Q. The biggest challenge in your career
A. Every day is a challenge, and I will tell you why. Businesses tend to get disrupted every five-six years and many of them are wiped out. This is true for all industry sectors, not just companies. Although we lead in every category where we operate, we keep that in mind and believe that 'good' is the enemy of 'great' and boundaries must be pushed. My current challenge is to reinvent ourselves for the future. We are undergoing a transformation exercise to leverage our strengths, strengthen our relationships, digitise, build leadership capabilities and get closer to our customers and partners.
Q. Your best teacher in business
A. I learnt the importance of values from my grandmother. My retired boss taught me how to be proactive and see around corners. But I learnt most from my team and customers. You also learn from crises. Four years ago, I was hit by two deadly cancers and given three months to live. Now I feel that was the best lesson I ever had. It made me stronger, more resilient, eternally grateful and purpose-driven.
Q. Two key lessons for young people
A. Life is a marathon, not a sprint. Nowadays, I find some young people a tad impatient and looking for instant gratification at any cost. Winning in the short term at the cost of the long term is not an option. Secondly, you are a smartphone generation who prefers to text instead of talking. I would not say it is wrong, but you tend to lose out on human-to-human communication.
Q. Essential qualities of a leader
A. At Eureka Forbes, we have five 'purpose principles' and I want to share those. Be better every day in every way. Dare to care - not superficially, but genuinely. Be ready for tomorrow - watch out for threats and opportunities. Be prepared with the right competencies. And build relationships of trust and grow together - not at the cost of each other.