Friday, May 24, 2024

Vineet Nayyar, former Vice Chairman of Tech Mahindra passes away at 85

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“Heartbreaking news.. India has lost one its finest leaders today.. #VineetNayyar.. Personally it’s like losing the light that has led me for decades…He was friend, philosopher, brother, guide & statesman par excellence.. My heart and thoughts with Reva and family. #OmShanti,” he wrote.

“Cherish Vineet for his contribution in building India, turning Satyam-TechM around, and years of exemplary leadership that helped us rise.. Sharing some of my fond memories and learnings of working with Vineet.. #RIPVineet you live forever in our hearts,” Gurnani added.

Celebrating a ‘Guru’

Gurnani also linked a post he wrote on LinkedIn at the start of the year in tribute to “someone who shaped how I learn and lead over 30 years”.

“What an opportune day to celebrate a ‘guru’ – someone who shaped how I learn and lead for over 30 years. On #GuruPurab, I am reminded of none other than Vineet Nayyar, and the mentorship, partnership, and camaraderie I enjoyed through various milestones of our professional journey. We started out with HCL-Perot Systems, and every day since then, Vineet has been a daily source of inspiration, guidance, and strength for me.,” Gurnani wrote.

He added that the lessons and principles learnt from Nayyar, especially during their time at Satyam, “not only fostered a culture of trust between the two of us but have also become integral aspects of how I approach challenges and lead teams”.

“Today, Vineet is not just a leader. He is a friend, guide, and a true visionary. From him, I learnt patience, the importance of consensus management, and a laser focus on the bottom line,” Gurnani said.

Lessons Learnt

Gurnani listed the “powerful leadership lessons” he picked from Nayyar. The first of these he listed as “bold is beautiful”—making difficult decisions with clarity and grace.

“The acquisition of Satyam is the biggest example. And then, there are the multiple joint ventures. I learnt that fearless, right decision-making not only helped set good precedence but gave an extra shot of confidence to every member of the team,” he wrote.

The second lesson was “on dot, between the lines,” in which Gurnani credited Nayyar’s “sharp numerical acumen and deep understanding of legal intricacies” with impacting his approach to leadership.

“These skills have not only streamlined our decision-making processes but also empowered us to handle complex situations, such as the legal uncertainties surrounding the Satyam acquisition. The actual cost of handling these issues turned out to be a mere fraction of our initial concerns,” he added.

The third lesson was “humility and humour”. Gurnani recalled Nayyar being “transparent, direct, and fair”, terming it a “gold standard for leadership”. He added: “But along with it, I learnt another secret mantra from him – the importance of humour and humility in success. The ability to laugh at oneself was an important life skill I discovered.”

The fourth lesson he added was “this too shall pass”, where Gurnani acknowledged Nayyar’s ability to manage stress. As an anecdote, he shared: “During the Satyam days, it was his resilience and calmness that kept us going. In the bleakest of moments, he would debate, discuss and then finally assure us with the four words: This too shall pass.”

The final lesson he noted was “less is more” and complimented Nayyar’s ability to efficiently manage resources “while maintaining optimal performance”.

“In a world often consumed by excess, Vineet’s frugal approach has taught us the importance of judicious resource utilization,” Gurnani recalled.

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Published: 16 May 2024, 01:21 PM IST

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