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Leaderspeak

He pulled back a three-generation-old family business from the brink of bankruptcy by betting big on innovation and diversifying beyond the flagship product line.
Team BT   New Delhi     Print Edition: February 10, 2019
Leaderspeak
T.T. Jagannathan, Executive Chairman, TTK Group; Photograph by Lantern Camera

Q. The biggest challenge you faced in your career

A. Challenges play an integral role in life. During my tenure, I have faced quite a few and they have been a great teacher. Fortunately, I have been able to overcome those problems. I would say bankruptcy and negative net worth were the most challenging issues, and when they occurred it was the most difficult period in my career. However, I am glad that I chose to persist and ultimately overcame them and grew the business to its current size.

Q. Your best teacher in business

A. I have several, but the one that has made the most impact is experience. It is the greatest of all teachers. I have learnt new things and navigated my way through choppy waters. It has helped me gain in experience and paved the path for future learning and, ultimately, made me the person I am today.

Q. One management lesson for young people

A. We live in fast-moving times when the entire industry landscape is evolving at a rapid pace. So, yesterday's lessons do not hold too much value. It is important to keep an open mind and move with the times.

Q. Two essential qualities a leader must have

A. I would say confidence and belief in oneself are paramount in business. Failure is a stepping stone to success. I am also a strong advocate of never giving up. We should have the persistence to keep at it, and ultimately, success will come.

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