📺 Stream EntrepreneurTV for Free 📺

Driving Entrepreneurship in a Multicultural Environment Leadership development needs to be a process that cuts across levels.

By Nandini Piramal

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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


The economic, political, social and technological landscape of the corporate world has shifted over the last decade. The technology revolution has made geography less relevant. Free trade and globalization have significantly enhanced economic integration. Unicorn companies are disappearing as fast as they appear. Political decisions in one part of the world have a significant effect in other parts of the globe.

Entrepreneurs are defining the new rules of engagement in this rapidly changing environment. In a corporate scenario, the challenge is to nurture a culture of entrepreneurship and empowerment, which makes the organization agile enough to keep pace with the world outside.

Showcase Examples

The use of buzzwords like values and glossy taglines around entrepreneurship will not necessarily drive an entrepreneurial culture unless they ring true to the employee. The power of an entrepreneurial culture comes in when there are many stories and examples of employees who have achieved amazing things by taking initiative, making decisions independently and acting as entrepreneurs.

Align Leadership Behaviors

What is seen as effective leadership differs from one organization to the other. The behaviors that are associated with effective leadership across levels often help drive desired behavior. Role modelling and encouragement by senior leaders also gives employees the confidence to behave like true entrepreneurs.

Invest in Long Term Purpose

A compelling long term purpose and vision that excites employees and helps them make effective decisions is a key driver of an empowered culture. This needs to transcend profit maximization and look at long term value creation for all stakeholders – employees, customers, shareholders as well as society at large. This helps create a shared sense of meaning, Nandini Piramal, Executive Director, Piramal Enterprises cohesiveness, and trust within the organization. True entrepreneurial behavior is an outcome of this.

Reward the Right Behaviors

Key questions to ask are around the definition of performance in the organization – what are the behaviors you want to reward and drive? Recognizing the right behavior and not just results requires significant organizational commitment to driving a culture of entrepreneurship and empowerment. Recognizing employees who demonstrate entrepreneurial behavior and showcasing them as role models (and equally, not unnecessarily penalizing employees for failures) encourages others to feel confident enough to do so as well.

Identify Right Talent

Leadership development needs to be a process that cuts across levels. The earlier your future leaders are spotted and developed, the more likely you are to create a culture of entrepreneurship and empowerment. Identification of future leaders is a great way to drive entrepreneurship – seek leaders who test boundaries, are open to new ideas and are willing to learn and experiment. At Piramal, we believe in taking early bets on people – this is our way of demonstrating commitment to entrepreneurship across levels. We also have leadership development programmes that encourage diversity of thought, incubation of new ideas, and breaking traditional hierarchical barriers.

Leverage the Diversity Dividend

Diversity is a great strength in today's world – it breeds innovation and entrepreneurship. Successful organizations leverage the diversity of perspectives, experiences, cultures, genders, and age that exists within the organization. It is also important to invest in developing intercultural competence and sensitisation on gender, generational and other aspects of diversity to enable this.

(This article was first published in the March issue of Entrepreneur Magazine. To subscribe, click here)

Nandini Piramal

Executive Director, Piramal Enterprises

Mrs. Nandini Piramal is the Executive Director of Piramal Enterprises and leads the Over-The-Counter (OTC) business of the Company. She heads the Human Resources function at Piramal Group and the Quality and Risk functions at Piramal Enterprises. Over the last five years, under Nandini’s leadership, the Company’s OTC segment has become one of the fastest-growing Indian OTC businesses. She has played a pivotal role in Piramal Healthcare’s branded generic-medicine business sale to Abbott Laboratories at a record 30x EBITDA.

In 2014, the World Economic Forum recognised Nandini as a ‘Young Global Leader’.

Side Hustle

These Coworkers-Turned-Friends Started a Side Hustle on Amazon — Now It's a 'Full Hustle' Earning Over $20 Million a Year: 'Jump in With Both Feet'

Achal Patel and Russell Gong met at a large consulting firm and "bonded over a shared vision to create a mission-led company."


How to Harness the Power of Authentic Storytelling to Become a More Effective and Inspiring Leader

Storytelling enhances business leadership by inspiring a culture of authenticity and trust through sharing relevant personal stories.


Want to Be More Productive? Here's How Google Executives Structure Their Schedules

These five tactics from inside Google will help you focus and protect your time.

News and Trends

Niyogin Fintech Limited Acquires "Superscan" from Orbo.ai

This strategic acquisition showcases Niyogin's commitment to spearheading digital transformation and encouraging the widespread adoption of cutting-edge technologies.

Science & Technology

9 New Fitness Gadgets to Help You Get Into Shape This Year

From a watch that tracks your mood to a belt that tracks your steps, here are some of the most fitness-focused innovations spotted at this year's Consumer Electronics Show.

Business Ideas

63 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.