KOCHI: Before walking briskly into his office every morning, V P Nandakumar, managing director and CEO of Manappuram Finance, would have walked at least six km—most of it through his farm at Valapad in Thrissur. Nandakumar says he is very particular about his morning walk.
Probe him further and he reveals that it’s not the walk per se that matters but the quality time that he gets to spend at his farm. In fact, he says, he chalks out his plan for the day from the farm itself.
“I am passionate about eco-farming, and I keep trying out new ideas in my own farm here at Valapad. I find it very relaxing to move around the farm and it also allows me time to gather my thoughts for the day and to do some deeper reflection,” he says.
Even though his hectic schedule doesn’t allow him much time for reading, he manages to catch with most financial dailies. When work gets too hectic, he takes a break.
“I take occasional break and go out with my extended family, children and grandchildren included. Last December, we were in South Africa and before that, during the Onam break, we went to France. South Africa was a great experience, especially the wild-life parks, very different from the usual tourist experience,” Nandakumar adds.
His wife Sushama, a retired headmistress, is now the Managing Director of Manappuram Jewellers, which owns the Riti Jewelry chain of jewellery stores. He has three children. His eldest daughter Sumitha is a gynaecologist. His two sons-Sooraj and Suhas- have done their MBA from the UK. Now they are at senior positions in the company.
His advice to wannabe entrepreneurs: “To build a successful business, think big and stay focused on the long term goal of building a world-class institution. Remember, short cuts don’t work here. Be transparent and don’t forget to recognise and reward your stakeholders.”