Business Today

Leaderspeak

"Every challenge presents an opportunity. How you respond and what you learn from it will define your path to progress."
Team BT   New Delhi     Print Edition: July 15, 2018
Leaderspeak

Q. The biggest challenge you faced in your career

A. Every challenge presents an opportunity. How you respond and what you learn from it will define your path to progress. About 10 years ago, I set up a company with close to 800 employees and gave it my best shot. It did not succeed and my lifetime savings were gone. But I have also learnt that it is important to have aspirations, it is okay to take risks and one must cut losses at the right time. All these help you bring in entrepreneurial thinking in a corporate setting and facilitate agile decision-making in a competitive environment.

Q. One management lesson for young people

A. There are three imperatives. First, think big, set lofty goals and don't be scared of failures. Second, learn to focus, prioritise and manage time. Finally, foster a culture of collaboration.

Q. Your best teacher in business

A. Adversity teaches us the value of perseverance. Also, our customers are our best teacher and critic. Their feedback is wholly undiluted and driven by a simple premise - make their life better by making our service/product better. I make it a point to read their letters, e-mail messages and social media comments. They keep us motivated and honest.

Q. Two essential qualities a leader must have

A. One is initiative. Leadership is about painting the big picture, taking bold steps and leading from the front. The other is empathy. Developing empathy will help you listen better to your colleagues, customers and business partners.

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