Abhinav Jain

Abhinav Jain is Partner at Gaja Capital, one of India’s leading mid-market PE firm having joined the firm in 2008. He has over 15 years of experience in India’s financial services sector including private equity, commercial banking and accounting. At Gaja Capital, he is responsible for transactions, investor relations, deals execution and overall portfolio management. Prior to Gaja Capital, he worked as a credit risk analyst at ICICI Bank and as an accountant at a CA firm in Mumbai for about 24 months.  

He holds an MBA from Indian School of Business, Hyderabad. Abhinav is a rank holder Chartered Accountant and Company Secretary. 

He is a ardent cricket follower and enjoys travelling with his wife and son across the country and the world.  

Our Exclusive Interview:

1. What does Leadership mean to you?

Leadership is about being able to influence a team/group of humans with the objective of achieving common goals. It involves making right and difficult decisions/choices in every step of moving towards the group’s objectives. 

2. It is said that a leader is as good or as bad as his/ her team. Do you agree? Why?

My belief is actually the other way around. The team is defined by the leader. A great leader will always be able to make wonders with an ordinary team. A leader should be able to motivate his team enough to make wonders.     

3. It is said that a leader is as good or as bad as his/ her team. Do you agree? Why?

My belief is actually the other way around. The team is defined by the leader. A great leader will always be able to make wonders with an ordinary team. A leader should be able to motivate his team enough to make wonders.      

4. Have you struggled with work-life balance? How did you handle it? How do you handle it even now?

I believe in work-life harmony more than work-life balance. In today’s work where work goes along with you wherever one goes (on mobile phone and laptop) it is important that one is able to switch on and off from work and personal life in a continuum. Today’s customers, bosses, investors are global and expect their clients, employees or management team to be able to respond on real time basis. At the same time family, friends and oneself are important and should not neglected and given full importance while not at work.  

5. How can leaders influence their team and other employees in the organisation to achieve the objectives of the organisation?

The first thing that leaders can influence their team is by making the objectives absolutely clear and making sure the team has understood the objectives as well. The second most important thing is to then create an environment that ensures achievement of the objectives. If these two are taken care of then most goals are achievable.    

6. What is the key factor that is needed in building great leaders in India Inc.? Do you think any intervention is required in the process?

Indian society has the tendency to make heroes out of its leaders. To create great leaders in India the hero worship culture needs to reduce. One of the key factors to do it is by creating/promoting more and more leaders. Media, education, organization have all role to play if this has to happen. 

7. What are you most proud of in your organisation? How did you go about achieving it and ensuring it sustainability?

Our organisation’s meritocratic culture is the most important point for me. We have strict rules about not allowing entitlement culture to seep into the organisation. The organization allows for entry-level employees to have a path to becoming a partner subject to performance.    

8.What matters to you the most – loyalty of your employees or loyalty to your customers/ clients?

I believe if employees are happy customers are happy as well. If your employees are loyal, the customers are serviced well and if customers are services well, they are loyal. 

9.How important is an intellectual exchange for you? How do you seek it, and where?

Intellectual exchange is very important but sometimes overrated I feel. While ideas flowing and being discussed are important, I think the difference between a good idea and a good business is the execution of it. So one needs to balance execution with the intellectual exchange. I try and seek intellectual exchange in regular working discussions rather than doing it as a separate dedicated activity.  

Know the Person

  1. Money to you is means to fulfill the needs of life.
  2. Your favourite film is ? Dilwale Dulhania Le Jaayenge  
  3. Your favourite food is?  Daal Baati  
  4. Your favourite film star (male) is ? Akshay Kumar
  5. Your favourite film star (female) is?  Alia Bhat
  6. Your favourite holiday destination is ? Lonavala  
  7. Friendship to you is? space where you can be yourself without inhibitions. 
  8. The person you admire the most is? Deepak Parekh, HDFC
  9. Your dream is? to keep dreaming
  10. Your best-kept secret is? academic failures I have had in life. They get overshadowed by other academic achievements.    
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