A. Bilavendran- From Canteen Boy to Commercial Manager

A dream does not become a reality through magic! It takes a lot of dedication, determination, and hard work for it. This is the ideology of Mr. Bilavendran which has helped him to turn his dreams into reality. He can be easily spotted in the Greaves’ Chennai office, working silently on his desk. He is a colleague whom you will always find silently immersed in his laptop. No one can make out if he is present or not until they see him in the office. But then someone greets him and he will give a generous smile and again resume his work.
Mr. Bilavendran is a problem solver. At the end of every month, when everyone is super charged to get the billings for closing, Mr. Bilavendran comes to everyone’s rescue and supports the whole team. He is available all the time to close the billings of the Farm division. He is a dedicated team player and can be approached by anyone. His support for the system has always helped the sales team & logistics team to plan their sales & operations efficiently. The 1st day of every month are incomplete without his MIS report.
He was born in a remote village near Karaikudi in Tamil Nadu and he then migrated to Chennai in 1972 along with his uncle, with a desire of pursuing higher education. Due to lack of funds, he chose to work as a canteen boy in an UDIPI hotel. After 5 years of experience, he joined Greaves Cotton, as a canteen boy in 1977. He has worked in multiple departments managing various roles through-out his journey of 43 years at Greaves. He started working as a canteen boy for 6 years and at the same time, juggling with his studies in the evening school. In 1983, he cleared the examination of Sepoy rank. He has completed his senior secondary, graduation & master’s degrees through evening colleges till 1992. He worked as a clerk with administration department for 4 years, later on shifted to accounts department as an assistant account manager for 9 years and got promoted as accounts officer in 2003.
He started his journey as a commercial manager in 2007. In 2009, when SAP was adopted as accounting system in Greaves, there used to be 16 commercial managers for farm division- many could not keep up with the changed skillset. His attitude of trying to learn everyday kept him thriving. He has completed 43 years and has seen many personal milestones from his wedding to his daughter’s wedding while serving in Greaves. Mr. Bilavendran says he had dreamt about three things in his life- Education, Career growth, and having a roof over his head. He is very grateful to have achieved all three things, working in Greaves Cotton. He thanks his seniors and management for the support and trusting his capabilities from time to time resulting in his growth.
He says- Great things happen to those who start believing, trying, learning, and improving thus becoming successful. From his embarking journey of 43 years, we can learn to be consistent and we should put our efforts towards achieving the goals.
“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty.” — Henry Ford