CEO Speak

Vineet Nayar | Sampark Foundation | Dealing with disruption

Vineet Nayar, founder and chairman of Sampark Foundation and former CEO of HCL Technologies, believes in taking wild chances

Published 2 years ago on Dec 18, 2019 4 minutes Read
RA Chandroo

During recession, when companies chased customers, he put employees first at HCL Tech. When CEOs in their fifties were wondering which company to head next, he was selling his shares worth Rs.1.3 billion to start Sampark Foundation to teach children in rural India. And when leading Indian businessmen were narrating their success stories at Outlook Business’ Leading Edge 2019, he spoke of his failures including getting rusticated from school. If Vineet Nayar had to be described in a word, it would be ‘disruptive’. Therefore, he was the right candidate to speak on ‘dealing with disruption and leading with compassion’. 

He shared lessons he learnt from his childhood, which later led to his corporate success. Here are a few, as Nayar says, on “becoming a butterfly”.

Lesson 1: Act on wild ideas

The former HCL Tech CEO was taught this invaluable lesson by his mischief-making self, who had been made to stand outside his house, with little for clothes. It was his father’s punishment for breaking cutlery for fun. Nayar was begging to be let back in when his friends passing by stopped to giggle and tease him. Desperate to save himself from the embarrassing situation, he decided to turn it upside down. He began climbing trees, saying that his dad had allowed him to play Tarzan. Sure, he got a wh


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