Leadership in Action

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“Follow your passion, whatever you do put your heart and soul in it. Do not be afraid of failures. But be honest and believe in teamwork. Be nice and humble,” …. Dilip Sinha, Vice President – Middle East & India, nVent and Secretary General of IBPC Dubai in a candid chat with Iqbal Azeez

The story of Dilip Sinha is a case study for new gen India. Born in small town of Goaplganj in Bihar, he turned his fortunes through hard-work and sheer determination. We went on to gain a degree in engineering from Sardar Patel College of Engineering and did his MBA from Bradford University, England. A consistent winner in elocution, debates during his academic days, Sinha worked with global MNCs like Rockwell Automation, Honeywell Inc and now nVent Inc.

Living in Dubai since 1990, Sinha was elected as Secretary General of Indian Business & Professional Council (IBPC) in 2019. In his new role, Sinha has succeeded in building a strong UAE-India relationship. By co-ordinating with Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) and Indian Consulate, he is backing Indian states to link with business and professional Indian diaspora in Dubai.

Excerpts of Iqbal Azeez’s discussion with Sinha:

UAE is celebrating its 50th National Day. What is your take on UAE@50 and the role played by Indian professionals in the creation of a modern UAE?

UAE is already a modern state. Thanks to the visionary leadership here. IBPC Dubai is supporting Indian Business and professional diaspora is connecting Indian diaspora with Emirati companies. We are also supporting to accelerate India-UAE Trade and FDI growth. We are also projecting UAE as a key destination to live, work and do business with ease. I am a patriot and support UAE-India trade relations. I am grateful to Emirati leadership for their support of Indian diaspora for ages. Its growing in strength after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit.

India is targeting to become a $5 trillion economy. Indian professionals are now all over the world. How can they help India achieving that golden target?

Indian business diaspora can try to understand the enormous opportunities that India offers during its journey to become $5 trillion economy.

There are immense opportunities in manufacturing, technology, infrastructure and sustainable energy sectors to invest. IBPC is dealing with every state government and business delegation that is visiting Dubai and linking their investment opportunities with our Indian and Emirati business diaspora.

What support you are expecting from the India government to facilitate NRIs to join the great march to become a giant economy?

It is very important to get clear and specific opportunities that exists and emerges in the key sectors for NRIs to invest. It will be ideal for Indian businesses to do roadshows in the UAE and other countries to exhibit opportunities. Providing useful information to access government departments where these opportunities can be availed. I also recommend the government of India to launch energy, infra funds where NRIs can invest with full repatriation ability.

Which are the business sectors you are involved in?

I am involved in power, energy, industrial automation, smart cities and sustainability. These are my key areas of expertise. I have spent 32 years with global MNCs like Rockwell Automation, Honeywell and now nVent Inc.

What is your formula for the work ethos needed to make it to the top?

Integrity and compliance are fundamentals. Perseverance, focussed approach, alignment to the corporate strategy, team work and effective communication skills are key.

Overriding all this is to work with passion and deliver results consistently. Respect for cultural, gender diversity is important at work place and life.

I believe in collaboration, team work. Good strategy is only as good as its execution. I dislike top down approach except when absolutely necessary.

Like to hire the best people, pay them well and let them perform. You pay peanuts you get similar quality people. People are the assets and they make or break the organisation.

I believe in diversity at work both gender diversity and cultural diversity.

How different are you from your contemporaries?

Well, not much. We are all human beings so in fact we are all same.  I like smart working culture , efficiency and honesty. If this is missing you have lost the plot.

I do not compromise when it comes to integrity and ethics. Values are very important whether it is work, public life or personal life.

What was your turning point in life?

Joining Rockwell Automation in 1990 March was step in right direction and joining Honeywell in leadership position in 2001 was key turning points in my career.

During my college days, getting elected as General Secretary of Sardar Patel College of Engineering, Bombay University, was first step in learning what leadership and people management is all about.

The biggest challenge you faced in life and how did you manage to overcome that?

The first Gulf War in 1990 was a set back to business and it disrupted everything. But I kept my focus and won the day.

The pandemic was one of the biggest challenge, but keeping cool and focussed, motivating people and not letting work suffer led to greater success as the pandemic ebbed.

Any role models in personal life and professional life?

Dave Cote, former chairman of Honeywell, was my work role model and my father GSP Sinha who rose from small village to be chairman of a joint sector undertaking were my role models.

My father was my inspiration since childhood. He came from a small village in Bihar and ended up in a top job.

He was the President of Uthkal Chamber of Commerce and Industry thrice and also governing board member of FICCI in the late nineties thrice.

When you look back, what is your greatest achievement in life?

My greatest achievement has been being able to make a difference where ever I have worked – be it business or public life . On a personal front –  my three sons getting to the best of the universities with their hard work and becoming good citizens makes me feel proud.

The best critic and the best supporters in life?

That has to be my wife and my children.

You are a professional turned entrepreneur. What is your advice to the millennials who want to follow your footsteps?

Follow your passion, whatever you do put your heart and soul in it.

Do not be afraid of failures. But be honest and believe in teamwork. Be nice and humble. Humility and Modesty should be key traits of all people big or small.

SHORT-TAKES

Favourite book: Ramayana

Film: Jis Desh Me Ganga Behti Hai

Gadget: iPhone

Social Media: LinkedIn

Food: All Indian Food

First Job: Sales Engineer

Memorable moment: Train to Mumbai

Holiday destination: Switzerland

Favourite Day: It’s a Cycle – Go On

Are you a saver or spender? Balanced