Q. The biggest challenge you faced in your career
A. Very early in my career, I had to take charge of a group company and handle a management crisis. On my first day, more than 75 per cent employees quit, showing their solidarity with my predecessor. It was tough, but from then on, I felt a deep desire to build an organisation that could thrive through change - change in owners, employees, products, technology. All my efforts in the 30 years of business life have been driven by that desire.
Q. Your best teacher in business
A. One is our founder, late Dr K. Anji Reddy, who always focussed on the big picture. And the other is my father (G. Harischandra Reddy), a stickler for details. I have worked with both of them and learnt how to zoom out or zoom in as required.
Q. One management lesson for young people
A. Be empathetic to the needs of the people you aim to serve - be it your customers, colleagues or the community at large. A deeper understanding of their needs will help create disproportionate value.
Q. Two essential qualities a leader must have
A. Putting purpose ahead of profits is essential as George W. Merck once said. Go after a bigger cause; it will provide the energy and motivation to succeed in a long race. The other quality is to stay the course. The ability to show resolve in difficult moments and maintain equanimity in happier times sets the leader apart.