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Interview with Vikram Sehgal, Director Finance - IBAP (India, Bangladesh, Africa & Pakistan)

What is a high-performing team, in your opinion? And how did the recent COVID 19 pandemic change how high-performing teams operate?

A high-performing team can sustain its performance under continuous environmental changes through constant innovation and collaboration. In the times of COVID 19, the new reality of abrupt changes makes it even more important for the teams to be fully equipped with a balanced and diverse group of people who can perform together during disruptions. A high-performing team works on developing, automating and digitising the processes while simultaneously focusing on growth during the stable phase and maintaining the achievements during the disruptive phase.

Leadership directly impacts a team's overall performance and productivity. In your opinion, what leadership skills and behaviours help foster a culture of higher performance, collaboration and creativity?

The leader's job is to ensure that the team has the right mix of people with complementary skill sets. Members of a diverse team can collaborate and support each other in disruptive times. Once the leader has set up a well-matched and diverse group, they need to continuously engage with the team to ensure there is room for all to perform and contribute while working toward a common goal. Recognising the individual contribution and linking it to the overall company goals are essential to ensure that the team collaborates and approaches the task creatively. Some behaviours and skills that help a leader achieve that are a clear understanding of the team's strengths and weaknesses, open communication, honesty, and connecting with each team member.

What are the three important daily steps to help your team perform better?

1. I look for and enjoy opportunities for informal one-on-one or group connections with team members daily, which creates a safe and fun working environment and helps me understand my team beyond formal work communication and gain better insight into what engages them. 

2. I review the impact of current and forthcoming challenges in the ever-changing business environment and engage with the team to see possible solutions to overcoming those challenges and how I can best serve them as their manager to succeed in overcoming the challenges.

3. I prioritise daily open communication and information sharing for my team. We share critical developments in Centrient and outside to equip them to understand the business dynamics better and help them make informed decisions. 

What is your approach to giving feedback?

My approach to giving and receiving feedback is direct, clear and timely, where the objective is that it reaches the person receiving constructively but does not cause negative feelings. I am always respectful, friendly and polite but at the same time clear and direct in my communication. I aim to contribute to the person's growth and add value to them professionally. 

Vikram Sehgal, Director Finance - IBAP (India, Bangladesh, Africa & Pakistan)