Neelam Dhawan

NEELAM DHAWAN is the Managing Director of Hewlett-Packard India. She has countrywide responsibility for revenues and profitability and ensuring the greatest leverage from HP’s Services, Personal Systems and Imaging & Printing businesses.

With a portfolio that extends to offshore activities, BPO, Software Engineering, Research and IT Services, she is focused on shaping the company’s overall business agenda and leading its strategy and corporate development efforts to make HP the most admired company in India.

Previously, Neelam was the Managing Director of Microsoft India. During her tenure, she sharpened Microsoft’s strategic focus and improved its operating efficiency and execution, as well as its financial performance and customer focus. Prior to this assignment, she held a variety of successful leadership positions in leading Indian IT companies, including HCL and IBM. Neelam holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics and a Masters in Business Administration from the Faculty of Management Studies, Delhi University.

Our Exclusive Interview:

What is your definition of a good leader…

In today’s challenging business world, its really important for leadership styles to evolve and be meaningful in changing business environment. A good leader sets the vision for the business and also focuses on executing the vision. Achieving results is the responsibility of the leadership as well as the teams. Motivating the organization to be positive and enthusiastic about the vision and execution is job which a good leader needs to do.

Good leaders have the winning attitude, are focused on external stakeholders and have a will to win. Good leaders create organisations and teams which will have longevity and survive in changing business environments.

Good Leaders have the depth in the business and have foresight to evolve business looking at the future so that the companies survive in dynamic environment

How do you think organizations should evaluate/measure “quality of leadership”?

Orgainsations should evaluate leadership on the results achieved by the business. All Vision,teamwork and execution must lead to the business outcomes.

How can one improve one’s leadership skills?

Leadership skills are developed with communication and team building. Leadership skills can be developed with coaching and mentoring and also by observing some good leaders.

What are the three most important challenges in front of leaders in today’s times?

Managing the constant transformation an organization needs to respond to business situations, developing high performance teams and delivering growth.

What in your views are most effective ways/techniques for grooming future leaders?

On the job learning is most effective in grooming leaders. Giving challenging assignments and difficult situations to handle also develop leaders. Exposing future leaders to other current leaders helps them too.

When should a leader call it quits?

Once you feel that the vision laid out has been achieved and the succession is in place.

Which leader in the Corporate world do you admire and why?

Lou Gerstner for guiding IBM through very tough transformation and setting up the company for long term success.His vision and strategy was completely different from his predecessor and the speed of execution and change saved the company.