Perseverance and smart work are indispensable components that make a successful entrepreneur. But to be a CEO, it requires a certain level of aura and instinct to lead an organization and its team towards success.
Top CEOs do not hesitate to make great decisions; they rather stand out for being more strong-minded, while taking decisions. They make decisions faster and with greater conviction. They do so persistently—even amid ambiguity and in unfamiliar domains. To that end, high performing CEOs also know when not to decide. But once a path is chosen, the successful CEO drives the company without a flicker, displaying a greater sense of purpose and urgency.
CEOs differ significantly from the executive population across many personality traits. Two attributes, in particular, stand out: one is the will to take up appropriate risks and second being capitalizing on opportunities. We consider these habits the “lifeblood” of the CEO’s personality.
Vikas Bhonsle has been in the IT industry for about 25 years now. Having worked in one of the fastest-growing sectors alongside the world’s fastest-growing economy, varied portfolios, and geographies, he has the advantage of knowing the pulse of the local market with an eye on the international trends. It is his forte to interact with customers, partners, and decision-makers at all levels. Before joining Crayon Software Experts India Pvt Ltd, Vikas was associated with Dell India for about 14 years. He was last placed as the General Manager for the Mid-Market business and within Dell; he had the opportunity to manage multiple profiles and portfolios. In addition to all these, he also has an International Marketing exposure as a Brand Manager for the South Asia region.
We present you a short extract from the conversation with Vikas Bhonsle – CEO at Crayon Software.
How do you define leadership? How do you empower your workforce?
I am a big believer in Level 5 leadership – which is leading by humility, a fierce desire and will to do well in all aspects of the business. It’s about placing the organization and your people’s needs before your own personal aspirations and keeping them at the core of your actions. I believe that the hallmark of a true leader is not only in how much one achieves but, in the way, one nurtures talent, coaches and mentors’ colleagues. A true leader not only should care deeply about organizational development but also about his teams and the individual careers of his people. Empowering the workforce begins first by laying down the vision for the organization and communicating the same across the ranks in the organization. Then it is about making sure you delegate with authority, allow the team to take risks, innovate and provide the resources to be successful. What is also important is that you create a feedback mechanism that checks the progress against expectations, do the necessary course corrections and progress accordingly.
Being at this position, what are the responsibilities that you handle?
5 years ago, I was responsible for setting up the India business of Crayon Software. Within a short span of time, we have established ourselves as one of the best choices for a complete software solution in the Indian market. With our network becoming stronger and expanding in the Indian market, my role now is to provide strategic, financial and operational leadership. Additionally, I’ll be responsible to mentor members of staff at all levels, foster their growth, encourage them to step up and be a major contributor to the company’s success.
What are your motivation strategies? How do you keep yourself and the workforce inspired on a timely basis?
Providing the right levels of empowerment to your teams with appropriate feedback and recognition for their work goes a long way in keeping the workforce motivated and inspired. Building a culture of respect, meritocracy and an unwavering focus on career growth and development for the workforce is a must. And when your organization and people do well – that’s inspiration enough to keep me going.
Share with us your story of struggles, if it does exist. What have you learned from it?
Struggle is a part and parcel of everyone’s life. Each one of us had our own set of challenges. I will be very honest to tell you that struggles, and challenges only make you stronger and my wherewithal to deal with that challenge has grown me as an individual. It has made me resilient, very adaptive and taught me to deal with ambiguous situations
Who do you look up to and what do you convey further to the ones who look up to you?
I would rather frame my thoughts around learning rather than looking up to someone. Learning is the only constant. Meaning there are a variety of things you learn from different people and leaders. My simple advice to anyone who speaks to me is about always doing the hard yards with a fierce desire to keep getting better every day.
What are the values and ethos do you encourage in the company?
Our world is facing some of the greatest social and environmental challenges of our time. Crayon Software is committed to building a greener and more sustainable future through recognizing our impact on the planet and improving our efforts in fair labor and business practices, responsible use of resources and ensuring equality for all. And as a global company, we believe we can bring in the biggest change by empowering our teammates and partners to exemplify our values in their local communities.
As a framework, the Crayon Values are – Integrity, Pace, Agility, and Quality.
- Integrity builds trust, which is essential to sustaining our position as an integral part of our customers’ IT solutions team.
- Pace ensures we identify opportunities rapidly and execute value propositions to customers faster than our competitors.
- Agility fuels our innovations to remain the global leader in intelligent technology and cloud-based solutions.
- Quality is tied to integrity, as we have exacting and high standards to drive successful project outcomes and ongoing customer retention.
In my personal life, I’d always like to keep things very simple and follow 5 key aspects; Spirit of Giving, Lead with Humility, Kindness to all, Leadership with fierce desire to succeed, Respect to one another.
How are you giving back to society?
We have 45 offices around the world, and in each of those cities, our employees are encouraged to volunteer their time and effort to help make a difference. This is because of HQ’s culture of caring.
Last year we partnered with a non-governmental organization – Child Rights and You (CRY) which aims to restore children’s rights. Under the umbrella of CRY, Crayon launched a project called ‘Sparsha’- a multi-stakeholder approach involving community, parents, teachers, schools, and government. To remove hurdles that stand in the way of a child’s right to education we adopted Sparsha Center in Sion, Koliwada, Mumbai. Now this project is taking care of 100+ kids from class 1 to class 12 from Sion center. While Crayon Software as a company continues to support such causes, we also encourage our employees and people around us to volunteer in social causes such as blood donations, minimizing carbon footprints, reducing waste, and many more.