Though she gets support from her mother Padma in dealing with her three kids, responsibilities at home are a collective affair. “I learnt from my father that we have to earn what we need. We have to be on our own and not overly dependent as a particular situation could change anytime and we should be prepared for that,” she says. #KhabarLive