LEADERSHIP CHANGES DURING COVID-19 DISRUPTION
AS DAUNTING IT MAY SEEM, EVEN DURING A GLOBAL CRISIS, THERE ARE OPPORTUNITIES TO BE FOUND. CLIMBING THE LEADERSHIP LADDER, THE REAL ESTATE SECTOR WITNESSED MANY A TOP-LEVEL CHANGES DURING THE PERIOD OF PANDEMIC.
By: Sapna Srivastava
Ayear of churning, 2020 rocked many an organizations and business models, with business leader rethinking their professional plans and priorities. While, navigating a rapidly changing environment, they found realization of their goals in newer organizations than the previous ones.
As the year 2021 dawned on us, many thought it would bring back stability and normalcy. But, the second wave of Covid has ensured this year also to be full of challenges and transitions.
HOW TO BE A STRONG LEADER DURING DISRUPTION
In all fairness, OVID-19 has been a test for leadership .Preparing for global disruption, enterprise transformation to humanitarian crisis, the task on hand seems unending. Here I would like to cite a summary of the study by Mary Mesaglio, Research VP and Distinguished Analyst with Gartner’s CIO research team on actions to be a strong leader during Covid-19 disruption.
Create Clear Priorities
In a dynamic situation, overly centralizing decision making hobbles the organization’s ability to respond quickly and effectively. Effective leaders empower managers to make the best decisions they can, bearing in mind a clear set of enterprise priorities. Hard choices need to be made, never more so than during a crisis. Allow for a high degree of decentralized decision making. Respecting and implementing those priorities locally, with the information available at the scene, is essential to be able to respond to emerging events.
Follow Non-Binary Approach
There are almost always more options besides “do it/ don’t do it” if teams can be creative about how they solve problems. If you think hard enough about the problem, the options are not limited. Getting teams together to be creative and nonbinary about solving the rash of problems that crop up in a crisis can create lasting cohesion, not to mention more productivity and value for customers and stakeholders.
Honesty & Empathy
Hone a clear, honest, empathetic and simple approach to communication as the COVID-19 situation evolves. We live in an era of rapid dissemination of information that is of questionable veracity, from multiple sources. In any communication plan, it matters less that you communicated something and more that your audience understood it. The 10x10x10 rule applies here: Say something 10 times in 10 different ways for people to retain 10%. Communicating well includes not being a victim of panic or hype, and laying out clear actions for what to do and when.
Story-telling of Achievements
Collect stories of teams coming together to overcome the adversity caused by COVID-19. People are capable of amazing things in a time of crisis. Capture the detail of these stories. Humans respond to the detail of the story, so capture that. COVID-19 is a humanitarian tragedy that continues to disrupt millions of lives. This crisis represents an opportunity for leaders to create more team cohesion and innovation in the face of adversity.
While 2020 was one of the most unpredictable year of modern times, the year 2021 and beyond are expected to see acceleration of changes as the implications from 2020 will play out across the next several years.
SHIFT TO MANAGING LIFE EXPERIENCES
The pandemic has given business leaders increased visibility into their personal lives. That’s why 2021 will be the year where employer support for mental health, financial health, and even things that were previously seen as out of bounds will become the table stakes benefits.
IDENTIFYING WITH ORGANIZATION’S VALUES
Corporate leaders desire to work for organizations whose values align with their own has been growing for some time. In 2020, this desire accelerated to drive them to change organizations that line up with their own societal stance.
ORGANIZATION’S SHIFT TOWARDS CONSULTANTS
Many a companies are on a lookout for consultants to fill the skills gaps as they can’t reskill the capabilities of their existing workforce fast enough to meet their changing needs. This has prompted many senior professionals to switch full-time jobs with own consultancies to cater to this new demand.
THE NEW MEANING OF FLEXIBILITY
In the current scenario of remote working, top management executives prefer to be with companies that offer employees flexibility over when, where and how much they work. The meaning of flexibility has shifted from location of employees to when employees are expected to work.
RACE TO ATTRACT INDIVIDUAL TALENT
The new era of remote and hybrid work has also led to companies incentivizing business leaders from across cities to join their organizations to fill in their requirement. Now, where the employee lives will be less tied to where their employer is located than ever before. 1 2 3 4 5 While 2020 was one of the most unpredictable year of modern times, the year 2021 and beyond are expected to see acceleration of changes as the implications from 2020 will play out across the next several years
PROMINENT LEADERSHIP MOVEMENTS IN INDIAN REAL ESTATE
THE YEAR 2020 – 2021 SAW MAJOR RESHUFFLES AT CXO LEVEL ACROSS REAL ESTATE SEGMENTS. HERE ARE SOME PROMINENT LEADERSHIP CHANGES AND APPOINTMENTS IN LAST 12 MONTHS
Big announcement of the month was stepping down of Gopal Sarda as CEO of Kolte-Patil Developers. Also, Amit Shetty, joined Embassy REIT as Leasing Co-Heads after ten years with CBRE. Moving from DuPont, Rajaram Pai is now the Chief Business Officer – Industrial for Mahindra Lifespaces®. Vijay Deshwal Becomes CEO at Magma Fincorp moving from his previous role as Business Head at ICICI Bank. Also, Harmohan Sahni became the CEO of Raymond Ltd real estate business. He was till recently the COO of the real estate business of ECL Finance Ltd, the non-banking financial company of Edelweiss Group
Shruti Kaushik Agrawal, former Head of Marketing at RMZ Corp joined Tata Realty & Infrastructure Ltd. as Assistant Vice President, Marketing
April 2021 – IIFL AMC ropes in Amar Merani as Head of the firm’s Real Estate Strategy. Prior to joining IIFL AMC, he was MD & CEO of Xander Finance. Tanya Tandon left PWC Price Waterhouse & Co LLP and joined as Country Head Real Estate India at GRI Club. Gagan Randev was appointed Executive Director of Sotheby India. He was previously with Colliers.
Same month saw Gera developments appointing Raman Iyer as Chief Operating Officer (Previously with Shapoorji Pallonji) and Priya Adiseshan as their new Chief People Officer. (Previously with Godrej Nature’s Basket). In addition, Prasanth Gopinath earlier with Lodha Group joined Kohinoor Group Pune as Director- Commercial (BU).
Saurabh Mittal has now become the CTO of Piramal’s Retail Finance Business, having been CTO at Medlife before the new role. Joining Colliers as Senior Directors were Nilanjan Chakraborty moving on from Mahindra Happinest and Deval Valia previously with Piramal Capital & Housing Finance. Kiran Patil former Chief Manufacturing Officer (CMO) with ACC in Mumbai joined Wonder Cement as Managing Director this year.
Ashwinder R Singh Joins Bhartiya Urban as Chief Executive Officer – Residential, moving on from Bajaj Housing Finance Limited as Group Business Head. While, Dheeraj Dogra, Chief Sales Officer left Omaxe ltd & Joined Spaze Towers Pvt Ltd as Sr. Vice President & Head of Leasing. The month also saw Ajoy Mehta, the principal Advisor to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray being appointed as the chairman of MahaRERA. The post had fallen vacant due to the retirement of Gautam Chatterjee.
Radha Dhir succeeded Ramesh Nair as JLL India CEO, who had held senior positions at YES Bank and Deutsche Bank in the past. Ankit Mathuria, OYO’s new Chief Technology Officer joined the company after his recent stint as CTO for Souq (now, Amazon.ae, an Amazon subsidiary).
Strengthening the Lodha Group leadership team were Ramit Chopra joining as National Head – Business Development & Leasing (Industrial and Logistics Parks) and Veeresh Rao as Technical Head (Industrial and Logistics Parks). Rao earlier served as Vice President – Projects for Allcargo Logistics parks and Chopra held various leadership roles in Indospace and Embassy Industrial Parks.
Joining Ozone group were S. Baaskaran Deekshadar as the Group Chief Executive Officer and Cyriac Joseph as the Chief Sales and Marketing Officer (CSMO). Joseph mover from his earlier leadership role at Vaishnavi Group.
Nadeem Patni was appointed Blum India’s New Managing Director. He will be managing business operations across South Asia including India, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh. Saurabh Agarwal having worked with Aditya Birla Sun Life Insurance and Medlife joined Livspace, as their chief financial officer.
Girish Shah joined as Executive VP, Deepak Fertilizers & Petrochemicals ltd responsible for corporate marketing & Real estate subsidiaries. He was earlier the Executive Director, Knight Frank India
Siddhart Goel joined Colliers as Senior Director, Research Services (India) (previously at Arais Consulting CEO) and Chief Revenue Officer Varun Gopinath left WeWork India to join The Xander Group.
Retail Veteran Pankaj Renjhen joins ANAROCK as COO & Jt. MD – Anarock. He was COO at Virtuous Retail before joining Anarock.
PropTiger.com brought on board Rajan Sood as Business Head, whose earlier stint was with Paisabazaar.com as Head – Digital lending. Nirav Sheth former Head of Institutional Equities at SBI Capital Securities joined Emkay Global Financial Services as CEO of Emkay Institutional Equities. Also, joining Colliers team were Bhupindra Singh as MD, Office Services (North India) and lead Regional Tenant Representation (RTR), switching from his earlier role as Tenant Representation business for North India at Cushman & Wakefield and Subhankar Mitra as Managing Director, Advisory Services (India), former JLL, National Director for the Strategic Consulting division.
Viral Oza previously CMO at Lodha Group joined Mahindra Lifespaces in similar capacity as the Chief Marketing Officer. Also, joining Mahindra Lifespaces was Parveen Mahtani as Chief Legal Officer (previously Head, Legal and Compliance at Tata Realty and Infrastructure Ltd.). Umesh Jhawar, earlier the Vice President, Strategy and Investor Relations at Arihant Superstructures Ltd joined Global InfraeartH as CEO. Joining Raheja Developers as Chief Operating Officer was Achal Raina, former Director at BPTP and Ramashrya Yadav joined as founder & CEO at Integrow Asset management. His earlier stint was at as CEO- Real Estate, Edelweiss.
A major development of the month was Rajiv Singh becoming the new Chairman of DLF while Kushal Pal Singh was made Chairman Emeritus.