Here is a freewheeling conversation with Ritu Grover, CEO, TGH Lifestyle, who talks about her company, what made her start it, her idea of work-life balance, her employees, and much more.
What inspired you to build the service that TGH provides today and is there anything that you would like to change or add?
Ritu: I was working as an interior designer and had taken up a project at an MNC when I realised that the employees were balancing their work and personal life. They had bills to pay and occasions to attend but we’re sitting in office still working on their Excel sheets. That’s when it struck me. A service partner to take care of their needs – that’s what they needed. And that’s precisely when TGH was started. Once I had the idea, it took some time to conceptualise how we wanted everything to be. A team was formed. Slowly and gradually we got our first few clients and the rest is history!
What helps you to stay positive in life?
Ritu: My family is my greatest strength. We all have ups and downs but each evening when I come back home and watch the adorable, loving faces of my family, I get a boost of positivity. Nothing in this world makes me happier than my family and whatever I do, is for them. Hence, they help me stay extremely positive in life.
What is the work-life balance to you?
Ritu: While we help others maintain their work-life balance, we need to make sure ours is intact! Personally speaking, I make sure I spend quality time with my family and have fruitful conversations. Every week, my daughter takes it as a ritual to remind me we have to go out to eat. What’s essential to understand is that you need to take time out for yourself, your hobbies, your family and whatever else it is that you want to do. There’s more to life than work and taking conscious steps towards a healthy balance is the need.
Are there any current projects or initiatives you wish to shed light on?
Ritu: Currently, we are working on a lot of initiatives for NRIs and senior citizens. TGH is now looking at stepping into tier 2 and 3 cities as well as expanding its footprints to international destinations.
What is your vision for TGH?
Ritu: Our purpose is to consistently make aggressive commitments and exceed customer expectations in order to deliver a truly global service. Simply put, passion is our overriding value. We believe that in our line of business, there is no compromise and our clients deserve nothing but the very best. We certainly have been successful in achieving the same.
What are your views regarding facility management business in India in today’s time?
Ritu: I believe that we have come a long way since we first started out, as an industry. It started as a very home-grown profession to what we have now – something so powerful and technologically driven, making so many lives easier, in the truest sense. However, I see a lot of facility management companies cutting on quality to increase their profit and while that may seem fruitful in the short term, having been in the industry so long, I can vouch for the fact that nothing comes above quality. Our initial clients still prefer working with us in spite of the competition in the market because they know that if TGH is doing it, they’re doing it right without any compromise.
Who do you look up to in life?
Ritu: My mother is my pillar of strength and support and I look up to her every day. She is the one who brought me up in such a disciplined and well-mannered way. She kept me and my brother grounded while treating us royal. Such a mix is rare to find. Moreover, whenever I’m in a dilemma, I ask myself “what would mom do?”
That’s it, I have my answer!
What message would you like to give to all the young entrepreneurs out there?
Ritu: Take constructive criticism from those who’ve constructed something in their own lives but block out any and all negativity that you receive in the process. Focus on what you are doing and be the best at it!
Never look back. We’ve all had pasts that haunt us to date but instead of being the victim and blaming the world for our condition, move forward. Take the reins of the horse in your hand and start the journey without looking back. If at all you want to, do it only to see how far you’ve come!
What are some habits of yours that keep you motivated throughout the day?
Ritu: I surround myself with catalysts so that I’m energised throughout the day. Instead of staying around dull people and having thoughts that drain me, I try to stay around motivated and like-minded people. But more than that I try not to criticize myself when things go wrong. Rather, I ask myself how it can be made better. That is my boost of motivation.
What is one brainstorming technique that really helps you in your business?
Ritu: When we are coming up with marketing or promotional plans, the team members sit and start jotting down all ideas that come to their mind, without a second thought. Spontaneity is really important when it comes to creativity and sometimes your fresh, raw and first ideas can be the best ideas. This really helps in our business.
What are your views on organisational change?
Ritu: I believe change is the only thing constant in life. Without the much-needed change, there won’t be any sort of development. In the long run, organisations need to keep updating and changing in a positive sense.
What is the key to a healthy work environment?
Ritu: I believe that if your employees are happy, they’ll work better and be more productive. This ensures that the culture of the company is vibrant and cheerful. For our employees to be happy, we need to ensure that they balance their work-life too. At TGH we have policies that encourage employees to leave office on time so that they can spend quality time with their loved ones. Our employees do not take work calls, unless absolutely critical, on off-days. We have family trip days where all our employees and their families are taken for a picnic and they engage in team-building activities. This ensures a healthy work environment in the longer run.
What are the main qualities or values that you look for in an applicant before hiring them as your employee?
Ritu: Gone are the days when employees would just take a brief look at someone’s CV and hire them. At TGH, we ensure that each person who joins our team is equally enthusiastic about what we do, as we are. They need to be disciplined because, in our line of business, there is no compromise. At the same time, the employee should have intrinsic motivation and the desire to do better, not just for the company but even for themselves.
How did technology influence the development of your business?
Ritu: In an age where everything is getting digitalised, technology has certainly helped us reach where we are, not just meet industry standards but clearly surpass them. Our online portal TGH MyGenie is an application that makes your life so much simpler. Talking of the backend work, we use our in house software like Promail and Orbit to ensure clarity, transparency and smooth flow of operations.
What is your greatest strength?
Ritu: As an army brat, I truly believe a disciplined lifestyle is essential. If you’re a parent, understand the importance of a strong upbringing. These are the qualities that shaped who I am today. If you meet my team today, they’ll tell you how many organised sheets I have in my cabin at any given point of time. My office almost resembles a post office with neat pigeon holes. These are small things that show a disciplined lifestyle. Such factors further help bring out the best in you.