Mr Santosh Desai, CEO-Future Brands discussed with the audience, if there was an India way of thinking. Ms Punita Lal, Executive Director-Marketing, PepsiCo India stated that Indian leaders were intense sloggers vying for a small chunk of the pie. She also mentioned that there was a lot of complexity in India which led to lower productivity. Mr Sandeep Dhupia, Partner at KPMG India, started by posing a question to the audience as to whether India had taken on the world. He spoke about the emergence of India Inc as a serious player in the global arena.
The post lunch session on ‘Leadership through Thick and Thin’ commenced with Lt General (Retd.) Rajender Singh, former Director General of Infantry in the Indian Army, sharing his leadership experiences in the army. He spoke of his experiences in Sri Lanka where his unit battled the LTTE and won a unit citation. Dr Sunil Abrol, Director General, Consultancy Development Centre, Ministry of Science & Technology, talked about the essential qualities to become a leader. He emphasized the need for a leader to communicate well and keep his people well informed and thereby lead from the front.
This was followed by a panel discussion presided by Mr Sreekant Khandekar, Director, Agencyfaqs. During the discussion, Mr Swaroop referred to a key difference in the leadership required in the army and the corporate world that while at times of peace, the army prepared for war, the corporate world did the opposite preparing for more peace. The valedictory address was delivered by Mr Gurcharan Das, author and consultant. Mr Das shared several of his insights on leadership with the audience, through various anecdotes. He spoke of a good leader as being one who wanders around not confining himself to the office space. Mr Das mentioned two universal qualities of the best CEOs he had met worldwide: a fierce will power and extraordinary humility.