Successful South Asian Leena Nair takes over Chanel as CEO

Successful South Asian leadership has been able to build a platform of leading the world’s best known brands.

With former Unilever top shot Leena Nair taking over as the CEO of one of the world’s best known fashion houses, Chanel, South Asia seems to have conquered the fashion world as well.

The first Indian to head a French fashion house, Leena started her career in 1992 at Hindustan Unilever after completing her MBA.

Having shone with her exceptional skills and talent at Unilever, she went on to rise through the ranks at the consumer products giant for three decades.

Successful South Asian leadership is now setting a new standard for achievements in not only the world of IT but also the fashion world.

Leena has many tips to share as advice from her career – here are a few.

01. Age doesn’t matter for achievement

Having become a CEO at 52, being a mother to two children and running a family, Leena never distracted from her career goals. She firmly believes in using her time well instead of focusing on side issues. That way, you are able to stay clear from distractions and concentrate on what is important.

Take baby steps, she advises – but don’t lose focus on achieving your dream.

Successful South Asian values are also vital in contributing towards building a career, as she has found out.

02. Find your purpose in life –

She had a life changing moment when someone identified her people skills and told her she should consider a career in management – although she had qualified as an engineer.

She strongly believes that it is important to find your purpose in life – what you excel at.

She also believes that having a great mentor is also important to enable you to identify what your goal in life is.

03. Don’t hold back the experiences –

She went to finding the basics – go to where soap is made to understand how it is made into soap.

She believes that every experience is vital and says that you must go to the root of your business, learning so much more from every experience that exposes you to the way the business works.

She was willing to go to places not many would go as a part of her job. That she says was not just a great teacher but also a great exposure and an experience worth every bit.

04. Listen to every voice –

Leena made it a point to hear everyone.

She strongly believes in inclusion and hearing every opinion. She encourages her team to go and listen to what the others have to say.

Inclusion plays a key role in defining management goals.

05. Feedback is a gift – make use of it

She believes that every feedback we get must be valued , even if critical.

Feedback helps you understand issues and respond by addressing the issues raised.

“If people give feedback, that’s because you have had an impact on them. If they didn’t care, they wouldn’t bother telling you.”

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