‘Shadow the Leader’ is a program introduced by the Young Bombay Forum, and supported by the Bombay Chamber of Commerce and Industry. In it’s the third year, this initiative aims to connect successful leaders in diverse fields of the Indian industry to selected entrepreneurs and business managers. The leader acts as a mentor, with the ‘shadow’ observing and absorbing a typical day at the office. This program serves two main objectives: to donate the funds collected from this program for helping in the welfare of the underprivileged and to provide a unique learning opportunity with the established names in corporate India.
Being invited to participate in this event was an honor, especially after seeing the most recognized names in the corporate world acting as leaders. After reviewing the list I requested my leader to be Dr Raman Ramachandran, Chairman of BASF Companies in India, and Head of BASF in South Asia. There was a natural synergy in our business and product lines.
The day began with a brief introduction to the program with representatives from YBF and BCCI present. After an obligatory photo, they left me with Dr Ramachandran, who started off with his weekly call, receiving updates from the heads of the groups in Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. The rest of the day was filled with meetings with various department heads where he gave guidance on the matters at hand in a methodical manner.
During his down time, we spoke of Dr Ramachandran’s journey to the top, describing his struggles and successes through the process. We discussed various aspects of business such as the leadership qualities necessary to be a good manager, supply chain management, interdepartmental policies and management of change. We spoke of the program he launched ‘LEAP’ which stressed the importance of developing a company’s culture to enhance employee happiness and ultimately productivity.
To sum it up, this was a unique experience that facilitated a deep understanding of how one of the most well reputed, successful chemical companies is managed.
Thanks to Dr Ramachandran, YBF and BCCI for stimulating an environment of creativity & innovation, and facilitating an opportunity that has impacted my work life.