Resolutions for the New Year

As we step into a brand new year, we ask three CEOs what their top five work resolutions for 2016 are

Photo: iStockPhoto
Photo: iStockPhoto

Doing fewer things, but doing them well: Zishaan Hayath

Co-founder, Haygot Education Pvt. Ltd

Focus on a shorter road map

“This year we would like to focus on a shorter road map. Do fewer things and do them well with high quality. This year we would like to focus on the four modules that include learning, practice, doubt clearing and tests. Last year, the company undertook a lot of projects parallelly and some of these projects got killed as they weren’t executed well,” says Hayath.

Shorter disciplined meetings

“Seventy per cent of our entire team attends the daily meeting. We would like this meeting to be precise, concise and to the point. These meetings shouldn’t digress to other topics not relevant at that point and shouldn’t spillover the scheduled time, which means each department should have discussed internally, and only final decisions and slight changes must be discussed with the entire group,” he says.

Have more fun

“Last year, everyone was very busy working hard, there wasn’t too much time for outings. We had one off-site last year, this year we would like to go for two off-sites. In addition to this, we would like to have more team outings. I would like to create an environment where employees do fulfilling work and identify what they love doing the most,” he adds.

Appreciate good work

Hayath says: “As a founder, I would like to appreciate the effort and hard work of employees. In a start-up, working hard and being efficient is a default practice, but this kind of effort is taken for granted. I want to invest time in giving positive feedback and appreciate good work. Till now, for every one good feedback, I would give 10 negative feedbacks. I would like to change this ratio to four is to six. Also, I would like more of my employees to identify their passion and start their own companies.”

Business focus

“We have been spending a lot of time building the product and getting users to use it. This year we would like to invest a lot of time in pre- and post-product development with users, understand what users need, take regular feedback. Till now this was only 20% of our business focus, we would like product, user base and user engagement to have equal focus,” he adds. Ashna Ambre

Increase headcount of women staff: Anil Chaudhary

Country president and managing director, Schneider electric-india

Work on being a more diverse company

“We started an initiative last year to thrive in a far more diverse organizational structure—hire more women employees across the organization. This year we’ve resolved, that over the next four years, we will increase our headcount of women employees from 19% to 25%,” says Chaudhary.

Re-defining the ideal of meetings

“Instead of allowing employees to attend meetings all day, we want more of our workforce to be in the field, meet clients and interact with customers. So we’ve set a target internally—we are re-defining the idea of meetings, which means we will only encourage employees to attend meetings if they are fairly pertinent to their schedule. We’ve resolved that we will encourage more field visits and hope to push the time spent in the field by at least five percentage points at an organization level. This is also aimed at improving the speed of decision-making,” he says.


“In the third quarter of 2015, our company introduced flexi-hours especially for women and new mothers. Employees can connect with their managers and seek more flexible work schedules and even opt for ‘work from home’ as long as productivity is intact. Throughout the year we will continue to embrace flexi-hours,” he adds.

Be a better role model to employees

Chaudhary says, “Schneider set out on an India Transformation Plan for 2020, which entails that I will be travelling across our 28 sites and meeting all employees in the first quarter of 2016. This is to encourage employees, align their goals and visions to that of the organization, and be a role model to them.”

More digital events

“As part of our focus to become a more customer-centric organization, we will be using more digital tools such as virtual talks, events and more social media to engage with our employees and customers. The idea is to make the brand socially relevant and innovate at a faster speed,” he adds. Suneera Tandon

Learn mandarin, take long breaks: Vijay Sekhar Sharma

Co-founder, Paytm

More time with teams

“Last year was a very busy year, a lot happened in the company as a result of which I didn’t get time to spend with my teams across cities. This year I plan to visit the offices and chat up with new teammates. I could attend only one off-site last year, the one at Dharamshala for the cricket season. This year I will make it a point to go for more. Hopefully, we would be able to fly to Spain for the football league and also take a trip with a large number of employees to China. In addition to all this, we would also like to do a lot more road trips, hopefully two a year,” says Sharma.

Taking long breaks

“I realized how important it is to spend time with family, only when I didn’t spend time with them. Even though we have a voting system when it comes to holidays (where employees decide when and how many days they want to take off), we want employees to take long breaks to spend time with family instead of a two-to-three-day leave. We are creating an internal process to recognize and applaud such employees,” he says.

Learning mandarin

Sharma says, “After taking so many trips to China, I have managed to learn a few words like OK and Hi in mandarin. I would like the four to five top leadership people, including myself, to learn the language, which is quite difficult. We have already appointed someone who will be teaching us and hopefully our classes will start soon.”

Write the culture book

“As and when the Paytm Payment bank will be launched, there will be a new team. There will be a CEO that will run the bank independently and my involvement in it will be very less. I want to contribute my efforts by writing the culture book with emphasis on three things: no fear, no greed and no entitlement (with Paytm getting a lot of attention, I don’t want this to go to the head of our employees),” he says.

Doing up office space

Sharma says, “It is important to have a good work environment and the office space plays an important role in that. We have a total of seven offices, three in Delhi, two in Bengaluru and one each in Mumbai and Kolkata. While the ones in the other three cities are new, they are well done up. The Delhi offices need to be renovated. I have been working out of the Delhi office for over six years and it needs attention; also the office spaces for the senior leadership team have to be redesigned.” Ashna Ambre