In a world whose beating heart is connection, wires and cables are the arteries of this, providing the lifeblood for and serving the needs of modern globalization.
Krishna Electrical Industries (KEI Industries) is a leading name in this international network but when it began in 1968, the company was a small-scale business with just over 100 employees. It was founded as a partnership firm by Dayanand Gupta to provide wires and cabling for housing.
Fast forward to 1980, when Anil Gupta joined his father’s business. The young and passionate Gupta saw the potential to create new connections and since taking over his late father’s company at the tender age of 20, KEI Industries has never looked back.
In the ensuing 43 years, Gupta, who now leads the company as Chairman and Managing Director (CMD), has grown KEI Industries from a US$85,000 annual turnover to a resounding US$842 million.
This astounding growth has been achieved by Gupta leading KEI Industries through several phases of expansion. This includes the building of multiple new factories with the company having recently opened its sixth mega plant, introducing innovative product lines and supplying to new sectors.
In doing so, the company has transformed itself into a multinational conglomerate with a presence in more than 55 countries, and now boasts a team of 5,385 employees.
"In 1985, we started our first major manufacturing unit in the Okhla Industrial Area," Gupta recalls. "Subsequently, we added several products, from cables for power projects for the oil and gas sector, to the fertilizer sector."
We have built a close-knit family, which is driving the growth of this company.
KEI Industries went on to expand its product range over the years with an entry into low-tension power cables, instrumentation and control cables, high-tension cables, stainless steel wires, house wires, medium-voltage cable and extra-high-voltage cables.
The company is now India’s number one extra-high-voltage cable manufacturer and continues to place a high priority on investing in R&D.
"By 2014, we were fully established in manufacturing extra-high-voltage cables up to 220 kilovolts in the Indian market," he explains.
As a second generation business leader, Gupta is keen to carry on his late father’s legacy and is passionate about leading KEI Industries as a tight-knit family. "I tell my children that the company is their child and as such, it needs to be treated with honesty, love and care," he says.
Getting the wiring right
As the promoter and principal shareholder of KEI Industries, Gupta’s focus is on taking the company forward.
He also appreciates the importance of thinking globally while acting locally, and as such, initiated a successful technical collaboration with the major Swiss company Brugg Cables.
"When I joined, my passion was to become a leading name in my business and to create brand equity for ourselves," he says. "I wanted to grow the business, not only in India, but elevate it on the international stage as well."
As a first step to achieving this goal and developing the business professionally, Gupta recruited talented professionals for all spheres of the business. The CMD takes pride in motivating his team and encourages an open dialogue, making KEI Industries a highly employee-driven company.
"Most of my senior management, who are now taking care of the company’s operations, joined us somewhere in the 1990s and are still working with us after 33 years. They are developing the second and third lines of the team," he states proudly.
"We have built a close-knit family, which is driving the growth of this company."
Apart from growing the product profile and expanding geographically, Gupta believes that KEI’s commitment to ESG is not just to meet the current trend, but to make the company sustainable and as environmentally conscious as possible.
"Our key focus at the moment is on improving ESG and ensuring that the team’s environment is such that it keeps them motivated," Gupta says. "Our factories are pollution-free, we plant trees regularly and we promote sustainability through initiatives such as installing solar plants on all our rooftops."
These CSR initiatives are led by Archana Gupta, whose efforts have ensured that there is zero industrial waste discharged into any bodies of water and zero air pollution from KEI Industries.
Working in the electric cable industry, Gupta is aware of the risks for his employees and KEI Industries strives to ensure all their products are manufactured to the highest standards.
"Safety is particularly important for us," he stresses. "Fire safety, machine safety in the plants and maintaining good labor practices, such as having reasonable working temperatures to take care of employee health, and offering medical claims support in terms of exigencies, are all a part of our working culture."
Gupta also shares that the company’s products are Restriction of Hazardous Substances compliant. "The plastics or insulating and sheathing materials we use are safe, fire retardant and do not emit smoke in case of fire."
Gupta believes that humanity in business dealings and transparency in work go a long way to create the perfect environment in which to work for – or with – an organization.
"The most important value is that we respect the people with whom we work as an employee, a customer, a vendor or a supplier," he says.
Gupta adds that it’s this respect for others and the encouragement of open dialogue that results in team members achieving career satisfaction with KEI Industries. He includes himself in this.
"It’s absolutely true for myself," he confirms. "I have achieved work satisfaction while building a strong, sustainable organization in terms of manufacturing capabilities, product acceptance and financial stability. We are a zero-debt company with world class capabilities."
I have achieved work satisfaction while building a strong, sustainable organization in terms of manufacturing capabilities, product acceptance and financial stability.
Gupta is proud to have built KEI Industries into a company that can seamlessly cater to a diverse range of customer needs and multiple sectors.
"We are a company that manufactures word class products right from one-kilovolt to 400-kilovolt cables," he says. "We have grown in every sector of the economy, right from power industries, refineries and automobiles to steel, cement, real estate and the infrastructure sector.
"I’m immensely proud that our brand tagline, ‘Har Tension Sahe, Chalti Rahe!’ [We handle every tension of wire and will keep on going forever!], is an ethos that is reflected in everything we do and everything we produce."