What does a Chairman really do?

This was a question I was asked by an overtly curious gentleman on a flight.

He apparently saw me using my letterhead on my mac & asked me the question. Now, it bothered me to tell him what do I do.

Now, how do you explain it out to just anyone, that I dont want you to know what I do, coz it would boggle your mind… I mean, people cant even begin to comprehend on the possibilities that can happen.

Well, it depends on the occasion is what I would say.

On a usual schedule, I would meet people, people as in my counterparts or equivalents in other organizations. I would meet them over presentations, tea/coffee/lunch/dinner, as the occasion demands it, but it is different for a startup group.

There is a lot more time spent on brooding over strategic plans, how to increase your footprint, who can give you a competition & when. When’s the right time to take down a competitor, how do you strategically place your pawns in order to acquire a company, how do you plan your finances, what factors, policies would affect you in the long/short term & what can you do to stay afloat & profitable on such countless occasions.

Our discussion room at VAYAM, which was named the war-room on its initiation coz of us being right in d middle of the war, is essentially a hub of every single plan that we’ve made & the fronts that we open, in order to make VAYAM strong enough to beat down the adversities & to live & be passed on as a legacy..

Apart from this, you stay on facebook always online, as you’re online & working close to 20 hrs a day, and within that you need to shoot (archery), you need to golf, polo… you need to do things on your whims & fancies…

Establishing your own organization, gives you the right & the power to delegate which is what makes you free of the burden… You hire the best people from their respective fields to work for you, to make your dreams come to reality.. You dont need to bother with the basic marketing plan, the advertising, the brand visibility, the human resource capital & talent management… CEO’s, MD’s, Chairpeople & the one’s who have a bird’s eye view of the entire setup, usually look at the balance sheet & go off “tee”ing, and the one’s like me, love to let the society participate in the movement…

I would rather say, I’d love to see a smile on the faces of people I care for..my students..my mentees, the startup entrepreneurs that I help out..the few friends I’ve made in the due course of life..

After all, what’s the use of my success, if my own people cant enjoy it?? If I cant spare time enough to sort out issues of one of my students & coax her to quit smoking at an early age, whats the use of my earning & working..if I cant teach a few kids on one of our education centre, how to learn multiplication tables, whats the use of me being me??

If I do not press my mother’s feet as she falls asleep, there is no use of me launching this company.. if my city remains a dump even after me earning millions, what was the use???

Sometimes, it is just not enough to earn if your own people do not get enough of your time & attention..who do you work for? who do you earn for? isnt your strive to see a smile on your kids faces?

So, coming back to the question, a chairman needs to check the balance sheets, delegate work to his staff & motivate them to work hard..then he goes off to golf..to try out designer suits & give speeches…A father needs to ensure his legacy’s future, his son’s wellbeing & his contribution to the society..With Dhanraj Pillai, ex-Captain, Indian Hockey Team…reminiscing old times together…were together on several camps,flights…what amazing days..Inaugurating inter IIT sports meet, together..


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