An Inspiring Story With A ‘Never Dye Spirit’
The journey of Perfect Art is perfectly inspiring to a new venture or a youth to be an industry professional to learn about the never-dying spirit. Perfect Art's route lies in the state of Bihar from where an aspiring student peruses BE in civil engineering and struggled a lot to achieve success in his objective. In the process, he travels a lot from Bihar to, MP, Punjab, Rajasthan to Delhi NCR and at last become an entrepreneur. The journey that started from a mare Rs 1300 has reached to Rs 80 crore annual turnover, still, there is a vision to do something considerable that can be termed as impressive success to the entire industry. Building Material Reporter (BMR) interacted with Mr. Nagendra Kumar Nirala and Mr. Ramkaran Sharma, Partners, Perfect Art, and talked about their journey and future plans.
How the journey had begun?
After completing my Bachelor in Engineering (Civil) in the 1990s I joined an NCL project in MP with Madhucon Projects and started the journey of professional life as a civil engineer with a remuneration of just Rs 1300. Civil Engineering at that time also was not so lucrative unlike what an IT engineer is getting today. Later I joined TATA Group and worked on a hydro project in Pathankot in Punjab. In this company, I learned a lot with so many transfers in different parts of the country. Working in the different regions was a great learning process that gave me an opportunity to observe the businesses and market very closely. As here also the salary was low, so the frustration level was going up with the thought that an engineer is not able to earn handsome money in a good manner and comfortably lead his life.
How did you venture into Perfect Art?
Later I left the job and came to Delhi with a vision and dream to do something good. But, being financially not so sound I again started a job working for others, and then comes the bright sunny day and I got introduced to the wood and panel industry. It looked me attractive and tried and joined a company with a three times higher salary. I served the industry as a professional dedicatedly with various organizations. After having a handsome amount of savings me and my partner Mr. Ramkaran Sharma started a joint venture firm called Perfect Arts.
What is the vision behind the name 'Perfect Art' and why did you choose this name?
During working with different organizations in a long journey of my professional career in this industry I was seeing so many discrepancies in product offerings and businesses. So, when we thought to venture into this industry we were very much clear in our mind that whatever we will do, everything would be quality-based and perfectly executed. I think when you do something with the right objective and clear in your thought in the right mindset with dedication in your duty the God definitely helps you. It happened to us as well. After the inception of the venture, we did not look back with the grace of God. Our first contract was Rs 30 lakh and after 10 years of service to the industry, we become capable to bring Perfect Art to the level of a turnover of Rs 80 crore today. We can call it an achievement as a journey that started with Rs 1300 has traveled a long way.
The turning point in your business career that brought a considerable change in your thought process?
It was a project from Harland Davidson at that time financially we were not very sound as the venture was just started. But, they were much impressed with us and offered the job without considering our weaknesses. It was a great opportunity for us and become the turning point in my life as well as the career as an entrepreneur. In that meeting, a few of the company officials had said that how can they handle this project if they are not financially stable and strong enough to execute it perfectly? That time I committed to them that I will ask for the payment after completing the project. Because I conveyed my confidence in the words that our market value is many times more than our balance sheet. It was a four-crore project that has been awarded to me just on our commitment and confidence gained with goodwill in the market. It was not only a memorable moment but our life-changing deal.
What challenges you faced and how did it change your game in your business career?
I received the first cheque from them worth Rs 1.08 crore. It helped me a lot in building this brand and making a place in the market. We turned that amount very cautiously into expanding the market presence and transactions. I realize that projects played a considerable role in our life and the business career.
Bonding with your partner and who is looking after which segment of the business basically?
Right from the beginning of the venture in 2010, Mr. Ramkaran Sharma is looking after the segment of the project and I am looking after the segment of commercial sales. Technically we are very much sound as with over a long period of over 30 years in the business and handling various projects. We are long associated with the architects of Delhi National Capital Region (DNCR), Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), and many other prominent cities. We have done a lot of projects with them.
BMR: How building material suppliers/contractors fulfill the needs of an architect and come to their expectations in terms of execution of work?
While serving them, our special focus lies to understand their thought and objective behind a design and fulfills their needs. This is a must-have quality of a contractor and executes their work efficiently. Without contractorsÃ¢?? understanding of the needs, architects would have to face a lot of challenges. A contractorÃ¢??s experience turns useful at this moment. What they think we understand and copy their design in our minds. It boosts our tuning and their design becomes perfect. It also helps in work execution efficiently. This is the reason we are associated with leading architects and we are getting repeat orders from them.
As you have done a lot of commercial projects, what is the current situation of the market after a setback of the COVID situation and over eight months of reopening the market?
We cannot say that the projects are in a very good position, the COVID situation is hit hard everyone. Where we were getting 80%, the rating today has remained at just 30%. Several multinational companies have taken hold of their interior works. Hopefully, the New Year will be promising as the beginning is considerably good. We do more commercial projects and see; still, there is no pace in this segment. Residential projects are yielding good results as looks in the media reports.
We would like to know that during Covid lockdown and till after eight months how did you hold the family of Perfect Art and remained cool and calm?
During that period we tried to hold them and support them financially to a large extent. We were committed to holding their hands so we did not do lay off or salary cuts to anyone. They were associated with us as they were before.
How do you select the material of their choice? Either you see the past record of the suppliers or focus on brands, what is the decision-making process in terms of material procurement?
We focus on both things. On the basis of our past experiences, we get to understand what is to be done. Also, we see the track record of the suppliers and brand. We also follow the make list of architects and their suggested brands and try to select the best from them. Besides, if I get something new in the market and that is turning most suitable as a replacement of any suggested material we introduce it to the architects and get approved for the uses and applications.
For your personal projects, how do you select the materials, do you give chance to new brands as well? Please name a few projects which you are working on and in the pipeline?
We generally try to include new brands in our projects after thoroughly checking the quality, consistency, value for money, and after-sales service of the products. Currently, we are doing several projects like in Mind Tree in Hyderabad which is an IT firm, the second one is Alpo in Nimrana and the third is Holistic in Bawana which is our design-build project, etc. Besides, we have delivered five projects after opening lockdown and many more tenders have been applied which is under the process of finalization.
BMR: Which brand/services have inspired you the most and you appreciate their presence in your execution of work?
ECE for electrical goods, Dorma for door closer, Gaze for hardware are many more with which our satisfaction level is always good. These are many responsible brands that take care of the orders and their perfect execution. They never let us down before our clients even after a long-timer of the service. We need not call them many times for the execution of work with them.
What is your message to the new aspirants who wish to come to the interior decorative industry for business and service offerings? Altogether what new is to be added in terms of Government initiative for skill development for the requirement of skilled professionals to the industry?
The government has focused a lot on skill development for the generation of quality manpower that can serve the industry efficiently to boost the speed and accuracy of any job. From our side, we would like to say the new aspirants to the industry, in whatever capacity they wish to come to the industry, there is no alternative to hard work and dedication towards planning and execution of work.
Secondly, you must maintain your honesty with projects you are handling whether it is small or big, no matters. It built your goodwill that is the biggest asset in this industry. The timely delivery is also most important, for example, if we have committed a time frame for any work, our priority remains to its early execution. There is no place of laziness here. I would like to appeal to the youth to focus on work and its timely execution, the success will be yours.