Sun Tzu and The Art of War – A perspective on the Business World – by Mr. Saurav Ghosh, COO, Forbes & Company

Forbes & Co Saurav Ghosh

The students of TAPMI had the privilege to attend a guest lecture on “Strategic Decision making for Leadership”, on 4th July, 2014 (Friday). This session was conducted by Mr. Saurav Ghosh, COO, Forbes & Company, Shapoorji Pallonji Group.

Before joining Forbes & Company, Mr Ghosh was the Sr. Advisor and Business Leader with Cross Tree Techno-visors. He completed his education from IIT Delhi and has cross industry experience in the field of Supply Chain Management and Logistics.

The session commenced with Mr. Ghosh giving us a brief history about his company and provided instances where we, as future leaders would have to make strategic decisions. He led us to the importance of the growing role of leadership in management by emphasizing that we need to ‘first understand people and then find out what we want and lastly, how we can get what we want from people’.

Considering that today’s competitive corporate world is no less than any war, the students were shown a short video on Sun Tzu’s ‘The Art of War’. This was to drive home the point that in adversity, you have to strategically make your way and move forward, but we have to remember to be disciplined and not ruthless. The importance of leadership was summed up with a quote – “Wars may be fought with weapons, but they are won by men. It is the spirit of men who follow and of the man who leads that gains the victory.”

Mr. Ghosh kept the audience attentive by giving a very unorthodox twist to the age old story of ‘The Tortoise and the Hare’. The new morals of the story shown by him were – fast and consistent always beat slow and steady; first identify your core competency and then change the playing field to suit your core competency; it is good to be individually brilliant but it is better to collaborate and make the most of each other’s strengths.


The core idea he conveyed was that of gaining strategic advantage. He explained this by saying – “The one who figures victory at headquarters before even doing battle is the one who has the most strategic factors on his side.” The major checkpoints before a war include: the way, the weather, the terrain, leadership and discipline. Under leadership, Mr. Ghosh emphasized the key points were – intelligence, trustworthiness, humanness, courage and sternness.

He also spotted out the importance of strategic decision making from a business perspective by sharing that, “In life, when faced with failure, sometimes its appropriate to put effort and work harder, some other times its better to change your strategy and try something different. Whereas sometimes them idle path has to be taken.”

Towards the end he spoke about his journey from a sales manager to a COO and motivated students to make realistic goals, strategise and be certain of what we want and also mentioned that when we stop competing against our rivals and instead start competing against the situation, we perform better

Overall, it was an interactive session led by the honorable speaker with equal and intent participation by the students. The students found the session to be highly informative and useful.


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