“I run a meritocracy,” says Cyril Shroff, one of the premier corporate lawyers in the country and a consummate dealmaker sought after by top business houses. When not stitching together marque transactions, the managing partner of tier-1 law firm Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas can be found checking out the latest flicks on Netflix and Amazon. A bibliophile with a close group of friends that hasn’t changed over the years, Shroff is also an ardent admirer of Indian mythology and dotes on his three granddaughters who are the “light of his life.” In a free-wheeling chat with Moneycontrol’s Ashwin Mohan, Shroff, who wishes he had more time to pursue his hobby of sketching, lays down his management mantras, which include sharing credit with one’s team and leading by example.
What time do you like to be at your desk?
My best work does not involve being at a desk. Nonetheless I have 2 desks. One at home and other in the office. At home by about 8.30 a.m. In office by about 10.45/11 am. In recent months in the WFH period I usually am at my home desk by 9.45/10 am. But the mind is always working.
Where is the best place to prepare for leadership: at business school or on the job?
A bit of both. Also, it’s important to spend adequate time reflecting and observing others, even outside the normal sphere of influence.
Describe your management style.
Highly energetic, detailed oriented but also empowering of others. I seek inputs from several, but am not afraid to take key decisions. I like sharing credit with my team. I run a meritocracy.
Are tough decisions best taken by one person or collectively?
By one person, after collective deliberation and taking inputs.
Do you want to be liked, feared or respected?
Respected and of course liked. Certainly not feared.
What does your support team look like?
My support team comprises several senior partners and also senior managers from my business services team including Strategy Head, CFO, Head of HR, Head of Communications, Head of IT etc.
My biggest support is of course my wife Vandana, without whom I would be totally dysfunctional and ineffective. She is a force multiplier as we work together as a seamless leadership team.