"I work in a friendly and family way"

Savitri Jindal | January, 2013


The wealthiest woman of India leads a low profile life. More popularly known as steel baroness in India, Savitri Jindal is also the world’s 80th richest person. She is the non-executive chairperson of O.P. Jindal Group, and member of the Haryana Vidhan Sabha (Legislative Assembly). She also served as a Minister of Power in the Government of Haryana until 2010. The Jindal group is a US
$ 15 billion conglomerate, which over the last 3 decades has emerged as one of India’s most dynamic business groups.
How did your journey into the corporate world kick-started?
Until my husband O.P Jindal’s death in 2005, I did not even know how much money he had made.  I was very much happy to play the role of the mother and wife. Even in our family women generally did not take charge of any enterprise. While we would to take care of in house tasks then men would take care of everything outside. I took charge of the conglomerate O.P. Jindal Group in 2005 as chairman. However, in practice, my four sons Prithviraj, Sajjan, Ratan and Naveen run the business. I usually like to keep away from the busy business life and spend three days a week in Hisar constituency which I represent in the Haryana Legislative Assembly. But I participate in each and every board meeting and decision making process.
What was the succession planning of O.P. Jindal Group?
O.P Jindal, himself took the initiative to implement an innovative succession planning. He developed a structure in which each of his four sons would hold one-fifth of the promoter shareholding in each company. He would hold another fifth. This meant that each son would be in charge of the whole empire and have a share in his brothers businesses as well. However, it had given an independent domain to each brother but in its core they would like to stay as family. Even today, they do not interfere each other’s business but if any one face any problem then would like to sit together and find out a solution.
Being one of the biggest conglomerates in India, how do you contribute to the social development?
O.P Jindal group has always stretched its hands towards socio-economical development. It has taken major initiatives in the fields of education, healthcare and community development. The O.P. Jindal Community College had been established in 2007 to Introduce an alternative system of competency based skill oriented technical and vocational training to the youth of India, meeting the needs of the domestic industry and to strengthen employability of the marginalised and underprivileged sections of society in the local market. We also provide scholarship to identify meritorious post graduate/graduate students who emulate Shri OP Jindal's vision and values and have the potential to become leaders in entrepreneurial and innovation excellence.
What is the success mantra of you and your advice to budding women entrepreneurs?
I have a very simple motto in my life that I would like to work very friendly and a family way. We would like to listen each other’s problem and solve it like a family matter. At last, I would like to say that work hard; god will provide you fruitful result.