Leadership in the domain of formwork technology in India has evolved significantly over the years. The construction industry has shifted from traditional methods to advanced formwork systems. Visionary leaders, such as Tridib Kalita, have emerged, leading the sector towards greater efficiency, sustainability, and innovation. These individuals have not only embraced technological advancements but also fostered a culture of excellence and continuous improvement. Their influence has been instrumental in elevating India's construction sector, establishing formwork technology as a fundamental component of modern construction practices and architectural achievements.
Tridib Kalita, the respected Chief Managing Director of MFORM Technologies, is an innovative and accomplished leader whose path in the construction field has been characterized by pioneering ideas and outstanding achievements. With a noteworthy career spanning a couple of decades, Kalita has not only established his unique position but has also made a considerable impression on the construction industry, particularly within the realm of formwork systems. Below is an excerpt of Tridib Kalita’s exclusive interaction with Industry Outlook magazine.
How would you define your leadership experience in the Aluminium products industry?
My leadership in the Aluminium products industry has been a journey marked by pioneering innovation and transformative changes. Since 2004, I have been deeply involved in this industry, focusing on aluminium products used in the construction of mass housing projects and high-rise buildings. My dedicated involvement in aluminium formwork began in 2006 when I worked for the penetration of Mivan Technology into the Indian market with initial training and exposure in Malaysian Construction Sites. This was the inception phase of Aluminium Formwork in India, and we played the prime mover’s role.
I received extensive training in the Far East Asian country to equip myself with the necessary expertise. As a leader, I'm proud to be at the forefront of promoting aluminium formwork technology in India, introducing efficient, cost-effective, sustainable construction practices, and driving fast-paced growth and transformation within the industry. My extensive exposure and training in European countries like Austria, Germany, and the Middle East, under other global players of formwork with a wide array of formwork systems not only enriched my knowledge of formwork as a whole but also added valuable insights into precisely determining the optimal solution the Indian housing segment needs from techno commercial points of view.
What are the most important business challenges that you face today in your current role? How do you overcome them?
As CMD of MFORM Technologies, the aluminum formwork industry posed intricate challenges. Initially, overcoming skepticism among Indian stakeholders regarding innovative construction methods was paramount. Educating influential consultants shifted the narrative from 'impossible' to 'essential.' After conquering psychological barriers, we focused on achieving commercial viability by reducing costs without compromising quality. Adapting technology to India's unique market demands was crucial. As the industry gained popularity, new challenges emerged with investors prioritizing profits over quality and architects introducing design complexities. Aligning with government mandates and regional tendering processes also proved challenging. Finding and retaining the right talent amidst growing local competition, including multinational firms, added to our challenges.
As a business leader, how do you inspire your workforce to perform better? What is your guiding leadership philosophy?
At MFORM Technologies, I inspire my workforce through simplicity, an integrative approach, and appreciation. I uphold realism over corporate jargons, ensuring our vision that can translate into tangible actions. I stress more on the 'why' and 'how,' rather than just on 'what.' Every role in any department starting from Sales to Engineering, Finance to HR, virtually contributes to customer satisfaction. I emphasize that each employee in an organization is thus practically a salesperson as everyone contributes to the goal of offering a product or a solution and its quality drives success. Therefore, interdepartmental collaboration and coordination end up in customer satisfaction.
Moreover, I use the old-school primary motivators: 'pleasure' or 'fear'. Employees excel when they find pleasure in achievement and understand the consequences of not meeting expectations. I lead by example, demonstrating tasks rather than teaching. I identify emerging leaders within the team and nurture them. Effective leadership simplifies complex ideals, motivates through clear goals, and fosters collective responsibility.
At Mform Technologies, As A Business Leader, I Drive My Workforce Through Simplicity, Integration, & Motivation
How do you keep yourself well aligned with the periodic advancements happening in the industry & the tech world? How do you adapt to those developments?
Staying aligned with industry and tech advancements is integral to MFORM's approach as a business leader. Adaptation is paramount, as my journey exemplifies. Transitioning between companies, I learned new technologies like tunnel form, table form, and prop and panel form, renowned for their efficiency. However, I discovered these were specialized for commercial buildings, not residential ones.
This experience taught me the importance of aligning solutions with customer needs. In India, affordability is critical. Thus, adapting technology was necessary. Unique beam solutions, tailored to the structural design of Indian homes, became essential. Customization and adaptation are keys to success, meeting local demands while staying current with industry trends. Moreover, for aspiring entrepreneurs aiming to become business leaders, our approach at MFORM Technologies starts with a clear why. Understand your driving force, and align it with your skills and market needs. Prioritize honesty over quick gains, and avoid overspending, overpromising, and over-engineering. Build an efficient system to monitor daily business parameters. Comprehend human psychology, inspire rather than dominate your team, lead by example, and practice patience. Sustainable success does not happen overnight. Dedication, discipline, and a well-defined purpose are the keys to future business leadership. When doing business, design, run, monitor, and continually update a system that delivers results.
Tridib Kalita, CMD, MFORM Technologies
Tridib Kalita is a dynamic professional with a BE in Mechanical Engineering from NIT Surat and an MBA from Stratford University, USA. His career, spanning decades, focuses on pioneering formwork solutions, sustainable construction, and industry efficiency.