Generally, Bihari is believed to lack entrepreneurial skills and risk-taking. This is a major obstacle for them to make it big in the business world. It is another matter that people like Ravinder Kishore Sinha and Anil Agarwal of the Vedanta group destroy the myth that those belonging to the land where Bhagwan Mahavir attained nirvana born Mata Sita, the wife of Lord Rama and later Mahatma Gandhi founded his famous Champaran movement, are not doing well in business. Ravinder Kishore Sinha and Anil Agarwal, two natives of Patna, are in the news these days. If Ravinder Kishore Sinha is in the news as he has become the sole spokesman on private security and organic farming in India, Anil Agarwal is in the news as his decision to set up a semiconductor factory in Gujarat instead of Maharashtra.
Low-key and almost reclusive, Ravinder Kishore Sinha’s entrepreneurial journey began when he lost his job at a media house. That was in the early 1970s. Those were the days when he closely followed and reported on the Indo-Pakistani War from the battlefield in Dhaka for many newspapers and magazines, including the legendary Dharamyug. While covering the war that India decisively won, he befriended many, many Indian army officials and pines.
When that was over, he returned to his hometown of Patna. Unfortunately, despite great work, he had to quit his job due to some disagreements with his superiors. “Since I was very active politically and was close to the great socialist leader Jaiprakash Narayan (JP), I met him one day to ask his advice. JP knew me well. He told me that I should do something that would benefit society. Since I had less than Rs 400 with me, I thought how can I do something with such a meager sum”, he remembers vividly even after so many decades.
Well, even as he planned to do something to survive and more, one day he received an expected call from his friend who was looking for four men to work as security guards at his factory. That was a defining moment for him. Knowing many war veterans who retired after the 1971 war, he contacted them and asked them, “Would you like to work as a security officer in a factory?” Luckily, he got a positive response from the guys he called them. He had given them the job and also became a security officer. After his tryst in the media world, he did not shy away from becoming a security officer.
And then there was no turning back for him. As word spread that he could provide experienced people as security guards, he received inquiries from Patna to other parts of Bihar and later from other cities and states.
And 50 years later, Ravinder Kishore Sinha is considered a father figure in the world of private security in India. The security agency he founded, Security & Intelligence Services (India) Limited (SIS), employs over 2,40,000 people in every state of India with an annual turnover of a whopping 8,485.2 Cr. Rs.
From the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) to every major historical site in India overseen by the Archological Survey of India (ASI), and from oil refineries to banks and more, the stalwart and ever-vigilant guards of the SIS are there for you around the clock. SIS provides security, facility management and cash logistics services that are essential to the functioning of a vibrant and healthy economy. “We have become a trusted leader in these business areas in India and other regions of Asia Pacific,” he said, who served as Rajya Sabha MP from 2014-2022.
Business aside, Ravinder Kishore Sinha still finds time to write about current affairs quite often. A knowledgeable epitome and a prolific reader, he enjoys writing on homeland security, diplomacy, economics, agriculture and politics. These issues are close to his heart. He is a person who is always interested in learning new things. He even gives lectures on organic farming.
According to him, organic farming is an agricultural process that uses pesticides made from organic fertilizer and animal or vegetable waste. This agriculture began to respond to the environmental distress caused by chemical pesticides and synthetic fertilizers. It is a new system of farming that repairs, maintains and improves the ecological balance. Organic farming uses organic inputs, green manure, cow manure, etc. Even Prime Minister Narender Modi recently spoke to him about the importance of organic farming. Sinha says: “There are two main principles of organic farming. A. The health of ecosystems, people and communities. B. The right balance between ecosystem and environment or nature.
As an acclaimed industry pioneer and spokesperson, he represents the private security industry to government agencies. From 1999 to 2004 he was an Advisor to the Department of Human Resources Development, Government of India. He is a renowned speaker on safety, loss prevention, training and disaster management topics and is a regular lecturer at universities across India and the US. In recognition of his contribution, he received a Loss Prevention Promoter Award from the Security Association of Singapore (SAS) in 2006.
Sinha was also an advocate for industry affairs and associations, and has held various positions including that of World Security Organization (WSO) Regional Vice President for South Asia (1989-1991); President, National Institute of Security Professionals of India (1990-1995); District Governor, Association of Security Organizations of India (1988-2001); Chapter Chairman, ASIS for Indian Sub-Continent Chapter (1990-2000); Executive Chairman, International Institute of Security and Safety Management, also Founding Chairman of the Central Association for the Private Security Industry of India (CAPSI) and the Security Skills Council of India (SSCI).
Speaking of his success in the business world, he says, “Delegating is one of the core responsibilities of a leader. The goal isn’t just to free yourself — it’s also to enable your direct reports to grow, facilitate teamwork, provide autonomy, and lead to better decision-making.” He believes that the best leaders Build trust in the workplace and in their teams through effective delegation.
He discusses the qualities of a leader and believes that gratitude can actually make you a better leader. Yet few people regularly say “thank you” in the work environment, although most people say they would be willing to work harder for an appreciative boss. The best leaders know how to show gratitude in the workplace.
With the likes of Ravinder Kishore Sinha and Anil Agarwal around, it’s a blasphemy to say that Biharis can’t make their presence felt in the business.
(The author is a Delhi-based senior journalist and writer. He is the author of Gandhi’s Delhi which has brought to light many hidden facts about Mahatma Gandhi.)