By Gavin Gibbon
It's easy to say you'd like to follow in your father's footsteps, but when your father is a hugely successful billionaire they can be some pretty sizeable shoes to fill.
Bavaguthu Raghuram Shetty is an Indian-born billionaire businessman, and the founder and chairman of Abu Dhabi-based NMC Healthcare, and chairman of UAE Exchange. He is also the founder and chairman of Neopharma, Finablr and BRS Ventures.
As the vice chairman and CEO of BRS Ventures, his son Binay Shetty, a successful entrepreneur, is striving to continue his legacy.
How big an influence has your father been on your career?
I have always looked up to my father, especially while I was growing up, and would continuously seek his advice and learn by his example.
As I got older and progressed through completing my studies and working in the family business, I began to really fathom the weight of his influence on deeper levels.
His work ethic, his appetite for taking risks, his conviction on opportunities in the UAE and India, his solution-oriented attitude and his legacy in general are only some of the many attributes that have stuck with me to this day.
What is the best piece of advice he has given you and how have you used this?
Father-son relationships are full of multitudes of good advice in almost all aspects of life, whether it’s related to your career, education or social life. I have lost count of the endless amount of valuable feedback, mentorship and advice I have received from my father over the last three decades.
They have played an integral role in laying the foundation I have built for myself in the past, how I make business decisions in the present and how I tackle challenges in the future.
What has truly resonated with me the most is to never let the thought of financial gain influence your business mind-set. There will always be financial loss and gain, but the most important factor when making decisions is purpose.
Dr Shetty has reached the heights he has today because he always pushed on in the face of challenges, and I intend to do the same while I carry his legacy forward.
The other piece of significant advice I have received is about the community. He has always thought beyond himself and for the greater good of society and this has allowed him to have a larger vision than just financial prosperity. This is the main reason which has lent itself to the sustainability of all his ventures.
He strongly believes in what his mother advised him when he left home for the UAE in 1973. She said: “Wherever you go and whatever you do, always remember that your deeds should be service-oriented towards the community. It should do good to at least ten people around you, but even if one person speaks ill about you, you are cursed.”
This has stuck with me since and is at the core of everything that I take up in life.
How does your leadership align with your father’s?
BRS Ventures was established as, and continues to be, a values-driven, global investment company with a great focus on our people and the communities in which we operate in. In my endeavour to reflect our values, hand-in-hand with what I have learned from my father, my leadership strategy is greatly people focused.
Our people and communities are truly the core of our business and the driving force that keeps our legacy going.
I intend to keep this perfectly aligned with what my father has been doing for the past few decades, which includes complete accessibility to any employee, stakeholder or individual, always.
In what ways does it differ?
As the world progresses amid an ever-changing and fast-paced business landscape, there is always room for business leaders to assess, strategise and adapt.
As much as Dr Shetty contributed to the way I work towards success, I have found my footing in a few ways that may slightly differ from my father’s strategy in growing the businesses, namely when I comes to growth strategies and being slightly more risk conscious.
Has this given rise to conflict and how was this resolved?
It has given rise more to discussion, understanding and learning on what drives him. I always find it fascinating to observe and soak in his views on opportunities.
What advice would you pass on to your children in terms of leadership and why?
When you are fortunate enough to have a parent, or any other parental figure, who has left a legacy and deeply impactful print in his or her life, there is nothing more powerful that the desire to instil the same in your children.
As a father myself, I intend to pass on my experience and knowledge, as well as my father’s legacy and our family’s values, to my children. In the Shetty family, and the wider BRS Ventures one, we believe in people and the potential they have, to serve our communities, be passionate and always lead by actions and example.