Thursday, April 14, 2011

Brand Raghu Pillai

Mr. P K Mohapatra who was associated with Mr. Raghu Pillai has penned a wonderful and very insightful article which delves into the man, mentor, leader and colleague named Raghu PIllai. His comments about Raghu being a hurricane is so very accurate and everyone who has been caught up in the force of that hurricane can testify to the life altering experience of working with him. Please click on the link below to read the full article.

Brand Raghu Pillai

Some of the more memorable quotes of Raghu are –

When presented with a complicated Excel working he would say “Stop this Excel gymnastics and tell me what it means and what you will do with it”.
  • His comment “English jhadna band kaar” (Stop spouting English) has been the guiding light to making crisp and meaningful presentations for many.
  • The customer is always right was not mere words and he walked the talk by briefing the cashiers during any store launch to not argue about promotions.
  • Lastly his perspective of the larger picture and its components was amply illustrated when he told someone who was discussing compensation; “I don’t think a few thousands here or there will significantly affect the balance sheet of this company”
 Many more such memories fill my mind and will continue to do so…..

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Dear Raghu, RIP.

Mr. Raghu Pillai, one of the founding fathers of Indian Corporate Retail, was a great leader and an outstanding human being. In the years of my association with him, I have seen him help, counsel, mentor so many people including myself that it is almost impossible to keep count.

To say that he was a simple and a very nice person is so inadequate when one remembers him and recalls the many instances of interactions with him. Outside his apartment complex today where many cars were parked and several drivers were gathered talking together, I heard one of them remark “He was such a good person at heart” and everyone else agreed wholeheartedly. A senior industry captain to have touched the lives of people from every economic background and be remembered as such is not something one gets to see or hear often.

Indian Corporate Retail, nay, Indian industry itself has today lost a true and natural leader who knew every facet of business inside out. His views and comments were based on sound basics learnt literally and figuratively at the shop floor. His genuine care and concern for his team was something to be experienced in order to understand the depth of this loss. He always set a wonderful example for others to emulate.

These few words are so small to try and capture the essence of the person that Raghu was and his myriad achievements. May his soul rest in peace.