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Keeping it in the Family

In Focus
NAME:Manish Hiranandani
COMPANY:Hira Industries
Manish Hiranandani is making his mark as CEO at family business Hira Industries, preserving its foundation of solid values while putting a fresh slant on its upward trajectory.

After more than quarter of a decade at the helm of Hira Industries, Manish Hiranandani still feels passionate about his role at the Dubai-headquartered manufacturing company his father founded back in the 1980s.

“Back in those days, typically you would turn 21 years old and then join the family business,” he tells The CEO Magazine.

“It’s a learning curve where you slowly keep on growing once you get more confident in the market, in the customer base and the way to do business.”

He decided to use the time he had to head to the United States to study international business and marketing majors and graduated in 1999.

But when he returned to take his place in the family business, it was going through a challenging time, he recalls. The firm manufactures HVAC products ( heating, ventilation and air-conditioning), thermal insulations, technical foams and adhesive tapes for the building and construction industry. But, Hira Industries had shrunk as construction activities slowed down. As a result, the business made some divestments, which followed a cash crunch.

A Fresh Start

Hiranandani first took over the business with his brother, with the pair acting as joint CEOs of the organization.

“What worked well for the second generation, for us as a dual team, was that we changed the business model and made it challenging in terms of margins, cash flows,” he says.

Neither of the Hiranandani brothers came from an engineering or manufacturing background, so they faced a huge learning curve. As a result, a lot of expertise had to be imported when it came to human capital, particularly on the manufacturing front.

From there Hiranandani began rebuilding the business and expanding, including an operation in Vietnam, which caters to its customers in South-East Asia.

“We have a decade-old association with Hira Group and are witness to the growth story of the said company. Recently Hira Group established a plant in Vietnam and we wish the company great success in all its future endeavors.” – Atil Parikh, CEO and Managing Director, 20 Microns


“That’s a fairly new expansion and I believe, like India, it should follow a similar pattern where we start with one factory to get our feet wet and then we slowly start putting in the other products once we understand how the market works, what the challenges are, and what the opportunities are, so we wouldn’t plunge ourselves in with multiple factories from day one,” he says.

“It’s a learning curve where you slowly keep on growing once you get more confident in the market, in the customer base and the way to do business. So I believe that would remain as a future expansion point for us.”

Talking of expansion, Hira Industries is currently building a new factory in the United States right now, which should be ready this year. While this is good news for the company, it comes with its challenges, especially when it involves expanding into a new market.

“This is a constant battle and challenge of global growth for us, whether it’s Vietnam today or the United States tomorrow. You have a fragment of the market and that’s why you enter; but to take a market share that matters or that helps your business truly grow takes longer,” Hiranandani adds.

Family Values

He is proud of his family-owned company, and also very much aware of it being a differentiator from large companies, and multinationals. “When you’re family owned, you’re still a company with a heart,” he explains. “So you know how to take care of your customers, you know what their pains are. They’re not just a number or a company.”

Indeed, customer service is a topic close to Hiranandani’s own heart. “For us, they’re very valuable and we know how to distinguish, to take care of them on a service level, how to micromanage them and how for them not to be ignored or lost as just one customer out of a thousand,” he says.

And this is fully supported by the feedback his company gets. Customers frequently talk of Hira Industries’ attention to detail, and its fast response time in getting back to them and resolving their problems.

“In our industry, a lot of times it’s also about solutions that are not just off the shelf,” he says

“We’ve been very fortunate in that we have amazing vendors. We’ve developed these relationships over a long period of time.”

It’s not just customers who Hiranandani says benefit from his family-run business approach. His firm uses a lot of vendors and suppliers too.

“We are quite shocked actually when we get the kind of support we do from our vendors, whether it’s support in difficult times or whether it’s in issues of resolving some problems along with them for our customers,” he says.

“We’ve been very fortunate in that we have amazing vendors. We’ve developed these relationships over a long period of time.”

Building these long-term relationships, an approach that was handed down from first generation to second, is clearly paying off.

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