16 July 2021
Mr. Pushkaraj Shenai, CEO, Lakme Lever shares candid thoughts on Leadership, Life and Lessons
1. Leadership – Nature or Nurture?
40% nature, 60% nurture and learning. To be a good leader, it is important to be ethical, fair, humble and constructive, while continuing to learn from experiences and people.
2. One aspect that makes you passionate about your role at Lakmé Lever?
That we strive hard to help every stakeholder discover the best version of themselves - to look good, feel great, and be inspired.
3. Important influences in your career?
Studying architecture equipped me with a decision-making algorithm that balances logic and magic; My foundation years at Hindustan Lever taught me the importance of ethics and resilience; Working closely with one of India’s most respected entrepreneurs Ajay Piramal who taught me to take risks with equanimity.
4. Key pandemic lessons for organizations?
An organisation is about human connection - the bond between employees, partners and clients surpasses all else. * Battles are won in the mind before they are played on the field. Understanding the customer’s comfort & need for safety, consistently improving the customer journey, and planning well in advance.* Collaboration is more important than competition. If the industry grows, so do we. To that end, we have formed the Beauty and Wellness Association of India (BWAI) with other key players to present a united front to the government and share best practices on safety and customer satisfaction.
5. Business ethos you live by?
The purpose of business is to be a force for good and elevate the community it serves. The more a community benefits from the services you provide and the change you bring, the more your business will grow. Our team’s core value “One Step Higher” nudges us to believe that dissatisfaction is a virtue -- never be satisfied or become complacent, always strive to be better than you were yesterday.
6. One disruption likely to change the face of the domestic beauty market?
Customization is the name of the game today. Being able to scale this up and make it affordable will likely disrupt the beauty market, encourage players to focus on quality, and benefit all stakeholders involved.
7. One must read book that you recommend for success?
Ayn Rand’s Fountainhead. It’s a semi-fictional story of an architect who sets his own standards and doesn’t compromise in the face of social, economic and emotional pressures.Rand brings to life her philosophy of "Objectivism", which celebrates ‘the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute". It’s a book that is replete with life lessons, which I believe can help people change their perspective and live fuller lives.
8. If not in the cosmetics industry, then where?
A sector where I can make a difference to a large number of people, be it commercial, government or non profit, maybe in education, nutrition, healthcare or sustainability.