Nine years ago, Deepak Munganahalli was sent to head the Indian operations of offshore drilling major Transocean with a clear brief: Take a hard look at the business and shut it if needed. "It had been at $10 million here for quite some years," he recalls. Today, Transocean's turnover here is $1 billion. "Several things contributed to this…most important was the India team believing in growth," he says.
"It seemed ridiculous the first year, challenging the second year and then became a habit," he recalls. One of his toughest moments came when he was 27, heading Transocean in an African country and retrenchments had made the situation volatile.
"I probably came closest to packing and leaving…My boss said the usual 'if it were easy, anyone would have done it'. These cliches make no sense most of the time, but when you are in the dumps, they do make all the difference," he recalls. He is not averse to taking up an offer abroad again, if it means the top job. "I will never shy away from a challenge," he says.
Deepak Munganahalli, 40, Managing Director, India & Middle East Transocean