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If The Idea Is Not Working, For Example Demonetisation, Don't Blame On Execution: Rajiv Bajaj

Focus on where you are, what your capabilities are and where you want to be

Photo Credit : Subhabrata Das

"If the solution or the idea is right, it will go like a hot knife through butter... If the idea is not working, for example demonetisation, don't blame on execution. I think your idea itself is wrong," Rajiv Bajaj, managing director, Bajaj Auto said at the annual Nasscom India Leadership Forum (NIFL) in Mumbai on Thursday (February 16). Bajaj’s comment was in the back-drop of the adverse impact of note ban continuing to hamper two-wheeler sales.

To keep things simple, Bajaj said, “businesses need to look inside before they look outside.” He also stressed on the ‘D-Factor,’ a differentiating factor that would set a business apart from its competition, as well as on aligning a business’s structure, resources and capabilities to achieve one’s goal. At Bajaj, initially, our R&D was zero. Slowly, beginning with a small team, we started developing our own R&D capability. “Today, we are a high-tech motorcycle company,” he observed.

Uncertainty is rife in a rapidly changing digital world. “You can either get cosy and comfortable and get disrupted, or you can choose to disrupt,” said Dinesh Malkani, President, Cisco India.

“If you don’t have a bold plan for the future, your business will get commoditised,” warned Malkani, referring to the need to be agile. “As a leader, you need to be in close contact with your customers and constantly think about the changes you need to implement to stay ahead of the curve. At the same time, don’t have sleepless nights. You need a healthy sense of paranoia,” he said.

The need for shareholders to see short-term, quarterly targets being met or the ‘P&L pressures’ can, however come in the way when trying to create capabilities for the long term.

Rishad Premji, Chief Strategy Officer, Wipro however, felt that as long as leaders clearly communicate their journey and strategy to shareholders, the need to differentiate between short-term and long-term targets would not arise.

The panel discussion titled ‘Simplifying to Amplify in a Disruptive Economy’ at the Nasscom India Leadership Forum 2017 wrapped up - “Focus on where you are, what your capabilities are and where you want to be.” The need to focus on business fundamentals was a unifying theme among the panelists, clearly.

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