Sudhir speaks about the distinction between these two terms that could often be confused. He goes onto say that HUL’s core competence is the ability to understand consumer needs and giving brands to solve those needs. He goes on to say that its strength in some of the other areas like distribution might be a competitive advantage but that is not the “heart of the gig” it is in.
Sudhir Sitapati is currently Executive Director, Foods and Refreshments at Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL). He has just published his first book - The CEO Factory, published by Juggernaut Books.
I have had the privilege of knowing him for the last 22 years right from the day we joined IIM Ahmedabad in the summer of 1997. This podcast conversation is special for a few reasons. 1) It is the first time I am interviewing a friend on the podcast 2) It is the first time two siblings have been on a podcast (I had interviewed Sudhir’s brother Vinay on his book Half Lion a while back). 3) Sudhir speaks about Prof AK Jain of IIMA in the book and in the podcast. I had the fortune of being taught by Prof Jain and happened to interview him in the context of a felicitation function we had organised last year. You can find my interview with Prof AK Jain here.
In this conversation, Sudhir and I spoke about various elements of his book - The CEO Factory. We spoke about a range of topics including how HUL looks for talent and thinks about career planning, the importance of having an HR function with teeth, how it breeds Entrepreneurial Professionalism, the distinction between core competence and competitive advantage, unlocking the value of mavericks, the secret sauce behind the culture and how that gets propagated and much more. I also happened to shoot this conversation in a video format. If you prefer that, please see our interview here.
Published in Dec 2019.
Deepak is a Leadership Advisor and an Executive Coach. He works with leaders to improve their effectiveness and in helping them make better decisions specifically around organizational and career transitions. He currently runs Transition Insight (www.transitioninsight.com
) and works with leaders to handle phases of transition thoughtfully. He has worked as an Operations Consultant with KPMG in UK, Strategy Consultant with McKinsey in the US and as a Leadership Consultant with EgonZehnder (a Swiss Leadership Advisory firm) where he helped companies recruit CEOs, CXOs and Board Members and worked on Leadership Development. Deepak is a certified CEO Coach and is an alumnus of IIT Madras, IIM Ahmedabad and London Business School. His detailed profile can be found at https://in.linkedin.com/in/djayaraman
1.Vijay Amritraj 2.Amish Tripathi 3.Raghu Raman 4.Papa CJ 5.Kartik Hosanagar 6.Ravi Venkatesan 7.Abhijit Bhaduri 8.Viren Rasquinha 9.Prakash Iyer 10.Avnish Bajaj 11.Nandan Nilekani 12.Atul Kasbekar 13.Karthik Reddy 14.Pramath Sinha 15.Vedika Bhandarkar 16.Vinita Bali 17.Zia Mody 18.Rama Bijapurkar 19.Dheeraj Pandey 20.Anu Madgavkar 21.Vishy Anand 22. Meher Pudumjee 23.KV Shridhar (Pops) 24.Suresh Naraynan 25.Devdutt Pattanaik 26.Jay Panda 27.Amit Chandra 28.Chandramouli Venkatesan 29.Roopa Kudva 30.Vinay Sitapati 31.Neera Nundy. 32.Deepa Malik 33.Bombay Jayashri. 34.Arun Maira 35.Ambi Parameswaran 36.OP Bhaat 37.Indranil Chakraborty 38.Tarun Khanna 39. Ramachandra Guha 40. Stewart Friedman 41. Rich Fernandez 42. Falguni Nayar 43. Rajat Gupta 44. Kartik Hosanagar 45. Michael Watkins 46. Matt Dixon 47. Herminia Ibarra 48. Paddy Upton 49. Tasha Eurich 50. Alan Eagle.
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