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The legacy of success

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Sulajja Firodia Motwani, a second generation entrepreneur, has taken the lead in changing the face of the Kinetic Group


For Sulajja Firodia Motwani the urge to take the hot seat of her family business went beyond just taking forward the legacy. The lady has introduced some impressive  changes in her family business and even restructured it. An MBA from Carnegie Mellon University, USA, Sulajja started her career at BARRA international, a leading investment analytic firm in California. She worked there for four years before joining Kinetic.

The experience at BARRA International helped her to learn practical details of business execution and she came back to India to join the Kinetic group. Sulajja explains, “While I very much enjoyed the USA experience, coming back to India and being part of Kinetic was almost part of my life plan! I grew up with this ambition, so it was a natural step for me to return to India and join my family business”

Sulajja Firodia Motwani’sfather Arun Firodia established the Kinetic Group.  Kimaya, her elder sister is in the US. Vismaya, her younger sister is an engineer who leads the exports and public relations division of the Group and Ajukya, her brother, works in the US. Sulajja herself is the Joint Managing Director of Kinetic Engineering Ltd and Director, Kinetic Motors. Her husband, Manish Motwani, is the Managing Director of Kinetic Communications Ltd.

Her joining the  Kinetic Group coincided with the company’s decision to restructure its operations significantly. In the two-wheeler business, where the group’s business was focused on gearless scooters- which is a small niche within two wheeler market, the company created a new alliance with the reputed group, Mahindra and Mahindra.  “We are confident that this venture will grow steadily and surely, especially with the growth in the sector and the proposed launch of motorcycles,” says Sultana, adding, “You need to prove yourself as a professional once given the opportunity. I don’t consider myself an heiress, but yes, I am an important member of our group!”

Post her inclusion in the Kinetic Group, the company has moved forward with clear focus on Power-train engine and transmission systems.  “The company’s performance has been steadily improving with the implementation of different projects,” says Sulajja. “It has reported a net profit of Rs21 million for 9 months that ended March 2010 and expects its operating performance to be  stronger in the coming months.”

A passionate mother with her son

Throughout a  a brilliant student and a top performer at work, Sulajja began to take success for granted—even when she hit 30. She excelled at her first job in California, came back to India and  enjoyed being part of the family business. Being successful was almost a habit, but she did dream big and aim higher always. Now, having  faced a couple of failures along the way, Sulajja truly values success. She says, “I know now that I don’t like to fail and that  keeps me focused and looking ahead.”

Her happiness is largely linked to her professional success. As she says, “For me, a large part of what I am and what I want to be is linked to my professional success. My  self image can not be de-linked from it. Being successful, creating jobs, running an enterprise, creating economic value for my country is as important to me as being a good mother and having a happy personal life. So I guess for me it’s important to be successful at my work to be happy.”

A passionate mother, she prefers to wake up with her 10-year-old son Siddhant and see him off to school on weekdays.  She says motherhood is her first passion and fitness her second. She loves sports, enjoys various forms of endurance and strength exercises, and follows a balanced diet. Every day, she spends one hour either in the gym or doing yoga at home.

On the increasing number of women entrepreneurs in India, she feels, “There are many opportunities for entrepreneurs today.. This, coupled with increased education levels among urban women , and a desire for double income in families, will certainly see a huge spurt in women entrepreneurship.”

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