Business Today

Challenge the Status Quo

Print Edition: Sep 16, 2012

I remember an interaction with Mr N. Vaghul in 1985, around the time he joined ICICI as its chairman. At the time, I was responsible for ICICI's leasing business, and Mr Vaghul called to ask me whether we were looking at a large aircraft leasing transaction which was being talked about in the market.

I gave him several reasons why we could not do the deal: it was too large, we had a limit of Rs 1 crore per deal, we didn't finance publicsector enterprises and so on. Mr Vaghul heard me out patiently and simply said: "If that is the policy, perhaps it is time to revisit it." That was a breath of fresh air! We ultimately did not do the deal, because it was indeed too large for us at the time, but we learnt a lot from just studying it. That piece of advice from Mr Vaghul taught me to always challenge the status quo and to not be daunted by a change in orbit.

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