Christina Ruggiero, CEO, Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages Pvt Ltd (HCCB), is one of the few women bosses in the FMCG space. Ruggiero began her career as a cryptologist, and currently manages a 7,000 strong workforce and a Rs 10,000 crore company, India’s larget beverage maker. She had already worked in 54 countries before she moved to Bengaluru three years ago.
What time do you like to be at your desk?
7 am is when I start. I believe in the importance of an early and prepared start.Each day should start with purpose and organized intent.
Where is the best place to prepare for leadership: at business school or on the job?
I have met many people who have been successful using either routes.But I do think it is important for students to obtain some work experience during their studies. In my experience, the leadership potential differentiators are often an individualistic trait. It is a blend of capability, capacity, curiosity, and attitude.
Growing up, my personal choice was to do both simultaneously. I finished business school while I was working full time. It was a remarkable learning experience for me because I was able to implement in real time whatever I was learning. I was able to share practical experiences in class and share learnings from case studies in the office.
Describe your management style.
Energetic, authentically inclusive, empowering and growth oriented.
Are tough decisions best taken by one person or collectively?
I believe in the importance and criticality of collaboration and inclusion. I believe empowerment with accountability is critical.It is important to ensure that decision makers have the data, input and wisdom of other thoughts and perspectives. Leaders should be comfortable to make clear decisions in a timely fashion.
Do you want to be liked, feared or respected?
What does your support team look like?
This question made me smile.Earlier in my career, especially as a woman leader, I thought it was more important to demonstrate my personal strength/resilience independently.Resilience is absolutely a critical skill and enabler for all senior leaders. However, I was mistaken in my thinking that leaders don’t need a support team.I am blessed to have a wonderful support system which broadly includes my family, friends, managers, mentors and team.