Hear my Story
Mr. Ankit Agarwal, aged 37, is the Managing Director of Alankit Limited, the Flagship Company of Alankit Group, listed on leading exchanges in India – National Stock Exchange of India Limited (NSE) and BSE Limited. Scion of a renowned family of entrepreneurs, he is a skilled business leader who has led business operations since 2009. Embodying pragmatic thought leadership and robust corporate expansion, Ankit possesses over 11 years of experience spanning multiple sectors, from high technology to the Government and Fintech sectors.
Ankit credits his success to courage and passion. Having a unique management style of collaborative consensus, he helps strike the perfect balance between traditional business practices and contemporary technology-driven business growth. Ankit, a conscientious businessman, believes in creating long-term value with business partners, associates, and customers.
1. How was your beginning
Being a Charted Accountant was a childhood dream. I was very clear that I had to do Chartered Accountancy since I was studying at the Montfort School in eighth grade. Delhi since I have an enormous love for numbers and Mathematics as a subject. Ergo, I completed my CA from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, New Delhi. I did my graduation from Guru Gobind Singh College of Commerce, University of Delhi.
My beginning is that of a humble one. As I remember, at the time of my birth, we never had a car and used autos and other public transport to commute. My father used to work for 12-15 hours daily. As for my mother, she was entirely focused on getting us educated. I still remember that my father’s first car, a ‘FIAT,’ was gifted from the Company he used to work with.
My ambition of dreaming big inspired me to be a risk-taker. So, if I believe my efforts will make a difference and are genuine, I will leave no stone unturned to make the right thing happen. It is something I’ve done at work. It is something I’ve done in my life.
2. How did you get your first job / Started your organisation
I took up my first Articleship with Deloitte Haskins & Sells in Delhi. It is the auditing arm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu LLP in India. Later, I worked with Aditya Birla Private Equity in Mumbai. However, I soon realised I always had a hunch of finding solutions to ergonomic problems. Ergo, to pursue the same, I joined my own business.
3. Please describe your initial years of struggle. Any failures that you vividly remember?
Like other youngsters my age, when I joined my business, I envisioned a fairytale flow to my business where all I had to do was take our family business to newer heights. However, in reality, it was extremely challenging and required constant effort to keep up with the expectations since it was a legacy to inherit. When a business transitions from the first to the second generation, handling people becomes a task that needs a beautiful evolution.
When I joined our business, I started expanding our Pharma Retail stores on a larger scale and was able to expand it from 3 to 18 stores. However, after a few years of rapid growth, Company had stalled out, and I was spending more time fighting fires than doing the stuff I loved, which made us money. So, eventually, after trying every solution possible, we had to make the hard decision to fold our entire chain of Pharma Retail Stores for good.
Another such failure, or rather an unfortunate event similar to the Pharma Retail, was the folding of our PAN services recently. Initially, the business started on a good note, where people automatically came to our offices to avail services of PAN cards. However, the model changed with time, further altering the DNA structure from a sales perspective to an operational one. Nevertheless, this business gave us one of the most stimulating and educational experiences ever. There is no doubt that PAN-related services gave us volume, visibility, and control over the market share. But in hindsight, as I recollect, the primary reason behind the closing down of the business was the shift of direction from a core sales-driven focus to a more operation-driven approach.
4. Describe a turning point in your professional life.
I will always remember the date, 26th May 2014, when I took over the reins of Alankit as its Managing Director. It was a day of mixed feelings; I was excited and nervous at the same.
While preparing to take over the family business, all I wanted in the back of my head was to achieve a seamless transition. So naturally, I was anticipating what and how my staff would feel about the management change in the organisation. That feeling was my turning point which has made me keep pushing forward and aim for the zenith of success.
5. What has been your biggest achievement till date
Since digital transformation has overtaken industry after industry, it was essential that I kept a keen eye on the digital transformation process of the Company to level up with the competitors while it was transitioning from a conventional one to a Digitally or Technologically Driven FinTech organisation. We achieved the same through various steps taken such as the organisation of the company, upskilling our employees, introducing technologically driven new products and services.
Once I joined Alankit as the Managing Director, the revenue mix of the organisation further changed on a positive note. The actual sales volume has remained higher than originally estimated, leading to a favorable sales quantity variance. It helped our businesses to determine which products are performing better in the market and come up with better marketing plans for the same. Also, on the basis of the annual revenue mix, we started formulating new strategies to push other services in a new light to our customers to further enhance our sales.
The adoption of technologies plays a critical role in digital transformation, and regular training on various technologies is a crucial aspect of this transition. Along with it, I also believe in upskilling my workforce and making sure that my employees stay abreast with the latest digital development. Hiring new and fresher minds with technological orientation for work is another major step taken for the same.
Alankit is one of the leading players in the FinTech domain and is currently embarking on a plan to make work simpler for its clients in various domains.
With truly integrated planning and the rigorous brainstorming of the efficient team, my team has come up with some of the best financial services, such as In-Branch Debit/Credit Printing Services, Software and Solutions, Tech Stack (GST, DOBS, NPS, NIR, Mutual Fund, Authentication), and POS Services that cater to various industries. Additionally, we also provide a financial umbrella to take care of the financial needs by offering options such as IntelliStock (Basket Investment), Easy Trade App (Trading), World Investing (U.S. Stock Investments), and Credit Facilitation (Small Cap Personal and Business Loans). The Company is constantly working on bringing new and innovative products and services for further expansion of the Company in the FinTech domain while staying at par with the competitors. One of the reasons I have gotten to this point is probably due to the diligent preparation of my Company’s succession plan.
6. What has been one of your life’s biggest learning.
There are multiple lessons that I have learned through all this time, and they have added quality to my life and work. One of them is to trust in people. Trusting the people you work with is essential; no one can win the race single-handedly.
The second lesson is always to keep your guards on since you only understand your situation the best. The third and most important lesson is to share the information only on a need-to-know basis. Always share knowledge only as much is asked or required in a particular situation in order to stay in control of the situation.
I believe the right set of people can make all the difference, irrespective of the product or services offered. It is with their highly motivated attitude and skills that a company can scale newer heights. Knowing, finding, and assessing these people for your team is also a challenge that helps you to grow as an individual. It helps one analyse, evaluate, and address the biggest gaps and then work to accomplish the common goal.
7.What would be your advice to someone who aspires to be you.
First of all, I do not think anyone should aspire to be anyone but you. However, one can always be inspired by others to fulfill their destiny. In the process of doing the same, one should be constantly compassionate, vigorous, and excited about what one knows and work on enhancing your knowledge further.
I firmly believe that if you don’t really like what you do, you should rather not do it all like I always knew. I never was meant to do auditing or taxation, and neither should you. So instead, do what you know you can excel at and see yourself do wonderfully.