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The biggest lesson I have learnt in life- Good management is good management and it works everywhere
Mr. Habil Khorakiwala
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Following above you will read today success story of Mr. Habil Khorakiwala :
Habil Khorakiwala is the Chairman of Wockhardt Hospitals. Mr. Khorakiwala leads a team of 7000 employees based in India, UK, Ireland, Germany, USA, France and in emerging markets. He loves to work. That is why he has always held two posts at any given point of time. For chairman of Wockhardt and FICCI, Habil Khorakiwala, life is all about setting an example.
Born in Bombay (now Mumbai) in 1942, Dr. Habil Khorakiwala is the eldest son of Fakhruddin Khorakiwala, Chairman of the erstwhile Akbarallys chain of departmental stores and a former Sheriff of Mumbai.
After schooling in Mumbai, Dr. Habil Khorakiwala did his graduation in Pharmacy from L M College in Ahmedabad. He later acquired a Masters Degree in Pharmaceutical Science from Purdue University, USA and thereafter completed an Advanced Management Programme at the Harvard Business School in Boston, USA.
On his return to India, Dr. Habil Khorakiwala took over the reins of a small Mumbai firm making OTC (Over The-Counter) medications, employing about 20 people, with annual revenues of about Rs. 4 lakh. Since then, under his leadership, Wockhardt has grown in to a true Indian Multi-National Company.
Mr. Habil Khorakiwala founded the company in the early 1960s. Under his dynamic leadership, Wockhardt has emerged as a leading biotechnology and pharmaceutical company, driven by research and global strategies. Today, Wockhardt has an annual turnover of US$ 650 million, and a market capitalization of over $1 billion.
The entrepreneur who chose to drive the family's pharmaceuticals business rather than the retail enterprise became the first in Asia to produce recombinant human insulin. The Wockhardt Biotech Park in Aurangabad, which has the capacity to cater for between 10 and 15 per cent of the world's major biopharmaceuticals, is another example of a pharmaceutical scientist's passion for biotechnology and his contribution to his chosen field.
Those who have worked with Khorakiwala professionally know him to be generous .Wockhardt Hospitals is one of the few medical centres, they point out, that admits emergency patients without harassing them for money.
Today, Mr. Habil Khoarkiwala is touching the heights of glory. But life has not been always beautiful. Long time ago, when he was in Mumbai and was putting up our first factory in Aurangabad. He had very little money. He rounded up money from every kind loan facilities which he could avail. Under the dynamic stewardship of Khorakiwala, Wockhardt has now grown to be one of the top pharmaceutical companies in India employing more than 4500 people.
“It was the most challenging part,” Mr. Khorakiwala recalls. “Being a Mumbai person, moving out to establish a manufacturing facility was a huge risk.” During 1980s biotechnology was not much heard about. “Being at it for 3-4 years was big challenge for me,” he added. Today, Wockhardt is present in more than 90 countries and has businesses ranging from manufacture and marketing of pharmaceutical formulations, bulk drugs, vaccines, medical nutrition and health products to hospitals. His spirit of overcoming the odds and proving himself in the Corporate World is very clear with his following words, “I always thought that every time there are difficulties, it provides opportunities and challenges. Overcoming them proves your mettle.”
His courage to venture into the unknown is quite evident from the feat he stands today. “Sometimes you have to go to places which are unknown or come across totally new experiences. Like we developed new technologies or sometimes brought in new technologies,” he said. Khorakiwala in his earlier days came across many doomsayers but still moved on. “We started engaging with scientists and biotechnology.” That was the pre-liberalization era when people were not very optimist with the prospects of bio-technology.
But courage of conviction helped him. That is how he built an industry even in bad economy. And he built it up through his capabilities. Wockhardt was an Indian company in late 80s and early 90s with small exports. So once liberalization took place, the company’s ambition to do business and establish manufacturing facilities grew. Mr. Khorakiwala went on to buy companies in UK and Europe.
Buying new companies and working with new people was totally a new experience for Mr. Habil Khorakiwala. He says. “When you buy a loss making company, for the initial years, you work a lot. You invest money, rework the strategy but still continue to lose money. So, finally we decided to bring an Indian leadership to get results,” he added, “that was the time when I learnt my biggest lesson in life- Good management is good management and it works everywhere.”
In the race of being a business tycoon he has never sacrificed his most valuable family life. Dr. Habil Khorakiwala is married to Nafisa. He has three children – Huzaifa, Dr. Murtaza and Zahabiya, and one grandchild Miqdad. He believes, “It’s not the amount of time you give. It is the connectivity with your family members which makes a big difference. Rather than saying, ‘I spend two hours here and eight hours there,’ that’s not going to make a difference if they are not spent well. Even an half an hour (quality) time with family is enough,” says the father of three.
Under Dr. Habil Khorakiwala’s stewardship, the Wockhardt Group has strived to be a responsible corporate citizen by canalizing the organisation’s resources – time, money and skills – towards social causes that touches citizens of all strata of Indian society. Wockhardt Foundation is a unique Foundation and has made a brave & noble attempt to create a mass social movement of 1 million Warriors for nation building. Wockhardt Foundation’s missions are to work towards, and fight for the upliftment of the poor, weak and needy.
In August 2002, Wockhardt and Harvard Medical International (HMI) of USA created a not-for-profit organization called WHARF or the Wockhardt HIV/AIDS Education and Research Foundation. WHARF is a platform for clinicians, nurses, paramedics and counselors to acquire knowledge in the areas of their specialization relating to HIV/AIDS. Its objective is to scale up training of healthcare providers on the use of global standards for HIV/AIDS management and to work with them on overcoming attitudinal and economic barriers to providing quality care.
Mr. Habil Khorakiwala even at 65 is still a dreamer. But he doesn’t dream in numbers or quantity. He believes that whatever he does he must establish a kind of mark. He is indeed a pioneer in the Indian corporate world and someone people look up to.
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