What It Takes to Win in Leadership Post Covid: Naina Lal Kidwai

Ms. Naina Lal Kidwai,  addressing the Inaugural Session of AIMA Aspire’s #WomenSpeak

Ms. Naina Lal Kidwai, addressing the Inaugural Session of AIMA Aspire’s #WomenSpeak

The mindset of leaders post-Covid should be to be able to live with uncertainty yet aspire for growth, said Ms. Naina Lal Kidwai, Additional Director & Senior Advisor, Rothschild India the Inaugural Session of AIMA Aspire’s #WomenSpeak.

AIMA had organised the Inaugural Session of #WomenSpeak, which is a part of AIMA’s new initiative, ‘AIMA Aspire’, a special Women’s Council. The theme of the Session was- ‘Leadership In A Post Covid World: What It Takes To Win’. Ms. Naina Lal Kidwai, Additional Director & Senior Advisor, Rothschild India rightfully deliberated the Session.

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Life Lessons, Learnings And Professional Journey: Shereen Bhan Shares It All

Shereen Bhan addressing at AIMA's ‘Shaping Young Minds Programme’.

Shereen Bhan addressing at AIMA’s ‘Shaping Young Minds Programme’.

Shereen Bhan, Managing Editor, CNBC-TV18 shared her life lessons, learnings and professional journey of becoming a top-notch media professional and how young professionals can achieve similar success in whichever industry they choose at AIMA’s ‘Shaping Young Minds Programme’.

One of the most respected News Hosts and Anchors, and one who has always stayed on top of the game through sheer application and constant reinvention of oneself and the field of journalism, Ms. Shereen Bhan, Managing Editor, CNBC-TV18 has been hosting CNBC- TV 18’s ‘Indian Business Hour’ for more than a decade and the long-running show ‘Young Turks’ continues to draw large audiences even till today.

She has interviewed some of the top leaders of the world from all walks of life and has won multiple awards for her contribution to the field of journalism. She shared her professional journey, life lessons and her professional journey with young professionals and management students particularly at AIMA’s ‘Shaping Young Minds Programme’.

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Strengthening Leadership: Vinita Bali tells how

Ms. Vinita Bali , Independent Director on Global Boards and Former Managing Director, Britannia at AIMA’s 59th LeaderSpeak Session

Ms. Vinita Bali addressing at AIMA’s 59th LeaderSpeak Session

Leadership is about “how you behave” and has nothing to do with where you are in the hierarchy irrespective of the sector you are in, said Ms. Vinita Bali, Independent Director on Global Boards and Former Managing Director, Britannia at AIMA’s 59th #LeaderSpeak Session. 

Leadership has come under sharp focus in recent years, especially due to the severe disruption caused by the Covid pandemic and other uncertainties. Leadership now has added responsibilities due to the added challenges of keeping up with technology, digitising business models, finding the right talent and much more. 

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The Metaverse Conversation: Rajan N Navani Talks About How It Will Change The Future Of The Internet

Rajan R Navani, Vice Chairman and MD, Jetline Group of Companies, JetSynthesys at AIMA’s 60th LeaderSpeak Session

Rajan R Navani, Vice Chairman and MD, Jetline Group of Companies, JetSynthesys at AIMA’s 60th LeaderSpeak Session

The evolving technology and the introduction of 5G has only fueled the growth of Metaverse.  People are already connected and are engaging extensively through social media, metaverse adds an extra dimension to it by making it more immersive, said Mr. Rajan R Navani, Vice Chairman and MD, Jetline Group of Companies, JetSynthesys at AIMA’s 60th LeaderSpeak Session on ‘The Metaverse Conversation’.

The idea of the metaverse was popularised in science fiction a few years ago and in recent years, Hollywood films have given us a glimpse of the possibilities of a metaverse. Now, there is a spate of forecasts about metaverse technology’s potential to expand the business and the economy. A report suggests that the metaverse economy could be worth $13 trillion by 2020 if it can be integrated with mobile phones. Corporates can foresee huge opportunities to build virtual empires of their own and are studying how to develop metaverse properties and how to monetise those.

One of the leaders of the Indian efforts to develop metaverse technologies and apply those in entertainment and commerce, the National President of the Indian Gaming Society, and also a successful industry leader, Mr. Rajan R Navani, Vice Chairman and MD, Jetline Group of Companies, JetSynthesys, has been the champion of leading the ‘India At 75’ Cause and is passionate about the Social Sector, and is involved in many projects. And he was rightly qualified to deliberate AIMA’s 60th LeaderSpeak Session on ‘The Metaverse Conversation’.

Mr. Rajan R Navani started the Session with a note about Web 3.0, which he said is the fundamental shift or the foundation on which the entire “metaverse conversation” or the entire world of crypto is based. Now, we have the ability to own digital assets in the Internet world, and blockchain technology is a crucial enabler for ownership, paving way for massive value and assets that cannot be fathomed at the moment.

The notion of the young generation is that they do not want to hoard property or assets in the physical world, but they’re keen on creating value for the future in the digital world on the Internet. And “the shift” is happening globally, with people trusting the Internet more than the real world. This is primarily due to the fundamental shift that has happened in blockchain technology and the ability to control that value in a very decentralised manner.

The 2nd Big Shift is the centralised ability of interaction and the fear that one company knows everything about myself has also moved a lot of people, especially Gen Z to rebel against that in a way that the entire blockchain system really gives governance in the hands of those who are part of the chain. The “beauty of it being” is that the “value and assets can all be programmed”.

The decentralisation that Web 3.0 brings is a very powerful aspect of Web 3.0, and somewhere down the line even corporations may drastically shift and change. $300 billion has moved and transformed into a world that has created trillions of dollars of value.

Moving on to future consumers, he said that their behaviour has to be mapped according to what technologies will they adopt with what speed. Besides, Mr. Rajan R Navani firmly believes that the economy of any area defines how people engage in that space. Today, it takes about 10 minutes to translate crypto value into real-world currency. The day it becomes instant, there will be a huge shift, he forecasted.

Mr. Rajan R Navani also gave an example of Facebook, which is a social network mainly for personal connectivity, and now that it has been renamed Meta speaks volumes about how people are already connected and are engaging extensively through social media, and metaverse only adds an extra dimension to it by making it more immersive. Besides, with improved AR devices and the availability of high-speed internet through 5G, the whole experience will become seamless.

Finally, talking about companies adopting the metaverse approach, he said that interactivity and interoperability between the physical and virtual worlds will disrupt the way the future shapes itself. However, “it is up to companies as to how are they going to engage the metaverse to make the most of it”. As for the government’s move to the subject, metaverse as part of any business should be a “global conversation” because metaverse will soon be a mechanism through which consumers and businesses will interact, he concluded.

Watch the full session- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qpo4ZAEstWA

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How The Pandemic Transformed The Indian Army To Being Even More Efficient: Former Army Chief

addressing at AIMA's 48th National Management Convention

addressing at AIMA’s 48th National Management Convention

General M M Naravane, PVSM, AVSM, SM, VSM, ADC, Former Chief of the Army Staff, Indian Army talked about how the Indian Army had to adopt new warfare strategies and function fully yet efficiently, during the pandemic at AIMA’s 48th National Management Convention.

The past couple of years has been tough for India on multiple fronts. Not only has the county suffered due to the pandemic but has also faced threats on its borders from its neighbours. The standoff with China on the Himalayan Border has cooled off but is far from being resolved. Likewise, many other threats are complicating matters for India’s security.

Due to all these reasons, the Indian Army had to reinvent itself constantly to confront such threats. They had to prepare for securing India on a multi-border and multi-dimensional front with the turmoil of the pandemic reeling hard. Having served in various capacities in different parts of the Indian Army, and having been conferred with numerous medals for his distinguished services, including the Param Vishisht Sewa Medal, General M M Naravane, PVSM, AVSM, SM, VSM, ADC, Former Chief of the Army Staff, Indian Army talked about how the Indian Army had to adopt new warfare strategies and function fully yet efficiently, during the pandemic at AIMA’s 48th National Management Convention.

General M M Naravane started off the Session by saying that India underwent a Black Swan Event in the form of the pandemic. However, the Army took 2-3 steps ahead to prepare for the phenomenon. He said that forecasting and planning are the very essence of management. For the Indian Army, Force Protection and Force Preservation were the two main goals.

The Indian Army, therefore, was ready to meet all contingencies. The Indian Army prides itself as the Citizen Army committed to the security of the people. The Army also proactively contributed to the government’s efforts toward meeting challenges. Due to the strengthening of the medical infrastructure within the Army itself for battling Covid, the number of Covid cases within the Army was far below than the national average. This can be attributed to the highest standard of physical fitness and self-discipline of the Army, a testimony to the effectiveness of its junior leadership.

During the crisis, while schools, offices, factories and shopping malls were shut down, “security couldn’t be ceased”. The soldiers had to discharge their duties to protect the borders. They had full faith in the leaders and were willing to work through all the challenges and difficulties to achieve their objectives, that too within their given resources. And this was possible, as all the contingencies were war-gamed.

A National Army of mammoth size and coupled with the challenges of live and active borders only forced the Leadership to introspect and improve processes and reinvent the procedures. The Leadership only acknowledged how the power of technology can be harnessed and utilised at a time of crisis paving way for new strategies. With all inhibitions shed, the Army only became stronger as an organisation. The training academies and institutions remained fully functional due to them recalibrating their approach with reliance on digital platforms. Even physical activities with the required distancing that were practiced then, have now become part of the routine.

All the borders were given equal importance and not one went neglected. While the Senior Leadership conceived the plan, the execution was always left to the commanders on the ground.

In a conclusion to his address, General M M Naravane said that the nation holds the Army in high esteem and invests its trust in it. However, that is a huge responsibility to protect its interests and its citizens even during times of crisis, and the Army has to live up to the expectations. He said, “we can’t afford to fail as there are no runners up in war”. He also said that “as leaders, we take up our responsibility seriously and try to do our best”.

Watch the full session- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cul41Ca4q64

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From Managing Family Business To Building One Of India’s Biggest Brands: Harsh C Mariwala’s Entrepreneurial Journey

Harsh C Mariwala, addressing at AIMA’s 66th Foundation Day

Harsh C Mariwala, addressing at AIMA’s 66th Foundation Day

At AIMA’s 66th Foundation Day, Mr. Harsh C Mariwala, Chairman, Marico Limited elaborated on the journey of coming out of the premise of his family business and foraying into the Consumer Goods Market to build Marico.

An iconic businessman and the winner of AIMA’s Lifetime Achievement Award 2021. A Thought Leader on Entrepreneurship and Management, a multiple brand builder, and author of ‘Harsh Realities: The Making of Marico’, Mr. Harsh C Mariwala, Chairman, Marico Limited addressed one of AIMA’s 66th Foundation Day Sessions about his entrepreneurial journey.

Mr. Harsh C Mariwala came out of the premise of his family business and forayed into the Consumer Goods Market and build Marico, which is one of India’s biggest brands.  Ruminating about the past of the early 70s when one had to get a license to succeed in business, and in order to get one’s company licensed one had to travel to Delhi and do some lobbying, etc, he said that he was not in favour of all of that, and neither did he like B2B business where “one had to go meet buyers and take them out for dinners”. He’d rather interact with the traders and the final consumers. He further added that he went the ‘small way” to build his business in Maharashtra and Gujarat.

Since he had no one to guide or teach him, he had to take small steps, and that is how he started his journey. He also said that competition is tough and in order to win for an entrepreneur, his company has to have a differentiator and that differentiator only comes from innovation. He said that Market Leadership has played a very important role in the growth of his company. Additionally, having a good culture and talent is also important for a company to scale up. The way to retain talent is not merely by offering a good salary but by upskilling them in the company itself. As far as culture goes, people should be able to enjoy work.

And in his own words, the employment of ‘right governance’ also plays a pivotal role in a company’s growth. “If you start taking shortcuts as an entrepreneur, people in your company will start taking shortcuts too.” He said that you need to sow good seeds in order to reap well.

So, why did he feel that it was important to build a good culture in order to thrive? When Marico was formed they recruited a good number of 30-40 managers within a very short period of time. And each of them was operating with their own set of beliefs in terms of leadership style and managing the company. The company became a melting pot of different cultures, and that is when he realised that having a unified culture is important. So, Mr Harsh C Mariwala spent a lot of time preparing the culture for the company. He got together with his team in finalising the company values. However, converting the values into the culture was a big challenge. The reinforcement of each and every value played a very important role in creating a strong culture that facilitated the company’s growth.

Also, recruiting resources from diverse backgrounds, empowering them, and encouraging them to take risks and experiment, went a long way for the company to prosper. In addition to that, the company also fostered the culture of having internal innovation awards.

So, did he in the journey of the company’s growth lose talents that had also moved up with the company? He elaborated on this by saying that in the initial stage of the company’s formation, the resources become pivotal for its growth. However, when the “company grows larger” and if the senior management is not able to change their approach or manage the scale of the business, it leads to a lot of demotivation. When faced with situations like these, one has to deal with the situation head-on, which means putting the organisation first. However, one needs to do that in a humane and transparent manner, he said.

Mr. Harsh C Mariwala also cited an incident about a tussle with Hindustan Lever Limited (HLL) regarding a coconut oil product; Parachute of Marico and Nihar of HLL. Nihar’s penetration in the market was deep and backed with all the advanced logistics, so much so that Parachute was almost acquired by HLL. He talked about how Marico had to up their game in every aspect and finally not only win the market from Nihar but also acquire it, and that was also a sense of achievement for the company.

Lastly, talking about Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Mr. Harsh C Mariwala said that along with CSR, he also believes in Personal Social Responsibility (PSR). A company as a whole needs to do something for society. However, even on the personal side, one also has to individually give something back to society. He said that more than providing monetary help or giving donations, he wants to be actively involved by giving his time, his energy and being passionate about the cause he is involved in. He said that he has chosen two subjects to mentor in; entrepreneurship and mental health. The ASCENT Foundation started by him helps groom entrepreneurs for the related challenges. The Mariwala Health Initiative focuses on making mental health help accessible to marginalised people and communities.

Watch the full session- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=onT8rxhxsFc&t=18s

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AIMA JRD Tata Corporate Leadership Award: Awardee Address by Dr. Pawan Munjal

Dr. Pawan Munjal addressing at AIMA’s 66th Foundation Day

Dr. Pawan Munjal addressing at AIMA’s 66th Foundation Day

AIMA conferred Dr. Pawan Munjal, Chairman, and CEO Hero MotoCorp with the JRD Tata Corporate Leadership Award on its 66th Foundation Day. Dr. Pawan Munjal delivered the Keynote Address after being conferred with the Award speaking mainly on the lines of responsibility, innovation, sustainability and more.

Every year AIMA honours distinguished and eminent personalities, who have made outstanding contributions in the corporate world and professional management with the JRD Tata Corporate Leadership Award. Established as one of the most prestigious awards in the country, the Award was conferred to Dr. Pawan Munjal, Chairman, and CEO Hero MotoCorp his year. On the occasion of AIMA’s 66th Foundation Day, Dr. Pawan Munjal delivered the Keynote Address after being conferred with the Award.

Starting off the Address, he talked about how he had watched a movie with his grandchildren “Kung Fu Panda” and quoting from the movie he said, “yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery and today is the present, that is why we call it a “gift”. He efficiently related the quote to how incumbent it is for the current generation to adapt and evolve with the future generation so that we speak a language that resonates with everyone. The other thing to note, he said is that change and the future have always been associated with uncertainty. There are unprecedented events like the Covid pandemic that became an opportunity for humankind to overcome challenges and emerge victorious. Hence we must always see challenges as opportunities. History is proof of how the uncertainties were overcome by the resilient spirit of the human race.

The pandemic has also disrupted the ecosystem. Hence the approach to operations, planning, and beliefs underwent a sea change. Leaders (Public and Private) need to ensure balanced strategies to ensure growth and stability. Another aspect of today’s world is that it is not only changing faster but is far more complex than in the past. The geopolitical situations around the world mixed with fast-evolving consumer behaviour and rapid technology advancements have made companies incur mammoth losses. We need unconventional thinking and calculated risk to tide over such uncertain situations.

In recent times when uncertainties characterise economic and social structures, it is imperative for companies to adopt new age strategies and give up the traditional ones. Since uncertainty is perceived as a threat, human beings get into survival mode. However, uncertainties also bring with them endless opportunities, so leaders and companies are advised to promptly activate their thriving factors. Uncertainties also give rise to undiscovered needs that’s why leaders and organisations should adopt emotional intelligence to build trust. Communication is also critical as the absence of it can create great ease.

Times of uncertainties can also spark innovations for leaders and companies, and Dr. Pawan Munjal explained how he and his team had developed a ‘PPP Model’ during the pandemic. PPP being Perspective, People and Persistence. The ability to get the right “perspective” while amid uncertainty is often the inflection point. To be able to step back, observe and change the course is critical when operating in a fast-paced environment. By quickly analysing the change, an organisation or individual can adapt to the situation. “People” are at the core of everything in an organisation. Empowering people enables them to make decisions and motivates them to contribute meaningfully. It becomes essential for leaders and organisations to be “persistent” in their effort to propel their vision. Through a coherent and judicious mix of such models, the uncertainties of the future can be overcome.

India has come out as a champion in managing disruptions in the past few years, especially the Covid pandemic. The collective strength of the people of India has ensured a success story filled with new achievements. Our society is amazingly resourceful and persistent that is why India has not only evolved but leapfrogged into the future, proving to be the champion of change. With the inclusivity of macro and micro growth and also strengthening the start-up structure, the country has set itself for a mammoth growth in the future. It is now in a robust position to adopt massive economic growth.

Just like how he started his Address with a quote from a movie, he yet again ended his Address with another quote from a popular movie. ‘Spider-Man’. The quote- “with great power comes great responsibility”. He said that it is important for us to support ourselves, our resources, our families and also especially those who require help in times of crisis. He said that these are the criteria that the future generation will judge us on.

Watch the full session- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZFFBv9n5QkM&t=14s

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Managing During Turbulent Times: R Gopalakrishnan Tells How

R Gopalakrishnan addressing at AIMA’s Premiere Session of Management Café

R Gopalakrishnan addressing at AIMA’s Premiere Session of Management Café

Managers had to reinvent themselves to function on the disruption created by the Covid pandemic. With so much volatility and uncertainty, another facet was added to a manager’s responsibility of being able to manage in turbulent times. R Gopalakrishnan, Corporate Advisor, The Mindworks and Author gave valuable insights about how those who can handle “what if” situations, those who can unlearn things and those who learn to explore while exploiting will be the “managers of the future” when it comes to handling turbulence, at AIMA’s Premiere Session of Management Café.

The economic crisis of a couple of years had inflicted a lot of damage on business in general. But these crises also provided lessons for reviving business strategy and technology. With the passage of time, organisations found ways to recover, and in the process management structures and processes changed significantly. Managers had to reinvent themselves to function amid the widespread disruption created by the Covid pandemic. With so much volatility and uncertainty, another facet that is added to a manager’s responsibility is being able to manage in turbulent times.

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Changing lives: Philanthropy goes beyond money, says Sudha Murty

Sudha Murty addressing at AIMA’s 7th National Leadership Conclave.

Sudha Murty addressing at AIMA’s 7th National Leadership Conclave.

Philanthropy is about sharing things that you want to so that it gives you happiness. It could be about sharing your experiences, your ideas and affection, said Sudha Murty, Chairperson, Murty Foundation & Author and Social Worker, at AIMA’s 7th National Leadership Conclave.

A perfect epitome of wealth and compassion, Sudha Murthy’s outstanding work in the area of education, healthcare, equality of income creation, culture, and public hygiene has set new standards for the wealthy people of this country. In addition to that, her contribution to modern Indian literature in Kannada and English is commendable. A prolific writer who has authored 30+ books across all genres, one of the ‘original’ Angel Investors in India, and has received Awards for both Philanthropy and Writing. They say it is easier to give money than your time, and she does both efficiently and she was there to share a slice of her life with the audience at AIMA’s National Leadership Conclave.

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The Right Choice: Shiva Shivakumar Resolves Career Dilemmas for Extraordinary Success

Shiva Shivakumar addressing at AIMA’s 39th LeaderSpeak Session

Shiva Shivakumar addressing at AIMA’s 39th LeaderSpeak Session

“An individual is solely responsible for his career,” says Shiva Shivakumar, Group Executive President, Corporate Strategy & Business Development, Aditya Birla Group. However, he also belted out tips on how to handle the career dilemmas from his new book- ‘The Right Choice: Resolving 10 Career Dilemmas for Extraordinary Success’ at AIMA’s 39th LeaderSpeak Session. 

Having an illustrious career across different industries and having his views on leadership and strategy widely known, Shiva Shivakumar, Group Executive President, Corporate Strategy & Business Development, Aditya Birla Group talked about his maiden book, ‘The Right Choice: Resolving 10 Career Dilemmas for Extraordinary Success’ that became a bestseller, at AIMA’s 39th LeaderSpeak Session.

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