‘Leadership is a critical challenge during slowdown’

November 14th, 2008 - 8:18 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, Nov 14 (IANS) Leading people during a slowdown is the most critical challenge facing corporate managers, said a top industry official here Friday. “The task is to lead and not manage people. During upheaval the role of leadership is to make sense of the situation and not just giving directions,” said Shrikrishna Kulkarni, COO of Panasonic India.

In an address at a seminar on ‘Management in Challenging Times’ organised by Loyola Institute of Business Administration, Kulkarni said the sole aim to maximise shareholder’s wealth and lack of leadership at big financial institutions in the US and Europe were the main reasons for their downfall.

Kulkarni, the great grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, did not agree that liquidity is an issue for the industry.

“The bankers have lost trust in the borrowers and are not willing to lend even though the central bank has initiated some monetary measures,” he said.

According to him, the challenge is managing the increased expectations of the unemployed and the sudden collapse of opportunities of growth in all sectors of civil society.

Predicting the recessionary trend to continue for another two to six years, Hinduja Foundries managing director V. Mahadevan said organisations should innovate.

C.N. Prasad, whole time director of Wabco TVS, asked companies to resort to short planning cycles while looking for newer markets.

He said the supply chain should be supported and not be burdened with problems.

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