Guest lecture by Mr. Alok Sharman

Candid conversations with C-suite: Guest lecture by Mr. Alok Sharman

It is not every day that students are treated to a speaker who is as candid and relatable as Alok Sharman. On 20th July, as students gathered in the auditorium after an exhausting day full of classes, the mood was lit up by the York – Group CEO and Director Alok Sharman.

Having begun his professional life in sales, he moved up to various prestigious organizations such as AGFA, Valvoline, and Reliance across multiple countries, he spent the first half of the session talking about how students could develop their personal brands. This was peppered with his personal philosophy of having strong ethics, living with no regrets, working for something one is passionate about and advertising oneself when needed.

He followed this with his experience in Brazil as part of Valvoline. Students were fascinated with his stories of discovering the Brazilian philosophy of ‘Cama’ or being calm, and of the more liberal norms in terms of dressing and navigating the cultural landscape. It was amazing to learn from his experiences what exactly it meant to be truly Indian.

Mr. Sharman then shifted the conversation to his turnaround of York, a company which had great potential but was losing a lot of money. By using a great re-branding strategy, strong P&L strategy and by strengthening their relationship with their employees through engagement activities. With his efforts, he was able to finally turn the EBITDA positive. He distilled his philosophy for turning around York with the ‘other 4 Ps’ namely: People, Pace, Premiumness, and Passion. Towards the end, he gave tips about cracking interviews. It was exciting to hear what companies want from a CEO.

It is not often to have someone from the C-suite come down to a B-School to give an A-plus talk. Students left the talk feeling more confident with the boost of optimism he provided. We are certain to remember this talk for a long time and remember it in times of doubt.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.