Success can only be achieved step by step. These words come to life in Satish Prafulla Chandra, the dynamic Chairman and Managing Director of Global Tech Park, one of India’s fastest-growing infrastructure solution providers. He is also the man responsible for the conception and creation of Bangalore’s iconic commercial landmark – Think Campus in Electronic City, famously referred to as “the Dome”. As per Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA), Chandra is engaged as Director of 14 other companies in sectors as diversified as Logistics, Healthcare, Software Technology, Solar Power and Housewares.
Awarded with the prestigious Businessman of the Year award by the British South India Council of Commerce (BSICC) and the Golden Peacock Eco-Innovative Award by the Global Indian International School (GIIS) Balestier, Singapore, Satish Chandra is a businessman par excellence and a force to reckon with. He is a Governing Council member of the Mysore University and of the Sri Jayachamarajendra College of Engineering (SJCE) in Mysore.
Apart from his remarkable professional laurels, what distinguishes Satish Chandra from peers is his devotion towards philanthropy and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). In fact the mission statement of Global Tech Park (GTP) reflects its leader’s ideology perfectly when it says “Global Tech Park believes that a company culture based on core values that not only helps business, but also defines the role that we can and should play in society to maximize the impact GTP can take as a global company. To that effect, we take great pride in conducting our business with a broad perspective, taking into account our customers, our employees, the environment and the communities in which GTP operate. GTP focuses on specific societal issues, including the environment, community, economic development, education, health and culture.”
A familia of entrepreneurs
Satish Chandra’s story is not a typical rags to riches one. He was born in a family of entrepreneurs. His family business involved manufacturing, sale, and export of wooden educational toys and houseware to Europe, North America, and Japan. Chandra graduated in Commerce from Mysore University and went on to get a Master’s degree in Business Management from United States of America. After completing his education, he came back to India and helmed the legacy business.
Under his leadership, the company became the single largest Indian supplier of wooden products to established brands such as IKEA of Sweden, Marks and Spencer’s and Oxfam Trading of U.K., Bloomingdales in U.S.A., National Pana Home in Japan, and the United Nations Children Fund.
Mrs. Susheela Satish, wife of Satish Chandra and the Director of Global Tech Park is also the person behind building the successful business empire. With an experience in multi-handling both the business empire and a family, she is able to support and guide the family with her presence and timely advice.
Following his footsteps both his children have also set their steps into the world of entrepreneurial investments and established their own domain. While his son Chetan Chandra is in the real estate business in North America, his daughter Bindu Chandra has been running a dental healthcare clinic for years.
Chetan Chandra was inspired by his father’s ideals at a younger age. His education background includes an Engineering degree, Marketing & Product Innovation MBA from North Carolina State University, Strategic Marketing from Stanford University and Private Equity & VC Executive education from Harvard Business School.
Since his education he ventured directly into starting his own entrepreneurial ventures. Chetan’s real estate business in North America provides quality and affordable housing solutions to students and groups. Chetan S. Chandra, is currently the Managing Director of PV Line Solar Pvt Ltd, a Solar Energy company that delivers clean and affordable solar energy solutions for clients & investors globally. He is also on the board of Global Tech Park, a company with an international business portfolio in IT technology parks, infrastructure & real estate, software technology, dental and logistic parks. Apart from this, he has also diversified into insurance, IT and aerospace sectors.
A results oriented seasoned business professional with over 10 years of entrepreneurial and leadership skills. Chetan has diverse experiences across several different industries including telecommunications, IT security, consumer transaction technologies and medium-scale manufacturing industry. Mr. Chandra is passionate about green energy – its production, end-usage and in delivering a sustainable value proposition. He is an avid audio enthusiast and loves to build his own components as a hobby. He also dabbles in wood working; continuing his family’s legacy of manufacturing wooden products in the USA.
Satish Chandra’s daughter Bindu Chandra has set her eyes in a different field altogether than her father and brother with her healthcare clinics. She founded Curaden Clinic, a dental healthcare clinic which is spread in Switzerland, UK and India. Curaden Group excels in designing, manufacturing and supplying dental care products across 60 countries over the world. Bindu Chandra is also a business partner in her husband’s New Bridge Business Centre, a business center franchisee that is established pan India. She is also a talented artist in oil colour painting and nature painting, and dreams of starting her own art gallery in the near future.
With the help from both of his children and wife, who are on the board of Global Tech Park, Satish is able to take forward the firm, making it a company with an international business portfolio in IT tech parks, infrastructure & real estate, software technology, and logistic parks.
A risk-taker who identifies opportunities
After streamlining his family business, Chandra was keen to diversify. The booming Indian real estate sector beckoned to him. Recognizing the vast potential of expansion and success in infrastructure solutions, he launched GTP in August, 2001. Although displaced from his comfort zone, Satish Chandra wasn’t fazed. For him, new challenges meant new opportunities. In 2002, he and his team of passionate engineers started building Think Campus – a commercial building with contemporary design and remarkable facilities. The mammoth space has a built-up area of 1,20,000 square feet housing all modern amenities such as a health club, a basketball court, and swimming pool. It was completed in 2003 and was leased to TATA Consultancy Private Limited for carrying out its IT development activities. The initiative established Chandra as a promising player in the competitive real estate sector and paved the road for more success.
After 12 years in the real estate business, Chandra and his team have delivered construction projects of over a million square feet and have upcoming projects spanning more than five million square feet. They specialize in building technology parks, logistics parks, Special Economic Zones (SEZ), industrial and retail infrastructure, hotels and resorts, and luxury living spaces.
Even after having a successful innings in infrastructure solutions, Chandra and his team look for yet another challenge. They are constantly experimenting with ventures in uncharted territories with the sole intent of not only succeeding but also pioneering. The biggest risk in life, Chandra feels, is not taking a risk.
Diversifying to future
While the present business empire that Satish Chandra holds dear is self-sustaining in many different levels, he is not the one to shy away from expanding his repertoire into the future. When being an entrepreneur one should have a good eye for diversity says the business tycoon. It is his philosophy and aim to invest globally so that you always keep your options open. In a recent interview with Cochin Herald, Satish shared his plans to diversify in the near future, to expand from his empire as the infrastructure and real estate solutions provider in India into logistics, solar energy and real estate globally.
- Logistics – Providing logistics support on a massive, organized and order-to-demand scale is what Satish is looking forward to. With the help of US and Canadian pension funds he plans to build warehouses that stock up to industry demands where they supply, store and track raw materials as per the industry demands. The advantages – storage options for multiple category and automatic stock-piling; meaning you will always find what you need here.
- Solar energy – Partnering with PV Solar GMBH from Germany, Satish Chandra’s venture into the field of solar energy provide tailor-made solar panels that suit the client requirement. Solar projects are already underway in Italy, Bangladesh, Austria, Germany, Turkey, South Africa, Mexico and India. The products, which are made in Thailand, Germany, Canada and China, are co-branded and designed from Germany and the services include design, installation, maintenance and services.
- Real estate – Satish, along with his partner Clifford Zur Nieden, a noted businessman from Switzerland, have ventured into the real estate business on a global scale, with offices established in Switzerland, Australia, Italy, India, USA and South Africa. This entrepreneurial bout for the next stage of expansion aims to buy, sell or lease real estate properties that have business potentials or develop them into infrastructure developmental projects for various business verticals.
Committed to quality
Chandra’s commitment toward quality is largely responsible for his indisputable success. He lives by example and leads from the front. In an industry fraught with stiff competition and notorious for red tapism and corruption, Chandra has managed to maintain consistent quality standards in all ventures. His infrastructure solutions comply and even define industry best practices. Customer satisfaction by delivering projects on time and at fair market value has been an objective he never loses sight of. Instead of personal benefits and monetary gains, Chandra prioritizes customers’ needs. He promotes broader perspectives such as green living and healthy lifestyle in his entire infrastructure solutions-residential as well as commercial. Commitment over convenience seems to be the principle governing this luminary’s life.
Giving back to society
Corporate Social Responsibility is imbibed in the very fabric of Chandra’s life and enterprises. Probably, his upbringing and his academic stint in the U.S. have made him a firm believer in the need to give back to the society and the community where he lives and thrives. His responsible business modelling has resulted in an enterprise that conforms to the spirit of the law, ethical standards, and national and international norms.
The same values are reflected in his company’s culture. He and his team have initiated numerous philanthropic ventures including human rights organizations, health clinics, relief funds, educational institutions, and other charitable bodies. They routinely contribute to the following organizations:
- Heart Foundation – Seva Free Clinic
- Flood Relief Fund
- Mahajan Education Society
- Foundation for Restoring Human Dignity
- Bala Mela
- Rotary West Association Mysore
- Rotary West Charitable Trust
- KRS Charitable Trust
- Kannada Paksha
- Deeya Art Foundation
- Internation Human Rights Association
- Sri Nadabramha Sangeetha Sabha Charitable Trust
- Chitrakala Parishat
- Rotary West Association Mysore
Chandra’s sound CSR policies have had a positive impact on his customers, employees, the community and the environment. He does not merely comply with statutory CSR requirements but goes “above and beyond” the call of duty to ensure that his initiatives meet a greater good. Critics of CSR may argue that it distracts from business’s economic goals. But, Chandra skillfully balances the economic and humanitarian aspects of his business. He propounds that social responsibility can co-exist with monetary profits rather happily. It just takes the right attitude to strike the balance.
CSR in India is perceived as a relatively new concept but, Chandra elaborates that its existence is as old as the civilization itself. Evidence of rudimentary CSR principles has been found in scriptures from the days of Chanakya, India’s first business guru. So, he feels he’s not doing anything radical by incorporating CSR in his work culture.
In fact, Chandra says real estate as a business is very much dependent on society. “Location, Location, Location” is the widely- accepted success mantra for builders world over. Locations holding great business potential are either the completely developed ones or the ones on the brink of it. From a business perspective, it makes sense to aid in the social and infrastructural development of the area where one is trying to put roots. Not only will such growth help the inhabitants and communities living there, it will also act as a magnet for buyers. Amazingly simple logic!
The GTP team takes special interest in specific societal issues such as furthering of education and sustainable living. They have made commendable contributions and innovations in these fields and plan to continue their efforts. Chandra is aware that enterprises need to work in harmony with the community they operate in. Businesses should aim for larger goals such as creating happy, engaged employees, building a supportive working environment, and engaging in eco-friendly activities.
Do Good to Receive Good
Satish Chandra’s balanced approach to life and work has rewarded him exponentially. His personal traits of being a simple, jovial and humble yet informative personality had enabled him to prioritize customers over costs and people over profits, helping him in fostering a strong relationship with his customers. Global Tech Park products are regarded a yardstick for quality and commitment. In the competitive real estate world, it takes decades to build the kind of reputation that Chandra has erected in a relatively short period and with good reason.