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5 Things To Learn About Leadership Skills From Top Indian Corporates The path of a leader is hard, they always find ways to navigate challenges and one of the key pillars is to have people centric developments. For some of the top leaders in the corporate world, people empowerment, investing in workforce development, building organizational culture around customers, are essential to having a good leadership skill

By Shrabona Ghosh

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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The growth of any company is directly proportional to the leadership skills of the top executives. When we think of a CEO or a managing director (MD) sitting at the helm of corporate offices taking executive decisions that could make or break an organization and the future of its employees, we often imagine polished professionals who know all about business and success.

However, what sometimes gets masked behind a spick and span appearance is a gentle leader: who thinks, breathes and talks employees.

The path of a leader is hard, but nothing in life that's worth it comes without some challenges. They always find ways to navigate challenges and one of the key pillars is to have people centric developments. For some of the top leaders in the corporate world, people empowerment, investing in workforce development, building organizational culture around customers, are essential to having a good leadership skill.

Mahendra Nahata, managing director of HFCL, a telecom equipment manufacturer, a leader should be inclusive. "One has to be an inclusive leader, wherein you listen to everyone and consider their opinions. Employee point of view is very important and giving equal opportunities to all forms an integral part of our policies. We believe in the best available solution for everyone without any gender bias. An employee centric policy is the core value of our organization," Nahata said.

With the inception of the pandemic, the aviation industry went through a turbulent phase. Navigating through the adverse pandemic-ridden period was a challenge for the entire industry and Vistara Airline was no different. The airline embraced these challenges with an undeterred spirit and turned them into opportunities.

Vinod Kannan, chief executive officer at Vistara, was appointed when the aviation industry was battling the third wave of COVID-19. Undoubtedly, the pressure was huge! "The situation demanded the organization to respond as fast as possible while continuing to provide the customer experience that Vistara is renowned for," said Kannan.

Vistara has an approachable and solution-oriented CEO. "My personal belief has been to never turn down an idea. I take each day as an opportunity to learn new things – I learn from everyone around me. In fact, I look forward to some of the meetings with team members across various divisions and stations," said Vinod, who is responsible for the growth of 4,700 people working across geographies.

With great power comes great responsibilities and with big opportunities come bigger challenges. Armed with the superpower to turn around lagging operations, prepare companies for sustainable growth and profitability, Balbir Singh Dhillon, head of Audi India, is taking the German luxury carmaker's India business to the pinnacle of success. When Audi India decided to bring the Audi e-tron, Dhillon was excited but equally anxious as the opportunity came with its own set of challenges, however, he turned the impediments into milestones and delivered the luxury EV segment.

Asked about his leadership style, he said, "democratic!" "At Audi India, we encourage everyone to participate and share ideas. Empowering my team is my way of working."

The pandemic has given firms the impetus to adapt by getting leaner and more agile. The strategy for Audi India business is based on four key pillars – human centricity, digitalization, products and network. Each of these pillars have equal focus for the brand.

For more than six decades, Uno Minda, a Tier 1 supplier of proprietary automotive solutions to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) has made significant contributions to the automotive industry. Driving innovation comes with its own set of hurdles but an entrepreneur can always navigate the challenges. A leader who believes in delegating, empowering and investing in people development, Nirmal K. Minda, chairman and managing director, Uno Minda, has been an ardent advocate of people centric policies. "I believe in leading by example, delegating, empowering people and building an organization culture around our cover values i.e. customer centricity, quality, encouraging innovation and creativity, respect for individual and workplace ethics," Minda said, adding that contributing to community development is very important.

A good leader should be one step ahead of the work that they are assigned, opines, Naveen Soni, president, Lexus India. Since 1989, Lexus, the luxury arm of Japanese auto manufacturer Toyota, has been persistent: Making the impossible possible and redefining what the world expects from a luxury automotive experience. The leadership team has a similar approach towards its people. "With the knowledge that has been acquired by a top leader, they should be very proactive. This style of leadership always pays back dividends," Soni said.

Shrabona Ghosh


A journalist with a cosmopolitan mindset. I lead a project called 'Corporate Innovations' wherein I cover corporates across verticals and try to tell stories on innovations. Apart from this, I write industry pieces on FMCGs, auto, aviation, 5G and defense. 
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