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"Make Up Your Mind Whether You Are in or You Are Out"

Rajesh Gopinathan, MD & CEO, Tata Consultancy Services
twitter-logoNevin John | Print Edition: March 21, 2021
Rajesh Gopinathan, MD & CEO, Tata Consultancy Services - Photograph by Mandar Deodhar

Q. What was the problem you were grappling with?

A. It was early in my career and I had just joined TCS after working in smaller group companies. In the first few months, I noted down a list of problems that I was facing in TCS. You can imagine a young guy with all the cribs...

Q. Who did you approach and why?

A. I went to Chandra (N. Chandrasekaran, Chairman of Tata Sons), who was the reporting head.

Q. What was the best advice you ever received?

A. I still remember, he went to the board and drew a circle and said, first youve got to make up your mind - 'are you in' or 'are you out'. If you are inside you better deal with what is inside, otherwise any way you are outside.

Q. How effective was it in resolving your problem?

A. It changed my perspective. You have got to be objective and you can be critical. But criticism should be for fixing the problem. If you own the problem and see yourself as part of the solution, the approach will be completely different. The perspective will change and problems will look simple. TCS has the strong culture of owning problems and addressing them with the required help. Whenever somebody is seen in trouble, he/she gets a lot of help. I suppose that is true in other large organisations as well.

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