first_imgOn a day filled with sports stars and Bollywood celebrities, a straight-talking, yet affable businessman very nearly stole the show. Vineet Nayar, vice-chairman and CEO of HCL Technologies, had the crowd’s attention the moment he danced out on stage to the introductory music at the India Today Mind Rocks Youth Summit 2012.After warming up the crowd with a few jokes, he talked about the qualities one needs to be successful. Among them: knowing from where you’re beginning, seeing opportunities in imperfection, understanding what drives change and finally, figuring out what your role in society is.He added that the beauty of India was that it was imperfect and broken. This, he said, gave Indians the opportunities to experience hardships which made it easier for them to succeed when they worked in environments where things ran smoothly. He added that these imperfections also presented entrepreneurs with tremendous opportunities as they were all problems that were crying out for a fix.Vineet Nayar at the India Today Mind Rocks Youth Summit 2012.On a question from a young delegate about the adverse PR impact on India from the Rajat Gupta insider trading scandal, Nayar said it would be wrong to focus on the wrong Gupta did. Instead, he said it was important to figure out lessons from the case and raise one’s ethical standards. “This,” he said, “is what helps society evolve”.When asked whether the Indian IT industry was guilty of lack of innovation, Nayar turned the question on its head. “Don’t ape growth models of the West,” he responded. “If we’ve created a $50 billion industry and employ 3 million people, we’re doing something right. Maybe executing well is our growth model.”Several young people in the audience also asked about career paths. Nayar had simple advice. He said it was good to work hard, but this was not enough. Using the example of Mahendra Singh Dhoni, he explained that it was just as important to have a burning desire to do something. “Find what your burning desire is and you’ll forget to even eat,” he said. He added a note of caution here, saying working “9-to-9” was not necessarily better than working 9-to-5. “What matters more is the productivity and output during those hours.”On a related question, about what it takes to become a CEO, he responded saying wanting to be a CEO was not the right way to look at it. “Ask yourself what you will do after you become the CEO. If people around you like your vision then you will be CEO one day. Also, ask ‘what’s different about me and what price am I willing to pay, what risks am I willing to take to get there.’ “advertisementlast_img

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