Economy to Recover From Covid Impact, But Work Culture to Undergo Sea Change: DLF's KP Singh

The Indian economy will recover eventually from the adverse impact of COVID-19 but the work culture will undergo a sea change and only those companies will survive that have innovative ideas and passion for excellence, billionaire real estate tycoon KP Singh said on Friday.

The 90-year-old Singh said this in a video message to DLF employees, a day after he retired as the company's chairman on Thursday.

At the company's board meeting on Thursday, Singh was made chairman emeritus and his son Rajiv became the new chairman.

Singh shared his experience of nearly six decades in business with the employees, particularly how he won trust of farmers and acquired land to develop Gurgaon, now Gurugram, in the national capital's suburbs.

In plain-speaking with DLF's staff, he asked them to be more productive, shed personal egos and ready to take initiatives for the overall growth of the real estate company.

Sharing reasons for hanging up his boots, Singh said: "One, is of course, the march of time as you know I am not getting any younger."

"But the second reason is more important, India is entering into a new era in which the marketplace will not only be much more competitive but will also be full of exciting growth prospects for organisations as well as individuals," he said.

Singh said the economic upheavals that are bound to unfold after the recovery from the COVID-19 episode are unimaginable at this stage.

"However, one thing is certain that eventually recovery will happen when, God only knows," Singh said.

According to him, the pandemic will not disappear in one go but may follow the pattern of somewhat like Spanish Flu.

The disease will vanish and recur again and eventually settle down when a vaccine is successfully developed, he added. "In view of this, we have to learn to live with it which will require major changes in our mindsets in the way we live and the way we do our business now," Singh said.

A new normal would be altogether different from what is being practised so far.

"Due to this unpredictable situation, in future only those companies will survive and thrive which have abundance of youthful energy, innovative ideas and a striving passion for quality and excellence," Singh observed.

Work culture will undoubtedly undergo a sea change after recovery from the present coronavirus menace has been accomplished, he said.

Singh also expressed confidence that DLF would play a major role in the India growth story as the undisputed leader in the real estate development industry.

"I am certain Rajiv is destined to become one of India's most successful business leaders in the coming years. I know for sure Rajiv will lead the company to even greater heights in the new India of tomorrow," Singh said.

For achieving the success in new India, he told employees to work even harder, more intelligently and with greater focus on innovative thinking.

Singh listed productivity, customer satisfaction and rigid compliance of laws as success mantras for any company.

Suggesting a few things that need to change in DLF, he stressed on higher individual productivity to boost the overall company's growth.

"Frankly, in our society individuals are rarely as productive as they are capable of being and it is often the case that several employees are engaged in work that a single person can do, especially with the advanced technological tools now available," he said.

Singh also told employees to shed personal egos as it is detrimental to the interest of an organisation."...those who are obsessed with their own designations and positions of power in a company tend to seek personal glory and credit and invariably dampen the enthusiasm of their co-workers.

"Sometimes they even do get surrounded by sycophants. Continued existence of such sycophants in any company becomes counterproductive and therefore such persons should be edged away to ensure that you always have a lean, hungry and productive team of employees," Singh said.

He also asked DLF staff to take more initiatives.

"An employee with initiative is always an asset to any company," Singh said and urged the employees to inculcate these qualities.