• “The New Corporate Environment” – A Session with D Shivakumar

    DShivkumar The New Corporate Environment   A Session with D Shivakumar
    This blog reflects the views from an incredible talk session by the Chairman and CEO – PepsiCo India, Mr. D ShivaKumar around the dynamic and the ever changing world we live in today. The business environment and the unforeseen forces which require us to reassess how we operate, motivate and stay true to the larger purpose while dealing with heavy attrition around us. His perspective was not only refreshing but gave us a realistic taste of the 21st century’s global corporate environment.

    The list of the top ten companies in Fortune 500 today have newer and younger companies unlike the past. Google, Apple, Facebook to name a few reflecting the growing relevance of the tech world. The valuation and growth are exceptional and have created substantial impact in the Society. The digitized world is helping to converge our world with ability to connect with consumers across the globe with service and value never seen before. The world that surrounds us is changing at a lightening pace with technological evolutions creating a huge change in the way a corporate functions and deals with the pressures of such changing forces. The first data which is a critical reference to the changing impact basis Shiv is that today’s average age of survival is twelve years than fifty years few decades back.

    These changes require us to rethink on how we stay on course, how we deal with the internal audience and achieve the larger purpose of our mission, without getting hit by a new age company that outsmarts us in connecting with a very different consumer. Mr. ShivaKumar walked us though his experience, inspirational situations and realistic examples of dealing with such challenges. I felt that I must share his thoughts for the benefit of the larger world that connects us, because his wisdom must cascade across corporates operating in the current ecosystem of dynamic

    Let me walk you through some of the brief highlights of the talk:

    New York Stock exchange has 5400 listed companies and in India, NIFTY 5700 (of which 60% are family owned) India had 900 million mobile subscribers, ten years back it was only 90 million (10 times growth connecting millions) There is a myth that in India, the consumers buy cheap products (they don’t compromise on quality) Today, one must first create the service team’s presence, before opening sales centers (Sales follow service) Three types of Indian consumers – The one who pays more to get an innovative product, second who gets worth of the price from the
    product-Value Proposition and the third who pay less and for less & need based (small sachet of shampoo in rural markets)

    Consumer is the king/Queen is the social voice from the social networking – Today’s views shared on web need listening and watching which is of tremendous potential (At Pepsi the Online Reputation Management is very robustly watched and also responded quickly if has merit) Employees aspirations are changing, the Millennials have average shelf life of two to three years.

    Most CEOs today have an average life of three to four years. 94% of the Millennials wants to start their own company. Today HR must find solutions to retain these Millennials (Companies should think beyond three year contracts only) Focus needs to be more on skill development and leadership development. Exceptions today is the most important part of success, strategy is getting commoditized.

    BPO, IT and Retail segment have attrition as high as 40% The hurried aspiration of employees is also leading to attrition, employees who have 25% of their EMI accounted in their take home salary, will most probably will leave the company early.

    Identify, why people come to office- three reason: relate to the cause of the Company, good colleagues/friendly environment and progress. Eco system are emerging- Create it or else you shall vanish. Eg. #Pepsi tie up with Big Bazaar, Big Basket. Another example the way #Nokia, #Airtel and SKS finance created 3 million customer base in rural market through symbiotic partnership.

    Strategic ability giving way to strategic agility.

    Execution is the key factor to success, Example Patanjali Vs Maggi or Dabur Responsiveness is the key, responsiveness survey is conducted every quarter at PepsiCo – Team ranked on their responsiveness quotient for
    serving internal and external consumers. Consumers sensitivity should be collective skill of the organization.
    Org structure divide people and people are expected to unite structure. Leader should work on uniting the entire org and not only to maximize his circle only.

    Parameter of success- #CEO has to manage multiple parameters today. The CEO’s three main ingredients of success – Collaborate (internal and external) , Execution and Ownership. Learning and unlearning – unlearning of old ways of working and learning the updated trends. Company fails because of two things – Arrogant leadership and inability to
    unlearn and learn.

    US Air Force- every day they evaluate their execution and learn to make it better (Companies should practice the same ) Celebrate failures too, this will help people to build more trust in the company. Pepsi Co – does job rotation with other companies like Tata and e-Commerce set-ups… this satisfies the desire for people to experiment other vertical and help reduce attrition.

    Premium on #leadership- Employees put a lot of premium on leadership team- leaders must stand up for the Company.
    All teams should discuss their ideas and execution plans and even if they get 60% agreement, the commitment should be 100% Leaders should be visible in the industry and in the market, helps to create better brand value of the Organisation.

    My sincere thanks to Mr. ShivaKumar for sharing these thought provoking insights and I truly encourage everyone to think through them and adhere to them in building a business excellence environment both internally and externally.

    Thought it’s a bit long blog befitting each and every insight, it will reflect a lot to calibrate our ways.

    Thank you for giving it a glance.


    June 24, 2016 • Inspirations, Leadership, Technology & Innovation • Views: 2298


    It’s incredible to see the innovative thinking in today’s world, the kind of ideas that are creating solutions across all levels. I am deeply excited to be part of this change, because this will shape our future and will push the envelope to think laterally.

    I was invited at a Global Summit, which was organized by the #Times Of India group. A very well organized event that had speakers from across the word. In this seminar the CEO of McKinsey revealed a very interesting data point that companies in the early fifties had an average life- span of 80 years vis-a-vis today’s companies’ average of 8 years.

    The writing is on the wall, that #innovative disruption is putting companies out of business. Unless and until companies create a culture within its eco-system to challenge its business model encouraging them to re-think on the next big idea, someone else will and put their growth plans in serious jeopardy or out of business.

    I believe that a job of a senior executives in today’s environment is to continuously think about a disruptive tool that can have the competition wondering! For me, this is the real battle to win………..

    To prepare for the future, we have to change the way we look at things till we get the winning idea that can change the world. This format of thinking is very different from usual performance reviews (which too are important), but the platforms for both should be disruptively different.

    I see a young India that is staring back at the world, with newer business solutions, not to mention that we already see great Indian minds in some of the top mgmt. of companies like #Google and #Microsoft (proud to see them there). Similarly, we need to tap into this young and intuitive minds of Gen Y to help us to see a world that is so promising for its #consumers, #shareholders and all its #partners.

    I write this blog today, because this is the energy with which I come to work at Escorts and I know we are already working on ideas that will change our world for a better one. I want to spread this thought to others and have them think on similar lines to bring about a transformational impact. We need many such people and many companies.

    If anyone reading this blog has any idea that they want to share with me around the business we do at Escorts, then please feel free to write to me at nikhil.nanda@escorts .co.in

    April 15, 2016 • Technology & Innovation • Views: 894

  • Don’t Let Anyone Dirty Your Windscreen!

    Storm post Don’t Let Anyone Dirty Your Windscreen!

    Driven before??

    #Driving in a storm you need to keep your wind screen vipers on, so that the water and mud that gets thrown into your car is removed.

    In real life too we all go through storms,  I call them the people storms… These storms come at us with all the #negativity and tactics people use to puncture you. The human storms are difficult to forecast unlike the nature storms,  that’s because most people now a days wear masks and we seldom get to see the real face behind that mask.

    In today’s times, people are at war with people, and their conscious level from where they operate is at its lowest level. This lowness causes a lot of rift and gets our society to function in a destructive manner.

    In a real war, people use bullets… in peoples war it’s all about self interest and greed to succeed at all cost even if it means you have to paying that bill.

    Going back when I was a kid, I remember spending my holidays in #Mumbai with my grandparents and one night I was asleep and was woken up by a house helper, my granddad had asked for me (the late #RajKapoor), I went down to his room and the conversation that we had that night is something that I remember till date. I was only twelve years old and perhaps too young to understand many advice he had for me that night,  but as I grew older, they became my guiding light.

    I recall asking him “How does one become a good actor?” and he smiled and looked at me and said “Its important that one is a good human being and if you are, then the essence of that goodness will come out, coz the camera has the ability to capture it”

    I was amazed with his answers….  Today when I reflect back, I think does it also apply to the corporate sector ?

    Don’t mistake goodness with softness…..

    Our windscreen has its challenges of all kinds of storms , yes the body of the car representing our mental and physical strength to sustain and come out stronger.

     The deeper point being the driver of the car (representing our intent)

    This is the choice we all make in life, to either operate from goodness or with bad intentions. The world which is the camera, will at the end capture your choice in what ever profession you choose to operate…..

    #Storm is not a choice, but the intent with which we go through it, is!

    Good luck…

    January 31, 2016 • Inspirations, Motivation • Views: 2059

  • If you think you can… You Really Can!

    Untitled8 If you think you can... You Really Can!

    Life starts in our mind and it manifests and attracts all that the mind has learnt to think of, as we learn to pursue our efforts to realize our goals in life.

    In the early 2000, when #Escorts was in a stressed condition, both my father and I firmly believed that the company can and will turn itself around. As much as the circumstances would indicate that it was near to an impossible task to make that happen.  In life, no matter what the world thinks, it’s important what we think and believe in our mind. The world’s opinion is a reflection of our convictions and real life demonstration.

    I remember in those years (early 2000), meeting with few funds that were focused on restructuring assets and we met with many, but one in particular that taught me my greatest lesson of my life (I am indeed grateful for that, coz it made a man out of me). So as I went along in presenting the story in details on how we would utilize the funds to #restructure the company. But unlike in other meetings, I found their attention to what I was speaking amiss. It was later that their main agenda for the meeting came out “Why don’t you guys walk out of the company, we offer to buy you guys out and offer a graceful exit for an impossible effort for a turnaround” My immediate response to the unexpected and shocking offer was “We are not for sale and I don’t have a price tag attached….. our main aim is to resurrect the foundation and pursue the companies mission to bringing the world’s best to India and offering India’s best to the world”.

    Today, with God’s grace and with great effort of the entire team at Escorts, the company has come a long way. Our debt equity ratio at 0.23:1 from 2.5:1 and the balance sheet totally clean, with profits and margin on the increase. The company is on its way to become a blue chip company again. We are grateful to all our #shareholders, who share our promise of the future.

    Why am I writing about this today?

    We are close to the end of #2015 and a start of another year and I wanted to share this story with everyone to understand the deep love and passion we all have for our desire to taking Escorts to the top.

    This requires deep #commitment from our people and a firm belief that it can and will be done.

    As we enter #2016, I look forward to partnering with people on our ongoing journey!

    Don’t let anyone tell you It can’t be done!! There are few who will believe in you, but the starting point is that you must believe in yourself.

    God bless you and I wish you and your family a very happy 2016, a year of growth for us all and a year of impossible growth.


    December 26, 2015 • Escorts, Leadership, My Experiences • Views: 2259

  • Winning – Thoughts by Jack Welch

    Last weekend, I watched a video on thoughts by #Jack Welch, on his book “#Winning “. Insights shared by the great man and admired worldwide. Men of such stature have lessons that we all must embed to build an organization which can truly become global and state of the art strategically and #operational excellence.

    He speaks about building culture of candid communication across all levels!

    Simple and yet most essential for building a company that is totally aligned to win. To build an environment where people are not afraid to speak their candid mind for the larger good of the company. To achieve this, it requires great effort and one must work towards building this in the work places.

    I have tried to summarise some of his ideas that he talked about:-

    • The objectives of any business must be defined clearly.
    • Candour- Build it in your company.
    • You get the behaviour, you reward.
    • Take care of the top 20% people.
    • Don’t wait to tell people what you think of them, till you’re in trouble- stop the false kindness at work place.
    • Leaders have to earn trust from all corners.
    • Leaders must have a succession plan.
    • HRD man’s importance is equal to that of a CFO, if not more.
    • #Appraisal process should be as transparent as the audited balance sheet of a company.
    • Cultural fit is equally important as much as a strategic fit in a company.
    • Surround yourself with people who are smarter than you.
    • Own the company you work in and don’t blame it on others.
    • #Work-life-balance, you can get it but you must earn it.
    • Leaders of today have to learn the ability to use a microscope and a telescope.
    • Create job rotation culture in a company, but set up an online test before they are moved, to ensure they have the knowledge .
    • Have small celebrations on your way to the top.
    • You constantly must reinvent yourself- change is important.
    • Manage your time when you’re a# leader, your job is to build people.
    • Identify what great people do and reward them and do so transparently.
    • Main objective of an organization is to make the company WIN .

    We must try and spread these practices in our work places, these are ingredients for a company which will succeed in its goals.

    Good luck with executing these principles at your work place ..‎


    November 21, 2015 • Inspirations, Leadership, Motivation • Views: 869

  • When at work, be at work!

    Focus is important at work. Just like a pilot boarding the cockpit knows his final destination, likewise we must know our end destination, both at work and in our personal life.

    Do you know where you are heading?

    If not, then stop and introspect before you walk any further.

    Insecure people bring egos to work and the secure bring the right focus in meeting the business objectives.

    At #Escorts Ltd, we encourage a collaborative environment in the top team and while good ego may be good in terms of confidence in one’s ability but it should not be at the cost of lowering somebody else’s esteem!

    I am writing this blog coz I find that a lot of us at business use our emotions as a lens or a parameter for deciding if we are comfortable working with another team member.

    My question to them is – Is this what the #shareholders are paying you for? Are these business decisions or personal ones? Are we focused on what we are here to do? Focus… Focus… Focus and shed your insecurities, ego and do the real work.

    Having insecurities is a reflection of lack of faith in one self. Lack of #trust on others is a reflection of lack of trust on our own self. What you portray to the outside world is a reflection of how you see yourself. So it’s important that not only we reflect the correct perspective of our real abilities but also help others to realize theirs.

    A real example, just because we ask some hard questions on how it could be done better is not a reflection on our lack of trust on the person’s ability to do the job. The question being asked to the person is to help assess on how we can make it better on a continuous manner, as taught by the #Japanese – every day improvement. But in many cases the person would take these questions personally and unnecessarily think that these questions point out the lack of confidence on them.

    If someone at work gives you a constructive #criticism, it’s for the good of you and the company and not a reflection on any lack of faith in ones abilities! So be thankful and not critical about these ideas that will help you.

    Go and shed your #insecurities and be at work when at work!!!

    August 18, 2015 • Escorts, Leadership • Views: 2214

  • Engineering the Fundamentals of Growth #IndiaWeAreReady

    The new campaign at Escorts ltd, talks about Engineering the fundamentals of growth. The momentum is getting built by all our leaders  in the company. These talents are working to realize their and the company’s objective to make our company one of the most admired #engineering companies in India and offer the innovation excellence globally.
    A company can not just get to the top unless and until the people who make the company also engineer their inner goals to that of the company. A company and the people’s journey are really the same.  For me this growth story is about the growth for our customers and our partners and all those who are connected to #Escorts ltd. This is about making a difference in the way we do things each day in our lives.
    This is about the fundamentals of growth of our nation and  we extend a warm welcome to all those who choose to partner with us, to be part of this new energy. I am leaving you with a link to our #TV commercial along with the hoardings which are being showcased across the country today. Click on the picture to see it.
    India we are ready Engineering the Fundamentals of Growth #IndiaWeAreReady
    There is only one way from here and that is all the way to the top.
    Those who want to head to the top,  join or partner with us.
    God bless!

    June 8, 2015 • Escorts • Views: 2155

  • A True Partnership

    Alwar Visit A True Partnership

    Yesterday, I had a wonderful visit to one of our largest dealerships in India, wherein I experienced an amazing style of management which is truly unique and I felt that I must share this story to spread and inspire the rest of us.

    Running a dealership requires time, attention, processes, hard work etc., like any other business does.  We need to prioritise our time wisely and profitably as someone once told me “Nikhil – watch out, don’t get busy for all the wrong reasons, but only for the right ones”.

    This dealership for me is my role model where a husband and wife team showcases true partnership spirit in ways which I have not seen in India before. When my #CEO and self visited their office, I noticed that there were two chairs on the other side of the table, one for the wife and the other for the husband.

    The wife in this set up is in-charge of the entire operation, its day to day running and thus allowing her husband to do the most important job.

    Can you all guess, what that job is??

    It is to allow him to attend and take care of the customers at all times. 

    While she is busy running the dealership, the husband gets out in the field not worrying about any backend issues (like #NASA space station in Houston taking care of all the issues at ground, while the #astronauts just focus on their assignment).

    This also reminds me of our dealer conference held last year, in which we had asked our top dealer partners to bring along their spouses for the conference. At the end of the event, my CEO put up a question to all the dealers – “Do you know why did the company decide to invite the spouses?”

    Everyone started to guess by saying, that we wanted to combine work along with a leisure trip.  No one really gave the correct answer and the CEO then explained the reason by telling them – “That we have asked your spouse to join you so that they can also understand the business modalities and participate actively in your business so that each one of you can get out of your offices to cater to the customers and meet their requirements”.

    Yesterday, what I witnessed was the same spirit!

    I did not realize, what my CEO asked for then, would be seen in real life so quickly. I feel very proud to share this with you and what’s wonderful is that #Escorts ltd. is showcasing a work style trend, which is truly unique in India or perhaps in the world.

    I sincerely hope that our channel partners take the right message from what’s written above. It would not only lead to better work management but would also help in giving a sense of pride to the spouses who will feel empowered in taking #business decisions. And if you cannot involve your better half in your business then hire someone who can help you create time for the most important people – YOUR CUSTOMERS!

    I too, very consciously take out time to meet with our customers and remind myself very humbly that I must get out and get first hand information myself.  I am following the advice given to me – “get busy for the real and right reasons” and as such I ensure to give my time to those who are the very reason for our existence.

    A food for thought!

    Its time that you look for managing partner at home. Good luck !

    June 3, 2015 • Inspirations, My Experiences • Views: 2045

  • Escorts’ Corporate Campaign announced – Engineering the fundamentals of growth!


    Escorts Ad Escorts Corporate Campaign announced   Engineering the fundamentals of growth!

    Click on the image to watch it!

    May 25, 2015 • Escorts • Views: 2767

  • The Real Growth in One’s Life

    Long time ago someone once mentioned to me, “Nikhil, the real #growth in personal life gets tested when you are parenting your child and simultaneously taking care of ill health of a parent”.

    My #mother  who has always been the most positive person that I have ever met in life, indeed has gone through a lot in these past four years.Two deadly #cancers with combination of many infections that led her once to a multi-organ failure and got her on a life support at ICU for two weeks. The #Sloan Kettering Institute at New York is surprised to see that she walked out of their hospital alive and today has become one of their medical case study. 

    Yet today whenever I meet her, not once do I see her complain about anything! Not once in these past four years, have I heard her say that she is scared of losing her life… She is still full of life, dresses up everyday as if she is going out for a family outing. Yet every evening when I visit her after work, I feel I am sitting across the energy of a sun, shining away with positivity.

    Why am I writing about this ??

    Have anyone of us in the recent past few weeks complained anything about life? Sometimes, it may seem like the end of the world…

    But, is it really ??

    I am writing this coz, we all find reasons to fight or reasons to be upset or reasons to feel negative. The choices of our feelings are really made by us in life!

    People influence our thinking, be it at work or in personal life but truly it is on us to decide its direction. The spirit and energy in a person is the most important  factor in one’s life.

    In yesterday’s #Economic Times newspaper, I read an interview of a man who I dearly admire – Mr. Elon Musk. In the interview,  it mentions that when he migrated to #Canada, he was barely able to make his ends meet. But when he moved to the U.S. he came with a mindset to become one of the largest entrepreneur and today #TeslaMotors and #SpaceX (the two companies that he started, if you have the time, read about these companies) has made him one of the richest and most successful #businessmen.

    In business, it’s all about passion, positivity and believing it from within !! What you think in your mind, you become it.

    In the nutshell we all grow in life but options of maturity and positivity are left to us, my mother who defied the cancer institute and Mr. #ElonMusk for becoming the man he came to become.

    So the real growth in life is what you choose to grow in your mind!! 

    Good luck and seed your thought carefully!


    May 19, 2015 • Inspirations, Motivation • Views: 4019