Srinivasan feels Chennai Super Kings‘ triumph in the recently concluded Indian Premier League 2021 in UAE with a win over Kolkata Knight Riders in the final, demonstrated certain similarities that exist between the IPL franchise and India Cements Ltd, which is the team’s principal sponsor.
“India Cements is 75 years old. We are celebrating the Platinum Jubilee year. The remarkable victory by CSK in IPL 2021 is a fitting tribute to India Cements on the momentous occasion by our one and only captain M S Dhoni,” Srinivasan, who is also the Managing Director of the city-headquartered cement firm, said during a recent interaction.
“CSK was sent out and treated unfairly (two-year ban). It was called a team of oldies (Dad’s army). Whole mind was focused on what we wanted to do. They made an ultimate come back in 2018 by winning the trophy. During that entire turbulent period, not a single person left CSK. They all stayed with the franchise. And added strength to the franchise,” he said.
“That is what is CSK….It (CSK) is about focus and concentration. Dhoni said it rightly, so long as you do everything properly, don’t worry about the result,” he said.
Srinivasan recalled the emotional moments at the dinner meet in March 2018 and said “for the first time after the ultimate comeback in 2018, Dhoni turned emotional.”
Looking back after securing the title for a fourth time this year, he said, “Supposing we had lost, I tell Dhoni that victory and defeat are both imposters. They are two sides of the same coin. Rejoice when we win, but do not get overly sad when we lose. But to savour victory is nice.”
“Nobody has gone through the gamut of emotions we have in reaching where we are”, he said.
India Cements executive president and Chennai Super Kings Director Rakesh Singh said both India Cements and CSK have fearless leadership and the MD (Srinivasan) has always been fair.
“He (Dhoni) always plays to win. The CSK tagline is — play fair, fearless and play to win.. Fortunately, for us our captain also has got the same qualities – That is why you see so many fairplay awards. And that is India Cements,” he said.
CSK and India Cements both have proved their resilience with the Super Kings bouncing back from the poor performance in the 2020 season to emerge a champion this year and India Cements tiding over critical times and remaining among the top cement companies in the country, Singh said.
Both are there since inception, standing the test of time. They have a strong sense of family and a massive sense of belonging amongst players and employees. Their core team remains stable and the direction for their journey is consistent, he said.
Both companies believe in making it simple, process-driven and execution focused and are known for their personal care and touch from management perspective, he said.
India Cements is known for its corporate and human touch when it comes to treating employees. It did not cut salary during the pandemic nor remove anyone from service, he said.
Srinivasan told the employees during time of Covid, “you are not responsible for this pandemic. It is time for all of you to take care of your health and stay indoors. Everything, I will take care.”
Similarly, during the two-year ban, CSK took care of its support staff and employees, retained the loyalty of players and employees, fans and business associates. Both companies enjoy the trust and support of players and employees, Singh said.
“Both companies believe that playing fair – winning is important but the game or industry is bigger than everyone and doing the right thing by the game or the industry,” he added.