Sreedhar Bevara, General Manager of Panasonic, has written a book, Moment of Signal.
Coming from a family that struggled to meet ends, Sreedhar Bevara, General Manager of Panasonic, who has written a book, Moment of Signal, in an interview to The Sunday Guardian, said that everyone starts with uncertainty in every new role, but he kept looking out for the right moments of signal. Excerpts:
Q: You have grown from the bottom to find yourself at the top. How did you turn your adversities into great opportunities?
A: Passion can fuel one to stay on top and afloat; it guides us to stay ahead of the curve, it lets us find best ways and means to tackle the dynamic chain of “choice and action”, teaches us how such an approach can empower us to make great decisions and help to narrow down the chances of failures. Second, stay focussed despite all odds and hardships. Third, a collaborative mindset attracts positivity. A combination of these three factors can unearth the depth of our own potential and let us reach out to people. I’m no exception; these are the three things that helped me turnaround from time to time and stay relevant.
Coming from a family that struggled to meet ends, all four siblings had to settle in some benevolent relatives’ place in order to lessen the burden on our parents, who, in fact, had no choice. Having failed the intermediate examinations repeatedly, I had to find alternatives to survive. Be it entrepreneurial milk vending job or door-to-door delivery of dressed poultry mat, after years of these random jobs, going back to school became my priority. I kept finding the right signals and that helped me find the right people to bail me throughout the critical phases.
Q: “Moment of Signal” is the first book you have written. What inspired you to write?
A: Though I wrote a book in 2004—a compilation of my poetry—Moment of Signal is my first non-fiction attempt in the leadership area. I have been into writing since I was in school.
The more I was getting deep into the corporate culture, the more I saw how people didn’t admire themselves, but always looked out for inspiration… How they didn’t celebrate the leadership within and always awaited the impossible victories to do so… How much they ignored and didn’t value those little wins everyday… and the list was dropping down long. Despite opportunities, modern leaders are always under stress and don’t find it easy to lead. That was the background behind Moment of Signal —it emphasises that “the best way to excel is to find the right signal and you have to find that signal for yourself”.
Malcolm Gladwell is among the few writers I admire. Outliers: The Story of Success is one of his excellent works.
Q: In your book, you have mentioned about following the right signals to success. How can one identify and utilise these moments of signals to realise their full leadership potential?
A: We must put every possible effort to stay relevant, which means one must live in the present to an optimum level while constantly staying ahead in our thought process. The world is waiting for each and every one of us, and the great news is that these signals are available free to everyone. The biggest takeaway for the readers from this book is ‘‘you can learn the secrets of some of the world’s most notable people and how they got to their position, how they select and encourage the best people and how they turn crisis into opportunity”.
Q: As you climbed the corporate ladder, how did everything around you start taking shape?
A: I started my second innings with The Hindu, in 2000. I moved to Dubai in April 2003 to join a German company Waeco Middle East and until 2007, I worked as a regional marketing manager. Later, I joined LG Electronics’ regional headquarters for Middle East & Africa region in 2007 and headed their Business solutions division under the leadership of K.W. Kim, the then CEO of the MEA (Middle East and Africa) region until I found yet another new signal. I joined Panasonic as General Manager in April 2011 and currently am leading the Solution Business for the African region. We all start uncertain and skeptical in every new environment or role. But as long as there’s a focussed approach and time invested in acquainting with the environment, there will be more possibilities of reducing the chances of failure.
Q: How do we balance anticipation and current situation? How can we focus on one factor without jeopardising the other?
A: In leadership activities, nothing moves in a linear fashion. However, one must keep common objectives in view and every activity must be directed towards that. In such an environment, focus becomes more pertinent and delegation of authority helps leaders stay ahead.
Empowerment is one of the key elements of leadership. Bigger the objectives, major the pool should be, and without sharing roles and responsibilities (R&R), failure is imminent. Optimising the present is as important as envisaging the future course. But a balanced approach remains the key to sustain in this most dynamic world.
Q: You are currently working on two more books, The Roaring Lambs and Guardians: Born to Protect. How are they going? What are your future plans?
A: Yes…with my first successful non-fiction outing, I’m now more encouraged. The kind of feedback received so far has been overwhelming. The next project The Roaring Lambs, a leadership fable of animals set in the backdrop of East African jungle, is scheduled to release in July this year, and Guardians: Born to Protect, the first of a trilogy, is a sci-fi interlaced with mythology set in the backdrop of 2050AD, and is set for release in January 2020.