In conversation with Mr. Asesh Jyoti Dutta, Chief Operating Officer at IFIN, as he shares his leadership mantra, his experience at IFIN and what it takes to blend in the wondrous IFIN culture

Tell us about your journey with IFIN?
In the year of 1996, my career kick started as an assistant manager in the Delhi IL&FS office and from thereon I have not only moved from one location to the other, but have also risen up the ranks to being Chief Operating Officer, IFIN. From being the first employee to have commenced operations at the Kolkata office, to taking overnight charge of the Delhi office, to finally moving base to Mumbai, I have been through an already wonderful physical transitional journey.

As an individual I have enjoyed interacting with people and over the years owing to my business networking, I have come across a lot of business promoters and professionals, who I have connected and made friends with. I have been extremely fortunate to have worked with wonderful colleagues. We were a bunch of young lads starting out in our careers within IL&FS, some moved on to other companiesafter a few years, while I still continued to stay with this greatinstitution. But there is still a bond that we share and it’s been a close-knit friendship till date. My inter-personal skills while dealing with different individuals has also contributed to this enriching journey, which has enhanced my personal learning experiences along the way.The camaraderie that we share makes us all feel that we are part of a big family.

The interesting bit about this journey has been that, just the way one grows in their personal spacewithin their own family, this organization (IL&FS) has also become an integral part of my life. Both personally and professionally, it has been a great learning platform and I have never felt stagnated. Movement through various geographies, interacting with diverse sets of client partners, and understanding their business closely has kept the momentum high for me at all times.

How has the organization helped you realize your career goals?

A huge plus for me is that the organization has always granted me with a lot of work and the independence to do it. Rather than being typical superiors, my supervisors have been enablers, motivators and helped me progress at work. They have been task masters of a different kind, wherein they provide a lot of positive assertion towards the team members.

One main factor is that our organization has a dynamic set of people. I have had the opportunity to be nurtured as a young talent, which in turn set a level of comfort within the dynamics of the team; so I have continuously felt satisfied with my work here. The organization culture is very accessible and follows an ‘open-door’ culture. My characteristics are similarly aligned to that of the group and the two match really well.

What is your leadership style and who has inspired the leader in you?
I have drawn encouragement from not just one but all my supervisors and each of them have made a positive impact in my career. As anopen-minded individual, I am able to accept good things from other individuals and imbibe them to keep myself motivated and constantly develop.
Clients, business promoters and leaders have also been inspirational and influential in terms of their business approach and fundamentals. I am deeply motivated by Mr Ramesh Bawa, MD and CEO, IL&FS, for his vision, passion, dedication and energy towards work.

None of my supervisors have ever been authoritarian towards work. So I try to follow a similar principle of facilitation process with my team members. As individuals, I feel they need to be guided and facilitated towards their career path, work with them to realize their goals and ultimately towards a common organizational objective.

How do you keep the team together and motivate them to achieve their goals?
I believe in being a good team player and behave like a fellow member would help, to provide direction to my team, rather than acting as a superior. It’s extremely important to have good inter-personal skills and team dynamics at the workplace. I would rather roll up my sleeves and work along with the team,instead ofconstantly supervising them. This way the team feels doubly motivated with a senior person working alongside. It also allows an opportunity to the member/s of my team to showcase their expertise and skills.

The secondtooland management control is,in setting time frames, setting goals. If a task is given, it is crucial to break them into smaller tasks and prioritize accordingly. My work would then be to simply monitor the time frames.

Thirdly, clarifying what is expected of them: clarity on expectation of delivery. I try to provide them with the right resources and help them to develop the right skillsets to achieve their targets.

What is the organization culture like?

As mentioned earlier, IL&FS has a very unique culture of having an open-door practice, vibrant, young and friendly. There are no barriers or boundaries; even the chairman’s office is open to all. Individuals, who have been in the organization for some time,haveprogressed through learning. It’s anentrepreneur driven culture, where you take ownership of work, like it is your own business. It promotes self-motivation and self-learning, in turn making one self-reliant in the organization.

As we fosteran apolitical environment, going forward we would like to preserve that fabric.

Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?
Professionally, definitely workingin IL&FS and contributing for the organization. As I am more of a transactional person,I would like to contribute or provide my expertise towardssome path breaking business venture. One other thing that has been a long standing wish is to mentor individuals to achieve a higher level of performance.

Personally, I would like to do some project which is socially relevant.This is more of a wish at this point; however as they say, “some wishes do come true, so I am in anticipation.”

Opinions expressed by the Contributors are their own and do not reflect any opinion of IL&FS Financial Services on the said subject 

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