Trust your instinct, if you believe in yourself.

It is said that;
'As per all known laws of aerodynamics, considering the body shape, mass, design and frequency of flapping of the wings, the Bumble Bee cannot fly. However, since the Bumble Bee does not know anything about the subject of aerodynamics, it flies.'

Surprisingly, knowledge is often a barrier.
Some people know so much about certain things and what could go wrong that they get paralysed.

Here are two examples from the lives of our father and uncle which shows that following their instincts and ignoring 'knowledge' can sometimes pay off.

My father Man Singh ji along with my Uncle Manohar Singh ji had founded our organisation. Both brothers had been schooled only to the 4th grade in a large village in rural Myanmar. They could not study any further because of the advent of World War II in Burma.
They emigrated to India in 1964 after the Burmese Govt nationalised all properties and businesses belonging to foreigners, rendering most Indians almost penniless.

Before they started their manufacturing project, they hired a highly reputed management consultancy firm. The consultants were to provide a demand supply and project viability report for the steel forging business for a rather stiff fee.
The consultants submitted a report in three months recommending that the project proposal be cancelled as there was no scope for such a venture. My dad shredded the report and went ahead with the project.

It was the late 1970's when Messrs Bajaj Auto the giant scooter manufacturing company in Pune still imported certain parts from Italy. Sometimes even importing them through very expensive shipments by air freight. One such critical component called 'cross' had been developed in our plant after great effort, because the material was very difficult to forge.
Only one steel manufacturing company in the world situated in Italy seemed to be able to manufacture that particular grade of steel required and they kept Bajaj Auto on a tight leash.

Dad had a philosophy that if anyone could do it so could he.
He sought Bajaj Auto's permission to develop the steel on his own with other mills. He travelled to Italy and tried to excite other steel mills without success.
Dad then sought the help of a steel trading friend and approached several steel manufacturers in Japan, again without luck.

His persistence eventually landed him in the offices of Daido Steel. They were impressed with Man Singh ji and agreed to make the quality of steel required provided the order was large enough and they wanted certain modifications in the specifications.

Excited Man Singh ji returned to Pune, India with an offer to provide a solution for this serious supply problem that Bajaj Auto faced.
All the metallurgists, managers, engineers and the technicians at Bajaj Auto were extremely knowledgeable. They advanced many arguments why Daido steel could not provide a solution, and why we would fail. They also questioned the seemingly low level of knowledge possessed by our father etc.

Man Singh ji eventually lost patience and sought the personal intervention of Mr. Rahul Bajaj the Chairman and Managing Director of Bajaj Auto to be permitted to be given an opportunity.

Mr. Bajaj a mature and shrewd industrialist hedged his bets. Realising a great upside benefit if we succeeded he encouraged my father, but warned him that it would be at the risk of our company. Either way Bajaj Auto was safe and could only benefit.

Our father invested a huge amount of money from our capital in 1982 and imported the steel from Japan. The engineers and metallurgists at Bajaj kept on testing the steel and the cross products that we supplied. Eventually with reluctance they gave their approval.
Respect for our organisation and Man Singh ji moved up several notches for we had solved a huge strategic supply problem and also passed on a huge saving to Messrs Bajaj Auto Ltd. From then we had a very special and mutually beneficial relationship with Bajaj.

My father did not allow the huge pool of knowledge available to deter him most of the time. He followed common sense and his instincts and made a grand success of his life.

Sometimes it pays to ignore popular or common knowledge and follow your instincts. I must caution you that this is a risky prescription and fraught with danger particularly if you do not have the taste for extreme challenge. However if you believe in yourself and your team, pursue relentlessly and sincerely implement your strategy you will find your pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

We learnt to always question 'knowledge' and who is providing that 'knowledge'.

"An expert is someone, who is never in doubt, but frequently in error."

Comments

Popular Posts