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DARA BYRAMJEE- LEADING BY EXAMPLE

Saturday, August 17, 2013

DaraByramjee is Vice President & Business-Head at Godrej & Boyce Mfg Co Ltd.Heading the Godrej Security Solutions division for the past many years now, he has been one of the key visionaries at Godrej who helped Godrej Security Solutions achieve its number one rank in the country and number six rank in the world in the competitive physical security solutions’ space. He has had an enriching and in-depth experience and feels immensely proud to have been part of the Godrej Parivaar for the better part of his life.

A proactive team player, he is well known for his loyalty, sincerity, humility, transparency and empathy.Byramjeestrongly holds the belief that people are one’s biggest strength, whether it is one’s team in the professional space or one’s family in the personal space. Mutual respect, humility and the ability to understand that each individual is different and special in his own right and hasspecific strengths and weaknesses; are what he believes comprise the successful mantra for building long term interpersonal relationships.

People management is Byramjee’s strongest skill set. He encourages his team to go where no one has gone before, to learn from their mistakes and emerge stronger individuals in their own right. In spite of having decades of experience, Byramjee still feels he is learning new things every day. According to him,” One should never think one knows it all. I start every day with a clean slate, seek to learn something new everyday and am constantly amazed at the freshness and soundness of ideas that even relatively lesser experienced team members can come up with, given the right opportunity.”

Byramjee also believes that one should never lose touch with one’s people as they are the ones who have entrusted their faith and careers in you and look up to you for guidance as a leader. Heregulalry interacts with his team members at all levels, takes feedback from them about their work and makes them feel like an important member of the Godrej Parivaar. Not only this, all of them feel free to open up to him about any problems they face, thereby demonstrating the non-hierarchical nature of Byramjee’s leadership style.

A strong believer in team spirit and the power of collective wisdom, he continuously endeavors to support individuals with the tools and resources necessary and allow them freedom in their attempts to improve their respective business processes.One of the first things he did when he was elevated to the senior management role was to form a well-knit team where he put in place the right people for the right jobs, identifying strengths & weaknesses of the people & working on their strengths.

During his tenure at Godrej, Byramjee has always thought of ways and means to improve his division’s performance. Some of them have been unconventional but turned out to be extremely successful. To share just one example- years back in his earlier assignment, he employed ITI trained workmen in several skilled categories like Fabrication & Welding.  As per the old mind-set, these jobs were supposed to be highly skilled and these skills cannot be taught in the ITI programs, but best learned through long experiences.  He had to break this myth. He started employing ITI mechanics and provided them further in-house training and exposure to make them highly skilled.  Backed with the freshersknowledge they had acquired at ITI, they turned out to be very good performers.  This spurred Byramjee to ideate and think up creative and modern ideas for improving performance.

Byramjee, in his interaction with new joinees at all levels, always stresses on the importance of learning the basics related to every function, right from grassroot levels. This, according to him is the only way to understand the nuances of all kinds of jobs one is supposed to oversee. This is also the best way to gain professional respect from all subordinates.

Byramjeestrongly believes in the following mantras for success as a visionary leader:

  • Grooming young talent who will eventually be running the company in the future and will be responsible for the company’s growth in an increasingly complex and globalized business environment, is of great significance.  Organizations must create robust plans to prepare their new joinees to face and tackle whatever challenges are thrown at them
  • Start learning process for any new assignment from grass root level basics.  Encourage all team-mates to question status quo and express freely what they truly believe in.  Encourage people to even question their bosses, but with respect.
  • It is important to carry your team of people along with you and win over their hearts, to drive common shared understanding of all goals & create sense of ownership.
  • Eliminate fear of failure- Encourage team to aspire for higher levels of achievements with reasonable amount of stretch, taking some amount of calculated risks.  In such instances, close monitoring will be needed from team-leaders to drive mid-course corrective action if required.
  • Encourage innovation and fresh ideas.  Never shoot-off any idea, however stupid it may appear.
  • Lead from the front and listen to all but final decision must be yours, as a leader and take full responsibility of the outcome.  Never display your wisdom on the hind-sight.

According to him if these simple principles of life are emulated, one can become an effective leader.  He strongly believes that a truly successful leader is one who builds a team complimenting his own strengths and surrounds himself with people who disagree.

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