Chairman of the Blow Group of Companies, Mr. Manoj Lakhiani has emerged Industrialist of the year 2016 in the just-ended Ghana Manufacturing Awards.
Mr. Lakhiani presides over two huge companies under the Blow Group of Companies, namely, Blow Plast, arguably Ghana’s number one plastics company and a food and beverage company, Blow Chem Industries Limited.
His recognition as the leader of Ghana’s Industrial Sector stems from his courage to take on industrial projects that other Ghanaian industrialists fear to enter, as well as his ability to make these extremely successful, the difficulties notwithstanding.
Blow Plast has gradually cemented its status as Ghana’s top plastics manufacturer, producing about 90% of all types of plastic products required in the country, and also producing pre-forms through its Blow-Chembrand for more than 60% of Ghana’s bottling companies including competitors.
More recently Blow Group, under the leadership of Manoj Lakhiani, has ventured into the production of foods and beverages, with Bel-Aqua being the flagship brand.The company has also introduced Yum-mie Instant Noodles which is the first and only instant noodles brand manufactured right here in Ghana.
Who is Manoj Lakhiani
Born on the 22 January, 1975 in Ghana, Manoj Lakhiani had a passion for business at the tender age of 14, when he was attending boarding school in London.
Here he invested his pocket money of 30 pounds into a toaster, with which he made sandwiches for sale to his colleagues at school. And whenever he got the chance, he would hike up the prices during sporting events and winter when there’s a high demand as it was mostly too cold to go out for a bite.
At age 16, Manoj Lakhiani booked a one-way flight to Ghana and left the boarding school unbeknown to his parents and school authorities. One could imagine the shock on their faces when their son showed up at their front door unannounced in the middle of the night.
Shortly after that Manoj Lakhiani took the unpopular decision to drop out of school and focus on his passion- Business. He was 17 years old at the time. He would convince his father to lend him a total sum of twenty-five thousand Dollars to acquire a second-hand plastic extrusion machine.
“This machine was like gold to me. I would dust off every little speck of dust that fell on it. I was the electrical engineer, mechanical engineer and sales person all in one”, he recalled.
Brick by brick, effort by effort, Manoj Lakhiani used this second-hand machine to build what is now a full-fledged plastics empire. Today, the Blow Group boasts of up to 3000 direct and indirect employees, 500 machines 7 factories.
“My biggest motivation is innovation and not money. Even if it was money before, it certainly isn’t now. I have a passion for what I do, and a passion to achieve and be successful with everything I do. Not to make money.”
Mr. Lakhiani still shows up at work from Monday to Saturday at 6am, way before any of his employees shows up to work, something he takes pride in.
“I do not know how many Ghanaian Chairmen or CEOs will show up to work at 6am. But I do. Because hard work is extremely important to me. And it is important for my employees to know that their chairman will set a positive example for them to follow.”
Many of his employees fear and love him at the same time. They see him as a great influencer and motivator who drives them to success.
Mr. Lakhiani still designs all the company’s plants from scratch and keeps a keen eye out for all details involved in the setting up of each plant and associated business.
The Chairman of Blow Group is a man of great guts and bravery. A big chunk of his success can be attributed to his ability to take on issues by the scruff of the neck and deal with them. “Failure is not in my dictionary if I am involved in something”, he would often say.
Mr. Lakhiani is a married man with two children. For a man who controls such a vast business empire, his number one priorities are his family and his health.