Article: Only yourself to beat: The PFC story


Only yourself to beat: The PFC story

Satnam Singh, the CMD of Power Finance Corporation,India's largest power sector financial institution, shares the essence of his management style which focuses on achievement rather than activities

One should benchmark with oneself and become better and better every day


During the pre-downturn period, PFC’s business grew at 15% year on year. Ironically, after the meltdown, the company’s business has begun growing at 30%, scaling a net profit increase of 63% in the fiscal 2009. The net profit increased by 82% for the quarter ended Dec 2009. How is this organization able to maintain such a high level of growth and deliver financial results consistently?

The secret of this Management style is based on simple principles

While others benchmark performance with their peers or best-in-industry, PFC does not. Benchmarking cannot be done accurately. It could either create an artificial limit but then the full potential is not exploited if it is set too low; or it can signal that it is impossible if it is set too high and creates de-motivation. PFC follows a simple yet effective technique which is: One should benchmark with oneself and become better and better every day. If this is followed as an attitude, it will work wonders for the individual and the organisation as well.

While other companies think that monitoring is essential for performance, PFC does not. You only monitor when there is no faith in the people you assign the job to. One should chose the right person for the job and give empowerment and trust to deliver results.

Where, on one hand, other companies analyse the reasons for delays - they spend energy and time understanding the why’s and why not’s of why a task was not performed. PFC does not. There is no need to spend time in analysing reasons for delay; one can always get very valid reasons. Instead, one should focus on getting the task done. The bottom line is that the job should move on and not get delayed further due to such analysis.

Other companies spend energy and time reporting on activities performed, but PFC does not. We do not lay stress on what did you do today, we focus on what did you achieve today. The focus of people is shifted towards results achieved regardless of activities. This creates a shift in the thinking process: when you have not achieved anything day after day, self introspection starts and that’s when thinking starts to improve oneself.

This management style is aligned to PFC’s ambitious motto that the company has adopted: ‘We create possibilities for a better tomorrow’. The results show there is no such thing as ‘trying’ when it comes to achieving results, and PFC has demonstrated that they know how to do it consistently.


Chairman cum Managing Director, Power Finance Corporation Ltd since August 2008. 31 years of varied experience in power and financial sectors.

MBA in Finance & Marketing from UBS, Chandigarh. B. Com, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar

Reading and playing the tabla (is a graduate in Indian classical music), and yoga.

Read full story

Topics: Leadership, C-Suite, #ExpertViews

Did you find this story helpful?



How do you envision AI transforming your work?

Be Heard: Share Your Feedback and Recommend Our Content!

Selected Score :