Secret Diary Of A CEO 2017

"If you want to know the truth about your company, talk to your field staff and your management trainees"

Secret Diary Of Bharat Puri Part-3

Photograph by Soumik Kar

In 2008, Cadbury appointed me as the global head of chocolates, and there was one company that immediately saw its bottom-line swell — Singapore Airlines! I kept the A380 in good use, travelling all over the world. After the “yes sir’s” in China and the “not possibles” in Australia, London kept me guessing. What did they mean when they said “interesting” (the tone was the cue to whether they thought it was good, bad or ugly) and “challenging” (really bad)? You would say, “Lovely day” and the reply — “Isn’t it”— would have you wondering whether they agreed or disagreed. Understanding the subtlety, understatements and self-deprecating remarks was central to getting things moving. Language and its nuances aside, understanding the expectation of a global board and its concerns also took some time.