The fine art of Leadership

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“Management is about arranging and telling. Leadership is about nurturing and enhancing.” –Tom Peters.


“We believe in “Being Partners for success”; Our customer’s success is our success.”

DR SANGEETA MEHTA

Regional director- South Asia- research solution sales, Elsevier Relx India Pvt Ltd

Dr. Mehta is Doctorate in Microbiology with specialization in drug target discovery and biological control. She has been awarded NIH Fellowship and Adjunct Faculty position at the Burnett School of Medicine, Florida, USA and a Post-Doctoral Fellowship by NSERC at McGill University, Montreal, Canada. Before joining Elsevier, Dr. Mehta has worked at organizations such as Agilent Technologies, Thomson Reuters, ASSOCHAM and TERI at various capacities, with objective to bring solutions approach to sales and marketing.


“Being a leader, instead of a boss, helps me set an example for my team.”

NAVEEN CHOUDHARY

Sr. Manager – marketing, Dorling Kindersley Publishing Pvt Ltd.

Naveen Choudhary is handling marketing for DK Books in India. He has been into marketing for 12 years and served organizations like Educomp, Aditya Birla Retail Ltd. and Dainik Bhaskar in past. Naveen is also into photography and blogging. His satires are published by several websites including fakingnews.


Leaders not only do the right thing, they help others do the right things by directing them, setting up a vision and mapping out the plan to achieve it. They help to attain team goals by inspiring and encouraging the people involved. How do leaders achieve it, finds All About Book Publishing, in conversation with Dr Sangeeta Mehta, regional director- South Asia- research solution sales, Elsevier Relx India Pvt Ltd and Naveen Choudhary, sr. manager– marketing, Dorling Kindersley Publishing Pvt Ltd.

ABP: What do you like most about your work?

Dr. Sangeeta: It is a continuous learning opportunity which is very rewarding. My work profile involves increasing penetration of Science and Technology in uncovered territories and popularisation of science. For me, it’s a personal mission. I am a clinical microbiologist and have been a researcher and in sales for last 10 years. My strengths are that I understand the needs and the requirements of the researchers, as I have personally used the tools, databases, journals and articles. I know the effort going in and I know where we get stuck. If university provides such facilities, it is very valuable. I myself spent 6.5 years for my PhD. I was travelling to do my reference work and had to go through multi-voluminous books to find the right information. If I had these facilities, it would have made my work much easier. We have come a long way and we want the usage to be right. I am passionate about ensuring that qualitative resources are being put to optimal use as this not only saves time but helps in making more evidence-based decisions and make better discoveries, thereby helping in innovation. There is different usage for each target segment like students, researchers and doctors.

Naveen: Being in the field of marketing means working with both internal and external stakeholders. This balancing act between the executive echelon and the end users is challenging and motivates me.

ABP: Your marketing mantra?

Dr Sangeeta: We provide solution to problems which customers face. We believe in “Being Partners for success”; Our customer’s success is our success. We walk with them through each and every aspect and are continuously involved with them, if they face any problem. We are their partners completely. We, as a team, focus on very stringent quality measures in all areas.

Naveen: My marketing mantra is to find the right product for the market and the right market for the product, all the way from strategy to execution and understanding and following the market better. I believe that an innovative and forward-thinking approach always helps to promote and develop products. Fill your work with passion and deliver. Always!

ABP: How do you motivate your team?

Dr Sangeeta: We are self-motivated and have our personal goals aligned with organizational goals.

Naveen: We have an open-office plan, so when I look up, I see colleagues all around and a cafeteria behind me. Being a leader, instead of a boss, helps me set an example for my team. When they see me achieve my goals and perform in a way that maximizes productivity, they are inspired to go that extra mile and achieve their objectives. I also believe in celebrating with my team when we exceed our targets.

ABP: A challenging situation at work and how you solved it?

Dr Sangeeta: The biggest challenge is the mindset of people in their perception of text books v/s ebooks. The University funds have been reduced and people are extremely cautious. A major role is to guide them to choose meaningful and relevant content acquisition. For this, we ensure that we provide subject area consultation, keeping in mind the ROI for their funds, so that the universities can make an evidence based decision.

Naveen: No one incident takes precedence in this area but what can be very challenging is having to keep juggling many balls up in the air without letting even one slip from my grasp. My team is my mainstay.

ABP: Who is your target audience?

Dr Sangeeta: Anybody who is interested in science and technology is our customer.

Naveen: We are an international publishing company, specializing in the creation of high-quality, illustrated books and online resources and are relevant to a wide audience group. These books inspire and teach people of all ages. Our adult range spans travel, including the award-winning DK Eyewitness Travel Guides, history, science, nature, sport, gardening, cookery and parenting. DK’s extensive children’s list showcases a fantastic store of information for children, toddlers and babies. DK covers everything from animals and the human body, to homework help and craft activities, together with an impressive list of licensing titles, including the best-selling LEGO books.

ABP: Your favourite Movie/ Book / Hobby?

Dr Sangeeta: My favourite book is Gunaho ka devta, which is an ultimate read for the eternal romantic, which I am. Not to forget my favourite movie Pretty woman and actor Ajay Devgan who I adore. I am also a trained classical Kathak dancer.

Naveen: My favourite movie is Gol Maal (1979). This two-and-half hour movie definitely tops my list because of the effortless dose of laughter that it provides.

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