This is an important lesson learned from my very interesting meeting with India’s biggest business tycoon, Mukesh Ambani.
I don’t have a wishlist of people I want to meet in India. But if I had one, the largest owner of India’s most valuable company would for sure be on top of it.
I have signalized clear interest in meeting the chairman of Reliance Industries for some time. To get a feel of the strategic thinking behind the incredible growth of one of his companies, the telecom network Jio. From 0 to 350 million subscribers in 3 years!!! I assume it is some bold-decision-making lessons behind that.
On the day of our meeting, I had just finished a session in my gym (a rare event), had a shower and met my wife in the lounge outside the gym. Mette had unusual company; 3 huge guys in suits positioned around the room. I sat down and she tried to spell something to me; A-M-B-A-N-I. She know he could have been on my list, if there was one.
It took some time before I understood, and identified Mr. Ambani walking on “my” threedmill on the other side of the window separating the gym and lounge.
So, my meeting with the man set to change the way a billion people work, play, learn and live – came very sudden.
The decision I had to make -very fast, was either to change back to gym-gear and join Mukesh, or to leave for the office as usual.
I knew all the other persons in the room, the team in the spa, so me re-entering was not a problem at all. Nothing could prevent at least a quick chat between two gentlemen working out. Right?
So of course I slipped on my t-shirt again and…
No, I didn’t.
Being bold lost for being modest and ultra-considerate, the Norwegian way.
Ambani was inside the gym being cheered by the hotel staff, and I remained on the other side of the glass -not wanting to disturb.
My bravest move this morning was to say “hello” to 2 of Ambanis life guards with machine-guns on the way out. That must be worth something?
My evaluation in the car towards the office: How considerate is it actually possible to be? Rather, how IDIOT is it possible to be? How could I, after 20 years of extreme India exposure fail on such a simple bold-decision making-opportunity?
I regularly ask the team at Grand Hyatt if my friend Mr. Ambani has come back to see me, but no luck yet.
Was there a learning from this episode?
Oh yes. A strong reminder of the basic fact that being modest or doubtful in a hyper competitive business environment as India, will not lead anywhere. Boldness and quick decisions is required! You must be ready at all times and immediately act on opportunities as they appear in front of you.
Change in strategy: Now I have a list, and you are of course on it Mukesh. So, see you soon😀🏋️♀️👍
The important topic of always getting your nose first into the situation is also covered in another blogpost I wrote: BUSINESS LESSONS FROM THE CHAOS OF INDIAN TRAFFIC?