Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Learnings from the CXO's

The "Meet the CXO's" event organized by the RECAL, Bangalore group was a huge Success !! Not only in terms of participation by Alumni's spread over different batches, but also due to the presence of over 20 CXO's...!!! Apart from the usual netowrking opportunity which such an event presents, we also had few learnings and insights on how the CXO's think ! I would keep the details of the meet to minimum with more focus on the learnings from the CXO's. The event started by 6:45 with a well gathered Alumni strength of 70 members.

Rajan Narayanan(President of RECAL, Bang Chapter) welcomed the audience and gave a brief opening speech. Then he invited Mr.Ramesh who was the Moderator of the Event. After briefly introducing himself Ramesh invited the Panel members to the stage.

Rajan welcoming the Alumni members

The Panel members were:

1)Mr.Praveen -President Intel India,
2) Mr.Chandramouli - Makino,
3) Mr.Ravi - Mercuri Goldman,
4)Mrs.Jessie Paul - Wipro CMO and
5)Mr.Raj Rajkumar-MD,ADC India.


The panel (From left to right) Praveen,Chandramouli,Ramesh(Moderator),Ravi,Jessie,Rajkumar

Apart from the 5 panelists, there were over 20 prominent CXO's among the audience... Quite a cluster of stars !!

The Moderator after asking the Panelist to introduce themselves threw the first question at the Panel.. To what extent did the college life play a role in the shaping their career. I dont remember the exact words said by the Panelists, yet the most iterated and agreed view was that College helped them learn to be independent and taught them what their passion and strength was... If one wants to understand what his strengths are,just assess what things did you really liked doing in college days and on what productive things you spend most of your time.. You will understand what had been your strengths....

The second question put forth was "The important learnings which one experienced in their corporate life". Mr.Praveen was of the view that one doesn't go after a title but after what he likes doing... Its not like you say" I want to be a CEO or a CFO or a COO" and then go and become it.. Its more like you do what you really like, give it all your shot. Money is a byproduct not the main fuel runs you.

Mr.ChandraMouli had to say this: In life one sees both Sunset and Sunrise... Most of us eagerly anticipate for the Sunrise that we forget that the SunSet also teaches us important lessons...

Mr.Ravi had an important thing to share about Business. He said its important to "Build relations out of business and not BUSINESS OUT OF RELATIONS" !!

Mrs.Jessie Paul stressed on the importance of showcasing your talents... Having talents is not a big deal,knowing how to market it is what matters.

Mr.Rajkumar shared the importance of learning's during your bad times and to know how to choose your battle fields.. As much as you learn from a Good boss, a supposedly Bad boss can teach you a lot... According to him, a constant look out for new challenges and stretching out will help you in the long run in learning new things...

After some more discussions, the Panel opened up to the audience for the Q & A session... I dont remember much of the questions, but here are some of the ones which i remember. One question was about the current scenario in which Most of the younger generation seems to have lesser inclination to venture out and take the risk... Will we be seeing a reversal of the scenario and what could be done to encourage the Entrepreneurial spirit. The CXO's were of the opinion that When you get a hefty pay packages , there is little incentive to go out and start something on your own... Its more about your inherent passion to do things,rather than doing something just because of some gain...

Then there was a question of the how to deal with opportunity cost when one chooses to start a business after 10 - 12 years... The answer was about following one's heart and be true to yourself. If the idea really excites yourself ,you will know when to start... And when your passion is for real, you wont think of other factors.You just take the leap and then figure out how to turn things around.

There was another question of "Things not to be done, if you want to become a CXO". The panel had different opinions to that. Few points said were:

  • Follow your heart. Dont go by the title. Dont do something because the monetary benefits are high. Do what you really like doing
  • Ask when you need help. Most people don't ask and hence don't receive.
  • Always ensure your learning curve goes on. A CXO has to be updated with the latest happening around himself.
  • Its all your attitude.. If you think you can, you WILL...
(From left to right) Murli,Praveen,Chandramouli,Ramesh,Rajan,Ravi,Jessie,Rajkumar

That was a brief summary of the Event happenings along with the Learnings from the Panel.Then the group broke for dinner with people interacting with one another....Overall, it was a memorable event which not only provided Gyaan and Fun but also gave us some insights into the minds of the CXO's. To summarise the learnings, Chris Corrigan said it right:

I think the most important CEO task is defining the course that the business will take over the next five or so years. You have to have the ability to see what the business environment might be like a long way out, not just over the coming months. You need to be able to both set a broad direction, and also to take particular decisions along the way that make that broad direction unfold correctly.

P.S: Kudos to Rajan,Ganapathy,Mahesh,Ajay and other Organizers for arranging such a meet...

8 comments:

Writing for Crows said...

I did not understand head or tail in this post. but liked some of your other post. a serious blog here. keep it up.

Prashant Sree said...

@Writing for Crows: Glad that you understoof the body of the post !! Thanks for the appreciation. I appreciate it...

Srikanth said...

Nice to recount all the experience. Sort of documentation of the whole meet. Cheers to you to for arranging the meet. I thought you could have put the one about resolving ambiguities, but wholesome anyway...

Rams said...

I wasn't there but going by the questions and the kind of Panelists you had, it should have been wonderful. The pictures poste by the team was also realy nice.

I have always enjoyed reading your blogs and this is definitely special.

All the best.

Prashant Sree said...

@Srikanth: Thanks Man... There were many more things to be put up, (about the Ruby,Topaz dominance, and the differentiation factor) etc....

But my grey cells refused to cooperate while writing the post. ;)

Prashant Sree said...

@Rams: Thanks a lot Sir... The meeting was indeed memorable.. Looking forward to see you in the upcoming meetings :)

Priya Joyce said...

some very effective questions..and impressive answers to it...


liked the post as always

Prashant Sree said...

@PJ: Thanks Dear for liking the effective questions and the impressive answers !! ;)