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Hari Om Rai, Chairman and Managing Director, LAVA International Limited

July 31, 2014
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Hari Om Rai, chairman and managing director (CMD) of Lava International Limited, believes that a strong culture is the key to a brand’s long-term success. According to him, “People, products and process are the three critical elements that play a strong role in building a values-based organisation.”

This philosophy has been at the core of all the entrepreneurial ventures that he has undertaken in his extensive career spanning over two decades across diverse business domains. His earlier business ventures include Biogentek, a company established in 1992 that caters to the bio-pharma space, and Perfect Handling, a logistics company which he co-founded in 1995. Both the companies have delivered strong performance in their respective domains over the years, with the latter’s subsidiary, In Synergy Supply Chain Solutions, being regarded as the largest volume-handling company in north India.

Rai’s telecom stint began over a decade ago in 2003, when he founded Pacetel Communications, a company providing fixed line wireless phones to major telecom operators including Airtel, Vodafone, Tata and Reliance. Later, in 2009, he co-founded Lava Mobiles, and has since played a key role in the company’s growth. Lava is currently amongst the top indigenous handset brands in India and is giving stiff competition to global players like Samsung, Nokia and LG in various segments. The company’s product portfolio includes tablets, feature phones and smartphones at multiple price points. These products are currently retailed through more than 30,000 multi-brand outlets across the country. Further, it is the only Indian handset player that has a complete in-house research and development set-up in India and China to control the design and development of products.

In his current role as Lava’s CMD, he heads the company’s operations and business development, with the goal of making Lava a global consumer brand of Indian origin. His efforts are reflected in Lava’s consistent revenue growth over the years. “During 2012-13, the company registered revenues of Rs 10.01 billion, achieving more than 100 per cent growth over 2011-12. The revenues are estimated at Rs 25 billion in 2013-14 and are expected to reach Rs 62 billion during 2014-15,” he says.

Rai enjoys watching Hollywood action movies in the little free time that he manages to get away from work.

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