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Adding Spice To Leadership

Dipak Mondal     April 2, 2021

Baskar Babu, Managing Director and CEO of Suryoday Small Finance Bank believes in the idea of Servant Leadership (where the goal of the leader is to serve). Over the years, he has figured out a very palatable way of demonstrating this to his staff - by cooking for them during CEO-connect meetings.

Babu, who learnt the basics of cooking from his mother, started experimenting with food early in life. He finds cooking therapeutic. "I was supposed to hold a CEO-connect meeting and I told my team that I don't want it to be a preaching session, but a more casual and freewheeling one. So, they came up with the idea of potluck lunch," says Babu. But he thought a potluck lunch would be boring, and decided to cook for his staff. He ended up making Dosa for everyone.

Babu has experimented with various cuisines, but Dosa and chutney is his first love. "I like how so many combinations can be made using various ingredients to create chutneys that pair well with Dosa."

In the beginning when he proposed the idea of cooking Dosa for his staff, not everyone was convinced. But his Ghee Roast Dosa, Egg Dosa and Podi Dosa came out clear winners.

His cooking adventures are not without a few life and career lessons though. "My experiments with food teach me that constraints do exist, slow cooking and hence patience makes it better. It is always good to take a calculated risk in trying new cuisines and opportunities. Some of them have the capability to thoroughly surprise us," he says.

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