For Balkrishna Shirsat, risk is equivalent to growth in Business
By Ramrai Naik
ONE SURE SHOT way of minimizing risks in business is by diversifying one’s portfolio – that’s exactly what Balkrishna S. Shet Shirsat has been doing for past few decades. From his long list of businesses, the one that has strong presence in the manufacturing sector is Glow Paints. Shirsat debuted in the painting business in 1985 by as a dealer for an established brand based in Maharashtra called Garware Paints Limited. This sparked Shirsat’s early inspiration to become a paint manufacturer. Shirsat believes, “Business targets can never be achieved as it’s a rolling stone and it has to keep rolling and never stop.”
Glow Paints Pvt. Ltd. was established in 1996. In the founding years of Glow Paints, Shirsat recalls many companies who reached out to support him. He also emphasizes the backing he had received from his wife Nilima and his brother Vipin Shirsat. He says, “We started in a small way. We used to manufacture marine paints which are used for barges. In 1999, we invested in a new facility at plot no. 121, Bethoda Industrial Estate, at Ponda, Goa with Alkyd Resin Plant and Paints division.”
In 2001, the company attained a fully fledged status as a paint manufacturer with all sorts of required licenses of class A, class B and class C. Shirsat feels it was tough choice to start his own manufacturing unit, as at the same time he had a sizeable business and was routinely involved as a dealer in paint.
The product line of Glow Paints includes industrial and domestic coatings, Wall Putty, Epoxy Paints, Marine paints, Fluorescent Paints etc. Shirsat asserts, “We manufacture everything when it comes to the painting industry needs.” The company is also working towards providing several services required to make it a one stop solution in paint purchases.
Shirsat lists some of Glow Paints clients, “GHRSSIDC (Nodal agency for Government supply), River Navigation Department, Kadamba Transport Corporation, most of the barge owners in Goa, PWD, Electricity Department, United Beverages Limited and many more companies to the list of our regular customers. We also manufacture raw materials for paint manufacturing companies and supply to neighbouring states. Some of the bulk supply of our paint goes to dealers outside Goa.” Glow Paints sees a steep rise in sales during festivals when the company supplies special Ganesh idol paints to local artisans as well as artisans from Maharashtra and Karnataka.”
Shirsat elaborates on price preferential scheme of Government of Goa, which has enabled them to cater to Government departments in Goa. He says this experience gives him immense strength to compete in the business. He also adds that they are now providing customized products as per customer demands and needs.
The market is competitive now; and technology is changing every day. It is a challenging job and it will remain so, throughout. Most of the small scale industries do not survive for long; however we have been able to do that due to the customer’s faith in us – Balkrishna Shirsat
Shirsat admits of difficulties due to stiff competition by international players in the market. He expresses, “The market is competitive now; and technology is changing every day. It is a challenging job and it will remain so, throughout. Most of the small scale industries do not survive for long; however we have been able to do that due to the customer’s faith in us and by the grace of God. I hope we remain in business for many years to come.” He continues, “Our business has slowed down due to a ban on mining; however, we are diversifying into the ‘supply and apply’ concept of painting. We are standing in the market for over two decades since 1996; and we have been growing steadily which is evidence of the fact that we are doing well for ourselves.”
Glow Paints industry comes under a parent group SBS Shirsat Group, led by Balkrishna Shirsat where they have various other businesses. Multiple shops located at different parts of Ponda are operating under the helm of Balkrishna S. Shet Shirsat as traders and dealers. Apart from Glow Paints, the Shirsat Group retails in tyres, hardware paints, mattresses; manufactures steel furniture; and lastly they are dealers for Mahindra tractors in Goa. The group employs more than 50 people at various levels.
As Shirsat reveals some of the plans for the future, he states, “We may soon expand the company with new products based on cashew nut shells.” Balkrishna Shirsat hopes that his two sons Anirudh and Amol will take the legacy of such a diversified business forward and achieve greater heights.
Balkrishna Shirsat notes, “Innovation is the key to any business success; and one should be always prepared for the good and bad things that an entrepreneur may encounter on the journey.” He also considers his diverse businesses and the need to ‘do better than yesterday’ as a driving force behind his success. Shirsat says he’s satisfied with his life and has managed to grow his business from a very small beginning.
Shirsat has business tip for youngsters: “Entrepreneurship has to be born with self capabilities, thinking power and the ability to take risks. Risk is equivalent to future growth.” Shirsat worries that not many Goan youth are taking up the plunge into entrepreneurship. According to him, the number of Goans in every industrial estate is also decreasing. He says, “I don’t think the regulations or restriction will stop any willing entrepreneur. If he has the will to do the job then he will do it under any conditions.”
Shirsat graduated as a Bachelor of Science, after which he took a course in Marketing Management. Additionally, he was selected by Economic Development Corporation in Goa to undertake coaching from Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India at Ahmedabad. Shirsat was felicitated by the Ministry of Science and Technology for being the first batch of entrepreneurs from the institution. Shirsat recalls the rigorous training at the institute which he believes helped him to a large extent. He claims, “We were perfected in risk management, to arrange the finances, making project reports, to understand break even etc.”
Glow Paints’ motto is to ‘Deliver best products at best price.’ According to Shirsat, Glow Paints will hugely benefit after the implementation of GST and help in penetrating in new markets. Even though Glow Paints doesn’t have many competitors in the local market, that doesn’t stops Shirsat from challenging himself, which is one lesson every entrepreneur should take from Balkrishna Shirsat, who is a member of GCCI, GSIA, and also represents social trusts and committees.