In his 2014 interview in India, Ram Charan, the management guru and author of ‘Execution: the discipline of getting things done’ said, “There is no rocket science here. Just like athletes practice, you practice. Just like football teams do, you execute.”
Millions of analysts have suggested that India’s Achilles Heel is poor execution.
We are fabulous at dreaming up zeroes and ayurveda and yoga, but have not managed to build a single computer based on the zero; or manufacture ayurvedic medicines that do not violate Good Manufacturing Practices; or create any iron-clad certification for thousands of yoga teachers. Sab chaltaa hain!
If you want to correct this, please make Alyque Padamsee the Execution Minister of India in the Union cabinet.
Imagine this: he needed two phones (chunky rotary dial landlines not mobiles; we are talking 1984!). One for personal use, another for business. He got one red with red wires; the other black. Then made his entire staff practice how to reply to each ring. This is not hearsay, I was there.
Imagine this. Lintas was going to present to the Rajiv Gandhi government campaigns to attract investment. I had written the campaigns, Vinayak Ponkshe had visualized them. Alyque practiced presenting them in front of the mirror at 2 am. Not hearsay, I was there.
In 1986, at AdAsia in Bangkok, the first big advertising event where India was represented by the largest contingent ever, Alyque’s talk to an audience of over 1000 delegates involved a dialogue with Surf’s Lalitaji: he live, she videotaped in India and now on screen. At one point she flung real water on him, which came off-screen.
Synchronised to a micro-second! Standing ovation!
I wasn’t the one who had to practise that throwing all night :), but I know who did it :)
This is not to belittle the other dimensions of his uniqueness.
He was an awesome money manager despite being a creative person: so Lintas made pots of money and most of us in Lintas built our middle-class homes around his year-end gifts. Two-in-ones, Niky-Tasha kitchenettes, fridges, washing machines, ACs, cars.
He understood ‘any news is better than no news’ better than anyone else: once Lintas announced it had overtaken HTA in the billings game, however controversial the announcement, there was no looking back for Lintas. It was sitting at a higher table.
And most of all, he understood audiovisual as a medium of communication better than anybody else at that time. Muhammad Khan and Kersy Katrak had gigantic reputations but those were built on print work where the key number in the newspaper pointed out who the agency was; on TV you never knew (pre-Internet, pre-Internet !!!) who was responsible for Liril or Lalitaji or some of the most powerful public service TVCs ever.
Not hearsay, I was there, in his Christmas Eve residence, learning from him how to hold the viewer’s attention for 25 seconds, till you created the catharsis in the 26th.
There is no rewind in real life.
So there will be never another Alyque Padamsee.