Leadership is all about Adaptability, Valuing , Appreciating,Re-learning and Hanging on!!!

25th Sep 2009
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SIIB organized leadership series in which the budding entrepreneurs got to know about various leadership skills like Never Ever giving up, Attitude playing an important role, Tough Decision Making along with Hanging on, Adapting to situations, Valuing, Appreciating, Re-learning among a host of

other things.Every year SIIB organizes the “Leadership Series” as a platform for interaction between its students and Industry leaders. This helps the students gain the much needed industry insights, adding to their learning process.


This year’s theme was “Leadership and Entrepreneurial Spirit” and the event was organized with a purpose to enlighten budding entrepreneurs about the skills and also the risks involved in being a successful entrepreneur. Leadership Series 2009, this was the first year when the'Sarvashshreshtha Award' was conferred upon to SIIB alumni who with his achievements in his own professional field has done the SIIB family proud. The SIIB Alumni Mr.Abhijit Ranade, the Associate Director of Consulting with PricewaterhouseCoopers was among the Guest of Honors.Mr. Ranade also touched upon how we should not let the fear of failure deter us from reaching for our dreams and thinking big. He also encouraged students to embark on journeys and more importantly to constantly learn from new people and experiences. He wisely remarked how we should never think that we have arrived since that ends up being counterproductive and makes one complacent. He also suggested that students learn the distinction between being a manager and being a leader and encouraged them to strive for excellence in all walks of life. Before ending his speech, he also pointed how important it is to have a sense of humour in life.


The esteemed speakers and other Guests of Honor this year were Mr. Ravi Pandit (Chief Guest) Chairman and Group CEO of KPIT Cummins Infosystem, Mr. P. P. Chhabria Chairman of Finolex Cables Ltd., Mr. Navin Suri CEO of ING Investments, India, Mr. David Wittenberg from The Innovation Workgroup, New Delhi, Mr. Ravi Deshpande Chairman and Chief Creative Officer of Contract Advertising, India.


Mr. Ravi Pandit pointed out that the theme of leadership and entrepreneurship was apt and perfect for economic scenarios we are in. This is the perfect time for students to explore the area of entrepreneurship .This he validated by emphasizing on the fact that we now have an open economy after the 1991 liberalization and it is much easier to execute our plans which was extremely difficult 20 years back.


David Wittenberg, an exceptionally versatile business leader with over 30 years of consulting, training, management and entrepreneurial experience, brought global best practices in the discipline of innovation to leading Indian and multi-national corporations. The author of The Executive’s Guide to Innovation (Cresthaven, 2008), David is an alumnus of one of the world’s leading innovation labs, the Advanced Concepts and Technology group at Pitney Bowes, a Fortune 500 office technology corporation. He spoke about the traits and skills required to become a successful entrepreneur in life. David, an American by origin shared his Indian experiences and was overwhelmed by the hospitality of the Indians. He enlightened the audience with his insights about Innovation and how it is the tool to tackle the changing intrinsic and extrinsic environment. He said, a successful innovation rests on the truth and facing this truth and making changes accordingly requires courage. He talked about the traits required to become an entrepreneur; traits like Vision, Ambition, Risk-Taking, and Trustfulness. And also the skills that one can develop over a period of time like Problem-Solving, Management, and Leadership. Finally he asked the students to use online measurement tools, reflection, input from family/friends to understand their personality and make a decision whether they have it in them to become a successful entrepreneur or not.


Mr. P.P. Chhabria narrated the journey from owning a mere Cycle to the possession of a Private Jet today! P.P. Chhabria today is the Chairman of the Rs. 4000 crore (USD 950 million) Finolex Group of India, a well diversified conglomerate with interests in total cables solutions, Petrochemicals, PVC Resin, Pipes & Fittings, Agricultural Drip Irrigation systems, and Education sectors of the economy. He spoke about the struggles in his life and how he has been able to reach this point. he emphasized that one must not depend on surroundings and wait for an opportunity and also be more knowledgeable. He believes, though he was compelled to work at an early age but it actually turned out to be of great help in shaping his career.


Being thoughtful and having clear thinking is important. P.P Chhabria told students that taking deep insight into himself about what he wanted to do in life brought about a turning point in his career and everyone should exercise their minds time and again to revisit and reason their decisions in life like he did. His attitude helped him to start joint venture with a Japanese Company Hitachi. A compassionate and thoughtful P.P. Chhabria believes in doing well to the Society and trying to return as much as possible of what he had incurred.


Navin Suri has more than Seventeen years of full-fledged experience in the sales & distribution management spectrum. Having worked for Twelve years across several parts of India, for the past 5 years he has worked across thirteen markets in Asia while being based in Singapore. In this new role, Navin has the overall responsibility for ING Investment Management business in India.


He started by explaining how a Leader is never alone. He said the Leader has to pay heed to the ‘Screams’ of Clients: Who give business, Shareholders: Who invest money, Regulators: Who regulate and monitor the business, Employees: Who work for the company, Distributers: Who give networks & Media: Who create a good image. Leadership a process of re-learning constantly – When the company was running really fast to grow and grow more, the goal was to increase assets, hire talent, launching new products and adding distribution rapidly. Navin firmly believed in this thought “When Everything seems perfect. Be Prepared Something unexpected is around the Bend!” He said it is difficult but necessary to estimate rather early whether it is the economy, the industry or your own company. Businesses can disappear in 24 hours. For Ex. Lehman Brothers, Shareholders may not be ready, Employees maybe dumbstruck, Regulators may get aggressive; such things need to be kept in mind. Leadership is critical at such times and one must appreciate and not think selfishly. Everyone should be kept in the loop.


Navin seconded P.P. Chhabria’s thought about believing in your-self. One must be patient and ready to face adversity. Remember that people remember. They remember how you acted and not just what you thought. “Extra-ordinary times need extra-ordinary faith” quoted Navin. He also said that one is not ready to hear a ‘Yes’ before 9 ‘No’s’


Hope is the path that will always lead one to the right destination. Moreover never let your body language give any sign of the pressure you are under. Study your moves and think. Give New Purpose: Everyone must be given a new purpose so they can see a ray of hope, Show a Path: When everyone is confused and lost, they need to be shown the path, Take Decisions: People need to be assured about confident decision making, Take Control: Although a Leader may start alone at first the time to find followers can be difficult to predict and this is the best time, Be on the field: Navin enunciated that the biggest mistake a Leader can do at such times is trying to manage everything without going to the field. A leader’s physical presence makes a lot of difference.“When Everything is real bad and there is no signs of recovery, something real good is around the bend” which a counter effect to one of his earlier thoughts.


Navin concluded by saying, “Credits belong to the team and Debits are all yours!”


The theme of SIIB Leadership series every year is always in sync with the existing management scenario in India and abroad. Leaders who have traveled the corporate road and achieved the pinnacle of success share their experiences in their journey. Being an interactive session, this helps the budding managers of tomorrow to learn and understand what is required to be not just a good professional but a business leader. SIIB leadership series, the flagship event of SIIB comes back every year with a lot of practical learnings for these budding leaders of tomorrow!!!

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