Ahmedabad, October 13, 2014: MICA, on 10th October 2014 organised an interesting interactive session by Mr. Vineet Nayar, HCL's Ex-CEO & Founder of Sampark Foundation for MICAns. Known for both his business expertise and thought leadership, Mr Nayar is also the author of Harvard Business June 2010 Press bestseller, ‘Employees First, Customers Second: Turning Conventional Management Upside Down'. In an interactive session which was filled with interesting insights complimented with great illustrations, Mr. Nayar shared his experience working with HCL, wisdom in defying conventions and views related to marketing.
He stressed on a sense of purpose and a granular approach which is vital for clarity and success in an organisation. Having tasted failure at an early stage in his career, he urged students to take calculated risks in life and not let the fear of failure inhibit their dreams. He recommended MICAns to look beyond the existing opportunities and make unique contributions to the world, a destiny he believes, nature has encouraged in every individual by giving each one of us distinct characteristics.
Mr. Nayar also recounted how he defied the conventional wisdom that companies must put customers first turning the hierarchical pyramid upside down by making the management accountable to the employees first and not the other way around. This resulted in firing the imagination of the employees as well as the customers and thus set HCLT on a journey of transformation that has made it one of the fastest-growing and profitable global IT service companies and according to the Businessweek, one of the twenty most influential companies in the world.
"Unless you shut the door on something, you cannot make a new beginning", stated Vineet Nayar. He further elaborated that, it is never too late to follow your calling, for instance, the average age of entrepreneurs in the Bay area in USA, is 39 years. Learning, Nayar affirms, is cumulative and the ‘how' of something stays with a pupil more than the ‘what', at a later stage in life. Hence, it is crucial that professors identify and communicate content accordingly.
Marketing expertise, according to Nayar, is making customers want something they currently can't see, citing Apple IPhone 6's demand in India to reiterate this thought. The discipline is a twofold opportunity to create a conversation and/or make purchase decisions.
He also believes that "most managers want to be innovative but do not want to take the risk associated with it". He then shared an instance of how at HCL, he encouraged superior customer service by removing the manager/supervisor out of the picture in order to enable employees to make the best customer-centric decisions with fear of scrutiny or reprimand, observing, "Leadership's crux lies in clear and trustworthy intent", adding further that the rest falls in place once the stakeholder's confidence is won.
Mr. Nayar believes Narendra Modi, India's current Prime Minister, to be a great example of this and hopes that his work lives up to the great sense of purpose which he has conveyed to the public. Feedback holds a higher place than advice in Nayar's eyes and he believes the bottom-up approach to be more effective.
"Everyone has 100 units of time in one's life. Some units are spent in doubt and some in action. The challenge and key is to have as many units as possible devoted to action, to ensure higher chances of success. Action must be pursued earlier in life and this urgency must be developed in every individual", said Nayar.
Nayar also briefly spoke about the Sampark Foundation (http://samparkfoundation.org) that he founded with his wife Anupama, which focuses on large scale social transformation, using innovation as a key tool in collaboration with various government initiatives.
Thus, in a style both candid and engaging (and rightly so, since he believes in the ‘how' more than the ‘what'), Vineet Nayar positively contributed to MICAn lives. The memory of an amalgamation of both business acumen and thought leadership that emerged from his persona and communication, will definitely stay with MICAns for life.
About Vineet Nayar
Vineet Nayar is the former Chief Executive Officer of HCL Technologies Ltd. (HCLT), a $5 billion global information technology services company which he joined in 1985 as a Senior Management Trainee. He founded HCL Comnet in 1993, where he incubated the Remote Infrastructure Management (RIM) industry, which is today a multi-billion dollar IT outsourcing segment and a $1 billion business line for the company.
Established in 1991, MICA is the first residential institute in the country and perhaps in the Asia-Pacific region, dedicated to creating Leadership in Strategic Marketing and Communication.
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