Culture and leadership in the organisation breed value oflong-term strengths

My first job with Asian Paints in October 1995, almost 28 years ago, was in Channel Sales in India. It was a different era, and many of today’s job considerations were not even in my awareness, let alone expectations. Joining the number one brand and industry leader right after graduation was a proud moment for me. Looking back at this 28-year tenure, it feels like at least 10+ distinct stints within the same organisation. Considering my exposure to multiple geographies (South, East and West India, along with 11 countries outside India in international markets – from Fiji in the East to Egypt in the West) and the variety of roles I have held in sales, marketing, as Functional Head in International Business, and my current role as Head of a business), it has been quite a journey.

It has been an exhilarating learning experience both in terms of acquiring skill sets and knowledge. From picking up skills in sales, retailing, marketing, B2B business, functional leadership roles and as a P&L owner of an organisation, it has been a plethora of learning and I owe it to the leadership of Asian Paints and my bosses for making a professional out of a young graduate.

As I mentioned above, growing up as a professional in Asian Paints is a journey of fulfillment and value addition. The culture and leadership in the organisation breed value of long-term strengths while they nurture an environment of accountability with core values to become a successful leader in the corporate world.
In the over 28 years of my career with Asian Paints, filled with career growth and value addition and nurturing at the highest level, it is common to receive offers and opportunities that may at times make one think of a career switch. That is why I do not see my career with Asian Paints as that of one in a single organisation but as 10+ organisational exposures rolled under a larger organisation umbrella. Switching careers is a different ball game and switching jobs is a smaller dimension. Given the kind of engagement and passion for the brand and the plethora of roles and opportunities I have got, it has been more compelling and rewarding to continue and learn here in this wonderful organisation.

I am not sure if I can call myself young if you take age into consideration but I believe I am young at heart. I have had the opportunity to lead multiple challenges and business agendas at various levels and every role/geography has been a unique learning for me. I would like to believe my key contributions have been in sales, marketing and new business segments creation for the organisation.

After the earthquake in 2015, Nepal’s paint industry had a great run due to the resurgence of construction activities and strong demand for new housing. However, Covid and the recent liquidity crisis along with the import restrictions two years back have had a strong negative impact leading to a slowdown in the construction sector. This has been a challenging and difficult period for Asian Paints and the overall construction industry. However, the opportunities are still in terms of offering the discerning Nepali consumers a lot of products and services in décor segment in making their homes more beautiful.

Asian Paints as a multinational company has been practicing word class people processes and practices and Nepal has been a place where a lot of those best practices have been in place for some time now. We have been working on the diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) charter, and creating an inclusive and psychologically safe workplace for all which is a cornerstone of our journey. In continuing with this spirit, we encourage a diverse and inclusive workspace for all at Asian Paints Nepal as well. At the same time, the organisation nurtures a high-performance culture with great emphasis on customer centric engagement with all stakeholders. This ensures we keep the customer at the centre of all our decision-making processes. This ensures a holistic development for our people and them to evolve into future leaders.

Nepal is a beautiful country with a plethora of rich traditions, culture and flavour across the length and breadth of the country. At the same time, it has its fair share of challenges and constraints. This allows one to reflect on the opportunities and enables one to be solution and growth oriented. It has been close to three years now and the overall experience has been that of an enriching and fulfilling one.

I would not advise youngsters, as the very definition of this word means that I know something more than they do. Especially in a heavily penetrated digital era and social media access, knowledge is available at the click of the button or a link to everyone, not just for fresh graduates. In my view, standalone knowledge is becoming a digital commodity. Therefore, it all comes down to application of knowledge that differentiates between professionals. For youngsters beginning their careers, it is critical that they strive to engage with opportunities and organisations that give them this exposure and nurture their entrepreneurial qualities. MNC’s or not, it is just an additional feature for them to consider and not necessarily the only route to making them ready for their career.

(Based on conversation)

Scroll to Top