“The Clock Is Always Slow; It Is Later Than You Think” – BusinessToday

Clipped from: https://www.businesstoday.in/magazine/leadership-spotlight/story/the-clock-is-always-slow-it-is-later-than-you-think-307630-2021-09-25

Anuj Poddar, Executive Director, Bajaj Electricals

Photograph by Mandar Deodhar

What was the problem you were grappling with?

When I took over the reins of Bajaj Electricals, I realised it needed a turnaround. Within a few months, it became obvious to me that piecemeal fixes won’t work. It required a major overhaul. Although as chief executive I had all the powers to make the changes, resistance to change came from all quarters and stakeholders. Undaunted, I pushed forward the change agenda, but soon earned an image of being impatient, aggressive and over-demanding! I had conviction, but reactions and pushbacks do impact one’s energy — this led to occasional bouts of reflection/doubt about how my actions were being perceived and understood.

Who did you approach and why?

A year down the line, I approached Rajiv Bajaj. He is a treasure trove of profound and succinct wisdom. His clarity and conviction of thought are exceptional.

What was the advice you received?

He asked me to neither waver nor slow down. One of his many gems to me is a quote by Robert W. Service: “Ah! the clock is always slow; it is later than you think.” He shared the story of the revamp that he had driven at Bajaj Auto several years ago and how he overcame the challenges that I was now facing.

How effective was it in resolving the problem?

Rajiv’s support, counsel and anecdotes have been invaluable in helping me push forward the transformation agenda. As long as I have conviction that my actions are good for the organisation and its various stakeholders, I drive them forward. I believe nothing is painless. If we have to treat and heal our body, we have to be able to endure some pain.

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