Q. The biggest challenge you faced in your career
A. When I joined GNFC, it had Rs 7,000 crore liabilities and more than Rs 2,500 crore unproductive non-operational assets, resulting in the first-ever loss (over Rs 450 crore) in its four-decade history. The challenges included cost/time overruns, high debt service obligations, litigation, inventory, competition from international players and stagnation of existing businesses. Taking a moribund organisation to the present level of highest-ever profit before tax has been tough but satisfying.
Q. Your best teacher in business
A. I have learnt the most through experience and being hands-on. While I have trusted my team for recommendations and opinion, I have also worked hard to learn on the job. I feel I am a student. I am of the firm belief that greater the risk, higher will be the returns. I am a high risk taker. Good ideas can come from any source and, therefore, I believe in consulting people irrespective of their rank.
Q. One management lesson for young people
A. Keep learning continuously. Learning about new products/services increases the likelihood of better decision making. A leader needs to be optimistic and have the capability to see opportunity in adversity. A leader must possess tolerance for risk and uncertainty.
Q. Two essential qualities a leader must have
A. A leader should lead from the front. He/she should have the guts to take strong decisions in interest of the organisation irrespective of their palatability. The second quality of a leader is ability to take the right work from the right person. A leader's success is directly proportional to his/her level of involvement.