Meeting the legendary Man of Stainless Steel, Mr. A.M. Naik

May 29, 2023

As the founder of The Flag Corporation, my journey has been one fueled by a passion for our Tiranga. Since our inception, our mission has been simple yet profound: to instill a sense of pride and patriotism among fellow Indians by encouraging the display of our national flag with unabashed fervour.

 

In the realm of our esteemed clientele, Larsen & Toubro Ltd. stands tall as one of our oldest partners. Not only do they share our fervent passion for displaying the tiranga, but they embody a spirit of nationalistic pride that resonates deeply with us. Their unwavering commitment to showcasing the Indian flag & L&T flag across their offices, factories, and even on employee lapels is a testament to their dedication as true nation builders.

It was against this backdrop that I had the esteemed honour of meeting Mr. Anil Manibhai Naik, a towering figure in the corporate landscape and widely regarded as one of the nation’s most prominent silent builders. Invited to discuss the placement of various flags at iconic L&T locations such as L&T House, AM Naik Tower, Landmark Building amongst others, our meeting held promises of both business and reverence for the impending transition of leadership at L&T.

Mr. Gyan Shah from The Flag Corp & Mr. Anil Manibhai Naik Chairman Emeritus of Larsen & Toubro Ltd.

Mr. Naik greeted me with an infectious energy that belied his 80 years, sharing tales of his journey at L&T, from the challenges he faced to the transformations he spearheaded within the company’s workforce and leadership. His anecdotes, ranging from the challenges & hurdles faced during his time as well as important life lessons from Shri Balasaheb Thackeray, to navigating the intricacies of corporate India, painted a vivid picture of resilience and determination. He took keen interest in meticulous details for the arrangements & display of flags for the upcoming Annual General Meeting which was going to be his last. He jokingly reminded me that he was 80 years old, so to ensure that I would not burden him with a heavy flagpole for the passing on flag which he would be handing over to Mr. S. N. Subrahmanyan at the AGM, as a sign of a new chief & leadership for L&T. Indeed, his enthusiasm for the event was palpable & deeply emotional.

L&T Passing On Flag given to Mr. S. N. Subrahmanyan by Mr. AM Naik

Even amidst the flurry of activity, including a photoshoot for his upcoming book while I was there, Mr. Naik took the time to delve into his philosophy on philanthropy, a cornerstone of his ethos. In his presence, the room became a forum for sharing and introspection, as he encouraged each of us, regardless of our station, to embrace the spirit of giving back to society.

Mr. Gyan Shah of The Flag Corp with Mr. AM Naik of Larsen & Toubro Ltd.

Reflecting on those two hours spent in the company of Mr. Naik, it became evident that his simplicity, grounded nature, and unwavering commitment to philanthropy were not just traits but guiding principles that have shaped his illustrious journey.

As I bid farewell to Mr. Naik, leaving behind a trail of flags and memories, I couldn’t help but feel inspired by his indomitable spirit and the profound impact of our encounter. In a world often characterized by ostentation and self-aggrandizement, Mr. Naik’s humility and dedication to nation-building serve as a beacon of hope and inspiration for generations to come.

In the end, my meeting with Mr. Naik was not just about flags and business dealings; it was a poignant reminder of the power of simplicity, the importance of giving back, and the enduring legacy of a true visionary.