The Chairman of Selectors of the Indian Cricket Team sets up an electrifying start
Krish Srikkanth, Chairman of Selectors, Indian Cricket Team, is known to set the field on fire with his aggressive opening. He is no different as a speaker. He opened the NASSCOM EMERGEOUT Conclave Chennai on a scintillating note sending the audience into raptures with his informal style of delivery and engaging with the audience, at times asking questions pointedly at some members of the audience. Going by his own account, cricket career was not on his agenda. He was an electrical engineer, graduating from the hallowed College of Engineering, Guindy. Cricket was just a hobby. He was having fun with it. Today, “what I am today is due to cricket,” he said with an air of abandon. His secret sauce for success — believe in yourself and listen to your heart. Self-belief leads to innovation, according to him. “India can sell products to the world, instead of just servicing customers from other parts of the world,” he said confidently. ”You need guts to be an innovator,” he emphasized and dwelt upon the power of positive energy. This positive energy is needed to create software products and sell it to global users. He took the example of Chris Gayle, the West Indies cricketer, who thrashed bowlers all over the park in the recently concluded IPL-4. He said that the bowler got defensive bowling to Chris Gayle and it was Gayle’s positive energy that led to his outstanding success. But R. Ashwin, the Chennai Super Kings bowler, put Gayle on the defensive by his positive approach.
Knowing when to exit is crucial to becoming a millionaire, Srikkanth pointed out. He said that we, Indians, are subdued due to colonial hangover and parents do not let their children do whatever they want. “I never had any technique. I just used to belt the ball over midwicket,” said Srikkanth explaining that anything innovative is first met with rejection. One should not succumb to rejections but have the guts to carry on with what one is doing. Pointing out that innovation was constantly happening, he took the example of his own batting style in 1980s to tell that “the whole world is playing cricket like what I was doing in the 1980s.” He also said that now only different shots have names attached to them. “Don’t be scared to innovate,” said Srikkanth with gusto, adding that results do not matter when you innovate. “Just do it,” was his parting remark.Taking responsibility and keeping it simple are hallmarks of good leadership that is displayed by M.S. Dhoni, according to this Chairman of Selectors who never wanted to become a selector or an umpire. “A leader should take decisions and stand by it,” said the swashbuckling opener of yesteryears. Some decisions at times may not work as per expectations and criticism should not be given too much importance. Turning a bit spiritual, he said that the decision taken ruled by the heart have divine connection. When you consciously take decisions following the heart, such decisions are based on truth, which connects to the divine. The mind will take doubtful decision on both extremes but the heart will show only one way, according to Srikkanth. His recommended management style is to take informed decisions following your gut feel rather than going by statistics. “Technology without human involvement is useless,” he added and pointed out how fun will be lost if there is technology only used instead of umpires on the field to make decisions. His people orientation is flawless and reaching out to the employees is important for innovation, he felt.
Earlier, Srikkanth confessed that this is his first keynote and did not prepare his speech. But nonetheless, like his unconventional batting, this informal talk at times mixed with Tamil had an electrifying effect, which set the tone for rest of the day.
—Venkatesh Krishnamoorthy, chief evangelist