Article: The journey of CXOs in India – Where are they and what to expect?

Talent Management

The journey of CXOs in India – Where are they and what to expect?

As part of the ten year celebration of CCL in India, the company brought together a host of leaders in Delhi and Mumbai, to discuss and brainstorm ideas on the traits that will define the next generation of leaders.
The journey of CXOs in India – Where are they and what to expect?

We’re living at a time where there’s a ‘grow-at-all-costs’ mentality, even at the cost of human development,” said Elisa Mallis, MD - APAC, Center for Creative Leadership. Speaking at an event celebrating the company’s ten year presence in India, she spoke about how her own travels through the Asia-Pacific region helped her to grow and learn about people. 

In a world where transformation is continuous, and change is the only constant, business leaders need to be able to adapt and grow. Leading the anniversary celebrations was John Ryan, President& CEO of the company, who spoke about how the company grew over the years, as it burgeoned into a global brand.

CXO Research 

The highlight of the evening was the CXO research launch by Anand Chandrasekhar, Senior Research Faculty, CCL & Sunit Mehra, Hunt Partners

As part of the research, Anand highlighted, that key questions were asked of CXOs in order to understand how they were growing in the context of an unpredictable business change. What are their key goals? What competencies do they need? How do they plan to acquire those skills?

Three prime focus areas of CXOs include talent development, leading change and personal growth. On the key skills to develop – the study pointed to the need to develop skills on “guiding others”, “having a comfort level with change”, “initiate and manage change”, “innovate, thing, act”

CXOs, according to the study, need to also focus on ‘experiences that matter’. That means cultivating networks that helps them with a quantum of quality leadership experience. “If I’m here today, what has helped me come here?” asked Anand. “Working with a boss who challenges and supports you will be critical to build a strong leadership profile.” 

Prospective leaders should ask themselves “Which future experiences will make a difference?” 

Speaking about CCL’s journey, G P Rao, an industry leader described CCL’s approach to developing leaders as ‘impactful, visible and long lasting’. He also noted that the company built its own research pedigree, pedagogy and was known for co-creating approaches to talent in partnership with the business.

Maruti Suzuki’s Rajesh Uppal spoke about the changing auto industry and how CCL helped craft a leadership journey for its star performers. He referred to the combination of classroom training, and online engagement that helped the company’s top performers get to the right results. 

Emmanuel David, Director-Tata Management Training Centre talked about how the company leveraged CCL’s content to develop its managers, “With research, one is able to influence thought leadership, together with CCL we’ve published research where the practical “how-to” suggestions are easy to apply”


Expert Panels

The expert panel discussion at the event in Delhi was on “The CXO Growth Story” featuring panelists: John Ryan, President & CEO, Center for Creative Leadership, Sachit Jain, Joint MD, Vardhman Textiles, Harshvendra Soin, Chief People Officer, Tech Mahindra, Bhaskar Pramanik- Board member of the SBI & Sankhya Infotech Ltd, Moderator - Sunil Puri, Head of Research Asia Pacific, Center for Creative Leadership.

The panelists in the Delhi event reflected on their own personal journeys and their experience of working with organizations to create great leaders. Here are a few key takeaways:

“It took me 15 years to figure out my boss,” said Sachit Jain, Joint MD, Vardhman Textiles, while speaking about the need to find the right synergies at the leadership level.

“We aren’t born with courage, we are born with innate fears. Courage is about facing fears and overcoming them. And fear is something you want to watch out for front and center. We overcome fears with time.”

“You need to be able to hyper personalize,” said Harshvender Soin. “At the end of the day, it is about purposefulness at work”

At the Mumbai event, the panelists for the topic “The CXO Growth Story” included: John Ryan, President & CEO, Center for Creative Leadership, Om Prakash Bhatt, Independent Director – ONGC, Tata Steel, HUL, Yogi Shriram, SVP – HR & Member of the Executive Committee, L&T, Ruchira Bharadwaj, CHRO, Future Generali, Arjun Erry, Partner, Hunt Partners and Moderator - Sunil Puri, Head of Research Asia Pacific, Center for Creative Leadership. Here are a few key takeaways:

Recounting his early days as a branch manager in the 1980s, Om Bhatt spoke about his own realization while managing conflicts, “There is always a small common ground, and my approach has been to build on it, throughout my whole career.”

“Standing up for oneself in the face of adversity with conviction is critical for an HR professional” Yogi said. “If your argument has conviction, and shows you aren’t stubborn, irrespective of the size of the organization, you can accomplish anything.”

“We’re hearing clients ask what setbacks an individual has had” Arjun said. “That’s because when things are really going well for you, you aren’t building the muscle of resilience.” 

“If the future of work is going to be dominated by technology, the role of HR would be to understand these shifts. It needs to be done with a digital mindset, learning and resilience” Ruchira said.

The insights from the panelist pointed to the need for a diversity of experience, the need for self-awareness and the need for courage for leaders of tomorrow to be able to successfully navigate a disruptive workplace.

 The evening ended with reflections on the 10 year journey of CCL and a vote of thanks by Muniinder K Anand, MD - India & South Asia, Center for Creative Leadership.

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Topics: Talent Management, Leadership, #Jobs

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