With ‘Loa, Beam & Draft’ routinely being discussed at home while growing up Sushil developed an interest in shipping at a young age.
Although he had a keen interest in joining the merchant navy, he faced obstacles due to a weak eyesight, as sailors need 6x6 eyesight score and marine engineers need high academic scores.
As a consequence, there was little left than to pursue academic qualification as a professional in finance.
However, the calling of the sea was too hard to resist, despite a post-graduate degree in finances he started working as a boarding clerk in a shipping agency.
This was interesting & fascinating in gaining first-hand experience on board ship even though only in port & not at sea.
The Indian Economy faced two sources of external shocks contributing the most to India's large current account deficit in 1990/91.
The Indian shipping industry & support fraternity was accustomed to canalised trade. As economics & finance graduate with an interest in shipping the de-canalisation of trade opened windows for India's entry into global trade. This upheld the saying that whenever there is a setback, comeback is always lurking around.
There was a struggle as in every new situation, foreign exchange for overseas business travel was restricted, one had to depend on clients visiting India.
At one of these dinner meetings in India, convincing clients to partake in India's economic growth whereas South East Asia was growing at much faster pace, was a challenge. Clients were still sitting on the fence, the waiter brought the bill to him for payment, he observed that they had missed to add the bottle of wine served on the table.
Having noticed this, he requested the hotel to rectify the bill. He could have simply walked away with a smaller bill & leave the waiter to face the consequences. However, he did not. Having noticed this the clients got the comfort of 'Trust'. The pillar of Trust becomes the foundation of advice they give to client.
Mr. Saigal was mentored by Shri Vijay Handa, whose acquaintance he was fortunate to gain in early-1990's, he taught him to always respond to a situation by solving a problem in its totality, to never react to a situation. He was also greatly aided by his family who made it possible for him to have 70 hours work weeks including some time for exercise.
Mr. Sushil Saigal’s recommendation to the next generation would be to trust yourself and create the kind of self that you will be happy to live with all your life.