Dad’s word for two stalwarts of the business world – Harsh Mariwala, chairman of FMCG giant Marico and N Chandrasekaran, chairman of salt-to-software conglomerate Tata Sons.
Apart from their achievements in their respective fields, another common thread between the two is the best advice they have received in their lives from their respective fathers.
Sharing pearls of wisdom on stage at the Ascent Conclave 2022 in Mumbai on Thursday, Mariwala talked about the time when he failed to get admission in an MBA course in India and wanted to study further abroad. “My father said no. It is better that you spend time in business because it is no less than learning in business. It forced me to learn a lot and I tried very hard to learn. Learning a lot from the bottom has played an important role in my own journey,” Mariwala said.
The Founder-Chairman, who hails from a business family, has over the last four decades not only made Marico one of the leading FMCG companies in the country but also transformed a family-managed business into a professionally managed business.
For his part, Chandrasekaran said that his father, very pleased with the way he was progressing in his career, told him: “You are doing incredibly well, and God bless you. The only thing I’ll tell you is, be.” Humble, always,” he said.
In addition to chairing the board of Tata Sons, which is the holding company and promoter of over 100 Tata operating companies with combined annual revenues of over US$100 billion, Chandrasekaran also serves on the boards of several group operating companies including Tata Steel, Tata also presides. Motors, Tata Power and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS).
A lifelong Tata employee, Chandra, as he is popularly known, rose from being an intern at TCS in 1987 to becoming the software services exporter’s youngest-ever CEO in 2009 and eventually heading the more than 150-year-old salt-to-software giant. Became the president. The group after the ousted eviction of the late Cyrus Mistry in 2017. He has now been reappointed to the post for another five years.