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Tomorrow's man, today

Vinayak Chatterjee has blended varied management styles to transform Feedback Venturesto a top infra advisory firm.

Tejeesh N.S. Behl        Print Edition: August 9, 2009

Vinayak Chatterjee has blended varied management styles to transform Feedback Venturesto a top infra advisory firm.

Vinayak Chatterjee
Feedback Ventures
Turnover (2008-09): Rs 102.86 crore
PAT (2008-09): Rs 5.30 crore
No. of employees: 742
Year of incorporation: 1990
Headquarters: Gurgaon, Haryana
Company profile: Infrastructure consulting, engineering, project management and development
Vinayak Chatterjee, Chairman: “I tend to go by intuition and gut feel”

The story goes of how Feedback Ventures founding Chairman Vinayak Chatterjee approached Deepak Parekh, Chairman, HDFC Bank, for a financial bailout as the company’s negative cash flows had rendered it unable to meet even its staff compensation obligations. Parekh, whose bank has a stake in Feedback Ventures, reposing his faith in the brash young entrepreneur, gave Chatterjee the needful amount.

That experience probably got embedded in Chatterjee’s mind as years later, when a joint venture partner for an engineering project egged him to replace a colleague in-charge of the project as they felt the said colleague was incompetent, Chatterjee refused to buckle down and instead backed his colleague, who, as he recalls, turned out to be one of the finest executors in his domain. “I tend to go by intuition and gut feel, whether it’s about hiring an employee or taking on a project— and I can safely say that 70 out of 100 times, I have been proved right,” he says.

From being a manager who was self-confessedly short tempered and flew off the handle at the slightest provocation, Chatterjee’s trip in life, as he nears his 50th birthday, is to become as dispensable to the organisation as he can. “While I head the board of directors, I am not a member of the board of operations that was created to oversee day-to-day functioning of the company,” he points out.

A man who cuts little slack for big talkers, Chatterjee is a firm believer in the horses for courses policy for people management. “One needs to have a buffet of management styles as each individual requires a different approach,” he elucidates. That seems to have worked for him, considering that most of his senior executives have stuck with him for over a decade.

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