ITC Logo
Media Centre
Press Report

Real learning happens in the market place : Atul Chand, ITC Lifestyle Retailing
The Economic Times - 15 May 2012

The brief I was given and what I did

It has remained the mantra of my working life. I was told 'real' learning happens in the market place, and the best way to start was to roll up your sleeves and work from the ground-level. The intensive training programme included putting up posters, cycling to the market to sell goods, touring rural areas and selling in village fairs... Everyone was a mentor.

The best leadership lesson I learnt

During the launch of a new brand, I learnt how to marshal diverse resources in a collaborative manner. While working in a team, how important it is to identify each one's strength, build on it and give space to every individual. Only when we rise above individual differences can we move towards achieving a common goal.

How I managed my work-life balance

In an era when mobiles and emails were yet to arrive, the best way to keep in touch with family and friends was via letter-writing. Listening to music and trekking in Sikkim helped me maintain a fine balance.

The worst mistake I made

Once during the touring cycle, in my enthusiasm to complete a task, I overlooked the danger of venturing in the dark to some of the then-troubled areas in North Bengal, and put myself and my team at risk. Although I did extricate us all from a dangerous situation, it taught me lessons in risk-taking.

My biggest innovation

During a promotional drive in the rural market, we faced an awkward situation. The promotional van broke down on the way. After getting over the initial disappointment, I converted my touring vehicle into a brand van with posters and cut-outs. I hired local talent from the surrounding villages for the entertainment section, and the programme helped save the day. The lesson learnt was that every difficult condition brings with it solutions - we just need to think afresh and innovate.

Click here to know more about Lifestyle Retailing Business