Jason Jennings’ take on recession: Don’t fear it, don’t let go of people, spend time with customers

Our Bureau Bengaluru | Updated on October 13, 2019 Published on October 13, 2019

Jason Jennings   -  PTI

“Recession is not to be feared as it is the best time for a business to grow,” is Jason Jennings’ advice to CEOs and decision makers.

The eminent international speaker and author was here to deliver the keynote address titled ‘Innovation and Reinvention with focus on Manufacturing’ and ‘Towards Agile Manufacturing’, as part of BFW’s (Bharat Fritz Werner) Manufacturing Day 2019 event. “According to me, letting go of people during an economic slowdown is bad for an organisation as it releases a great knowledge base that the company will require when the economy picks up,” he observed. Decision makers should spend at least half their time talking to customers as this will bring them in tune with all strata of business, he added.

Jennings shared his knowledge acquired over years researching for his best-selling books. This includes screening over 2,20,000 companies, and interviewing about 18,000 CEOs, MDs and successful entrepreneurs.

Six leadership traits

He enumerated six leadership traits of the most agile and people-driven companies in the world. These companies are purpose-driven, built around doing well by doing good, exist to grow so as to attract and engage with the right people, are not afraid to let go of yesterday’s bread-winners, make a lot of small bets, simplify and systematise everything and are led by good stewards, he said.

Greater contribution

Jennings further said that in most developed nations, manufacturing contributes about 50 per cent of the GDP. In India, this number is just 15 per cent.

By boosting manufacturing’s contribution to 25 per cent, as envisioned by the government, millions of families will acquire middle-class status, bringing India on par with China, he added.

He said millennials are not just concerned about food, shelter and clothing, but want to feel good about what they do for a living. They want growth, to feel wanted, and to achieve their full potential. Only companies that are mindful of their employee needs will sustain over time as people, not technology, is the real differentiator.

Jennings interviewed 32 Indian CEOs across industry verticals to understand the prevailing business environment in India.

Ravi Raghavan, CEO and MD, BFW, said: “The company conceived the idea of ‘Manufacturing Day’ with an objective to bring together all leading stakeholders, key decision makers, thought leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs on single platform, to facilitate the exchange of knowledge, flow of ideas, learnings and inspiring intellectual discussions through engaging panel sessions and presentations.”

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Published on October 13, 2019
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