Expressions Heartfelt

Expressions of Gratitude: A Tapestry of Tributes Celebrating Shri Shashi Ruia’s 80 Years of Impact and Inspiration – Stories, Reflections, and Homage from Around the Globe

SNR: An Introduction
At Peace with Himself, and the World
Quintessential Entrepreneur
Business Builder, Amazing Mentor
A Pillar of Love, Wisdom & Inspiration
A Glimpse
Reimagining SNR with Al
The Builder Brothers

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Often, there's a fear about what he might say if you make a mistake, or whether you should approach him with questions. That’s common, but as you grow to know him, it's clear it's better to be upfront because he'll likely offer a solution.
With his vast experience, and having built empires in various fields, his wisdom far exceeds ours. I was just a captain, and here he is, having seen the world.
If you think you can quietly handle things without him noticing, think again. He will notice, and he might offer an easier solution, one you can be part of. That's something both my team and I have learned. He would even invite the junior staff for dinner, not just as a meal, but as a chance for an exchange of ideas and opinions. It wasn't just about dining; it was about understanding the man who runs the company, his mind-set.
This interaction lets the team absorb his way of thinking, creating a powerful, indirect motivation. Being in his presence, you feel compelled to achieve. One of his remarkable traits is his memory for names. Wherever he goes, he knows at least 75% of the people by name.
Capt Subash Das
Advisor – Essar Bulk Terminals Salaya
Shashi and Ravi are exemplary leaders and redefine the meaning of ‘brothers’. They are two bodies one soul. They are so thick together. They are fully integrated when it comes to communication and alignment about everything. Even if they are sitting in two different continents, you speak with Shashi, halt the conversation midway, call Ravi and he can take the conversation forward from there. It is mind-boggling for people to decipher and decode their kind of relationship. They have kept the family together well- rooted in value and you can see that in entire extended family.
G Mallikarjuna Rao
Chairman, GMR group
There's something about him. You meet him, and somehow, he becomes a part of you. In business, he's as straightforward as they come, influencing minds. But with me, it's always been more about friendship than business with Shashi. This guy has made a place in my heart, and that’s where he’s going to stay forever.
Haroon Mohammed
a childhood friend who currently resides in Australia
I found a remarkable divergence and convergence between Shashi and Ravi. You know, Ravi is a person who is more an insider. He plays the confidential role. And Shashi is the person who plays the external role. He is a very outgoing kind of person, building relationships, friendships. I have a good relationship with both and I like both for their own respective specialisation, interests and qualities.
S Gurumurthy
Chartered Accountant & Editor Thuglak Magazine
Shashi didn't have an interest in doing something that others have done. He always wants to do something that nobody else has done. He is very respectful of elders, and people in position. Even though he may be bigger than them, he will not be presumptuous. He always acts in a proper manner. Shashi always does things in a proper way.
Whenever he's in public, his behavior is very properly calibrated. He never puts out a negative word or impression. His clothes, his dress, the way he carries himself, is aligned with the people around him and the occasion.
Venu Srinivaan
Industrialist & Chairman Emeritus, TVS Motor
TVS Motor, Director on the Central Board of the Reserve Bank of India.
He has an ability to take a tremendous amount of risk, and his perseverance and strength to convert that into reality, is something awe inspiring for many of us.
On the business side, I'm inspired by his ability to think out of the box, to think on scale, to think about new opportunities, to see global trends, to embrace them, and to be ahead of them.
I've been very fortunate to get his mentorship. I think he always looks out for you and gives you advice that is unique to your own context and intuitively understands the context.
I have been privileged to have him as my mentor, and am one of those few who still has it, and I really cherish it.
Sudarhan Venu
Managing Director, TVS Motor
If I'm honest, during college days, I never once thought that Shashi would one day emerge as the dynamic business leader he has become. He embarked on his journey with a shipping company and later ventured into diverse fields like steel and petroleum. Over the years, I observed his remarkable achievements, and I couldn't help but develop a deep admiration for his leadership qualities.
In our college days, Shashi was known for his carefree and joyful spirit. At that time, it was unbelievable to fathom the extraordinary success and leadership prowess he would attain in the future. We were friends, and we have seen him from the lens of mischief, fun and free-mindedness. He exuded an aura of freedom and happiness, which made it hard to imagine that he would rise to become such a prominent leader and achiever.
A C Muthiah
Indutrialist
What I truly admire about Shashi Bhai is his open-mindedness and eagerness to learn. He is always exploring new ideas and actively sharing them. His passion for knowledge, family, and culture is remarkable. I consider him to be a brother, and words cannot fully express the depth of our relationship. It's a cohesiveness with Shashi and Manju that can't be explained, but it's there.
One of Shashi's most endearing qualities is his humility. He would visit us in Lahore and relish a Pakistani dish called Pulao, prepared by my wife. What struck us most was that despite being such a prominent figure and a man of great wealth, he would sit on the floor with the rest of us, much like an ordinary person. This simple act of humility was quite touching.
Mr & Mrs Nazir Perecha
Friends from Pakistan
Shashi's lifetime of experience, which spans nearly 60 years of working, is evident in his sharpness and knowledge. He has opinions on a wide range of subjects, from engineering and technical topics to commercial issues. He is a valuable counsellor to me in my own business, and he often checks in on matters I discuss with him. If I don't reach out, he takes the initiative to contact me and inquire about developments, displaying his continued commitment to offering guidance and support.
S N Agarwal
Chairman, Bhoruka Group
Both the brothers are completely different. That is why this group succeeded. Because both are complementary in my view. Both have different kinds of skills. If I have to analyse, the real entrepreneurial traits are with SNR, even though Ravi Saab is equally good and a genius in his own field. But his strengths are different, and SNR's strengths are different.
Mr Shashi Ruia, the way I look at, is the real visionary and entrepreneur who can work with people; a man with relationships. He is very warm, and very human. That is how I describe Shashi Saab.
Whereas Mr Ravi Ruia is a different personality altogether. He's a thinker, he's a planner. He can also visualise what can happen in the future with regards to the financial sector.
Sheshagiri Rao
Group CFO, JSW Group and ex Essarite
Shashi sir and Ravi sir often work together, so it is hard to tell who is involved in what. But Shashi sir was mainly guiding the project I was involved with. It was like a roller coaster, full of ups and downs, changes, and challenges. Despite that, he had a clear vision from the start and stuck to it firmly, and that's what led to the project's success.
He's the type of person who helps you grow by pushing you to do more than you think you can. He won't handhold you or guide you at every step but will give you the freedom to learn and improve on your own.
Pramod Saxena
Founder Chairman, Oxygen, Ex Essarite
I owe my current standing to the Ruia brothers. They have been like godfathers to me. Without their support, I am uncertain where I would stand today.
Honestly, the competition between Ad agencies is fierce. We were up against seven or eight established agencies, giants of the industry at the time.
We, on the other hand, were starting from scratch: no office, no funds, no team. Ravi Ruia simply wanted confirmation that we were up for the task. And with that, our agency was born. The Ruia brothers have been my mentors in the industry ever since—there's no question about it.
To us, the Ruia brothers aren't merely business contacts; they're akin to godfathers, guiding us with their wisdom and experience. They're the final word in any discussion, instilling a unique sense of respect.
Sunil Gautam
Fonder Pitch Fork Partners LLC & a serial entrepreneur who has started his journey with first assignment from Essar
Shashi’s philosophies are simple and practical - Have patience, the troubles will go; When you start taking wild actions, mistakes happen; Catch hold of the reigns; think different – all have common sense as their foundation. He puts common sense over professional qualifications, while fully qualified people will complicate things. Work with common sense, be practical - that is his mantra.
He is humble. He keeps his feet on the ground. He is also religious. He has a Pooja room at home that gives uplifting vibes. He often visits Tirupati Balaji and Siddhivinayak. He is not hurtful to any other religion.
The relationships he builds are a class apart. Everyone wants to help him. He is a warm human being. He speaks facts so people can trust - no pfaff, he talks verifiable facts. He is a risk taker. He frightens me with the magnitude of risks he takes. He is experienced. He thinks step 1, step 2 to the end, and works many ways out. With his connections and many paths, his horizon is very wide.
K M Mammen
Chairman, MRF Limited
SNR sir conducts his own research before meeting someone, trying to understand who you are, your background, and where you're coming from. He gets into minute details, asking about your travel—what train you took, its timing, when it reached Mumbai Central. Did you try the vada pav? Where did you have it? Did you visit a lodge there? He knows everything about it, focusing on these minor details.
Even if he didn’t bother to get interested in me, it doesn't matter because we don't expect him to inquire about all this. However, he ensures that every minor detail is addressed. For example, if you mention, "Oh, you came by Shatabdi Express, right?" He'll inquire about your berth and journey. This approach makes you comfortable with him. He aims to know you as a human rather than just as an employee or a team member.
Having spent every day in the office with him, his perspective on the organisation is progressive. He never dwells on past issues but always looks forward, asking, "How can I deal with the current situation?" In just five minutes, he often provides a unique perspective that the team hasn't considered. In meetings where the team would struggle with a problem for one or two months, he would offer a quick, insightful thought that solves half of the problem. While it may not solve the entire issue, he humorously remarks, "I told you, just bring the problem to me on the first day; I'll solve it for you." It adds a touch of humour to his problem-solving approach.
Dr Manoj Dodiya
Medical Officer – Essar
SNR sir possesses a unique vision, thinking differently about how things can be done. His ability to connect and engage with people of varying backgrounds and habits is remarkable. This trait, combined with his commitment to privacy in philanthropy, reflects his belief in silently contributing to others' well-being.
He promotes a specific form of philanthropy where support is provided without public attention. This discreet assistance is an expression of genuine goodwill. Shashi Ruia values his employees' contributions without attempting to gain control over them or making them feel indebted.
One notable aspect of his character is his acknowledgment of other family members' contributions. In various events, both brothers express appreciation for each other, emphasising their collaborative effort.
Apurva Sonthalia
GM – Finance, Essar
SNR sir's mentorship is something he takes very seriously. He enjoys mentoring young people and fresh graduates, and his approach is unique. Rather than providing direct guidance or telling you what to do, he takes you along wherever he goes. In this manner, you gain exposure and learn indirectly. He will never say what he wants from you. He will just keep you by his side. And in that process you end up learning a lot.
He is always receptive to feedback and ideas. Even if a 16-year-old approaches him with suggestions, he welcomes their input. He will attentively listen to what they have to say and will take the necessary actions accordingly.
His open-mindedness and willingness to listen, regardless of the source, are qualities I truly admire. After every meeting, he would ask for feedback, wanting to know what I thought. I used to believe that my feedback didn't matter to him, but he consistently asked for it. If I had constructive feedback to offer, he would make sure I acted upon it. His focus on even the tiniest of details is a trademark of his feedback.
This quality truly sets him apart. It's not just about macro involvement; there's a significant personal touch whenever you meet him. He inquires about your family and ensures everything is going well for them. He genuinely cares, not only on a professional level.
Rounak Agarwal
DGM - Chairman’s Office

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Discover a series of special stories that paint a vivid picture of [Founder's Name]'s incredible journey. From big moments to personal tales, these films share a unique look at a life filled with vision, strength, and lasting influence.

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