Deep Kalra, 51, a veteran of Indian travel business industry, describes his management style and his key management advice.
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.
Deep Kalra, founder and Group Executive Chairman of online travel company MakeMyTrip, is a self-confessed workaholic who sleeps with his phone and gets out of bed in the morning only after checking his inbox for mails. Kalra, 51, a veteran of Indian travel business industry, weighs in on the leadership skills required to sustain a business and where he himself draws inspiration from.
What time do you like to be at your desk?
Deep Kalra: Phone before desk. As soon as I wake up to clear urgent emails and messages. Actual desk hours are from breakfast to dinner time and then phone again till on esleeps. Truly boundaryless hours and 24/7 these days.
Where is the best place to prepare for leadership: at business school or on the job?
DK: On the job surely.
Describe your management style.
DK: Enabling and participative. Love seeing my team perform as self-driven entrepreneurs
Are tough decisions best taken by one person or collectively?
DK: Small handpicked group has worked well for me
Do you want to be liked, feared or respected?
DK: Liked and respected. Never feared.
What does your support team look like?
DK: 15 world class leaders and 1EA who is 24/7. But enjoy working with bright youngsters more than anyone.
A business outside of the travel sector or a business leader that you draw inspiration from?
DK: Amazon (Jeff Bezos) and Steve Jobs.
Which management book has influenced you the most?
DK: Good to Great (Jim Collins) and Nuts (The Southweast Story).
Do you socialise with your team outside of work?
DK: Yes, but not as often as I would like to.
What would your key management advice be?DK: Spend disproportionate time on hiring to get it right. Hire people smarter than yourself (At least in some areas) and then allow them to take risks and also make mistakes. When things go right give credit to the team, when they don't take the blame.