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E Sreedharan – An Inspirational Career Story

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Introduction :

E Sreedharan is perhaps one of the most celebrated personalities in the field of Project Management. He is famously dubbed as the Metro Man of India for his roles in the creation of the Delhi Metro Railway. E Sreedharan is known for his amazing leadership skills as well as the rare ability of finishing projects ahead of time and at low cost. He is most renowned as the architect of the Konkan Railway project which against popular notion of being a White Elephant and being too impractical, made the project a reality at low cost and in less time.



  • Engineer, Government Engineering College, Kakinada


  • 2007, Man of the Year
  • Padma Shri
  • Bharat Shiromani award
  • Knight of the Legion of Honour
  • Padma Vibhushan
  • Asia’s Heroes
  • All India Management Association award
  • CII Juror’s Award
Career :

  •  A R Rahman started his career at a young age of 11 when he joined as a keyboardist in Music Director Ilayaraja’s troupe. He played in the orchestra of M S Vishwanathan Ramesh Naidu and Raj Koti, accompanied Zakir Hussain, Kunnakudi Vaidyanathan and L. Shankar on world tours
  • A R Rahman started a small music recording and mixing studio called Panchathan Record Inn in 1992 in his own backyard. Today it is one of the most advanced recording studio in India. His initial projects were advertisement jingles and scores for Television shows and documentaries.
  • In 1992, he would rise to instant fame after his first film project Roja, directed by Mani Ratnam became a national hit with its music being one of the biggest factor.
  • In 2006, A R Rahman launched his own music label KM music. Its first project was for the film Sillunu Oru Kaadhal. K M Music is intended to distribute music recorded in the Panchathan studio in Chennai to large music companies like Sony.
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  • Mr E Sreedharan started his career with a short tenure as a lecturer in Civil engineering at the Government Polytechnic, Kozhikode.
  • He worked for a year at the Bombay Port Trust as an apprentice.
  • He joined the Indian Railways in its Service of Engineers. His first assignment was in the Southern Railway as a Probationary Assistant Engineer in December 1954.
  • E Sreedharan was put in charge of the reconstruction of the Pamban Bridge in 1963, he was awarded the Railway Ministers Award for finishing construction in just 46 days while the actual target was 6 months (his superior gave him 3 months).
  • He was the Chairman and Managing Director of Cochin ShipYard and commissioned Rani Padmini, the first ship built by the yard.
  • He retired from Indian Railways in 1990. Government of India Requested E Sreedharan to return from retirement to champion the now famous Konkan Railway project. It is touted as the most significant railway project of independent India. Under his stewardship, the company executed its mandate in seven years.
  • He was made the managing director of Delhi Metroand by mid-2005, all the scheduled sections were completed by their target date or before and within their respective budgets. Sreedharan was given the sobriquet of Metro Man by the media.

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Hard Work:

While it may seem as an old adage but Hard Work is perhaps the most key attribute for E Sreedharan’s Career Success. He would always be dedicated at completing the task at hand and do so with determination.

Management Skills:

His Project Management Skills are today taught in management schools across the country. While he has not undergone any dedicated training for Project Management. Simple designation and division of work among his subordinates has managed to give him the remarkable results that were once taught impossible in a country riddled with delays. Sreedharan achieves timely completion of projects by dividing the project between sub-managers and giving them each a deadline. He reviews daily progress reports. He also meets with top staff and consultants weekly.

Take Responsibility:

Being Hands on in the work you do is very important. While E Sreedharan was an expert at division of labour and designating them to the right people. He was also an active consultant of the work. He would always keep in touch with the progress of the work. While his may seem a lesson for Big Projects, they are applicable in every profession .Being an active Take Charge Leader is Important for a successful career.



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