Larsen & Toubro’s (L&T) chairman AM Naik, who has already announced SN Subrahmanyan as his successor, is on a “mission to prepare the next level of leadership” before he retires on September 30, 2017.
“There are many things that are yet to be done before I retire next year. Apart from restructuring the small businesses and making the company asset-light, I want to create the next level of leadership in the next one year,” Naik told shareholders here over the weekend.
He has served the largest engineering and construction behemoth for more than a half a century.
Naik said during his 13 years of chairmanship, he has so far mentored as many as 50 leaders, who are now on the company’s board, and is busy now training another 20 young leaders for the next level of leadership.
“I am hopeful I will do a pretty good job (in mentoring them). I will hold a meeting with them once in two months to guide them and keep up with their progress,” said Naik, who joined L&T way back in 1965 as a junior engineer. He went on to become the the CEO in 1999 and the chairman in 2003.
In 2012, the board gave him an extension till 2017.
“I have personally mentored over 50 future leaders and equipped them with the competencies and strengths of character to steer the company through the challenges of the future,” said Naik, son of a Gujarat village school principal.
The company already has a 7-step leadership programme designed to build a robust pipeline of future leaders.
The stages include training in some of the world’s leading business schools like IIM-A, Ross, Insead and the Harvard and at the final stage, to mentored by Naik himself.
He also told the shareholders that he has set a target of doubling the revenue to Rs 2 trillion (Rs 2 lakh crore) by 2020/21 by focusing on an asset light strategy and sharpening the business focus.
Accordingly, Naik said the company has “identified select growth businesses in L&T’s broad portfolio. These include IT, technology services, defence, smart world and water management.
“Our strategic plan involves re-allocation of resources – both talent and capital – to businesses with visible value creation potential. As most of these are also asset-light businesses, the initiative will be in line with our larger objective of building an asset-light organisation”.
He also said this growth will be a technology-driven leadership drive and the mission is profitable growth through technology leadership.
“Since 2000, we have developed and rigorously implemented a five-year strategic planning process. We are now in the fourth wave of this programme,” he said, adding that to achieve the set objectives, the company has partnered with two global strategic consultancies.
Naik, who will turn 75 in 2017, has pledged nearly 75 per cent of his wealth for philanthropy.
“I was motivated by my grandfather and father to give back something to the society. In 1995, I donated Rs 4 lakh for constructing one floor to a hospital in my village. I am also building a CBSE school and a hospital close to L&T’s Powai campus,” he said.
Apart from this, Naik is also keen on developing a vedic school.
“I keep donating to marriage halls, thread ceremony halls, etc. I want to promote Vedic education and I’ve already donated for a school which is coming up in an ashram in Gujarat for the purpose,” he added.
He already runs two charitable trusts – The Naik Charitable Trusts for Education & Skill Training and the Nirali Memorial Medical Trust, named after his granddaugther, who died of cancer in 2007.