A working woman’s notes on work, life and leadership: Arundhati Bhattacharya shares all

- Arundhati Bhattacharya addressing 55th Leaderspeak Session

Arundhati Bhattacharya addressing 55th Leaderspeak Session

Arundhati Bhattacharya, Chairperson and CEO, Salesforce India and Former Chairperson, SBI shared how she has chronicled in her book “Indomitable – A Working Woman’s Notes on Work, Life & Leadership” her journey of formative influences, personal and professional struggles, and lessons learned at AIMA’s Leader Speak.

Since the appointment of the first Probationary Officer of SBI (State Bank of India) in 1960, it took 53 years for a woman to break the glass ceiling and become the Bank’s Chairman. Ms Bhattacharya was that very lady in question.

The journey for Ms Bhattacharya was one of overcoming immense odds to become a successful banker, which she has chronicled in her book-
“Indomitable – A Working Woman’s Notes on Work, Life and Leadership” along with recording her realization of strengths and weaknesses while handling different aspects of her life; career management, corporate leadership and work-life balance.

While speaking to Mr Sunil Kant Munjal, Past President, AIMA and Chairman, The Hero Enterprise at AIMA’s Leader Speak, she started off by saying that it was those little anecdotes in her career life that added up to making it a full-rounded journey. One instance is that of a security guard in her office, who lent her money to take a bus home as she had forgotten her purse. She also added that once you climb the rungs of the hierarchy ladder, you get disconnected from the grass-root level that was once a part of your life, and you should not forget where you started from.
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The future of air warfare: Securing the skies and beyond

Air Chief Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari

Air Chief Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari addressing

A potent Indian Air Force in the future will be characterized by an efficient network of sensors, decision-makers, and shooters coupled with firm leadership, advanced ammunition, and modern technology.  

Air Chief Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari, PVSM, AVSM, VM, ADC, Chief of the Indian Air Force delivered the keynote address at AIMA’s 7th National Leadership Conclave and here are key points of his discourse.

He opened his address with a verse from the book ‘The Black Swan’ by famous author Nassim Nicholas Taleb; “The Black Swan is an event so rare that even the possibility that it might occur is unknown. It has a catastrophic impact when it does occur. And it’s always explained in hindsight as if it was actually predictable”. He further added that in the last 2 years, the world has witnessed another Black Swan event in the form of covid, that no one had predicted. The impact of the virus has been catastrophic across the world, and the theory on the origins of the virus is yet to be developed. Similarly, we have also witnessed unprecedented development in technology, which has totally changed the way we live and work. With the advent of the Internet and social media platforms, the world has become a very small place.

Traditionally, we always looked at a soldier on a battlefield, a sailor on a ship, or an airman in an aircraft as combatants who fight wars. A college student creating memes, a youngster sitting in front of a computer, a banker analyzing the fiscal health of a company, a diplomat making foreign policies would also be the combatants waging wars in the future alongside the soldier, sailor, and airman. All these scenarios add up to the term- ‘Comprehensive National Power’. In modern warfare, the comprehensive national power of a country must be brought to bear on the adversary, if we were to want a decisive victory.

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How to think like and then become a monopolist? Saurabh Mukherjea explains

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‘Monopoly’ is not a good word to reckon with, Saurabh Mukherjea, Founder & Chief Investment Officer, Marcellus Investment Managers busts this myth during AIMA’s 32nd LeaderSpeak session with Mr Mohandas Pai, Chairman, Manipal Global Education Services on “India’s monopolists, their business models and business management.

Saurabh Mukherjea, Founder & Chief Investment Officer, Marcellus Investment Managers addressing AIMA LeaderSpeak session.

Saurabh Mukherjea, Founder & Chief Investment Officer, Marcellus Investment Managers addressing AIMA LeaderSpeak session.

‘Monopoly’ is not a good word to reckon with, however, companies are going for a paradigm shift to own the “monopolistic” identity. India’s biggest monopolists keep a low profile, they drive low-cost cars, they don’t make appearances for movie premieres or buy cricket/football teams. He further adds that the psychological approach of a monopolist is to be grounded and focused, rather than being caught up in the media hype.

A monopolist who endures is also someone who has relentless hunger. A classic example, Harsh Mariwala, Founder & Chairman, Marico, talks with the same hunger for the growth of his company as he would do 20 years ago. “If you keep yourself hungry then the country can give you endless growth opportunities,” says Mukherjea. And what is more interesting about it is that it is harder to keep yourself hungry than to enjoy what you have in plenty.

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Arnab Goswami shares his Insights & Stories at InsightStorm

AIMA and Storm the Norm co-created ‘Insight Storm’ – a novel format to generate sharp insights delivered powerfully. The Inaugural InsightStorm was organized on 10th August 2016 at Hotel Taj Lands End, Mumbai. This edition of InsightStorm paired up thought leaders from two diverse fields – Art and Business and in a 30-minute session, they shared three pre-created insights around a theme, followed it up with a ‘collision dialogue’ and ended with one fresh insight each.

Below are the key insights & stories shared by Mr Arnab Goswami, Editor-in-chief, Times Now and ET Now at Insight Storm.

Arnab Goswami sharing his Insights & Stories at InsightStorm

Arnab Goswami sharing his Insights & Stories at InsightStorm

Insight: The rules spoil the journey. We have too many rules which are taught to us at various stages of our career. It limits you. It stops making you imaginative and following the rule makes you less risky a person. That’s negative in the long term, yeah.

Story: The rules spoil the journey because the rule in journalism was – Don’t speak your mind, Don’t talk, just report. Be factual. Don’t go beyond the facts. Just restrict yourself to the facts and keep it to that. That was the rule in 1995. I find that 21 years later that rule is obsolete. Doesn’t mean that facts are immaterial, facts should be compromised, No. But in today’s day and age, opinion counts and the world is opening up. Everyone, everybody has a point of view. Around seven or eight years back, we took the fairly bold decision of changing the editorial nature of the program I do in the way it just got constructed. You can’t have a very structured dialogue so you begin speaking up and you begin giving your own point of view. The joke now is that you end up becoming less an anchor and more one of the panelists and the loudest panelist of them all. But you know it works because it is freer, It is more unfettered, It is not restrained, It helps you open up and so what if it was the Golden Rule in journalism never to express your point of view. That rule wasn’t set in stone. It’s not a religious edict, you changed it. Has journalism become worse for that? I don’t think so because I can’t report a CWG scam and then move on to the next story. I have to report a scam and tell people what I think about it. I can’t report a story of a mother and daughter getting raped you know and just move on to the next story. I feel I think, I emote, I am a citizen, I am a human being and so when I am going to come on air, I am going to be a human being too. So the rule was changed and for me, it has actually made my professional journey, personal journey much more enjoyable which is why I still stand here before you hoping I have another 20 years in this business. If I had just done journalism the way it was taught to me in 95 then I would not be here today and perhaps be retiring so yeah that’s one little story I would like to share.

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Insight Storm: Dia Mirza shares her Insights & Story

AIMA and Storm the Norm co-created ‘Insight Storm’ – a novel format to generate sharp insights delivered powerfully. The Inaugural InsightStorm was organized on 10th August 2016 at Hotel Taj Lands End, Mumbai. This edition of InsightStorm paired up thought leaders from two diverse fields – Art and Business and in a 30-minute session, they shared three pre-created insights around a theme, followed it up with a ‘collision dialogue’ and ended with one fresh insight each.

Below are the 3 key insights and stories shared by Ms Dia Mirza, Model, Actor, Producer and Social Activist at Insight Storm.

Dia Mirza addressing the Insight Storm 2016

Dia Mirza addressing the Insight Storm 2016

Insight: Every individual is positive social change waiting to happen. Awareness plus Communication equals thoughts translating into action, simple Maths.

I was 18 years old when I won a beauty pageant and it made me a household name overnight in India and amongst many opportunities that came my way at the time, some of the opportunities made a huge impact on the way I perceive my own life and this incredible opportunity that had come my way. I was approached by the government of Andhra Pradesh to spread awareness on HIV and AIDS and we worked actively on that campaign for a year and statistics showed results and that made a big difference in the way I perceived the opportunity that had come along. I think in our early years when we are growing up, through our school education, there are many models and systems that encourage us to become participators, social participators to make a difference in people’s lives. I think as children we receive the gratitude that we get through that experience but as we grow older and start chasing life’s ambitions and wanting to do more with ourselves to make money, to grow, to become more successful we sometimes forget the gratitude that we’ve received in making a difference and I think it was somewhere in 2003 or 2004, many years after I had continued to participate in many social initiatives that I discovered that I could combine what I do with what it makes me feel. So the pursuit of opportunity did not necessarily have to be one that only correlated to the ambition to do better in life materially but also to make a difference alongside. And that was life changing for me because I haven’t looked back at a single day when I haven’t felt like my existence is not entirely insignificant and that this great opportunity life has given me in expanding my access to people to make a change and use all of it that I do through my everyday work which is whether it is making films or acting in films or anything else that I do, combine that with the social change that I would like to make and seek to make. And it’s been my key to happiness. I have made money along the way but more than that I have earned a lot of gratitude and that’s my key to happiness and I think everybody is seeking happiness eventually so yeah.

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Insight Storm: Kabir Bedi shares his insights

AIMA and Storm the Norm co-created ‘Insight Storm’ – a novel format to generate sharp insights delivered powerfully. The Inaugural InsightStorm was organized on 10th August 2016 at Hotel Taj Lands End, Mumbai. This edition of InsightStorm paired up thought leaders from two diverse fields – Art and Business and in a 30-minute session, they shared three pre-created insights around a theme, followed it up with a ‘collision dialogue’ and ended with one fresh insight each.

Below is an excerpt from the speech of Mr Kabir Bedi, Indian television and Film actor at Insight Storm.

Mr Kabir Bedi, Indian television and Film actor addressing InsightStorm

Mr Kabir Bedi, Indian television and Film actor addressing InsightStorm

I want to thank AIMA, Ranjan Malik, Anisha Motwani and everyone in this room for including me in this very distinguished gathering of people. Lincoln did not become president of America because he was born in Lockhart, Narendra Modi did not become prime minister of India because he was a tea seller, Lal Bahadur Shastri did not become prime minister of India because he was a teacher’s son, Ambedkar did not write the constitution because he studied under lamp post.  All of them recognized something within them that was superior to the circumstances that surrounded them and they did something about it. So motivation is a very important factor. What is it that actually motivates to act your realization?

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Indestructible Brands: Building Brands to Survive Disruption

A special session on “Indestructible Brands: Building Brands to Survive Disruption” was held at AIMA’s 2nd National Leadership Conclave (NLC) on 3rd & 4th March 2016 at New Delhi.

Below is an excerpt of the Q & A between Ms Supriya Shrinate, Chief Editor-News at ET NOW and Mr Santosh Desai, Managing Director & CEO of Futurebrands India Ltd, Author, Columnist, Social Commentator.

Santosh Desai at AIMA's 2nd NLC

Santosh Desai addressing AIMA’s 2nd NLC

How has brand building changed in India and why are we so obsessed with disruption?

I think we live in a time where things are changing very fast and we have said this for a few decades now. You know there is a sense that things are changing but in the last seven or eight years, in particular, it’s not just the pace of change, It’s as if our foundational assumptions, the way we see the world itself has changed. And I think this creates a very interesting challenge at this particular point in time. I found the subject interesting, ‘indestructible brands: building brands to survive disruption’. Implicit in this articulation, It’s curious because there are certain assumptions that are built into this. It says building brands to survive disruption, not to create disruption. Brands are implicitly imagined as some sort of citadels, fortresses which do not create the new but which somehow must survive the new, which are not found in the source of change but they are under attack from change and they must protect themselves against disruption. This is very interesting. I just find this unconscious mental model of the brands as not being the source of change but being under threat. I also find it interesting that we are yearning for indestructibility. This idea that a brand is a permanent asset that you create once which stays for life and forever and forever, which survives attacks that marauders and invaders make on it and it stands there proud defined over millennia, this is an outdated idea. This yearning, this nostalgia for a permanent notion of a brand, It’s fundamentally at odds with the world that we live in.

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2nd National Leadership Conclave: Making India a Creative Superpower

Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Minister of State (IC) of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship speaking at AIMA’s 2nd NLC

Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Minister of State (IC) of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship and Minister of State of Parliamentary Affairs, Government of India speaking at AIMA’s 2nd NLC.

“In past two days’ sessions, I believe many issues have been talked upon. I was going through the agenda. For this concluding session, I was invited to speak on something which is possibly being talked a lot these days. Well, much more than I think I have been doing in my ministry, I have become votary in this campaign put up by the prime minister. Skill is something which is possibly a part of life which most of us would not recognize it. Why skill has become so important and why did the prime minister decide to create a separate ministry for skill is something which intrigued me because when I was given the charge to begin this ministry, it came as a department when the government was formed and subsequently elevated to become a full-fledged ministry. So the issues which were being discussed and when I looked into certain statistics, I thought that this possibly could be the reason why the prime minister thought let’s create a separate ministry. It’s not that skills were not happening in the country. There were skills which were existing. But why did the prime minister and one of the basic statistics which reveals if you look at China or United States of America for that matter or the United Kingdom. Today the United Kingdom is out of the work force 63% skilled. If you look at Germany, out of every 100 people, 74% people are skilled, skilled to get employed. Look at Japan, its 80% of the workforce is skilled. If you look at Korea now, 96% of the workforce is skilled. The National Sample Survey organization of India reveals that in India, its just 3.5% of the workforce is skilled. This is something which possibly has drawn the attention of the government. Even if you add all those traditional skills which existed in the society and which has not been mapped, it would not cross more than 5-6%.

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India Conference in UAE with Mr Naresh Trehan, MD, Medanta

AIMA organised an International Conference on the theme “Building Human Capital for the Knowledge Economy“, on 15th March 2016 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The conference was organized under the patronage of His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development and brought together policy makers, CEOs, thought leaders, entrepreneurs and investors from both India and UAE to discuss strategies to promote cooperation between the two countries and win in the emerging knowledge economy.

Below is an excerpt from the speech of Mr Naresh Trehan, Chairman & Managing Director, Medanta – The Medicity on the theme “Health Hubs: Creating Global Healthcare Centres”.

Mr Naresh Trehan, Chairman & Managing Director, Medanta - The Medicity addressing AIMA conference

Mr Naresh Trehan, Chairman & Managing Director, Medanta – The Medicity addressing AIMA conference

 “Thank you AIMA for this opportunity to share the escalated progress of healthcare delivery system in India, which actually caught on fire about 15 years ago and now is growing at a CAGR of 15% and it is predicted that by the year 2020 will be 250 billion dollar sector. For many years the pharmaceutical industry in India has played well on the world stage by the generics and new molecules and is now the second largest makers of generic drugs supplied to the world. In last 40 years, the credentials of Indian doctors worldwide has been established, I was there for 20 years but I would like to share with you that 17% of all super specialists in America are Indians, 30% of the NHS system is run by Indians. The credentials, skills, and knowledge of the Indian doctors were already accepted across the world.  If you look at the way the healthcare sector built out itself in India – primarily before the 1980s it was the domain of the government, we had some charitable institutes and the level of delivery (except for a few well-established hospitals mainly in the government domain) was of very little quality of care.

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Creating Excellence in Education & Training – Mr Pramod Bhasin, Founder, Genpact

AIMA organised an International Conference on the theme “Building Human Capital for the Knowledge Economy“, on 15th March 2016 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The conference brought together policy makers, CEOs, thought leaders, from both India and UAE to discuss strategies to promote cooperation between the two countries.

Below is an excerpt from the speech of Mr Pramod Bhasin, Founder, Genpact and Chairman, The Skills Academy on Human Capital Competitiveness: Creating Excellence in Education and Training

Pramod Bhasin, Founder, Genpact and Chairman, The Skills Academy addressing

Pramod Bhasin, Founder, Genpact and Chairman, The Skills Academy addressing the conference

We are, as a country the most attractive destination in the world today for investment and opportunity.  8.4% average annual growth rate over the last so many years is a phenomenal achievement and; while we sitting inside India are the worst critics of India, I think sometimes when we step outside, we forget to understand how the rest of the world looks like and I think we have an enormous opportunity. When I was building Genpact which was really the pioneer and it was my idea and we, as a result, created the BPO industry, the first thing that struck us was the lack of  skilled available people and the fact that only 6-9% of our graduates are truly employable.

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