Professor and Principal
College of Arts and Commerce, Andhra University
“Think Global, Act Local” is the philosophy of an entrepreneur, who promoted the business in 1981, a micro enterprise – Bharathi Soap Works. His mission was serving the society with courage and confidence. Shri Manickavel Arunachalam was born in a small village in Tamil Nadu and settled in another place of Andhra Pradesh. The inspirational leader and the loyal members of his team were interesting to learn.
With some experience and high school education, started the business with Rs.2,000/- and two persons in 1981 had grown continuously. At present, about 200 employees had been serving in the group with different skills and educational levels. The Banks and State Financial Corporation of Andhra Pradesh had provided finance to extent of about Rs.12.0 crores in addition to the own and friends contribution. They had excellent promotional media. They had the slogan of “samskaravanthamina soap” which attracted several customers.
His wife Mrs. Parimala is very cooperative and extended her support and had becme a strong pillar. Their two children Divya Bharathi and Praveen Raj were very cool and calm at home studying different courses. They used to maintain good relations and friends in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh in addition to business family.
The company was producing detergent soaps and detergent powder. TripleX soap had become more popular in local market. As the customers were satisfied with the products and services, the market share had increased from one per cent to 10 per cent. It was a great achievement for the team of Manickavel who had taken a lot of trouble in convincing customers in the competitive and changing environment. Quality of the products is their main strength. Arunachalam was a philanthropist and patriot. He used to provide financial assistance towards education, health and other charitable purposes. He was considered to be one of the social workers in India. The business had been growing continuously. They had expansion in setting up a new venture with Parimala as Managing Director of the units.
The main problems of the business were: shortage of power and competition from national and multinational companies. Another challenge is continuation of business in the next generation. When we asked the question Shri Manickavel replied, that he was not in a position to decide the joining of his children in to business. The dilemma was even if they join, whether daughter or son is to be encouraged or both.