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Thank you to the 1,400 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 questions!
I hope reading

7 Questions with Biju Sumughan

helps you in your leadership.



Jonno White

7 Questions with Biju Sumughan


Current title: CSO


º Work closely with the Owners/CEO to build business plans from the perspective of core constituents : the customer, the channel or the consumer.

º Critically assess constituent’s needs, the competitive environment and the company’s own competencies to plan revenue and growth.

º Identify, initiate and leverage partnership programs to build awareness of the company brand and drive incremental sales through alternative channels.

º Forge strategic alliances with key partners who can extend and build brand and company relevance.

º Revenue generation across products and regions

º Disaster recovery strategies

º Manage outside agency resources effectively, including advertising, public relations and corporate communication efforts to capitalize on brand presence opportunities

º Devise comprehensive program development skills, from broad-reach advertising to highly targeted ,direct marketing across all marketing channels and platforms

º Recruitment ,training and retention of sales force at all levels

º Prepare business presentations/documents / sales reports / budgets

º Collaborate with other departments in the company and achieve efficiency

º Create protocols to contact and manage customers remotely.

º Leverage my experience from working with global organisations

º Be the visible voice and advocate for the end user within the organization.

7 Questions with Biju Sumughan


1. What have you found most challenging as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise?

Turnaround of processes and systems that was being followed by the enterprise over the last 24 years. Setting up procedures there which was non-existent / unorganized to be more in tune with today's market dynamics

2. How did you become a CEO or executive of a large enterprise? Can you please briefly tell the story?

Clearly by reference.

From a client who has successfully been able to overcome major obstacles by hiring me.

3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?

Mostly by drawing a to-do list on Saturday evening for the ensuing week.

This list is in tandem with the long term vision which has been allocated month-wise.

Of course ; everyday has an allocation towards my krav maga practice.

4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?

Genuine concerns about customers and people win lasting relationships. This is the basis of all communications and integral part of my approach towards business.

5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?


Every chapter of this holy book is like a page of life.

As all our network and interactions are restricted to human beings alone ; the inspirations from this scriptural literature which are simple and realistic ; can be put to effective action .

6. How do you build leadership capacity in a large enterprise?

By the tough task of segregating the men from boys ( women from girls be gender neutral )

Consistent training , adapting to market needs and monitoring play an important part along with technology.

But taking this to "small groups" and thereby binding them together.. makes the needed difference.

7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise so far?

There was a new vertical to be set ; which sought a direct B to C contact instead of the traditional B to B business the enterprise was typically in. The nature of the products needed a B to B mind set.

It was typical of HR and more so, the company management to hire from campuses of leading technical institutions.

My suggestion of hiring a young gun from the FMCG sector was met with disapproval along with suggestions on how it could fail.

As I was in charge , I went by gut feel and was personally involved in the selection process of this SBU head.

Training him on the vision behind the project and only briefly touching on the product range ; I set him free onto the market place.

The resulting outcome in three years was so magnificent that it went onto be known as a global success among the 23 countries that the enterprise was operating in.

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