Fourteen business leaders narrate their stories to Business Today on how they steered their companies through tough times and emerge stronger. FULL COVERAGE
Whirpool Asia Pacific President Arvind Uppal tells Shamni Pande: "I realised that morale was the first thing that needed to be addressed. Get everyone on the same page and boost morale to create a winning team."
Nitin Paranjpe, CEO & MD of HUL, says to succeed, businesses have to recognise that both change and volatility are the new normal and find ways to address it.
In spite of the uncertain regulatory environment and the sector reeling
under pressure from a series of policy flip flops, Idea has performed
consistently and set high standards of compliance and reporting, says Himanshu Kapania, Managing Director, Idea Cellular.
Jagran Prakashan has stuck to the basics,
focusing on providing consumer differentiation in terms of content,
offerings and innovation during the difficult phase.
As worldwide economic recession affected Aditya Birla Nuvo's (ABNL) profitability, it took a number of proactive cost rationalisation initiatives across its businesses.
Sanjay Lalbhai, Chairman and Managing Director of Arvind Ltd, says the
transformation is the result of a strategic roadmap prepared four years ago.
We challenged orthodoxy, took big risks, made shows like KBC with a big host, big prize money and great production values along with a few other soaps, says Peter Mukerjea, a former CEO of Star India.
The company added 100,000 new customers last year and the average time taken to provide new connections has come down to 18 days from 28. It is now ready to add generating capacity, invest in improving distribution efficiency and increase the overall quality of its services.
Diversifying into unknown areas without required management bandwidth
and eyeing disproportionate growth using debt is not sustainable. That
was the lesson of a lifetime for me.
"One of our chief learnings from the slowdown was to never compromise on customer experience. Customers should continue to get your best service and merchandise," writes Managing Director Govind Shrikhande.
We addressed myriad challenges such as cost reduction, increasing efficiency and improving margins, changing the way we did business, says Sunil Pahilajani, MD & CEO of Greaves Cotton.
The most difficult and yet the most important move
was to change the mindset and the culture of the company, says the director and former Chairperson of Thermax.
The packaging of our entire portfolio was refurbished to put it in sync with the needs and aspirations of the 21st century consumer and we pushed into new markets and product categories, says Sunil Duggal, CEO of Dabur India.
"The crisis that set India Cements back by a few years taught one thing - never expand in a fractured market using debt," says Vice Chairman and MD N Srinivasan.