If you don’t dare to make mistakes now, when will you – My Journey with Piyush Sharma

Piyush Sharma, Dean (internationalization), Hong kong polytechnic university on IWSB campus
Piyush Sharma, Dean (internationalization), Hong kong polytechnic university on IWSB campus

Prof. Piyush Sharma, Dean (internationalization) from Hong Kong Polytechnic university was on the IWSB campus to deliver and interact as part of My Journey series of June. This initiated the Pg 11-13 batch too as it was their first My Journey interaction. The new batch was still trickling in and the pg12 was eager to take off this year.

Piyush who has had his university education in Engineering at Delhi College of Engineering, continued his MBA from IIM Bangalore after a few years of working in the corporate world. He went on to do his Ph.D. in marketing from Nanyang University a good 15 years later. In this interactive session he was not only sharing his journey but also was challenging the students to push themselves. Most of his interaction was through questions he himself raised or the ones raised by participants.

Why join acads, even when there was not much money?

Reasons could be –
– like to teach
– make name as a good facilitator and mentor
– Quest for knowledge
– Stable life

Then thought came about PhD.
o Which discipline
o After PhD what, where?

My education broadly can be summarised as –
– 1987 : BE, DCE
– 1993 : IIM Bangalore
– 2006 : Phd, Nanyang, Spore

What did I do before your PhD?

– 1987-89 BHEL, Jhansi
– 89-91 Consulting, Bureau of public enterprises, Delhi
o Economy opened up
o Mandal commission agitation
o Tinanmen square
o Government was thinking of selling off public enterprises
Then went to IIMB, followed by –
– 1993-2002
o Marketing at ITC, Dabur, Becton Dickinson, Hometrade
§ Move from one company to another, mostly for money. That doubles at every jump!!
– 2006-Nov
o Hong Kong Polytechnic, Hong Kong

What do you expect from your job and career? piyush asked
– Money
– Job satisfaction
– Discovering self
o Discovered that I can work under stress too
– Good work environment
o Physical
o Psychological
– Designation and status
– Challenges

What am I passionate about? Questions to be asked :
– What do I love
– What is my personality
– What gets me going

A few are successful and not every one. What are chief ingredients to succeed

o Forming an outlook that is positive
o Solution finder than problem creator
o Self correcting attitude
o Humility to acknowledge that I need to improve
Risk Taking
o To get into places
Ability to learn
Ability to analyse
o Recognizing right time to do MBA
o Should know when to strike it to make big impact
Think like a manager
o If I were the manager in the org, how will I go about.
o Balancing between how to act quickly and
o If it is my company, what would I do
o To be able to be in the zone 24/7
Take more informed decision
o Do good research
Be a good people person
o Understand people
o Motivating people
Be aware of the value that you are adding;
o Do not lose sight of what is happening beyond or behind

[OCB – Organizations Citizenship Behaviour : Understand
of Knowing about the organization, how it is impacting and how it is growing]

– Being able to learn on the job
o You are living in a world that is fast changing
o [Black Swann – book…]
o It always existed, but not many have seen it
o You cannot plan for a few incidents, but have to cope with
o There are people who have wider perspective and are able to see what every one talks about
o Make and see that you can adopt a few of things that you learn from
o Try and innovate and come out with your own ideas

– Have your voice
o Try and do things to raise your visibility in the organization
o When you are working in a team, take initiatives
o Eg When I was in ITC, based in odisha
§ Need to develop network with people with similar situations
§ Turn over tax was an Issue, which I thought should be taken up at the highest level
· Distribution via Bihar than directly in Odisha
· Presentation to be made to the CM
· Later they withdrew the tax
o It is about risk taking too
o Be open to learning

What motivated to do PhD?

– Passion, family in education could be one of the influencers
– I always took training modules in which ever company I have served in
· I was the best trainer in the company even when I was a sales guy
· Selling, talking to people is a passion,

How did you realize that money is not your motivation time?

– I could not see my son for the first four years of his existence
– So being with family was an important parameter

Changing companies? why?

– In the beginning it was mostly for money
– As I grew, things changed and I learnt more

Learning regarding human beings

– I worked through India and outside too
– Do not judge by the cover
– People look very different but give them a chance
– Let them share what they want to
– Do not pre-judge people

Structured vs Start up
– If you enjoy being in creative mode, dirtying hands then you will thrive
– Make mistakes now if you want to, since opportunities cost is low now

– Organizations shape the behaviour of people within, though People shape organizational behaviour too
– Cultural intelligence
o Different levels
o People are different – do not judge through your lense
o You have to have passion – learnt tamil when I was posted in Chennai

Understanding with my boss is a process, it is not an event. You have to be very cautious and figure out what and how.

Two of the take homes from the session are –
· Passion is fundamental
· If you do not make mistakes now, when will you!!

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