An accomplished and result oriented leader with 25+ years of experience in setting up and scaling organisations across Retail & Supply Chain. Atul’s entrepreneurial & corporate experience combined with a growth mindset comes as an added advantage in understanding both sides of any business. An inspirational leader, Atul’s coaching & mentoring style of leadership has made him a front runner for attracting and retaining top talent across the industry. He wins hearts by his sense of fair play and compassion. An avid golfer, Atul’s mantra in life is ‘Answer yourself and the rest will fall in place’
Our Exclusive Interview:
1. What does Leadership mean to you?
Leadership is the ability to inspire others to achieve their potential. It is the ability to extract the best out of an individual without pushing for s/he to do so. Leadership is reflected and followed across different spectrums of a leader’s life.
2. How do you keep your team motivated?
By leading from the front, giving respect, empathising with the individual and fairplay.
3. It is said that a leader is as good or as bad as his/ her team. Do you agree? Why?
Yes, agree. The team is the reflection of the leader’s ability to understand their potential, creativity and perform without any fear / pre-concieved notions. The individuals often end up doing things the way they see it happening in the system to become a part of it. If, as a leader you are able to demonstrate fairplay, compassion and an inclusive culture, very often you will see your team taking on to it.
4. How do you delegate responsibility? What is your mantra for making your team accountable?
Delegating responsibility is one of the most difficult aspects in an individual’s professional life. This comes at the fear of becoming dispensible, losing out on importance and risk of non-performance. However, I have strongly believed in delegating responsibilities to colleagues for their growth & understanding and in-turn my own. Further, it is extremely important to delegate authority along with the responsibility to ensure the person’s success by implementing a governance mechanism. A bit of direction pointing is also the key to ensure successful completion of the given tasks.
5. Have you struggled with work-life balance? How did you handle it? How do you handle it even now?
Initial years – yes. Growth years – even more. To be honest, this was a big concern at one stage in my life and as it is natural phenomena, the expectations and demand at both personal and professional fronts touch their peak at a similar juncture in life. However, the mantra lies in being able to live up to the expectations of both the spheres in parallel.
Now, I am definitely able to strike a better balance between the two and I would like to give the credit to my team members for a large part of this. Initial years in grooming them and helping them actualize their potential has helped taken away a lot of stuff from my plate and is paying dividends now.
6. How do you define your vision for your organisation?
Our vision is to create an environment which is positive, healthy and happy for everyone; there is a high level of belongingness and a culture to bring out your best. Exceed expectations of shareholders, stakeholders and customers. Deliver the best-in-class experience and stand apart, out there in the crowded marketplace.
7. What are you most proud of in your organisation? How did you go about achieving it and ensuring it sustainability?
Trust, openness, fairplay and belongingness of every employee. We could achieve it through our actions and our attitude towards the workforce at all levels. By making sure that EQ is given equal or more importance than IQ as we are in the people’s business and building an emotional connect and trust is extremely important for us. Also, IQ is something that can be learnt, but EQ is the basic attitude which comes alive by being in the right place. Sustainability is not a challenge as that is the culture of the orgainsation now perculated to the lowest levels in the system.
8. What matters to you the most – loyalty of your employees or loyalty to your customers/ clients?
These are inter-connected from where I look at it. Again, it is about the culture that you build from the top and it perculates down to every member of the organisation, which in-turn they only ensure of the customers by providing them the right service and experience.
Know the Person
- Money to you is important but not everything
- Your favourite film is Chak De
- Your favourite food is Oriental
- Your favourite film star (male) is Aamir Khan
- Your favourite film star (female) is Kajol
- Your favourite holiday destination is Hills or US
- Friendship to you is most treasured relation in life
- The person you admire the most is my Dad for his discipline and professional commitment, PM Modi for his dedication, Ratan Tata for his humility and likewise different individuals for different qualities. Very difficult to point out any one. something unique.
- Your dream is to leave a legacy in the field where we are operating and be known for something unique.
- Your best-kept secret is I am a very transparent person and hence no secrets.