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The Brands Illustrated 'Ilustrated CEO 2017' - Moving goods and people, safely and efficiently for the last 70 years and counting.

CEO & Managing Director

Ashok Leyland

Describe your business in 10 words or fewer.

Moving goods and people, safely and efficiently for the last 70 years and counting.

What is the big idea behind your business?

Logistics is a huge, often hidden cost. We work to make our customers efficient and thereby contribute to the economy.

At Ashok Leyland, we are an international mobility company that designs, builds and markets commercial vehicles and aftermarket solutions, combining a passion for engineering with integrity in our products and practices. We are driven by the belief that our success lies in the success of our stakeholders.

It’s often said that leaders these days must operate in an environment of extreme volatility. Do you agree? How does that affect the way you lead?

Yes, I agree. I look at Volatility as an opportunity. When you grow rapidly, volatility is from the inside; but when you operate in a volatile environment, the uncertainty is from the outside. This opens up avenues both inside and outside the organisation to disproportionately create and capture value.

A satisfied customer is the best business strategy of all. What is your prime focus for retaining customers?

Our tagline is “Aapki Jeet , Hamaari Jeet” and this is at the heart of everything we set out to achieve. Our relentless focus is to make the customer’s business more profitable and delivering our brand promise every single time. “Aapki Jeet, Hamari Jeet “, is the ultimate form of success that can be. Everyone succeeds together, and everyone succeeds because everyone else does.

What was your first paying job?

Bartender in College Music Bar !

Do you have a formal mechanism for making sure you stay in touch with employees and customers on the organi- zation’s front line?

From quarterly virtual town hall meetings with all employees where employees address queries to me offline and online; to monthly “Coffee with Vinod” with new employees, there are various and frequent modes of communication.

What is the best business advice you’ve ever heard?

Do business with people you like!

What has surprised you about being an entrepreneur?

The best part about being an entrepreneur is that it makes you feel younger, cuts through bureaucracy and teaches you the beauty of simplicity and speed. You are responsible for all that you do at the end of the day.

What strategies do you use in terms of planning your personal career progression?

Stay focused on creating shareholder value by enhancing customer profitability and employee innovation.

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