If only there was an operating manual for being a CEO. If only there was a rulebook for making good and bad decisions. We delve into the professional life of a CEO to explore the valiant yet vulnerable side. They don the badge of a strong business leader all the time, but at the end of the day they are only human.
Did they always plan to be at this position or was it just a happy coincidence? What was it like for them to be in the spotlight in the first 90 days after they took on the mandate? How did they stand tall in turbulent times? What are some of their go-to success mantras? How do they manage areas of weakness and conflict? And much more.
Join host Deepali Naair in a warm, open conversation with a select group of CEO’s to uncover their story of triumph and tribulation. Only on Aawaz.
Sanjay Behl, Former CEO, Raymond - Deepali Naair [ 23:19 ]
Sanjay Behl, Former CEO, Raymond
Sanjay Behl is a highly accomplished leader with a proven track record. A young student from Banaras with big aspirations, Sanjay started his professional journey with Hindustan Unilever. He has also operated in a leadership capacity at Nokia and Reliance in India and the Asia Pacific. As a CEO of Raymond in his last assignment, he catapulted the legacy textile and apparel company to become a leading fashion retail organisation with disruptive and sustainable growth in revenue, profitability and enterprise valuation. Currently, the CEO and Co-founder of a technology-based venture Nextqore, Sanjay has built a very rich and diverse expertise in business leadership and management. In this unfiltered chat, Sanjay shares some fun anecdotes from his journey and sacred mantras that he imbibed along the way.
Manish Maheshwari, MD, Twitter India - Deepali Naair [ 21:52 ]
Manish Maheshwari, MD, Twitter India
A graduate from the prestigious University of Pennsylvania's Wharton Business School, Manish Maheshwari always envisaged being a CEO. He has had an admirable yet unconventional career path where before joining Twitter India as MD, he worked for well-known MNCs like McKinsey, Procter & Gamble (P&G), and closer to home, with Flipkart, and Network18 Digital. With such a diverse career with stellar companies, what does it take to be armed with the right skills to lead such varied organisations.
Catch Manish in this open conversation where he shares some of his valuable life mantras.
Apurva Purohit, President, Jagran Group - Deepali Naair [ 21:52 ]
Apurva Purohit, President, Jagran Group
One of the most influential businesswomen in India, Apurva Purohit is a paradigm of being a pathbreaker in a male-dominated industry. Before heading The Jagran Group (Dainik Jagran, Mid Day, Inext, Inquilab, and Radio City) as President, where she has been credited with the listing of Radio City on the local stock exchange, Apurva successfully built TV brands like Zoom at Zee Telefilms and launched one of the largest media buying agencies in the country, Lodestar. She has been ranked as one of the Top 30 Most Powerful Women in Business by Business Today and was featured on Fortune India's Most Powerful Women in Business list.
In this episode, listen to her unveil secrets on how to thrive in a man's world, what keeps her going, and why she’s never had to write a CV in 30 years.
Sudip Ghose, MD, VIP Industries - Deepali Naair [ 29:06 ]
Sudip Ghose, MD, VIP Industries
Sudip Ghose has over two decades of experience in Sales & Marketing, where he successfully executed leadership roles across different spheres like strategic planning, brand marketing, and consumer behaviour, to name a few. Before joining VIP Industries, Sudip was at Samsonite, Onida, Whirlpool, Reliance Communications, and Bausch & Lomb.
In this freewheeling conversation, Sudip shares some precious lessons learned and skills developed from being a grassroots level marketer, going on to becoming an MD.
Nandini Dias, CEO, Lodestar UM - Deepali Naair [ 29:58 ]
Nandini Dias, CEO, Lodestar UM
Touted as one of the most prominent faces in India’s advertising industry, Nandini Dias is currently the CEO of Lodestar UM, a leading marketing agency in the country. Nandini has the distinction of having launched over 400 brands in media and managed media investments for over 175 clients. She garnered her credentials as an influential businesswoman with the strategic acumen she developed in a well-orchestrated professional journey.
Tune in to the inside scoop of her leadership style and how she maintains a work-life balance.
Vinay Agrawal, CEO, Angel Broking - Deepali Naair [ 22:23 ]
Vinay Agrawal, CEO, Angel Broking
Coming from a traditional Marwari family, Vinay Agrawal dismissed the urge to join his well-established family business to become a Chartered Accountant. He joined Angel Broking in 2000, as a Consultant, and went on to set-up their ‘Equity Derivatives’ business segment, which today contributes more than 50% of the company’s overall revenue. As CEO, Angel Broking, Vinay is someone who owns his failures with grace and his quest for learning is admirable. He shares his journey and learnings in this candid conversation.
Rajesh Ramakrishnan, MD, Perfetti Van Melle India - Deepali Naair [ 26:04 ]
Rajesh Ramakrishnan, MD, Perfetti Van Melle India
An accomplished leader, passionate photographer, and fervent mountaineer, Rajesh Ramakrishnan, MD of Perfetti Van Melle India has a charisma of his own. A career spanning 26 years, that started with Reckitt Benckiser followed by successful stints with Marico, Pepsico, Apollo Tyres, and Hindustan Times, before transitioning into the role of MD Perfetti Van Melle, Bangladesh. His story of becoming MD and how he coped with it, is captivating. Tune in as Rajesh gets candid with some personal learnings and exciting experiences.
Radhika Gupta, MD & CEO Edelweiss Asset Management - Deepali Naair [ 33:44 ]
Radhika Gupta, MD & CEO Edelweiss Asset Management
At 36, she is India’s only woman-head of a major asset manager. As MD & CEO Edelweiss Asset Management, Radhika set up India’s first domestic hedge fund with a fierce ambition to grow it from (current) $4 billion to more than $40 billion by 2025. Radhika opens up about moving forward quickly and not looking back, building a team to share the vulnerabilities, and cover off areas of weakness, her mantras for happiness, and staying energized illustrated through heartwarming anecdotes.
Salil Murthy, MD, General Mills, India & South East Asia - Deepali Naair [ 33:55 ]
Salil Murthy, MD, General Mills, India & South East Asia
Salil Murthy’s flourishing career has seen him in key leadership roles across diverse countries and regions namely India, China, and Southeast Asia, with P&G and General Mills. His profound experience of 18 years in FMCG marketing and sales, has honed him for his current role at General Mills. In this episode, Salil shares his views on leadership characteristics that revolve around absolute integrity, staying centered, culture as a reference point, and many others.
Megha Tata, MD, Discovery Communications India - Deepali Naair [ 36:18 ]
Megha Tata, MD, Discovery Communications India
Megha Tata, has spent 28 years in the Media and Entertainment Industry. Her successful track record with Star India and Turner International, along with a multitude of awards and recognitions has cemented her position as one of the most powerful women in media. Today, she continues to break every possible stereotype in leading a large media company like Discovery. Her humble upbringing is in some ways responsible for shaping her as an incredibly determined individual. Tune into her extraordinary journey.
Debjani Ghosh - President, NASSCOM - Deepali Naair [ 35:15 ]
Debjani Ghosh - President, NASSCOM
In this episode, we chat with a fiery woman leader who is a veteran in the technology industry. In her first job interview with Intel, she was bold enough to pledge to head the company in India and achieved that sooner than she thought. She is passionate about the use of technology to make an impact on people's lives. She was felicitated by the President of India under the auspices of the ‘First Ladies’ program, just one of her many accolades. The pivotal life stories that define her success are more than enthralling. Catch the first woman president of NASSCOM India sharing some golden rules of success and tips for people aspiring for her job.
Ashutosh Gupta, Country Manager, LinkedIn India - Deepali Naair [ 38:40 ]
Ashutosh Gupta, Country Manager, LinkedIn India
Ashutosh Gupta is a seasoned leader, an incisive decision-maker with incredibly deep market expertise. He has built a successful career with over 20 years of experience in the IT & Software Services Industry, starting with Infosys, then Cognizant and Google. Currently, Country Manager of LinkedIn India, his startling clarity in life led him to make many unconventional yet successful career pivots. Tune in to Ashutosh sharing his story, why culture is the bedrock of a winning organization, and leading with compassion.
Paul Dupuis, MD & CEO, Randstad India - Deepali Naair [ 33:35 ]
Paul Dupuis, MD & CEO, Randstad India
For Paul Dupuis, adventure is at the core of his existence. He made a pilgrimage to Japan, spending his first night on a park bench. Little did he know this would turn into a lifelong adventure. From backpacker to senior leader on the global stage, Paul has over 25 years of professional experience across Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Korea, and now India, as Randstad India’s CEO & MD. He has authored a definitive book on leadership, The E5 Movement. For Paul, when the ‘why’ is clear, the ‘how’ is easy. Tune in as he draws from experiences in global leadership, mantras that define him, and why people with the right values matter.
Mainak Dhar, MD & CEO, Kimberly-Clark, India & South Asia - Deepali Naair [ 30:30 ]
Mainak Dhar, MD & CEO, Kimberly-Clark, India & South Asia
Mainak Dhar, has spent almost three decades thriving as a successful business leader across diverse markets and geographies. Mainak started his career with Procter & Gamble, spending almost 18 years there before joining General Mills India as Managing Director. Today Mainak is Managing Director & CEO at Kimberly-Clark India & South Asia. A proficient business leader by day and best-selling author by night (17 to his name), he is someone who believes ideas can transcend many boundaries. He also firmly believes de-cluttering is essential to focus on what matters, not all conflict is bad and average leaders provide feedback on the ‘how’ while he believes in the ‘why’. Tune in to more leadership insights!
Mukund Vasudevan, Managing Director, Ecolab - Deepali Naair [ 32:12 ]
Mukund Vasudevan, Managing Director, Ecolab
With over 25 years of successful leadership stints at various national and international organisations, Mukund Vasudevan believes every day at work should be treated as the first day at work. Currently, the MD of Ecolab Inc, a Fortune 500 company, and the global leader in water, hygiene and energy technologies and services, Mukund previously worked for Pentair, McKinsey, and Schlumberger. In this episode, he shares learnings from his professional journey, his passion and commitment to water conservation, the importance of the culture of communication, the power of listening, and his unique way of taking notes.
Shiv Shivakumar, Group Exec. President - Corporate Strategy & Business Development, Aditya Birla Group - Deepali Naair [ 33:18 ]
Shiv Shivakumar, Group Exec. President - Corporate Strategy & Business Development, Aditya Birla Group
Shiv Shivakumar is one of India’s most well-known business leaders and leading management thinkers. Currently, the Group Executive President, Corporate Strategy & Business Development, at Aditya Birla Group, Shiv is an icon in the business world, having held top positions at Philips, Nokia and PepsiCo. He is a passionate writer and voracious reader, who goes to extraordinary lengths to stay connected with the people he leads. Tune in to this episode as he speaks candidly about how to get along with a bad boss and offers guidance on cultivating the ability to lead people with authenticity, integrity, and consistency.
Sarbvir Singh CEO, Policybazaar.com - Deepali Naair [ 27:17 ]
Sarbvir Singh CEO, Policybazaar.com
Sarbvir Singh heads Policybazaar.com, and puts stock in hard work over everything else. Having had a very successful run as a venture capitalist with investments in BookMyShow, Yatra, and Webchutney, he is a strategic thinker known for spotting early wins. He has also held senior leadership positions in Capital18, JP Morgan, Citigroup and Emerson Electric. Tune into this episode to hear him share his tips on leadership and excellence at the workplace.
Alok Ranjan, CEO, Flipcarbon Integrated Solutions Pvt. Ltd - Deepali Naair [ 34:07 ]
Alok Ranjan, CEO, Flipcarbon Integrated Solutions Pvt. Ltd
Alok Ranjan had a stellar career in the HR industry before becoming the CEO of Flipcarbon. His career started with Shaw Wallace, followed by a successful stint with SAB Miller as HR Director, a position he rose into quite rapidly. Next he joined ABI (Anheuser-Busch-InBev) India as their People Director. With 21 years under his belt, Alok is recognized as an extraordinary HR leader. Tune in to Alok speaking about aligning purpose and the importance of loving what you do and doing what you love.
Sridhar Balakrishnan, MD & CEO at ACC Limited - Deepali Naair [ 36:53 ]
Sridhar Balakrishnan, MD & CEO at ACC Limited
Sridhar Balakrishnan has had a stellar career graph with many successful stints across geographies and diverse industries including construction product, media and FMCG. He started his career with Marico as an Area Sales Manager and scaled his way up to the role of COO. In his professional journey, he has been responsible for driving innovation lead growth, turn around unprofitable units, and build new engines of growth. His 22 years of experience in consumer business attribute to his unique leadership style of culture building and strategy making. Tune in to this episode as he simplifies life lessons.
Damodar Mall, CEO, Grocery Retail, Reliance - Deepali Naair [ 31:56 ]
Damodar Mall, CEO, Grocery Retail, Reliance
In this episode, we chat with a CEO who rightly calls himself 'Supermarketwala'. His outstanding career journey began with a supermarket chain in 1999-2000, which has since expanded into the multi-store D-Mart chain in western India. He has also been instrumental in shaping Big Bazaar and Food Bazaar models for the Future Group. Retail and consumer behavior are his strengths, he currently heads Reliance Retail as a CEO. A business graduate from IIM, Bangalore where he won a gold medal in marketing, he is someone with an unconventional leadership style. The wit with which he delivers his wisdom is unmissable. Tune into his amazing journey as he shares his golden nuggets.
Umesh Revankar, VC & MD, Shriram Transport Finance - Deepali Naair [ 28:24 ]
Umesh Revankar, VC & MD, Shriram Transport Finance
Umesh Revankar is the epitome of perseverance, patience and hard work. His career spanning over 30 years has been with one company - Shriram Transport Group. He joined as an executive trainee in 1987, steadily rising to the position of VC and MD. He believes in positively impacting people with his unique leadership style. He has led many unconventional changes within operations, particularly around customer service. Tune into his story from his career path of three decades.
Rajit Mehta, CEO & MD, Antara Senior Living - Deepali Naair [ 33:37 ]
Rajit Mehta, CEO & MD, Antara Senior Living
Rajit Mehta started his career with HCL Technologies as HR Manager, subsequently building his career up to CEO at Max Life Insurance. He describes his journey to be full of 'sweat and serendipity'. He outperformed his own goals by becoming a VP HR at the age of 32 when he only aimed to be a GM at the age of 30. He has spent over two decades with Max Life Insurance playing an instrumental role in shaping the growth of the company. A devoted leader, who likes to put business first before everything, Rajit chats with us about his unique approach to learning, leadership, conflict management and staying inspired.
Suresh Raina, Partner, Hunt Partners - Deepali Naair [ 37:09 ]
Suresh Raina, Partner, Hunt Partners
In this special episode, we chat with CEO-maker, Suresh Raina, Partner at Hunt Partners, a leading talent management company. Finding the right match between companies and a CEO has been his raison d'être for over a decade. This endows him with stirring insights on what makes a good CEO. With 30 years of global experience in cross-functional roles across industries, Suresh shares golden nuggets for aspiring CXOs, covering key areas - leadership, culture, conflict management, and failure. Tune in!
Anil Kumar Jain - CEO, National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI) - Deepali Naair [ 28:17 ]
Anil Kumar Jain - CEO, National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI)
Motivated to serve the country, Anil Kumar Jain charted his career path to the Government of India. An engineer by training and profession, he has spent 36 glorious years making his mark in the telecom industry. Hailing from a humble background he has truly scaled the peak by passionately fulfilling leadership positions at BSNL, MTNL and the Department of Telecommunications, India. Currently, the CEO of the National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI), Anil aims to make the best internet services accessible and affordable for every individual in the country. His life story is nothing but enthralling. Tune into this freewheeling, inspirational conversation as he shares golden nuggets on leadership, culture building, serving the nation and more.
Prabhjeet Singh - President, Uber India & South Asia - Deepali Naair [ 37:26 ]
Prabhjeet Singh - President, Uber India & South Asia
He calls himself an ingenious professional entrepreneur. An alumnus of IIT Kharagpur and IIM-A, Prabhjeet Singh joined Uber in 2015 and has been instrumental in scaling the profitability of the company. Prior to Uber, he spent close to a decade at McKinsey which he believes proved to be a key building block in the elevation of his professional journey. An innovative and strategic leader tune in as Prabhjeet shares the fascinating story of how he landed the job at Uber, his unique approach to conflict resolution, and work-life balance. Prabhjeet also lets you in on invaluable secrets of building an entrepreneur-driven culture within an organisation.
Sameer Garde, President, Cisco India & SAARC - Deepali Naair [ 26:05 ]
Sameer Garde, President, Cisco India & SAARC
Having worked for some of India's most illustrious companies like Nestle, Pepsi, Whirlpool and Dell, his success is an attestation to his career trajectory. However that's not all, he has also had some stints at startups and ran a consultancy of his own. Currently, the President at Cisco India and SAARC Sameer believes every workplace has had an immense contribution to making him the leader he is right now. Tune in as he chats about culture building, ambition, conflict resolution and his interesting take on competition
Sucheta Mahapatra, Managing Director, Branch International - Deepali Naair [ 26:51 ]
Sucheta Mahapatra, Managing Director, Branch International
A big believer in grit and resilience, Sucheta Mahapatra is someone who does not abide by the corporate definitions of 'success'. She believes her highly successful career trajectory is an outcome of hard work, gratitude and a bit of luck. With over 15 years of experience across companies like WeWork, Airtel, and Bain, Sucheta is touted as one of the prominent leaders in the tech industry in the country. Her process of powering through work by prioritising according to her daily fulfilling goals is a golden nugget. She shares her insights on the process of hiring, continuous learning, building culture and more.