A Tête-à-Tête with the CEOs

We were at the Porter Prize event at Leela Kempinski Gurgaon, where we couldn’t help but be in awe of the success stories of some companies.

Here we are, in conversation with some candid CEOs, about their clever company strategies and their advice to today’s youth on chasing their dreams:

Here’s what the CEO of Zensar Technologies, Ltd., Dr. Ganesh Natarajan shared with us about innovation in his company:

“Our strategy is entirely built on two pillars: flexibility and innovation. The whole idea of innovation, whether it is getting new people on board or getting people to think differently is about making sure that there are different points of view to a problem or a challenge, or to get something done. We are probably number 13 today, and that is because we compete with the best, and get ahead only because of constant innovation.

When we got our first big client (that’s CISCO), the leap was a giant one for us, but we never looked back since then. We have consistently pushed our limits, and that’s how we have expanded our clientele (which includes some of the Fortune 500 companies today).

We are an intrapreneurial company, within the big company- we heavily encourage our employees to come up with new ideas, and we spot one with potential, we follow that idea till the end.

To the youth, think out of the box, don’t follow the treaded path, do something different, fail, and then brush yourself up for the next challenge.”

Bharat Singh, CFO, Redbus shared with us that customer satisfaction is of the utmost importance to their company. He revealed that the company came into existence because of a customer problem only.

“The funny thing is that our CEO, Phanindra Sama, was a frustrated customer one Diwali eve; he could not reach home, because of lack of co-ordination by his agent. Despite calling several bus operators, he couldn’t get a single bus that night. It forced him to ponder that the customer’s requirement was not fulfilled, because of lack of coordination of information amongst different actors.That’s when the whole idea of setting up this company came up.

Today, we are India’s largest and leading bus ticketing company. Right now, all the (thousands of) bus operators can be accessed and viewed by customers at one click only. One agent can get in touch with all the operators at a single platform.”

We asked him what his message to today’s ambitious youth is, and here’s the advice- “If you have an idea, and if you completely believe in it, then don’t leave it, pursue it till the end. If you are convinced of it, you can convince others as well. Don’t shy away from taking a plunge, even though, there will be hardships and challenges, even though, in the short term, the grass may seem greener on the other side, chase your dream till the end, till it’s accomplished.”

Then, we spotted Amitabh Chaudhry, HDFC standard life, who was also one of the panelists for the day. Here are his insights:

What are your views on platforms for recognition of innovative practices and business strategies, such as the Porter Prize awards, which is happening for the first time in India?

Well, recognition is always valued and appreciated. It adds to an organisation’s credibility. It’s great that unique business strategies are being felicitated by such awards. That we at HDFC Life welcome it is plain, as we applied for it.

(And later, won the prize as well! Congrats for that!)

What business strategies and innovations of your company differentiate your company from your competitors?

There is no single strategy that I can point out. I think, for the last three years, we have been constantly innovating and reinventing ourselves. We take huge leaps ahead of other companies, so, we always ahead of them.

Your message to the youth?

To the youth, I would say, have clear, concise goals, and stop at nothing to achieve them. Nothing beats hard work and perseverance to success.
Then we met a woman at the top, Dr. Rupali Basu, CEO of Apollo Gleneagles Hospitals Kolkata. She shared her beliefs and ideas with us:

“Being in healthcare, we create shared values because you are reaching out to the masses.For us at Apollo Gleneagles, I think we chose our price bracket well, we chose our clientele, which include all levels of the society, we were very very focused on our area of work, that is tertiary super-speciality care, bringing in amplification, chronic focus on good quality outcomes, and sustaining relationships with our customers helped our business.”

She encouraged the youth to make wise and holistic decisions. “Many-a-times, strategy gets a lot negative connotation. But, that is not true. A good strategist also brings out a well-organised human being. You need to have strategy and excel in whatever area of work you choose. Today so many areas of work are available. Choose your forte, and create shared values, to help build your own life, and for your own company, but, also for the benefit of people at large,” she said.

As told to Abhiruchi Chatterjee

Image Source [The Viewspaper]