What does leadership mean to you and how do you define it?
Leadership is taking ownership – of choices made and decisions taken. Leadership stems from first articulating a clear vision for a company or a team, then defining and practising a set of values coherent with that vision.
What is the most important lesson you have learned, from your personal or business life?
I have learnt that taking responsibility for one’s actions is of utmost importance. This mindset at once empowers and provides clarity of thought for any actions or decisions that need to be taken in the course of conducting business.
Is there someone who has had a major impact on you as a leader?
As a visionary who conceived and led the fight for freedom for millions while holding to the highest principles of personal integrity and non-violence, I deeply admire Mahatma Gandhi as a leader.
Have you experienced failure? If so, what did you learn?
I have experienced failure in many forms, and each instance seems to have its specific lesson. From failures where my contribution was significant, I have learnt to challenge my beliefs and assumptions with increased rigour moving forward. From failures where I was part of something systemic that went wrong, I have learnt the importance of being a hands-on leader and acting as a true business owner.
Who do you admire in the business world and why?
Warren Buffett. He’s somebody who epitomises and practises the values of being the owner of a business. He clearly values delegation and empowerment of a team, and I firmly believe those traits lead to long-term, sustainable success in business.
What advice would you offer to new or aspiring board directors?
To act as honest challengers of the business while being open-minded to its future opportunities and possibilities.
If you were able to run one company, apart from your own business, which would you choose and why?
I would love to run an education (ed-tech) company. In today’s world, education is in dire need of disruption and is failing badly to meet society’s needs. Nothing would excite me more than rising to the challenge of fixing this critical need for society.