The panel discussion -Why looking outward is the leader’s job- today was pretty interesting- first, the profile of panelists was highly complementary- we had Chandra from TCS- solid and backing his arguments with logic and experiences from his context, Rajiv Bajaj, a refreshing addition to the panel- as an outsider he gave a different perspective. But the surprise package, to me at least, was Paul Hermelin, Group CEO, Cap Gemini.
The discussion veered around adaptability to different cultures- Paul explained that it was easy for Cap Gemini, with its french origins- since the french had done little of note (since Napolean’s times) to dominate the world, they had learnt to bcome “world citizens”!
He also kept “threatening” to steal ideas on on linear growth from the formidable TCS.
Humour apart, the difference in world-views of the panelists made for an interesting afternoon session.
Paul had a self deprecating style and was able to articulate a lot of sensible ideas in a humorous way- for example, he spoke of his company’s I cubed program- standing for Innovation, Intimacy and Industriousness – which the company has launched to hone its competitive edge- one aspect of this was to expand presence in India. In the last 4 years Cap Gemini’s strength in India has quadrupled; I cubed has therefore become India, India & India!