Qimat Rai Gupta, bhai sahib for older employees and QRG to the rest, founder and former chairman and managing director of Havells, was born in 1937 in a village not far from Malerkotla, Punjab, into a modest household but left his family with a net worth of $2million.

   As a child, QRG received two books, ’How to Win Friends and Influence People’ (Dale Carnegie) and ’Think and Grow Rich’ (Napoleon Hill), from O.P. Gupta, his uncle. From Carnegie, he learned the art and science of building long-lasting personal networks and business relationships, and from Hill his lessons were business leadership and entrepreneurship.

    QRG’s life turned upon shifting to Delhi and working with his uncle, P.C. Gupta, who had an electrical equipment shop in Bhagirath Palace.

    Strategies for traders were straightforward – electrical product manufacturing companies had a quota system and....

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