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Leaders of six companies—in the consumer goods, e-commerce, electronics, banking and food and beverage sectors—share with us their single most important management mantra

Hemant Mishra/Mint

Let people flourish

While deciding on whom to hire, I give more weight to the drive to achieve, ability to learn, mental bandwidth and how they fit in the organization, than to past experience in the same industry or setting. All you need to do after that is to provide the right environment for the person to flourish. Be open to hiring people from different or dissimilar industries. High performers will always remain high performers if they have these traits, provided there is an environment for them to flourish in your organization.


Develop the BMIS function

An extension of the CEO’s office, employing the Business Management, Innovation and Strategy (BMIS) function has helped in the evolution of Yes Bank. BMIS looks at streamlining all the functions and departments of the bank. Traditionally people just look at it as an HR function, but it’s much larger and comprehensive in scope. There are 20-odd high-power officers who work in this unit. They are constantly partnering with the business, functional and operational leadership of the bank. Ultimately it leads to looking at things across departments, in totality. Therefore, it’s not just outlining and visualizing a company vision, but actualizing it.

Abhijit Bhatlekar/Mint

Communication is key

The mantra is to keep communicating your idea constantly and innovatively. When we come out with new business concepts, we forget that it takes time for the consumer to absorb and understand these. Every business requires time, effort and money. Make sure that your positioning is right and there is clear brand differentiation, because these play a vital role in connecting customers with your brand. Be persistent and passionate. There is no such thing as instant success.


Hire those who voice their opinion

Many employers make the terrible mistake of recruiting a candidate who resembles them. A person who fits the profile you had in mind and thinks and speaks in a manner similar to yours, is not necessarily the perfect match for the job. A person who challenges your opinion, dares to voice his own and doesn’t agree with you for the sake of it is any day a better candidate. In a fast-paced world, where we are in constant need of innovation for growth, it is absolutely necessary to diversify.


Preserve what’s good, and works

It is the law of nature and something we have imbibed at the Future Group. Creation, preservation and destruction form the cycle of life and, in my opinion, it translates to corporate work culture very well. You preserve what is good and what works, in fact you recreate it over time. And in the same vein, you destroy that which is irrelevant. It’s a well-established practice at our workplace and I truly believe in it. It can also be interpreted as constant change and moving on. Nothing in this world is static, so you have to embrace change. It’s the only way to stay ahead of the curve.

Hemant Mishra/Mint

Create an open organization

Approachability and transparency are the key tenets to a healthy and productive work environment. For instance, at Flipkart we do not have any cabins. Each and every one of us—including Binny (Binny Bansal, co-founder of Flipkart) and I—sit in open spaces. We do not even have partial bifurcations and the only time we use meeting rooms is for meetings. Even our brainstorming sessions are held on open floors. All this contributes towards creating the feel of an organization that is open, fluid and entirely without silos.

Vidhi Choudhary contributed to this story.

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