Sachin ChandraImage: Sunil Bajaj
Sachin Chandra credits his father’s job at public sector bank, UCO Bank, for much of his success. The 42-year-old vice president of Orix Auto Infrastructure Services Limited, India’s largest car leasing company, has had a tough few months, particularly as the Indian economy goes through a downturn. But that hasn’t bogged him down.
Instead, over the past few months, Chandra has been busy cementing deals for Orix with some of India’s largest carmakers in their push towards newer methods of purchase. “Since the pandemic began, we have had to think on our feet as companies went into the work-from-home mode,” says Chandra. “We have now begun to focus on the retail category and in short term leasing solutions to individuals, as we believe customer preferences have undergone a sea change.”
Orix provides leasing and transportation solutions in the B2B segment and is the country’s second-largest transporter of employees. In July, the company partnered with Maruti Suzuki to roll out its subscription-based purchase model, while in August it tied up with Tata Motors for the same, in its quest to focus on the retail and B2C category.
Set up in 1995, Orix is a subsidiary of the Japan-based Orix Corporation. It has over 1,000 employees across some 20 cities in India and over $600 million of assets under management.
For Chandra, however, it’s his father’s frequent work transfers that prepared him to face challenges in life. A native of Bihar, Chandra grew up mostly in Rajasthan, where his father was posted. “In a way, these frequent transfers and shifting ensure that you are always on your toes, and they make you agile,” Chandra says.
A graduate in marketing and sales, Chandra began his career with Jaipur-based firm Shagun, which focussed on outdoor and print media, before moving to ICICI Bank and later GE, where he was responsible for setting up a home loan business in Jaipur. Now at Orix, much of his job involves forging new partnerships, exploring new products, and re-engineering processes. “All through my life, even though I have worked at large organisations, I have often been tasked with setting up something new,” says Chandra. “In a way, it was more of a startup ecosystem, and helping build inroads into new areas.”
Chandra, in his words, is a hands-on manager, who focuses on communication and transparency. “Many of the people I work with are millennials,” he says. “I focus on empowering them and making decisions because it will only solve many of your problems in the future. My job is to guide them, and build a transparent ecosystem.”
Now, over the next few months, Chandra is focusing on leading Orix’s focus into newer areas, particularly on equipment for work-from-home. “Sachin Chandra has an excellent understanding of the leasing market,” says Dibyendu Ranjit, general manager with Maruti Suzuki. “He was instrumental in Maruti Suzuki launching its subscription-based services. His core strength lies in handling a team, project management, client relationships… he has a deep understanding of the business.”
(This story appears in the 09 October, 2020 issue of Forbes India. To visit our Archives, click here.)