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'Leaders should get into messy details of business'

'Leaders should get into messy details of business'

Gurcharan Das, an author, commentator & public intellectual

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You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

His books have been best-sellers worldwide. Graduated from Harvard University and latter attended Harvard Business School, he made a name for himself in the corporate world. He was the CEO of Procter & Gamble India and Vice-President for Procter & Gamble Far East between 1985 and 1992. Finally, he became the Managing Director of Procter & Gamble Worldwide, where he was responsible for formulating global strategic planning of the company. It was at the end of 1994, he decided to quit his regular career in a management role to become a full-time writer. Gurcharan Das, an author, commentator and public intellectual, is globally respected for his work. He narrated how India has transformed since independence and continued growing in a new millennium age in his book India Unbound. The book throws light on the economic analysis, social investigation, political scrutiny and managerial outlook of India. He shares with Entrepreneur that India has risen because of its entrepreneurs. The interesting part is India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has realised the potential of new-age businesses. Hence, he has taken initiatives to improve ease of doing business in India in order to attract investment and develop entrepreneurship. Gurcharan Das say the Prime Minister’s intention is to boost India’s economic growth and to achieve it, he advises leaders to get into the details of businesses.

How do you see the growth of entrepreneurship in India so far?

I think one of the happy stories of the country is the growth of entrepreneurship. When I say, “India Grows at Night when the Government sleeps,” I mean India is growing because of the power of its people, especially entrepreneurs. On the contrary, China’s rise is from the top and by technocratic elite who has built amazing infrastructure there.

What are the challenges in India for entrepreneurs?

I think the main challenge in India for entrepreneurs is that they are fighting for market share. In India, we have an unpredictable environment. We have a state that may be very hostile at times. Today, we got rid of License Raj but we are still living in Inspector Raj. These hurdles make Indian entrepreneurship tougher. We have to remove these hurdles.

What do you think about government’s “Make in India” initiative?

Narendra Modi has understood that entrepreneurs can make India grow. His government is trying to make things sustainable and improve the ease of doing business in India. I would like Modi to give more attention and get into the messy details of his “Make in India” initiative. A leader not only gives us the strategy, but also gets us into the details. I wish he would do that in future. He just cannot proclaim “Make in India” as he needs to work closely with states and tell them to get rid of License Raj or Inspector Raj. I am sure India’s growth rate will pick up if these problems are solved.

How can we grow the start-up ecosystem in the country?

The start-up ecosystem is growing in India. At the moment, a potential amount of private equity capital is coming into the country. There is a potential scope for investment in India. We have to get rid of the Minimum Alternative Tax (MAT) and retrospective taxes. Actually, tax regime has spoilt India’s name. Because of growing entrepreneurship opportunity here, we will have more inflow of capital through PE firms and venture capitalists.

Can we have good leaders today? How can we build leadership in the country?

For a good leader, the most important thing is execution rather than planning strategy. Moreover, we have to accept the fact that our products are the best to sustain in the market. We need to believe that our products to do well in the market. Everybody has a good strategy but very few have the ability to execute it. Successful execution of strategy is a sign of good leadership. This is how we differentiate a good company with not so good company. It should not be like leaders sit in their offices and build strategy and the troops execute the strategies. The leaders should get into messy details of business and break the barriers, which employees may not be able to do by themselves.

Edition: December 2016

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