Business Today 14th January 2018 - Page 41

ILLUSTRATIONS BY AJAY THAKURI needed to raise the confidence and trust of people in a leader’s transparency and fairness. I have been influenced a lot in my values by my par- ents and teachers. It is fair to say that the person who has had the most impact on my professional values is J.G. Krishnayya (called JGK by his students and colleagues), my professor at IIM-A. I was Chief Systems Programmer at the Computer Centre at IIM-A. JGK is probably the finest articulator that I have come across. I still remember how he gave an eloquent review of a book in 1970. When a bright stu- dent asked him where he got hold of the book since it had not yet been released in India, he smiled and said he had just read the review in Time magazine! Every conversation with him taught us, his disciples, some- thing new. The biggest lesson that I learnt from him was that of using data and facts to arrive at a decision. In almost every conversation, JGK would impress upon us the importance of using data and facts. There would be so many occasions when he and I would differ passionately on issues in the morning, but by lunch time he would come to my office smiling to pick me up for lunch at the faculty lounge at IIM-A. When, at the end of a heated argument, I asked him whether he was upset with me, he would simply smile and say that he was disappointed with my poor arguments, not with me. His favourite piece of advice was: “Live and learn”. Sometimes, he would also say he was sad about my inability to collect relevant data and facts for my arguments. The good thing with such an approach was that I was encouraged to col- lect proper data and facts before arguing my case. It also helped me to realise that it is the hierarchy of January 14 I 2018 I BUSINESS TODAY I 41