Behind the strategy: Excerpts from the latest Leader Speak

Highlights from Dr. Anish Shah and Amarjyoti Barua's exclusive Leader Speak session at Mahindra Towers in Mumbai on November 27, 2023, which saw 2000+ attendees.

At the recently concluded Leader Speak session Dr Anish Shah, MD and CEO of Mahindra Group shared business updates and strategic priorities. This was followed by a conversation with Amarjyoti Barua, Executive Vice President - Group Strategy. Amar Barua is a member of Group Executive Board.

A seasoned professional with 24 years of experience, Mr Barua shared insights into the current business landscape and his journey over the past six months at the organisation. During the conversation with Dr. Anish Shah, MD and CEO of the Mahindra Group, Amarjyoti delved into various topics, sharing personal experiences from different countries, insights on leadership, and the strategic direction for Mahindra.

Explore his optimistic perspective as he looks back on his half-year tenure, delving into the welcoming company culture and its pivotal role in shaping a thriving business environment.

The strategy catalyst

Coming from a strong finance background, Amarjyoti leads the Group Strategy Office and works closely with the Group’s overall portfolio of businesses. Comprising a team of 20 individuals, each equipped with a robust consulting background and diverse experiences spanning five to 12 years, the Group Strategy Office stands as a formidable force within Mahindra. “Our core mission is to drive the strategic advancement of various Group companies, meticulously charting the most optimal paths forward,” he explains.

Identifying opportunities

He emphasises that the current consumer landscape is unparalleled, offering a plethora of opportunities. Acknowledging the thriving ecosystem of startups, coupled with abundant talent pools, he contends that there is no impediment to aspiring to become the foremost entity in the industry—“the biggest, the best, and the epitome of aspiration. We can aspire for more.”

He further underscores the importance of delving deeper into the actionable strategies, advocating for a nuanced understanding of the aspirations. “The Group is slowly learning the art of incorporating input metrics to know if we are on track,” he says.

Investor relations

Contrary to the misconception that Investor Relations is solely about conveying facts and figures, he contends that it is the voice of the entire organisation and its strategic vision. Drawing from a senior fund manager’s wisdom, he unveils key lessons for investors—the "say-do" principle. “That’s the one thing smart investors look at: the ability to turn what you are saying into action and deliver that,” he mentions.

Learnings on leadership and mental health

Reflecting on his earlier years, Amarjyoti candidly admits that he lacked a calm demeanour. Recognising the limitations of this approach, he emphasises the importance of adapting to the varied paces at every organisational level.

His second key lesson revolves on focussing on manageable aspects, helping him navigate challenges with a greater sense of calmness.

The human side of his leadership

Beyond the realm of professional obligations, he unveils a more lighthearted side, showcasing a penchant for classic Bollywood songs in his music preferences. His culinary tastes reflect a penchant for Asian, Thai, and Japanese cuisines, with a focus on healthy food choices developed over the years. This multifaceted persona contributes to the well-rounded leadership approach that he brings to his role.

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