'Success is stepping stone to failure'

By Aaditya Anand M Published on Jun 09, 2018 02:01 PM IST

Chennai: "Disruptions happen in everyone's life and I believe it happens because of the nature of things and not because of us. If we do not lose faith in ourselves, then we can handle any disruption that comes our way," said chairman, TTK Group, T T Jagannathan during the launch of his recent book "Disrupt and Conquer: How TTK Prestige became a billion dollar company".

Co-authored by journalist-turned-media entrepreneur Sandhya Mendonca, it was launched at IIT Madras Thursday.

At a discussion about the book with Sindhu Sekhar, a student of IIT Madras, Sandhya said the book is not only about TTK Group's success story but also contains some valuable business skills that can be gained by readers.

"By writing this book I have learnt how to run my own little business," she said.

Excerpts from the discussion with T TJagannathan:

Q: How did disruption help turnaround your fortunes?

A: I think there is disruption in everybody's life. I have a simple philosophy that it happens not because of you but because of

the nature of things. I firmly believe that if you do not lose faith in yourself, you can handle any disruption that comes your way. But in terms of market (business), disruption is relatively less here than abroad.

Q: Who is your inspiration?

A: My mother. She had no experience in business. She was a normal housewife who had not even entered any office. I approached her one day to head the Chennai operations. She was reluctant at first, but she did thrive and without her help there would have been no business.

Q: How did failures contribute to your massive success?

A: I would like to paraphrase the expression 'Failure is the stepping stone to success' to 'Success is the stepping stone to failure'. I have seen this in my life. When you taste success you tend to take life very easy and when failure hits you, you don't know how to handle it. You should bring all your strength out, believe in yourself and bounce back from failures.

Excerpts from the discussion with Sandhya Mendonca:  

Q: Tell us about the creative stuff and the work done before writing this book.

A: I had around 18 interviews spread across several hours with Jagannathan and his family and colleagues. I started the interview last April and wrote the first draft and then realised there were several gaps that had to be filled. I took a four-month break for some personal work. Later, I took up this project once again, started interviewing people and referred many books that gave me context. Mrs Latha Jagannathan was very helpful as she recommended people who could talk about T T Jagannathan's journey. It took nine months to complete this book.

Q: What is your perspective looking at Jagannathan's extraordinary journey?

A: I think it gives a message that if you have a strong will, you overcome any hurdle that comes your way. These are stories in India that should be celebrated. His story is a great example of perseverance and the world should know his incredible story.

Q: Why should people read this book?

A: We have captured a very important part of India's history. The book talks not just about market disruptions and economic growth of the company, but also about T T Jagannathan who has continued to be innovative even at the age of 70. By writing this book I have learnt how to run my own little business.