Preparing For 2021: Leadership Lessons From ABFRL leaders

If there ever was a year where we needed good leadership, it was 2020. The year threw the corporate world into an unpredictable situation, requiring good leaders to steer companies out of rough waters. Under a strong set of leaders, we at ABFRL, adapted to new working conditions to emerge as a resilient workforce.

So, what does good leadership really mean? Our leaders share with us their key learnings and experiences that helped them navigate 2020 and gain valuable insights to face 2021 head-on.

Vishak Kumar
Chief Executive Officer,
Madura Fashion & Lifestyle

Leadership is always about doing the right things. In 2021, this would mean manoeuvring through a lot of uncertainty, with a delicate blend of cautious optimism. This would require us to stay nimble and agile; to be creative; and work very closely together even as we keep social distances. I look forward to a great 2021 for all of us. We have done well to reach here. Now let’s take it higher. Stay safe. Stay healthy.

Farida Kaliyadan
Brand COO, Louis Philippe, Planet Fashion, Simon Carter &
Mission Happiness – Customer Centric Cell

I would like all of us to drive the rekindled innovative spirit, which was coupled with great team work and heightened empathy to be able to help us all move forward in more enriched manner.

Abhay Bahugune
Chief Operating Officer, Van Heusen

Leaning into the unknown, embracing agility and always keeping a positive outlook are the three key learnings for this year, which I will be taking forward into 2021.

Anil S Kumar
Brand Chief Operating Officer, Allen Solly

Being closer to our consumers and constantly innovating products, processes and business models through well-managed pilots has been our biggest learning during these times. We would like to institutionalize this ‘Pilot and Scale’ DNA in our teams.

Manish Singhai
Brand Chief Operating Officer, Peter England

The year 2020 has taught us so much that it even exceeds collective learnings of the last decade. The roller coaster ride for the last one year has been very challenging and fulfilling at the same time. It taught me the power of empathy, keeping a sharp focus on issues at hand, fast forwarding innovation and keeping consumers at the heart of decisions.  It forced me to take very fast decisions among ever changing external environment. As things are getting more normalised now, a lot of learnings are here to stay and it is up to us to apply these learnings as we move ahead.

Ashish Mukul
Brand Director, American Eagle

2020 was a year which allowed me to press the pause button in my life. A year where I suddenly found time. Time to connect, learn and most importantly reflect – on my life and my future. One of the most impactful outcomes for me has been a renewed focus on my personal health. This was a year where I grew to be extremely conscious of my daily nutrition and fitness regimen, which I was not even remotely as much before. So the footnote to myself at the end of 2020 for 2021 would be – find time.

Rahul Jhamb
Business Head, Forever 21

For all times’ sake, 2020 has taught me intensely that being a learned person or being an expert doesn’t qualify you to be a leader. True leaders are learners forever. They keep discovering the better version of their leadership with openness, humility, curiosity, sensitivity and empathy. While embracing the rapid changes happily, they retain their spirit of adventure and collaboration in the midst of any crisis, however big the crisis is.

Together, let us make 2021 one of the best years for Corporate India.

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