Q. The biggest challenge you faced in your career
A. When I joined the business in 2006, we were hit by the perfect storm - rising costs, labour strife, heightened competition, talent attrition, financial stress and irate customers. Together, they posed a potential crisis that lasted for two-three years. So, I had to get into the nuts and bolts of our operations. With hard work and determination, we were able to pull through, and that has given me immense confidence to face similar situations in the future.
Q. Your best teacher in business
A. Adversity is one of the best teachers. Mike Tyson once said everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth and that is true. Adversity makes us question what we are currently doing and forces us to reinvent. Change happens only when there is a burning platform and adversity gives us a unique opportunity to change.
Q. One management lesson for young people
A. You need to get over the fear of failure, a lesson I have learnt here. If you fear failure, you may not try something truly disruptive and accept defeat without dirtying your hands. As for us, we do a lot of things to see what works. Pivoting quickly and not beating ourselves up over wrong decisions have helped us grow faster.
Q. Two essential qualities a leader must have
A. Honesty/trust and empathy. Being honest about one's shortcomings can be incredibly empowering while setting a culture of trust is a key motivator. Empathy allows a leader to connect and communicate with everyone associated. By putting yourself in the shoes of others, you become more capable and effective in leading them.