Thought Cast

The SPJIMR Podcast, -  ThoughtCast - brings to the listener challenging news ideas, management wisdom and practice-oriented leadership lessons. Taking forward the SPJIMR motto of thought leadership, the series showcases the 'influencing practice' principle of the institute. Each episode features an expert SPJIMR faculty in conversation with a senior industry leader on management and business.

 

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Newspapers will always remain the most credible source of news

This episode of the podcast is a conversation between Mr. Partha Sinha, President at Bennett, Coleman & Company Limited (Times of India Group) and Prof. Vineeta Dwivedi, Head Digital Communications at SPJIMR. Mr. Sinha reflects on his journey from being a nuclear design engineer, a banker, a strategy and marketing head of media and internet companies, and an advertising strategist. 

Mr. Sinha dismisses doomsday predictions for the newspaper industry. He says the importance of news and newspapers in shaping independent thought in society will stay forever as no other medium has the kind of source credibility. He also explains why Covid was the best possible management consultant for companies globally. He also talks about the Advertising industry and why it is still underrated. Prof. Dwivedi and Mr. Sinha discuss his passion for sports, books and having an area of passion other than work. They round off the conversation by talking about data disruption and he explains why the information superhighway has turned into a ‘prejudices and biases’ superhighway.

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Play your game as if there is room for only one

How did a talented cricketer, coached by none other than Ramakant Achrekar, start his entrepreneurial journey at the age of 23 and go on to become one of India’s most successful bankers?

Mr. Uday Kotak, Managing Director and CEO of Kotak Mahindra Bank (KMB) in this riveting conversation with Dr. Tulsi Jayakumar, Professor of Economics and Chairperson of the Family Managed Business Programme at SPJIMR, talks about his entrepreneurial journey and the human mantras that he follows that has led to his success. They discuss the 3 M’s that shaped his childhood – Maa, Maths and Mania for Cricket, how cricket shaped the future banker in Mr. Kotak, how Mr. Anand Mahindra’s name came to be part of KMB, why ‘professional entrepreneurship’ is a key term for the present and future of the entrepreneurial ecosystem, and why ‘Winner-Takes-All’ might eventually trump ‘Coopetition’. They also talk about KMB’s JV with Goldman Sachs, the eventual parting of ways and his 7-year pursuit of ING Vysya. Mr. Kotak also shares his views on the future of banks and banking and gives advice to the layman on how to decide where to park his/her money and talks about what keeps him awake at night.

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Young managers should learn about the difference between a papaya and a banyan tree

Mr. Amit Jain, Managing Director of L’Oreal in conversation with Dr. Tulsi Jayakumar, Professor of Economics and Chairperson of Family Managed Business at SPJIMR, reflects on a leadership journey that has seen him helm companies across industries - paint and chemicals, soft drinks, media, cosmetics – and made him a truly fungible leader. Growing up in various Air Force bases across the length and breadth of India has instilled in him certain qualities essential to successful business leaders – adaptability, appreciation of diversity and cultural sensitivity. In this enthralling conversation, they discuss why in critical markets like India, ‘differentiate or die’ holds true, why Indian leaders are always resilient, how every individual and corporate can play a part in the battle against climate change, and how beauty is diverse, eternal and is a sentiment. They end the conversation with Mr. Jain talking about what budding managers can learn from the movie ‘3 Idiots’ and why it is important for them to learn the difference between a papaya and a banyan tree.

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Don’t wait for the storm to blow away, instead learn to dance in the rain

Mr Deepak Iyer, President of Mondelez India talks to SPJIMR Professor Dr Ashita Aggarwal about why it is important for leaders to plan well in advance of a crisis, enable an innovative and growth mindset in organizations, remain invested in brands and employees during crises and how to take advantage of a Black Swan event such as a pandemic to retool the organization. They talk about the myth of large companies not being agile, the ‘Snacking Made Right’ principle of Mondelez, the value of comfort food in times of strife, the ‘Cadbury tree’, the three megatrends that we are likely to see during the new normal and the steps the company is taking towards sustainability. They round off the conversation by talking about the power of dreaming big and his fond memories and learnings from his days as a student at SPJIMR that helped shape his career. 

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The 3 Leadership Principles to Triumph over Crises.

Mr. Sanjiv Mehta, Chairman and Managing Director at Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) in conversation with SPJIMR Executive-In-Residence, noted author and corporate advisor, Mr R Gopalakrishnan talks about how the Bhopal Gas Tragedy crisis turned him from a “boy to a man”, and how the experience helped him as a leader to navigate various other crises such as the Arab Spring in the MENA countries, the introduction of GST and Demonetization in India and the ongoing Covid19 Pandemic. With examples from their own career, the two corporate gurus explain the principles of Corporate Leadership - ‘De-Averaging’, ‘And’, and 'Sense-Making' and why Sense-Making is a survival trait for leaders, managers and organizations during a crisis. They also emphasize the need to be in sync with the nuances of different cultures worldwide to be successful as an international manager. They end the conversation with a discussion on HUL’s prominent position in the global Unilever family.

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Company culture fosters innovation.

In this episode of the podcast, Mr. Bharat Puri, Managing Director and CEO of Pidilite Industries Limited and SPJIMR Former Dean Dr. Ranjan Banerjee, talk about the links between an organization’s culture and its innovation capabilities, the importance of a leader listening to every last voice in a company and the role of an organization’s leadership in a crisis such as a pandemic. Mr. Puri gives a comprehensive overview of how Pidilite tackled the effects of the Covid19 pandemic and lockdown on its businesses and spells out the 3 guiding principles a leader should follow while communicating during a crisis. He also compares and contrasts the operating models of MNCs and Family Managed Businesses. They end the conversation by talking about how to mentor and nurture future leaders.

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Continued Employee Engagement is a Vaccination Against Future Crisis.

Mr Suresh Narayanan, Nestle India Limited’s Chairman and Managing Director, talks about how it was his employees who helped the company survive the Maggi crisis in India, the importance of highly engaged employees in companies at all times and his conviction that well-run companies need to invest more in building a company culture than in CAPX. His insightful discussion about People and Leadership with SPJIMR Executive-In-Residence, noted author and corporate advisor, Mr R Gopalakrishnan also stresses on why being people sensitive is the hallmark of a true leader, the dangers of being blindsided by consumer market research and the role of a CEO in succession planning in companies.  

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