Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Leadership in India: Insights from Top B.Com Colleges in Greater Noida

The top B.Com colleges in Greater Noida make all out efforts to groom students towards the achievement of career goals. This act of grooming requires more than a laser focus on academics. At Ishan Institute of Management & Technology, one of the top commerce colleges in Greater Noida the academic community has deliberated upon leadership and the way it is practiced and projected in India. Leadership has always been and will continue to be one of the most important elements of corporate success. For that matter leadership in India has slowly but steadily undergone a sea change in the last two decades. S such India is a young free market economy and has not had the luxury of time to learn leadership amidst the backdrop of economic growth having already been achieved. Leadership in India was one of the enablers of economic growth in the last two decades and for the economic growth momentum to sustain itself, it shall have to be an “essay in persuasion”.

For that matter some of the greatest chroniclers of leadership issues in the world have agreed on the fact that the Indian way of leadership is different from the West. A book published by researchers Harbir Singh, Peter Cappelli and Michael Useem called the “The India Way” has listed some of the unique characteristic features of Indian leadership. More than just leadership styles of the leaders themselves, it is the impact of the leadership on people that is much more of a brand differentiator in this context. Let us take a look at some of these unique aspects of Indian leadership.

Inverting the Organizational Pyramid

Stories of Indian leadership are full of legends that state the inversion of the organizational pyramid and destruction of the office of the CEO. To this extent, Vineent Nayar of HCL Technologies and N.R.Narayana Murthy of Infosys are both role models. N.RNarayana Murthy, one of the founders and principal share holders of Infosys lives a very modest life. He lives in a three bedroom flat in Bangalore with his family, travels in a family car, and spends time on higher education initiatives of the world’s top business schools and universities. In fact he also has been seen to do the chores of his household. Vineet Nayar transformed the Indian leadership with his approach towards 360 degree performance appraisals at HCL Technologies. Subordinates were asked to rate the performance of their bosses and even their bosses’ bosses. In doing so he set the record straight by making the top management accountable to the middle level and the middle level to the operations level.

Empowering Through Communication

India is a cricket crazy country and it is not very surprising to note that one of India’s most successful cricket captains, Sourav Ganguly was invited to IIM Calcutta to deliver a guest lecture on leadership. In his address Ganguly emphasised the practice of empowering his team mates through communication. In his playing days Ganguly was a hand that could crack the whip and pat the back of the boys both at the same time. First he did what he said at team meetings. This created trust and meant that the boys took his words seriously and that plans made were implemented. Second, he believed in communicating not passing instructions. Again this resonates with the practice of Vineet Nayar of HCL Technologies as well. Nayar incorporated the practice of decision making at the point where it must take place, i.e. at the point where the corporation met the customer. His job was to empower his teammates with resources to do the job without interfering in their work. It was the same with Ganguly. If an Irfan Pathan  was getting whacked by an Adam Gilchrist or Hayden, Ganguly would walk up to Pathan, talk to him, pat his back, take him into confidence, ask for Pathan’s tactics of line and length to allow the batsman to commit a mistake and set the field to the liking of  Pathan. Bowling was Pathan’s job. Ganguly was a resource provider.

In India Leaders are Born not Made

There are two types of leaders depending upon whether they were born or made. Born leaders are instinctive. Made leaders are meticulous. The West produces leaders who rely on strategic planning, big data, team meetings and presentations and essentially codified form of knowledge resources. On the contrary in India, leaders are instinctive. Their decision making evolves from the coordinates of a situation like time, space and scale. Knowledge exists in silos of institutional memory, applications, files and personal computers. The instinct is born out of experience and hence the Indian leader gets better with more experience because of the learning that is involved.

People as the Source of Competitive Advantage

In India people are looked upon as and developed as a source of competitive advantage by the leaders. The focus on staff development, training and development, people engagement and the practice of going beyond professional talk to share their personal issues affecting performance sets Indian leaders apart. This makes people in Indian enterprises feel at home and put their best efforts for organizational success. On the contrary in the West, leaders restrict themselves to highly professional meetings. People do not open up to their leaders and hence many pieces of business intelligence are lost or buried under the stacks of files and applications.

At Ishan Institute of Management & Technology, one of the top B.Com colleges in Greater Noida we groom leaders of tomorrow. Our academic pedagogy is delivered through a system designed to bring out leadership qualities in students.