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Lessons on Life and Business

Interview with Dr Ajay Kumar, Chairman and Managing Director, Fox Petroleum

Q1 What is the most valuable career advice you can give to people just starting out?

Ans. Fear they should not wear; Max –to- Max, what’s goanna happen one more failure in the account; Efforts is in their hands, not the result. And, if the startups love their job, the result will be precise & outcome will be “PROFIT”.

Q2 What is the biggest challenge facing leaders today?

Ans. We have fewer leaders, we are producing pleaders more. Leaders are not arrogant; Pleaders have to be arrogant to justify every statement; Now-a-days, we see all pleaders having mask of Leaders.

In my Business the biggest challenge is Government Clearances and second challenge is going to court, Every development plan cleared from Government sees “Court Doors. Judiciary overrides Government decision. It creates fear for the investors.

Don’t worry, I am used to it; I have clear cut statement to follow – “Profit is my Prophet but without cutting down the laws of the land wherever I am working, which part of the world I am working”.

Q3 How do you ensure your organization and its activities are aligned with your “core values”?

Ans. We straighten our objectives. I have always said and especially in the moment of crisis, that I want a value based company rather a volume based;

Q4 Where do the great ideas come from in your organization? Do you encourage junior members to be creative and share business ideas with senior management?

My juniors never hesitate to come to me. And the best part is I allow them fully to make statements but not without proper statics.

Ideas comes from visions. And, Oil & Gas business decisions comes into effect after seeing the political environment nationally as well as internationally. Becoz, Production is in one continent, investor is from another continent and user is from third continent. Hence, Oil Business teaches you “Geopolitics”.

A NATION’S GREATNESS DEPENDS ON ITS ENERGY LEADERS.

Energy is essential for living and vital for development. Affordable energy directly contributes to reducing poverty, increasing productivity and improving quality of life. There are growing trepidations that oil companies are making too much in proceeds at the disbursement of consumers. But that is not true;

THEY ARE RICH BECAUSE THEY PRODUCE OIL FOR YOU, BUT YOU ARE POOR BECAUSE YOU BURN IT IN PLEASURE, SOMETIMES FOR FUN.

Petroleum Products are not for solace, It’s light for life.

Q5 Can you name a person who has had a tremendous impact on you as a leader? Maybe some one who has been a mentor to you? Why and how did this person impact your life?

Ans. Yes ! I have one. He is none other then Binod Kumar IPS (Assam & Meghalaya Cadre – 1997 RR) 4rth Rank UPSC; He is from IIT Delhi. He guides me in all walks of life. I have learnt taking pressure and give the best. As he has been disturbed in his service and then too he gave the best performance, Same is with me.

Q6 Tell me about a time you struggled with work-life balance. How did you solve the problem?

Ans. There was bad phase too. I lost everything, everything means everything. I don’t depend to repent. When God & Government fails. It is the best time to deliver. I did it. I cannot put here the story. It may create turbulence to the Government(s). I want to remain nonpolitical.

Whom to trust? The God or The Government. If it is true God & Government exist, then it is also true – The God & The Government Knows everything but neither I have seen God to come to save us, at least I have not seen God, nor the Government comes up for rescue, at least had listened sometimes about the drama of Government rescue events;

I fought for over 16 years overseas & within the Country for this country and watched my friends die for a small job, I was fighting for financial freedom. Then I threw up my arms. “What’s wrong with using natural resources for the development of my Country and making it financially free and energy secured?” Killing someone on the border is not only PATRIOTISM. Industrialist should also be treated with same honor and dignity.

The God may not be, but the Government feels industrialist are the only financial terrorist in the Country, and rest are white color; Industrialist are those who gives four person a job, for them that industrialist is better than the God, as Hindu God’s do exist but under the tree or on the Government created footpath, industrialist pave shelter for God even and by paying tax they provide financial fuel to the Government; And moreover, it decrease terrorism, when they have jobs and foods, they will never see the second option of being a terrorist; I don’t think religion is behind terrorism, it is jobless youths behind terrorism. Thanks to Make in India, hope it will create more job, and decline the burden of Government to fight terrorism.

Q7 Have you made unpopular decisions like firing employees and reducing compensation levels? What do you do to keep employee motivation enact after such actions?

Ans. I don’t hire to fire. Rather I will not hire. Since I became Chairman I have not fired or allowed anyone to fire. I buy loyalty of my staff. Some Industrialist gives “fish ” as salary and make them dependent on their selves (dependency is semi slavery), I teach them to catch the ” fish ” as salary. Freedom is everyone’s human right.

Example :

Dear Dr Ajay Kumar PhD ,

Newton’s first law of Motion states that: “All objects remain at a state of rest until a force(Dr Ajay Kumar PhD) is applied”. That law helped me realize that success does not just happen; I need to take certain steps to experience it. Like I often say, nothing moves until you move it. Dr Ajay Kumar PhD you have moved me and I will be there for you and precisely for Fox Petroleum Group even if it means my last drop of blood. It’s Fox or nothing.

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