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Like A Boss | Ecom Express’ TA Krishnan on why micro-managing is bad, the benefits of participative leadership and why he recommends The Art of War

Oct 08, 2020 04:23 PM IST

TA Krishnan on leaders who have influenced him, his management style and advice to the new crop of leaders.  

Note to readers: How do corporate India’s leaders manage their businesses? Where do they draw inspiration from? What is their management style? Like A Boss is a new series of interviews aimed to offer readers lessons from corporate bosses on how they run their companies.

TA Krishnan, the founder and chief executive officer Ecom Express, is a fan of The Art of War by Sun Tzu. The 54-year-old believes it helps him understand how rules of battlefields can be applied in the corporate boardroom and recommends the book for every business leader. Krishnan, who leads one of the country's first delivery companies focussed on the e-commerce industry, does not believe in micro-managing people. He allows people to make mistakes and learn from them.  However, he believes that the path to the C-suite is not always straight. Edited excerpts from an interview:

What time do you like to be at your desk?

I wake up early to have a consistent routine, and to plan my day well ahead. Therefore, usually, I am in the office by 9:30 am, even during the on-going pandemic my schedule has hardly fluctuated. I firmly believe that early rising is crucial to maintain a healthy work-life balance, which is pivotal for accomplishing one’s goals.

Where is the best place to prepare for leadership: at business school or on the job?

I would say, both are important. Of course, B-school is the alma mater that equips one with the right skill set to conquer the modern professional world and help build a foundation. However, a job imparts one with real-life experience. That is where the execution of strategy and its nuances can be learned, adjusted, and evolved over a career. One has to assimilate both to attain success in the professional spectrum.  In fact, I think both these methods of learning are complementary to each other.