Coming from a family of railway officers, I have always been fascinated by trains. My name is Kshitij, and I spent my early years travelling across the length and breadth of India on numerous train journeys. While the last stop was important, it was always the thrill and experiences of the journey which left lasting impressions in my mind. I believe the same has been true for the rest of my life as well, where I’ve learnt to enjoy and imbibe from the journey itself rather than the destination. The end goal was never a problem, but to take the road less travelled and to enjoy the journey made the difference!
After few successful years at academics, I joined the corporate world through the leadership cadre at the Tata group. Over next 9 years, I worked in a variety of functions across geographies of Africa, Asia and the US. Through these opportunities, I not only learnt how to handle large businesses in foreign markets, but also lead sizeable multi-cultural teams. After an initial business development assignment in Indonesia, I went on to lead the international supply chain for Tata Motors, responsible for exports to over 44 countries. My interest in the subject helped me drive multiple strategic initiatives across international markets, leading to savings of over $20m each year.
As the next stop I handled larger P&L responsibilities for the most promising continent – Africa, where I managed the $200m top line across 14 countries and got opportunities to structure transport solutions for key African cities. One of the key achievements was signing the Abidjan mass transit deal witnessed by heads of state of India and Cote d’Ivoire!
After 3 years in Africa, I joined the corporate strategy team and from there was keen to join an international MBA program which focused on developing leaders capable of handling businesses across geographies. This brought me to IMD, which through its unique program structure is extremely suitable for the long-term development of professionals.
For me, how you achieve something is as important as what you achieve. My father is an idealist and his ethics have deeply impacted me in life. Always learning from him, I truly believe that leaders don’t just achieve goals, but achieve them in style – in the process creating best practices, innovation and new leaders. IMD is helping me put a structure to achieving this, making it a habit.
After all, it’s just like the train ride where the journey is more important than just the goal!