Business Today

Aim for the sky

Print Edition: Sep 16, 2012

I received a tough grooming at our various factories, and senior executive and my mentor - the late Mr Brij Mohan Bakshi - gave me instinctual but insightful advice. His advice was on two levels, one at the aspirational level and the other on a practical level.

His aspirational advice was "to reach for the stars while keeping my feet firmly on the ground". This meant to trust my instincts, live by my values, see my own dreams, run my own race, think beyond boundaries and never regret, but to move on to the next thing. In a way, it is also the genesis of the group name Avantha, from the French verb avancer - to move forward - and the Sanskrit sthapna, meaning 'to be firmly grounded'.

At the practical level, he gave intuitive suggestions like: listen more, seek to learn more, always question, and be open to perspectives and multiple what-if scenarios, without being restricted by one single point of view. Finally, he told me that my job as the boss is the loneliest job in the world, as all decisions are, in the final analysis, mine. The buck always stops with me.

 WORDS OF WISDOM: Personal accounts by 50 of India's corporate leaders
 Schauna ChauhanDhruv Shringi
 Deep Kalra
Sachin Bansal

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