Updated on: Saturday, November 27, 2021, 11:02 PM IST

Humility is the hallmark of top leaders: Dr. Pawan Goenka on Day 3 of Isha Insight

In a riveting talk by former Mahindra MD Dr Pawan Goenka, the Key Resource Leader of Isha Insight 2021 delved into his “big bet” strategy, the importance of risk-taking, India’s potential in manufacturing sector and why emphasis should be laid on nurturing the right talent

“I am always making gurus! I’m always learning something new every day. Learning is what will take you ahead,” said 67-year-old Dr Pawan Goenka, Chairperson of Indian National Space Promotion Authorization Centre (In-Space), on Saturday at Isha Leadership Academy’s business leadership programme — “Isha Insight: The DNA of Success.” The former Managing Director of Mahindra & Mahindra, stressed, “You have to learn and to learn, you must have humility. Unfortunately, there are too many people who think, 'I know it all'. Nobody knows it all. Everybody has to be in a learning mode no matter how high you are.”

Dr Goenka, credited for revolutionising Mahindra and Mahindra by launching Mahindra Scorpio in 2002, calls it the company’s “big bet”.

“Scorpio clearly was a big bet for the company. In those days for a company like Mahindra and Mahindra to invest Rs 600 crores in a new product was like betting the future of the company. If it didn’t succeed, the company may not have existed today.”

Sharing wisdom nuggets from his career in automotive spanning four decades, Dr Goenka said, “India has tremendous potential in manufacturing and various other sectors. If we put our mind to it, the industries and government can work together in true partnership.”

Advising participants to create a value proposition that is unbeatable, Dr Goenka said, “No matter what you are doing, technology will play a big role in staying ahead of the game. You have to invest in technology, whichever business you are in. Without that, you will not have longevity.”

Sharing a tip for MSMEs that get stagnant after a while, Dr Goenka stressed upon nurturing the talent. “To get good people is hard enough. To retain those good people is even harder. The biggest thing you have to do is spot and nurture talent.”

Dr. Sandeep Sibal, CEO of Fourth Frontier, a health tech company, emphasised upon the importance of developing food systems that encourage sustainability.


“The way we produce our food today is quite cruel, inefficient, unhealthy and unsustainable. I'm not sure whether you're aware, but every year, 3 trillion animals, including fish, are slaughtered for meat and dairy. Because of the inefficiency of using animals for food, only a small percentage of the world's calories and proteins are provided by animal sources of food, resulting in millions of people suffering from malnutrition,” he said.

"While land utilised for grazing livestock and growing animal feed accounts for 77% of all arable land, the product accounts for only 18% of global calories. And this is the situation now; as the population expands, the situation will deteriorate. I believe it is imperative that we replace this demand for food with sources that are more sustainable."

Sadhguru, the Founder of Isha, on Thursday kicked off the four-day programme, which is aimed to help entrepreneurs prepare for the next stage of their leadership journey. “The most important thing is to cultivate a burning desire in your heart. If this occurs, you will notice that plans will come plenty," the spiritual leader said, speaking about having a clear purpose in business.


Also on Day 1, Nithin Kamath, the Founder and CEO of Zerodha, India's largest stock broker, and one of Isha Insight 2021's Key Resource Leaders, spoke about the company's "unconventional" trajectory.

On Day 2 of Isha Insight, Dr. RS Sodhi, Managing Director of the Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation, which owns the Amul brand, spoke about the ideals taught by Dr. Verghese Kurien. Sodhi has urged for a resurrection of cooperative-based economic development for small enterprises in the face of this dominance by major corporations. During the day, Sagar Daryani, Co-Founder and CEO of Wow! Momo Foods, gave a talk about how they launched their food business with a Rs 30,000 budget.

Sadhguru established the Isha Leadership Academy over a decade ago with the goal of providing the highest quality leadership education by merging external skill sets with wellbeing techniques. Delving into the science of business growth, Isha Insight was founded to assist entrepreneurs in navigating a fast changing market. The program provides attendees with an exclusive opportunity to evaluate their journey through the experiential lens of successful leaders.

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Published on: Saturday, November 27, 2021, 11:02 PM IST