The audience at Goafest is notoriously hard to please and bagging a standing ovation instantly grants one bragging rights. The speaker who held the audience rapt for 40 minutes was none other than Patanjali’s CEO Acharya Balkrishna. We tried to distil his sessions into five leadership lessons that you may want to sneak into your next presentation (#JustSaying).
Confidence is your language
Balkrishna must be the only FMCG CEO, who spoke for almost an hour in Hindi giving a lot of references in Sanskrit, at an ad-fest. What was also significant was his confidence. There wasn’t any awkward silence or pause and a confidence that the audience would be able to understand what he was saying.
Suited and booted? Who cares?
When Balkrishna took the stage, he eschewed the suits and the smart casuals for a white kurta and dhoti. He believes an ideal leader should never be conscious of what he is wearing or how he is going to look, when addressing anyone, be it the consumer or any other stakeholders. Wearing formal outfits makes no significant impact; if you have an intelligent comment to make, people will listen attentively.
Give power point presentations a miss. Maybe.
We can all agree there are few things worse than the bog standard PPT that goes on for what feels like a lifetime. One could instead make a point with solid facts, and most importantly through great stories. Balkrishna narrated a number of anecdotes to support his points of view. And, coolly took the stage without any notes.
Brush up your sense of humour
Not many CEOs would pass comments on their competition in a public forum. Balkrishna did joke around, of course, in all good spirit. What was interesting is he weaved in his sense of humour appropriately at various occasions to brighten the mood of the setting. Honestly, not many would have pulled it off this well.
Make a difference
What Patanjali just proved over the last a couple of years is clutter breaking in the true sense. Baba Ramdev and Balkrishna are on a mission to give people of this country the desi experience. There is probably no company which has launched such an array of products in such a short span of time and denting market share figures, that had seemed unshakeable for decades.
Like it or not, the makers of Patanjali are setting up some great examples to the corporate world by being the exact opposite of them.