Millennium mams’ on a learning curve
Back in town after an “educational trip” to Mumbai, Rachna Prasad, the president of Millennium Mams’, writes about what the members of the financial literacy organisation for women took home from their interactions with some top business leaders.
How does one feel when one is given the responsibility of managing a trip to meet industry stalwarts and top investment gurus in a span of four days? Breathless, but with excitement!
Moments after landing at Mumbai airport on July 17, we were whisked off to Motilal Oswal Tower, where we were greeted by Raamdeo Agrawal, co-founder, Motilal Oswal Financial Services. His journey from zero to Rs 1,000 crore left us speechless and in awe. His success came from his unwavering conviction in equity which relied on entrepreneurship. Being part of Millennium Mams’, where our world primarily revolves around capital markets, this was a dream come true. Our questions were answered with ease and we felt rejuvenated with the knowledge he shared with us.
Our next stop was the majestic Vivanta by Taj, where we met R. Mukundan, MD and CEO of Tata Chemicals. The presentation prepared for us by Mukundan and John Mulhall, CFO, Tata Chemicals, on the four sectors that come under their company — consumer products, industrial chemicals, agri-solutions and neutraceuticals — surpassed all our expectations. Current performance and future prospects were discussed in depth and was followed by well-researched questions from our Mams’. There were some invaluable takeaways for us and we shared the company’s vision as well as got an insight into the future of the chemicals industry.
Our next leader was a brand custodian who met us at the Taj Mahal Palace, and the brand in question was the Tata group. Harish Bhat, brand custodian of the Tata group, walked us through the success of the brand and the road ahead for them. We learnt about the “founding pillars” of the Tata group, namely, serving the community and being a pioneer.
Nupur Mallick, group chief human resources officer, Tata group, another key top executive whom we met at the Taj Mahal Palace, had an equally challenging role — managing the human resources of a conglomerate like the Tata group. She shared her expertise on containing attrition and developing human resources as also the special programmes for women. It was a management lesson par excellence.
This was followed by the unmatched experience of meeting the individual at the helm of affairs — N. Chandrasekaran, chairman of Tata Sons. He shared with us his guiding philosophies in life, namely, “starting every day afresh” to “prioritising”. He left an indelible impression on us.
We also attended the annual general meeting (AGM) of the Indian Hotels Company Ltd (IHCL) as shareholders of the company, during which Chandrasekaran answered all our queries.
The day before the AGM, we were privileged to have an interactive session with Puneet Chhatwal, MD & CEO, IHCL, who gave us insights into the company’s progress and its way forward. Our Mams’ got a better idea about the hospitality industry.
As serious investors, we had to meet billionaire stock investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala. It was a captivating session with insights into the big picture about his favourite stocks. His success mantra was “nothing in life is linear” and “life is about learning and not about regrets”.
Our next meeting was with HDFC chairman Deepak Parekh, whom we met at HDFC House, who talked about housing finance as well as banking.
We got a preview of the state-of-the-art Tata Innovation Centre where they are making green vehicles.
Last but not the least, we had an informative experience at the Bharat Forge factory, a company that is associated with the evolution of Indian infrastructure. The greatest takeaway for me, perhaps, was the fact that how grounded and optimistic these super-achievers were.