Young biz scion leads the way

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Cool and composed. That’s what describes this 23-year-old business scion. Sharp eyes, thin-rimmed glasses, broad shoulders and a crisp formal suit, Shashwat Goenka thoroughly fits the image of a corporate honcho.

But actions speak louder than words for this Wharton School graduate of Pennsylvania University (USA). Since April this fiscal, the only son of leading industrial magnate Sanjiv Goenka has been holding the reins of the Spencer’s Retail chain, which makes him the youngest biz kid in the country, heading an organised retail enterprise.
Designated as Sector Head at Spencer’s, this free-spirited guy is visibly loving his new job. “I basically learnt the ropes on the job. It was a pacy phase and I had to thoroughly keep tabs of the contrasting behavioural patterns between the Indian and Western buyers,” he puts forth.
Born and brought up in Kolkata, Shashwat was schooled at St. Xaviers. Further armed with a Bachelor’s degree of science in economics with special subjects being finance, marketing and management, this Arian finally made his foray in the mammoth empire of RP-Sanjiv Goenka group which boasts of a valuation of `14,000 crore.
“I was always determined to come back and join the family business. It’s in my blood and genes after all! I remember, as students we were always being posed with the question of having an ambition in life. While my mates would fondly parrot the proverbial doctor-engineer cliché, my mind would veer toward the industrial arena. So, it was a conscious choice to take the plunge,” he reasons. Guess, this young businessman knows exactly what he wants from life.
But home-ground is not the turf where this fresher made his debut. For he was seen whetting his appetite with a slew of summer jobs since 2009. A keen player of the business game, this descendant of the deceased leading tycoon Late Dr Rama Prasad Goenka and the group chairman Sanjiv Goenka, reveals that he idolised his predecessors right from his formative years.
“I’ve grown up watching my dad and my grandfather, whom we unfortunately lost early this year. I really miss my granddad and will always treasure his simplicity, honesty, courage and conviction. He instilled in us the drive to act and think out-of-the-box and depart from the conventional paths. Also, my father did a perfect balancing act as he managed both his personal engagements and professional commitments with equal élan,” he reflects.
Notwithstanding his busy schedule, Shashwat isn’t the Jack whose life is dull with all work and no play. Like any other boy his age, this youngster too enjoys his life. So does he go pub-hopping or hit the discs at night? “I’m not really a party animal. But I do chill out with friends on the weekends. Besides, a good dose of cooking, eating, playing badminton, swimming and watching movies always de-stress me. I love watching Bollywood masala movies. It’s fun. I recently watched Anand Gandhi’s Ship of Theseus and trust me, it just blew my mind away,” he says.
The one thing he doesn’t like though, is public speaking. Shashwat balks even at the thought of public speaking. “It would simply freak me out but I’ve confronted that crisis over time. Now I make elaborate presentations at our company’s board meetings,” he reveals.
With a dream to build upon his familial property and take it forward, Shashwat looks forward to carving out his niche and leaving his stamp on the behemoth Goenka establishment.
Hailing from a close-knit family, this dutiful son and doting brother to his beloved sister Avarna, informs that they “get along like a house on fire. We share everything and bond as buddies and confidantes with each other.”
But is bearing the Goenka surname an added burden sometimes, with expectations always soaring high? “On the contrary, it motivates me and I take it with absolute positivity. The values instilled in us provide a rock-solid anchor to me. So, there’s no question of tripping,” he notes.
With plenty on his plate, one wonders if there is any time for love. “No, I am not seeing anyone,” he replies sheepishly. “But I would definitely like to settle down in the next 10 years,” he volunteers after a pause.
And what kind of a girl would he prefer as his partner? “Simplicity and honesty should be the foremost qualities.” Well, didn’t we say before, this dude has a mind of his own?

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