Published On: Wed, Nov 15th, 2017

A leader who conquered the odds with invincible willpower!

Style, innovation and leadership are the three most supreme ‘success elements’ in the triumph-saga of Cera, which is a lead name synonymous to sanitary wares in India. Started, in the year 1980, upon the invitation of the Government of Gujarat, it took around 37 years for the empire to set anchor of domination in the land of India. In the first 32 years of its journey, Cera acquired a turnover of 317 crores. Later, in the next 5 years, there was a hard work of an invincible Malayalee to take the organisation to an indomitable height of 1000 crores’ turnover. Abbey Rodrigues, a visionary leader and the senior vice-president of Cera, who stood unshakable against the vexing tests and challenges the market posed on him. His signature is evidently seen in bringing up the brand to an unbeatable opposition for the competitors.

Willpower is a muscle that the more we use it, the stronger it becomes. Abbey just shows us the possibilities life can bless us with one if we are determined to succeed. His life story is extra-ordinary; it was not only his business success that inspires us, but also the way he beat the dreadful disease cancer in his life. “The supernatural strength I needed while I faced this awful disease head-on, came through Prayers. It was my sole strength and help. Through incessant prayers and unbeatable faith in God, I conquered this impossible feat.” When this illness crept into him, when he was weak and weary and unready to withhold, Abbey was determined to succeed. He was heading South India for Cera then. Even through the mental and physical turmoil, he fought his disease and worked harder for his company with much self-belief. He was positively confident that he will be able to conquer both the illness for him and for Cera. Like many other stalwarts, through his life, Abbey proved once again that if you are completely committed to what you’re doing, then nothing can stop you from achieving it.

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Abbey started his journey with Cera as a marketing executive. He studied the possibilities and development opportunities in the market back then in 1994, and resolved that he will take the brand to heights in no time. He researched the minutes of details regarding the segment in India and strategically planned his future actions accordingly. When there were times when the market lacked the smooth availability of other counterpart-brands, Cera made sure they supplied consistently, which, in turn, brought them trust among the people in Kerala, where he first started his work with.

Today, Kerala holds the title of the largest consumer market for Cera in India. “We are not here to compete with other brands, but to recognize the opportunities and utilize it in our favour”; Abbey Rodrigues confidently comments. 

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With sheer commitment and hard work, it doesn’t come as a surprise to know it took less time for Abbey to leap from South India Sales Head to National Head and then International Sales Head too. He maintained consistent growth and profitability. After he took over the International sales of the organisation, to focus on the world market, his organisation opened Cera Style Gallery at Dubai, the establishment which is helping the organisation to establish its presence abroad. He vouches that it is his efficient sales team who helped him to achieve this feat. To become No.1 in the consumer industry, it is very inevitable that from a senior lead to a first level worker should commit himself to excellence. His core responsibility is to analyse the entire country and regions, find opportunities, formulate plans and strategies, and to lead the team to execute the plan seamlessly for ensured results. He gives his team all encouragement and support needed for the same.

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The three ‘Success Mantra’ of Abbey are conceive, commit, and conquer. He, at first, clearly examines all possible opportunities in front of his team, and then devises the plan as per the openings. He then trains and enables the team to be able to confront the market with conviction. Without ample support, resources and stimulation, the team becomes catalyzed to deliver exactly what’s expected out of them. The herculean goal then seems to be realistically achievable for the skilled team. He formulates the modus operandi to conquer the marketplace after deliberating and evaluating all factors. Abbey says that one of the success elements of his team is that it evolves and adapts itself according to the market demands. Cera’s marketing and sales team leaves no stone unturned in analyzing impeccably what the market might need today and what could foresee for future. Accordingly, they keep restructuring their game plan and continue developing innovative new ones.

This is how they conceived the plan of launching their largest display centre in India, named ‘Style Studio’, in Cochin. This very state-of-the-art centre enables architects, designers, consultants, developers and fellow consumers to feel Cera’s product in person. Cera provides a range of services to their elite customers like sanitary wares, faucets, tiles, shower rooms, kitchen sinks, mirrors, customized shower partitions, bath tubs, shower panels and, very engaging, kids products. Cera also spreads a wide array of green products to its kitty which helps a client consume very little water while using it, which, in fact, stops the wastage of water. The company is now striving to lift themselves up to a benchmark of being the best in providing a complete home solution to their esteemed clients.

Abbey is instrumental in strategizing innovative solutions that provides supreme quality products to their customers. He is focused to take the company to the next level of success. Sometimes, when life pushes him to a corner, his family is right behind him as a pillar of strength in all walks of his life. His wife Margret Judy, and his children, Daniel, Carina and Leander, have always been a strong support and encouragement on all his endeavours. Abbey’s life story helps us to realize what potential we can achieve as a human being if we believe in self, put in our genuine dedication to overcome hurdles and our commitment to the task at hand.

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A leader who conquered the odds with invincible willpower!