Mr TV Srinivas Shenoy
May 30, 2018
He is a photographer, but only by avocation; a promising author, who can acquaint you with the tricks to succeed in the corporate world; a leader who puts his team before himself, mentoring them to grow to fill his shoes, he is a student for life who thinks every day at work has something new to learn from. Traversing an array of business functions, from ‘Mines’ to ‘Marketing’, meet a most versatile leader, TV Srinivas Shenoy – Chief Marketing and Sales, Ferro Alloys and Minerals SBU of Tata Steel. Here, he, shares his mantra of work and life in an exclusive talk with the communications team of Jindal Stainless.
Introduce us to young Shenoy and some of his early childhood memories.
I started out as an engineering student. I was fortunate to make it to NIT Rourkela (REC then) and graduated as a Mining Engineer and joined Tata Steel from the campus itself. I’m the third child of a middle-class family, with two elder sisters, and aspired to become a pilot or a cricketer by profession. I spent my entire childhood in Sunabeda, a cosy township tucked away in the Koraput District in Odisha, watching the manufacturing of engines of the fighter MiG aircraft jets, as my father worked in one of those plants as an engineer. So when both of my sisters grew upto become doctors, I needed to balance it out; and that’ s how engineering happened to me. Though simple living, my family placed supreme emphasis to education, ethics and values. That is what my childhood was all about,; it still had a distinct charm to it which only a small town, away from the hustle-bustleof city, can offer. Looking back, I would have perhaps the best education one can get in my school, V S Vidyalaya and owe a lot of what I am today to my schoolteachers. But this is all about my past. My-present world is surrounded bymy loving wife Shantal, who is a school teacher, and my daughter Dimitra who is a state level bad mint on player,studying in classeleven.
“My family placed supreme emphasis to education, ethics and values. That is what my childhood was all about,; it still had a distinct charm to it which only a small town, away from the hustle-bustle of city, can offer”
More than two-decade with Tatas, what are some noteworthy milestones of your career?
I started my career with Tata Steel in 1992 as a Mining engineer in the Noamundi/ Joda Iron ore Mines. There, I learnt all the important traits that a novice needs to become competent in his job. From shop floor management, to handling workmen, to all the admin work, every day was abundant with learning and I enjoyed every bit of it. In 1995 I went on to do my MBA from the T A Pai Management Institute and shortly after majoring in Marketing moved to a different yet challenging role as a Sales professional in the Tubes SBU of Tata Steel. After sales stints in various locations I went on to head the North Zone sales. Soon after that, I was appointed the Marketing Head of the Agrico and Retail initiatives SBU. All this while, I was first located in Mumbai, Ahmedabad, and then in Delhi. Today, I head the Sales and Marketing function of Tata Steels’ Ferro Alloys and Minerals SBU based out of Kolkata. Exposure to different places and multiple roles, taught me a great deal of flexibility and skills; skills that have helped me become who I am. They also serve as fodder to another challenge that I undertook voluntarily – that of writing a book. Once, completed,this can indeed be one of my biggest milestones.
Can you tell us more about this book of yours?
I believe that every day at work is a case study. You meet different people with different personalities and traits. How people react, how they behave, how they ideate and the reasons behind these are leaning that can form patterns. Once you start examining them in detail, you can unlock a lot of secrets of the corporate world. This book is a compilation of anecdotes/incidents fr o m my professional journey and lessons that I have learnt while interacting with others in the Corporate. I have named the book “Corporate Musings” and when published, I hope it can be a professional guide to help everyone in the Corporate learn the rules of the game. In this, I have also mentioned some of those traits that are common to almost all the successful corporate leaders; leaders who I have personally observed growing and reaching the top.
In your entire gamut of customers, what sets Jindal Stainless apart?
We never treat Jindal Stainless as our customer. We are partners who have been working together quite successfully over the years. Mr Ganesh and his team are real eager-beavers. I still remember how in one of the initial meetings, he came up with an idea and said to me “you send us chrome ore & Coke we will convert it to ferro, chrome and buy it” That suggestion struck and there we formed one of the most unique relationships; transitioning from a customer to a partner. The synergy that exists between us and Jindal Stainless is commendable and perhaps the only such partnership which exists globally in this industry.
What is your message to future leaders out there?
I don’t have just one but four important messages for our young leaders: The first one is, ‘raise your hand’. The difference between good and great managers is that great ones take challenges and never succumb to their comfort zone. I see this as a symbol of ‘raising hand’. Those who raise their hand and rise to the occasion are bound to be successful. The second one is even more important. As you grow, you need a very strong team and that is possible only when you nurture your people and empower them enough that they prove your worth through their work. You definitely need to put them first and yourself second. That’s what will make you a good leader. The third one is to have a mentor in life; someone who can guide you and someone who you can look up to. You need him/her the most when you meander through difficulties. Corporate life can be very unforgiving and to navigate through tough times and in good times having a mentor helps significantly. The last one is to have a passion in life beyond work. This is essential to release all the work related pressure. I am a photographer and trust me, this pursuit helps me even more in my professional life.