Sanjay Nayak

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Sanjay Nayak
The Analyst

Sanjay Nayak was introduced to us on a winter afternoon, year end party in December 2000 as the new General Manager of McCann Delhi. We saw him, shook hands, made polite talk and promptly ignored him and moved to the bar. He did not strut around nor was he seen back slapping or generally having a good time. Honestly I don’t recollect anything about him that afternoon – aside from the fact that we had to force him to have the obligatory year end beer – or was that a few more than one...

As we got into the new year, I did try and figure out who this guy was and all I got were vauge comments of what a great guy he was or a great manager or great team player. Sounded just about right to have made him the Head of Finance. Boring. Sigh, there comes to an end all the 4 vodka lunches!

Substance over style is how Sanjay Nayak reveals himself; not in the thunder, lightning theatrical Broadway production style but in a far more subtle, insidous way. Actually by the time you realize it, you are addicted to his style and have no recourse but to go back to him for your ‘fix’.

He is the best business analyst I have ever met. PERIOD. He is not a bean counter, though I have not met anyone who understands numbers better than he does. He has the abilty to analyze a situation, an opportunity and could provide a logical solution. However the ‘providing’ is not done by him but done by the person who went and sought the solution. He empowers you beyond mere delegation; he enables you to build frameworks which will not only deliver a solution but sustain you for many more. His design philosophy requires you to remove emotions from the decision making process. Sounds hard, and trust me it is, but it does make for effective, impactful decisions.  He not only designs the systems and the processes, but also builds extremely good execution platforms – something I had the pleasure and privilege of seeing for over a decade.

His office was a hangout, always abuzz with discussions on a wide varierty of subjects but most importantly with a diverse audience – most of them junior employees. Cricket, football, hockey, advertising, politics, more advertising, difference between hash and grass, still more advertising, Sudoku, clients, any sport you could imagine, global reporting issues, difference between a batting all-rounder and a bowling all-rounder, best laptops for excel sheets, music, yet even more advertising, data, alogorithms, big bang, a tiny bit of business, ways to create a PPT in black and white – with one type face, picking the coffee shop which consistently serves the worst coffee in Gurgaon were some of the less intersting discussion we had in his office. Junior employees naturally gravitated to him and always seem to leave his office with a sense of having achieved something meaningful. He instituted a ‘Slaves Lunch’ where he took out junior excutives who were in teams of his direct reports. I suspect those monthly lunches did more for Delhi’s turnaround than everything else. Oh! Did I speak about the turnarounds or growing the business? Nope. For a very good reason. Boring. As Sanjay would put it, doing what you are being paid a salary for is table stakes.

Talking about table stakes, in a parallel universe Sanjay may actually be managing a casino in Las Vegas. He has the creative mind to build the baddest, nastiest games in the gambling business with the all the glitz and glamour and supported with the ability to build a Mafioso type loyal team structure. I wonder if he will make me the barman at the Bellagio? 

Free Agent
Comments (1)
Nima D T Namchu The Man!
20 May 2017 Reply


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