We had the honour of hosting our eminent guest speaker G.V Prasad,Co-Chairman and Managing Director of Dr. Reddy's Laboratories, for the 1st session from the webinar series "Becoming The Best Version of Yourself".
Power of Purpose
Mr. GV Prasad is the true personification of leading with purpose. The sheer enthusiasm with which he talks about his work and experience mesmerized the audience. From being candid about his struggles, to enjoying success by providing holistic health care, he showed how perseverance and resilience can help an individual in achieving one’s dreams. By launching affordable products, Dr. Reddy’s was able to achieve success by reaching a wider audience and at the same time expanding the pool of patients who were able to buy medicines at a lower price. His candid responses gave us an idea of the vulnerabilities we might face as a future leader.
On being asked about his inner purpose, Mr. Prasad talked about how in times like these, he realized the significance of the work they were doing as a company. He said that the company’s core value is always to make a difference rather than running after profit or numbers. The purpose he tries to pursue is making medicines affordable and finding innovative solutions to meet unmet demands. Even during the pandemic the company never stopped production and he was amazed to see the leadership qualities shown by factory workers to the top management. They had two primary goals, first was to keep everyone safe, and second was to ensure that the supply of critical medicines didn’t stop. He said that they were able to endure the pressure because his company believes in living the values rather than just stating them.
We learnt that he is driven by the founder’s vision to make one dollar equivalent to one rupee, meaning that if a product is available for one dollar in the United States of America then it should be available for one rupee in India. To become a truly global company, the company has a set of philosophies, the first being “people”. Mr. Prasad believes in people management – he hires the best leaders and aligns them to the company’s values. Second is “governance”, which he says is critical for working for the welfare of all the stakeholders and not just promoters. They are stern on the fact that the interests of one subgroup should not be traded with another subgroup and maintain transparency. Third is “Science and Technology”, Mr. Prasad highlights that they’ve been trying to incorporate technology and leverage it to make medicine more accessible.
Sh. Anil Sachdev also asked about the qualities he looks for in a leader & his reply really inspired us. He firmly believes that a leader should be the right balance of intellect and integrity, authentic, humble & able to pursue excellence. A leader should also be motivated by something beyond one’s own interest. He also talked about how he is able to look at the details of any project and focus on the bigger picture. Integrity has been at the core of his beliefs, if he has given his word he would abide by it & if he is unable to do so then he would try to mitigate the impact. No matter what the dilemma, one thing that he never compromises on is integrity.
Mr. Prasad also stresses on the fact that an organization is not a one-man play. He emphasizes the importance of building an institution, and as an example, he shared the story of how on the third day of the lockdown, workers in their factories were manufacturing sanitizers and giving them out for free. He then talks about the collaboration with Hari Krishna Mission’s Akshay Patra to help provide around twenty-five thousand meals every day, showing that they were living by their values.
In the end, while giving advice to the students of SOIL as future leaders, he said that in these testing times like this we have to be resilient. We need to come back with more strength, maintain calm and create a safe space for employees working with us. He said that the best way to find a solution is to be upfront and propagate candor. When one is transparent with employees, they can come up with solutions that you never even thought about. It was his mindful approach for business that really inspired us. While we move into a “VUCA” world with so much uncertainty, the key is to remain calm and be focused on the well-being of all.
Mr G.V Prasad is the Co-Chairman and Managing Director of Dr. Reddy's Laboratories. He is an entrepreneurial leader who is instrumental in building Dr. Reddy's into a global pharmaceutical company from India over the last three decades with focus on People Practices, Science and Technology leadership and Good Governance. He is committed to creating platforms that will unleash the human potential. Mr. Prasad studied at Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago and followed up his engineering degree with a one-year MBA at Purdue University.
About the Webinar Series: SOIL Founder & Chairman, Sh. Anil Sachdev gets into insightful conversations with Global Leaders every Thursday, 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM (IST). Every session will focus on:
-Insights from global leaders on how to become the best version of yourself
-How to leverage your unique talents and strengths to contribute your best to society & your work
Key Takeaways & Learning by:
PGPM – Human Resources, Batch of 2021