Article: Welspun Corp CEO Vipul Mathur on grooming employees for leadership roles

Leadership

Welspun Corp CEO Vipul Mathur on grooming employees for leadership roles

Vipul Mathur highlights the importance of recognizing talent and motivating them to grow.
Welspun Corp CEO Vipul Mathur on grooming employees for leadership roles

A constantly evolving and transforming company like Welspun believes in instilling a philosophy of grooming and developing leaders of tomorrow to undertake future roles, says Vipul Mathur, MD and CEO, Welspun Corp, a globally recognised leader in the businesses of Line Pipes, ductile iron pipes, stainless steel pipes, TMT rebars, and water storage tanks under the iconic brand name, Sintex

Mathur emphasises that for an organisation to transform over a sustained period, leaders must ensure an ambitious, inspiring, and well-defined vision for the teams. Welspun currently employs more than 30,000+ employees in over 50 countries.

So how a conglomerate like Welspun Corp is preparing its next generation to take up leadership roles?

With over two decades of experience with Welspun Corp, CEO Vipul Mathur replies, “As a leader, I feel that it is prudent for me to consider every employee as a potential leader.” “They must take the reins of their careers in their own hands and embrace our values of learning, innovation, trust, and endurance to grow personally and professionally.”

He also suggests to keep scanning the horizon for emerging trends and opportunities and keep abreast of the changes in the market and industry landscape.

Here is an edited excerpt of an email interview with Vipul Mathur who firmly believes that a leader needs to lead with integrity, authenticity, and ethical behaviour.

What quality, in your experience, elevates a leader from a good boss to a truly effective leader? How do you instill this in yourself and your team?

Empathy is critical to fostering an inclusive work environment and building a culture of trust. As a leader, one has to empower the team to have the courage to take risks, make tough decisions in the face of adversity, and remove the fear of failure. This is possible with open and honest communication with teams and continuous encouragement to proactively drive ‘difficult’ projects.

Also, I believe a well-acknowledged team is a highly motivated team. Recognising achievers in your team keeps them motivated to keep outperforming and also fosters a culture of continuous improvement. While we keep achieving new milestones and grow exponentially as an organisation, it is equally important to recognise our talent and motivate them to grow.

Can you highlight a recent strategic decision that exemplifies Welspun Corp’s adaptation to industry disruption?

We have been going through a transformational journey. From a pure B2B player, we are now making inroads into B2C segment as well through our foray into the building materials segment. Also, our investments are aimed towards achieving leadership positioning in most of our businesses while reducing volatility in our operational and financial performances.

I would like to highlight a couple of our strategic decisions in this context. Our foray into the ductile iron pipes business and acquisition of the iconic brand, Sintex are aimed to tap the potential of the exponentially growing water segment. Ductile iron pipes is a sunrise industry consisting of both bigger established players with larger capacities and unorganised players at lower price points. Our strong execution capabilities and focus on quality ensured that we ramped up within the first year of business and established ourselves as a credible player in the industry in a short period. Backed by strong growth opportunity and faster market penetration we are now further expanding our manufacturing capacity in Anjar, Gujarat and we are also setting up a new facility in the Middle East.

Sintex is an iconic national brand and synonymous with water storage tanks. Our focus has been on repositioning the brand in the market and we have redesigned our engagement programs with our distribution channel partners, who are the key influencers in this business. We have witnessed successful new launches for Sintex at attractive price points that validates our premiumisation story. We are also foraying into CPVC, UPVC, HDPE and OPVC pipes which is further expected to leverage Sintex brand value.

What specific initiatives are you implementing to cultivate a culture of innovation at Welspun?

Innovation is one of the core values for us at Welspun. Our industry demands innovation, and we keep witnessing an inventive spirit that runs through our teams at our factories. These innovative minds will ensure that we stay competitive and also sustain our position as leaders in the industries that we operate in. Leaders have to ensure we foster an environment that encourages creativity and innovation.

As a leader, one has to set clear expectations with their teams, provide support and mentoring, create a safe space for experimentation, encourage cross-functional collaboration, empower teams to take decisions, and invest in technology and infrastructure. As an organisation, Welspun Corp encourages its people to keep acquiring new knowledge, refine their skills, and adapt to change. Curiosity and passion for learning is what propels us forward as an organization. Learning is another core value for us, and our L&D initiatives further ensure that we cultivate a culture of innovation at Welspun Corp.

How is Welspun Corp preparing its workforce for the changing demands of the industry, particularly with regard to automation and technological advancements?

As a continuous adopter of innovative methods and technology, Welspun Corp is fast achieving a complete digital transformation in its operations through automation to reduce human intervention, thereby promoting efficient & safer practices at all its factories. We are a process-driven organisation, and our key focus areas for digitisation include management dashboards, throughput enhancement, and data-driven decision-making. We have been using digital platforms and distribution channels for marketing our products to the end consumers and this is a testimony to our approach of adapting to technological innovation.

We are continuously assessing the current skills of our people and mapping them with the future needs of the industry to ensure that we bridge gaps, if any. Employees are offered continuous learning opportunities, reskilling and upskilling programs, and clear pathways are created for technological roles. We are aware that this is a long journey and we are committed to achieving the identified outcomes. 

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Topics: Leadership, Assessments, Culture, #TechHRIN

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