In early October, a team from Congruent registered as delegates to attend an entrepreneurship conference TiECON Chennai 2018. This year, the well-known event drew several distinguished speakers who shared their thoughts and insights on a wide range of topics.

All of us attended several sessions through the day, on Saturday, October 6th. We heard entrepreneurs and company leaders share their experiences of starting their businesses, the mistakes they made, lessons learnt and much more. There were so many nuggets of wisdom that we could pick up through all the sessions, which I found interesting and thought-provoking.

I’d like to share a few takeaways from two of the sessions.

In a session titled ‘Win the culture – win the war’, Bharath Krishna Sankar, Chairman, Aparajitha Corporate Services Ltd, spoke about how “character” is an important ingredient for being a successful leader. He spoke about how the actions of the leader have a direct impact on the work culture in the organization.

Comparing the enterprise to a ship, he said both the captain and the compass are very important. A “competent chief” (of a company) is like the captain of the ship, while the “culture, based on character” serves as the compass.

Culture, he said, is the “cause and effect of behaviour” adding that the leader should also be a good role model. To earn trust, the leader should “walk the talk”.

In another interesting session, P C Mustafa, CEO of iD Fresh Food, spoke about the importance of building and gaining the trust of customers.

He spoke about how his company innovated by setting up ‘Trust Shops’ – unmanned outlets stocked with their products, with no CCTV cameras, where customers could simply pick up the product and drop the money in a box later. He recalled that they got a positive response and more importantly “great mileage” from this initiative. However, there were dampening moments too – in one particular outlet, a customer paid for items he picked up, with Monopoly money! The customer did this a few times and when he realized he wasn’t being called out by the company, the next time, he left a note apologizing for his actions, and paid the exact amount due.

Date Published: October 26, 2018

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