Mr. Surya Rau of Reliance Group lectures IIM Kozhikode students as part of Leadership Talk Series

 | September 24,2012 02:30 pm IST

As a part of the Leadership Talk Series, the Industry Interaction Cell of IIM Kozhikode welcomed Mr. Velamuri Venkata Surya Rau on 5th of September 2012.

Mr. Rau is one of the most honored and revered employees of the Reliance Group. He has gained 45 years of professional experience in the field of Petrochemicals and Petroleum refining industries. Before moving to Reliance, he was with NOCIL for the almost 30 years and was a member of the companys core management team.


Mr. Rau is currently holding the position of Quality Leader of Reliance Industries Ltd, spearheading the Six Sigma Implementation process in the company. For the last nine years, he has taken the lead of Group Manufacturing Services of Reliance Industries Ltd, rendering technical and manufacturing supports to Seven Reliance manufacturing complexes (including erstwhile Indian Petrochemical Corporation Ltd). Along with this, he is also leading the activities of CREST (Chevron-Reliance Energy Services and Technology) and Reliance Manufacturing Services.


He informally interacted with the students of IIM Kozhikode and shared his learning derived from his professional and personal experience. He candidly shared his experience of working for Shell and how he enjoyed the bachelor years of his life in Holland mastering the Dutch language. He advocated a simple philosophy to success instead of asking the question Why to do a task this way? ask Why not to do it that way? This was the success mantra of Mr. Dhirubhai Ambani.


Mr. Rau shared few of his personal moments with Mr. Dhirubhai Ambani. One on the incidents that he vividly recalled was during the development of the Jamnagar Nagar refinery. Mr. Dhirubhai Ambani simultaneously placed an order for 3 refineries of almost thrice the average capacity. The machine vendors were shocked to have such a request. What Mr. Ambani had envisaged was beyond everyones imagination. He had realized that time is money and by setting up all the three refineries at once he had saved both his time to operate and its associated cost.


Mr. Rau ended his talk by asking a clichd question What is the most permanent thing? Students enthusiastically answered Change. But then he went on to ask two more intriguing questions What is more permanent than change? - Peoples resistances to change and finally What is even more permanent than this? Managements stupidity that they can overcome a change.