Gyan Prakash

Educational Qualification 
1. B. Tech. (Electrical) with Gold Medal – 1979 – Harcourt Butler Technological Institute, Kanpur.
2. PGDM – with Gold Medal – 1988 – Management Development Institute, Gurgaon.

Professional Experience/Career Movement 
1. Officers’ Training School of Indian Army – 1979
2. Royal Bhutan Engineering College, Bhutan – 1979-80 as Lecturer
3. ONGC, Mumbai – 1980 to 1984, responsible for onshore projects for transportation, measurement and storage of natural gas, oil & LPG. Set up several pipelines, terminals and measurement systems.
4. Gas Authority of India Limited, New Delhi- 1983 to 1995, a member of a task force to implement the prestigious 1700 Km long HBJ pipeline project and other Natural Gas transmission & Distribution projects, development of gas pipeline schemes for new industrial consumers around the HBJ pipeline for distribution of natural gas- completed over 3000 Kms of natural gas pipelines & associated facilities.
5. Dodsal Limited, Mumbai – 1996 to 2003 as Vice President to head their Build Own Operate business, developed Five cross country pipeline systems (over 500 Kms) on BOOT concept for Dodsal and also oversaw implementation of various Pipeline Projects
6. Richanshruti Consultants Private Limited, Mumbai – 2003 onwards as Promoter-Director, completed several consultancy assignments with a wide spectrum of clients like Mahanagar Gas Limited, Dorsch Consultants-Germany, Enercon Energy Systems, Bharat Petroleum, Gammon India, Larsen & Toubro, Niko Resources-Canada, Kalpataru Power Transmission Limited etc.
7. Kalpataru Power Transmission Limited, Mumbai – 2004 onwards – set up Oil & Gas Infrastructure Business as President & CEO, set up over 7500 Kms of Cross Country Pipelines and 180 intermediate stations, terminals, pumping facilities etc., business leader in India for last 5 years.

  • Starting a new business from scratch required immense self-confidence regarding the subject of the business, enormous tenacity, perseverance, determination and abundant patience with all stakeholders – be it employees, promoters, clients, suppliers, financiers or consultants. He succeeded because he had most of these except the required level of patience. He learnt it quickly.
  • Steadily growing it to the leadership position, and then sustaining it requires deeply embedded values driven culture across the organisation. When one starts building an organisation, one brings in people of varied cultural background with varied value system. It is imperative then to enunciate the organisation’s values and persistently inculcate these amongst all members of organisation to create organisation’s own culture. Leading by example and having a policy of zero tolerance of non-compliance in respect of Integrity, Quality and Respect for all provided the foundation.

Exclusive Interview

1. What does Leadership mean to you?

A leader is the one who earns his followers and doesn’t become a leader by virtue of his position in an organization. A leader draws his power from his followers and not from the authority granted to him. True Leader is one, who is highly respected by his team and who inspires the team to excel in whatever they do and take pride in what they do.
Most important aspect for any leader is his practicing of what he preaches. I learnt this from my father and then also noted it consistently across the biographies of many renowned leaders. A principled approach with discipline and full transparency to deal with all and every issue is the next most important aspect of a leader.
This makes him consistent and earns him a lot of respect. Third aspect is his commitment to values, which inter-alia, include personal integrity, pride, respect for all, team-work, quality, safety and customer focus. To lead requires clarity of vision, clarity of enunciation of objectives, adoption of a well agreed & well understood strategy and persistent review of progress regularly to continually devise ways & means to accomplish the targets. I think I learnt these aspects well during my formative years and thereafter through my career progression.

2. How do you keep your team motivated?

For a leader, the next most important aspect is to keep your team motivated to achieve higher & higher goals, year after year, in pursuance of excellence. This requires a transparent, open, engaging and caring organization, which has employee-centric policies with clarity on personal growth, linked to mutually agreed performance levels based on transparent performance measurements. There has to be clarity on performance based pre-determined rewards, thereby creating a healthy atmosphere, higher monetary compensation for higher efficiency/higher performance, maintaining objectivity & focus on Key Performance Indices as well as Key Result Areas. The targets of performance must be difficult but achievable. This motivates people to achieve the targets.
A caring organization ensures that there is a proper work-life balance by creating a happy and lively environment through various entertainment oriented activities involving employees as well as their families for greater involvement, bonding and commitment. A motivating environment takes all of above in the right proportion with shifting emphasis depending upon the call of the hour.

3. What is your mantra for making your team accountable?

A leader never delegates responsibility, but delegates authority. A true leader will take the responsibility of failure but ensure that the credit of success is given to the team, where it truly belongs. This approach takes away the fear of failure from the team members and allows them to work freely.
When a team-member owns a responsibility on his own initiative, such member must also be given the authority to be able to accomplish, what he wants to be responsible for. A leader must ensure that all the team members are enabled to succeed in whatever they own as their responsibility. Human beings want
to perform at their best by nature. The leader enables them to do so by enlightening them about their potential and by facilitating all enablers to be in place. Accountability is best judged by individuals themselves once they have owned the responsibility for a certain task on their own initiative. When the teams are large, then a formal system is developed for documenting the responsibilities owned by various individuals of a team, which includes setting targets by mutual agreement between individual & their team leader and then, monitoring actual performance against the same. It is very important that concrete targets are mutually agreed between team leader and team members through constructive deliberations, in which the team leader makes the individual aware of his potential vis-à-vis the task at hand and the individual applies his own assessment before volunteering a target. Once the members reach a mutually agreeable target, then the leader’s role is to enable the members to succeed in achieving such targets by constantly monitoring progress, hindrances, constraints and working with the team to overcome all hurdles to accomplish the set targets. When the approach is collaborative and the intent of the entire team is to accomplish the task in a time bound manner, then the work becomes an enjoyment and success is ensured.

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

Leaders influence their teams by example of their own conduct. The communication of a clear vision, strategy and objectives, which is developed with the involvement of team members, and transparent systems to ensure meritocracy, care and engagement of all employees, in the back drop of an allencompassing deeply engraved value system leads to an Excellence oriented organisation, which accomplishes the objectives without too much of a struggle.

5. How would you describe your leadership style?

have always believed that people have a very high potential in them, which they themselves are not aware of many a times, till a leader discovers it for them. I also believe that all the people have a value system embedded in them, which has many a common factors. Now, if we create an enabling environment, in which they are made aware of their potential, they are assisted in developing their own as well as team capabilities, their performance is rewarded transparently, there is emotional bonding between the members of a team and the organisation as a whole, there is clarity on objectives, interlinkages, inter-dependance and the goals fitting snugly into the vision, then, any organisation will surely succeed.
In the beginning of my career, I used to authoritative with my team and used to give clear directions for various tasks to be completed by clear delegation of roles & responsibilities. This worked wonders in accomplishing tasks. But gradually, I realised that I was taking too much stress upon myself and that I was undermining the talent of my team–members by doing so. So, I changed my way of leading. I became collaborative. I would now call in the teams and they would volunteer to take up the responsibility of various tasks. We would then mutually agree on time schedule and performance targets and I would monitor closely, guiding and coaching them to achieve targets. Then, I changed my style further, and I focussed on only the enabling factors and created leaders within the organisation to ensure the same. So, now my leadership style can be called transformative.Therefore, as can be seen, the leadership style has to depend upon the situation and maturity of the organisation. But ultimately, it has to become transformational leadership for sustaining a business on long term.

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

There have always been great leaders in India and that is why India has been tenaciously overcoming hurdles, calamities and adversities and is still growing fast. But it is surely important to have more & more leaders to be able to accelerate the growth.A very strong value system inculcated into the individuals at all levels of education is one of the key factors. It enables people to create an environment that is conducive to high performance. The basic values are Integrity & Ethics, Respect for all, Commitment, Quality, Safety and Environment protection.
Another key factor is to believe that all people are richly endowed though their talent may be varied.Formal education on Management is yet another key factor, which works wonders with first two key factors. Such education, which includes a study of behavioural science, enables them to recognise
potential of people. It is for the leaders to recognise their talent, make them aware of their abilities & potential to develop further capabilities and provide them the right environment to perform.

7. How does competition affect your strategies towards your organisation – for productivity, for turnover, for employees?

Competition affects us in re-looking inwards on how we can reduce the costs, how we can operate more efficiently, and how we can improve the productivity. Ultimately, we have to be competitive without compromising on integrity and quality. At times, we decide to reduce our margins to beat the competition so that company continues to get the business and turnover is maintained and employees are engaged.

8.Do you admire any leader? If yes, who? How has he/she influenced your life? 

My first idol was my father, who was revered by all the people around him and I used to be in awe of such adulation. I noticed that his key attributes were his strong value system, his own conduct which was not only for public appearance but in his real life, all through, whether at home or at work, and his resolve to enable people do things which they never would have thought of doing themselves by recognising talent in them. His selfless approach endeared him to one and all. I remember many instances in my childhood in which he would treat children of all class and origin in the same way as he would his own. In fact, at times he may even give more importance to others than his own family members. This would cause a little heartburn to the family but he would timely sense it and explain the situation to the family with lucid reasoning for his conduct and we would admire him for the same.

Know the person

1. Money to you 

Incidental

2. Your favourite film 

Satykaam

3. Your favourite food 

Mughlai

4. Your favourite film star (male) 

Amitabh Bachchan

5. Your favourite film star (female) 

Madhuri Dixit

6. Your favourite holiday destination  

Maldives

7. Friendship to you 

Religion and a life-long wealth

8. Your best kept secret 

not to be revealed yet…

 

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