Business Today

Cover story | Sep 16, 2012

Leaderspeak: 'The Best advice I ever got'

Leaderspeak: 'The Best advice I ever got'

Personal accounts of 50 of India's "wise" men and women - the country's biggest corporate leaders. Each one of them writes about the advice that worked for them. What is important to note is that they chose which advice they wanted to follow, and profited from it.

Best advice I ever got: Anil Agarwal

Anil Agarwal, Chairman, Vedanta Resources says two pieces of advice from my father have remained the guiding force of my journey.

The teachings of Gita an inspiration for Ajay Piramal

Piramal Group Chairman Ajay Piramal says he got the best advice from the Bhagwad Gita which advocates the concept of Trusteeship.

Best advice I ever got: Anji Reddy

Anji Reddy, Chairman, Dr Reddy's Labs got the best advcie from a guide book for chemistry practical exams written by a professor in VR College, Nellore

Best advice I ever got: Y.M. Deosthalee

Y.M. Deosthalee, CMD, L&T Finance Holdings Ltd says the greatest learning I had during my tenure as the CFO of L&T is risk management and taking bold decisions.

Best advice I ever got: Y.C. Deveshwar

Y.C. Deveshwar, Chairman, ITC Limited says the best advice he has received is to listen to his inner voice.

Best advice I ever got: Shivinder Singh

Shivinder Singh, Vice Chairman, Fortis Healthcare says he didn't heed the best advice initially till life beat him into realising that he should follow it.

Who taught Adi Godrej the value of money

The chairman of Godrej Group says the best advice he ever got was from his mother, who put him on an allowance from which he had to manage every expenditure.

Best advice I ever got: N.R. Narayana Murthy

N.R. Narayana Murthy, Chairman Emeritus, Infosys says he learnt one of the most important lessons from his favourite teachers.

Best advice I ever got: Romesh Sobti

IndusInd Bank Romesh Sobti got the best advice from one of his bosses at Grindlays Bank that success is not only the consequence of our individual skills and determination but also an enabling social and professional ecosystem which we tend to abandon as we move up in life.

Best advice I ever got: Alok Mittal

Canaan Partners India's Alok Mittal says the best advice came to him multiple times from the same person - the late Arun Kumar, then Managing Director of Aricent.

Best advice I ever got: Adhil Shetty

BankBazaar.com's Adhil Shetty got the best advice from a fellow entrepreneur who said that one should treat investment in a company as if it were a loan from the company treasury.

Best advice I ever got: Sasha Mirchandani

Sasha Mirchandani, Founder & MD, KAE Capital says one of the key drivers for me to start my own fund was the desire to create something of my own.

Best advice I ever got: Rajiv Bajaj

Bajaj Auto Rajiv Bajaj says the best advice that I ever got was upon reading The Organon of Medicine by Dr Samuel Hahnemann.

Best advice I ever got: Shiv Nadar

Shiv Nadar, Founder & Chairman, HCL and Shiv Nadar Foundation, says he got the best advice from late C.K. Prahalad

Best advice I ever got: R.S. Agarwal

Emami's R.S. Agarwal says he got his best advice from Sri R.S. Goenka

Best advice I ever got: Subhash Chandra

Subhash Chandra Chairman, Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd & Essel Group says the best advices helped him gain credibility.

Best advice I ever got: Mehul Choksi

Mehul Choksi, CMD, Gitanjali Group says he will always treasure the advice that he got from his father in those early days: "Combine professionalism with instinct, and don't be afraid to experiment and try out new ideas."

Best advice I ever got: Deepak Ravindran

Deepak Ravindran, Co-founder & CEO, Innoz says advice is free - never take too much but take a handful.

Best advice I ever got: Meher Pudumjee

Meher Pudumjee, Chairperson, Thermax the simple piece of advice has guided her through life.

Best advice I ever got: Schauna Chauhan

Schauna Chauhan, CEO, Parle Agro says the best advice I ever got was - Always question everything, before I started working.

Best advice I ever got: Mohammad Imthiaz

Mohammad Imthiaz, Co-founder & CEO, Hoppr says the best advice 'change and persevere' helped him become a successful entrepreneur.

Best advice I ever got: Pankaj R. Patel

Pankaj R. Patel says the best advice got helped us address the growth aspirations of our people and maximise their talents

Best advice I ever got: C.P. Krishnan

Leela Group chairman C.P. Krishnan Nair says the best advice has been my source of inspiration and guidance over the years.

Best advice I ever got: Glenn Saldanha

Glenn Saldanha, Chairman & MD, Glenmark Pharma says from all the advice that I ever got, and when I look back at my years, I feel the most important advice given to me was: "Marry the right person."

Best advice I ever got: Ajay Bijli

Ajay Bijli, Chairman & MD, PVR Ltd says he has been fortunate enough to have a group of mentors and inspirational leaders who have given me a lot of guidance in his journey so far.

Best advice I ever got: Kushagra Nayan Bajaj

Kushagra Nayan Bajaj, Vice Chairman, Bajaj Group says the best advice guides him to keep simpler the business and transaction, making it easier to operate and prosper in today's highly volatile world.

Best advice I ever got: V.G. Siddhartha

V.G. Siddhartha, Founder, Cafe Coffee Day says the best advice he ever got prompted him to buy coffee estates in Karnataka and diversify investments.

Best advice I ever got: Riyaaz Amlani

Riyaaz Amlani, MD, Impresario Entertainment & Hospitality says he got the best advice from the Tariq Ansari of Mid-Day.

Best advice I ever got: Vijay Shekhar Sharma

 Vijay Shekhar Sharma, CEO, One97 Communications says the best advice I ever got guided me to the discipline of business planning.

Best advice I ever got: Prashant Tandon

Prashant Tandon, MD & Co-founder, Healthkart.com got the best advices from his entrepreneurship professors at Stanford University who said as a leader, one needs to find the right team.

Best advice I ever got: Anil Gupta

Anil Gupta, Joint MD, Havells India says the advice given by his father is inspired by the Bhagwad Gita and has helped him during crises.

Best advice I ever got: Krishnan Ganesh

Krishnan Ganesh, Founder & CEO, TutorVista; CEO, Smarthinking says advices have stood me in good stead for all my business endeavours.

Best advice I ever got: Tulsi Tanti

Suzlon Energy Ltd Chairman Tulsi Tanti tried to carry his grandfather's advice in all his endeavours.

Best advice I ever got: Ashni Biyani

Future Group director Ashni Biyani says she stumbled upon best advice in book 'The Element by Ken Robinson'.

Best advice I ever got: Manmohan Agarwal

Manmohan Agarwal, CEO, Big Shoe Bazaar says the best advice  he ever got was from his father.

Best advice I ever got: Gautam Thapar

Gautam Thapar, Chairman & CEO, Avantha Group my mentor - the late Mr Brij Mohan Bakshi - gave me instinctual but insightful advice.

Best advice I ever got: Naveen Tewari

Naveen Tewari, Founder & CEO, InMobi says following the best advice we didn't take up corporate careers and pursued our dream.

Best advice I ever got: Lynn de Souza

Lintas Media Group Chairman and CEO Lynn de Souza says mentors, bosses, colleagues, clients, friends and family have been a great source of advice

Best advice I ever got: Baba Kalyani

Bharat Forge's Chairman and MD Baba Kalyani tells how the best advice helped the company sail through slowdown.

Best advice I ever got: Dhruv Shringi

Dhruv Shringi, Co-founder & CEO, Yatra.com says how the best advice he got helped the company gain market share.

Best advice I ever got: Deep Kalra


Best advice I ever got: Sachin Bansal

Sachin Bansal, CEO & Co-founder, Flipkart.com says this particular advice 'think long-term, act short-term' has helped in these five years of being an entrepreneur.

Best advice I ever got: B.S. Nagesh

B.S. Nagesh, Founder, TRRAIN and Vice Chairman, Shoppers Stop says when the slowdown actually hits, most reactions are knee-jerk, and we start seeking advice from everyone other than our truly loyal customers.

Best advice I ever got: Ishita Swarup

99labels.com Co-founder and CEO Ishita Swarup shares her among the best advices she has received is one needs to have patience to weather out storms, and storms don't last.

Best advice I ever got: Inderpreet S. Wadhwa

Azure Power CEO Inderpreet S. Wadhwa says from this advice, I have imbibed persistence, patience and resilience in both my personal and professional life.

Best advice I ever got: Pallav Nadhani

Pallav Nadhani, Co-founder & CEO, FusionCharts says the best advice he got 'sleep with your competition' told him to respect your competitors, try to be friends with them outside of work, and look at ways of collaborating with them to increase the market rather than chipping away at each other's market share.

Best advice I ever got: Alok Kejriwal

Games2win.com Co-founder & CEO Alok Kejriwal tells how the best advice he got "be yourself. If that means stupidly audacious, then so be it" inspires him.

Best advice I ever got: Phanindra Sama

redBus CEO Phanindra Sama says the best advice he got came form his mentor Sanjay Anandaram who said that it is the senior management that makes an organisation what it is.

Best advice I ever got: Kunal Bahl

Snapdeal CEO Kunal Bahl says the best advice he received from her mother always keeps him honest, and aware that there is limited margin for treating the task at hand with any degree of levity or any value in trying to pass the buck to someone else.

Best Advice I Ever Got: K V Kamath

K.V. Kamath, Non-Executive Chairman, Infosys and ICICI Bank says the best advice taught me to always challenge the status quo and to not be daunted by a change in orbit.

Editors note 1

From the Editor: Sept 16, 2012

We decided to dig deep into the subconscious and the memories of the men and women who keep our economic boiler room ticking and ask them to share with you the best advice they had ever received.

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