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7 Questions on Leadership with Arnab Sen

Name: Arnab Sen

Title: Director - Workplace Management and CRE

Organisation: CGI India Pvt Ltd

A competent professional with over 24+ years’ experience in Workplace Management and General Administration. Proficient in handling large teams working out of remote locations. Gained experience by handling big projects, for more than 10,00,000 Sft area. Exposure in handling international assignment right from Strategizing, Planning and Implementation. Re-planning and refurbishment of existing facilities to meet management requirement as per need of the hour. Expert in re-negotiating with existing vendors and reducing operational expenses adding to annual savings for the organisation. Having an eye for details which helps in monitoring funds effectively and closing possible gaps optimizing utilisation of resources. Have experience in managing Large Facilities involving housekeeping, safety & fire fighting, repairs & maintenance of properties along with day to day General Administration involving employee transportation. Have set new facility and infrastructure for large Operations of 4,500 + employees. Skillful in implementing procedures, control mechanisms for maintaining quality and standards. Experience in leading CSR initiative across various organizations. A trained HS&W professional. Achieved level 6 as per International Safety Rating System (ISRS), in 3 years while working with Vodafone. Experienced in handling both SEZ and STPI Units. A skilled communicator with good relationship management, interpersonal and analytical skills.

Thank you to the 2,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 Questions on Leadership!

I hope Arnab's answers will encourage you in your leadership journey. Enjoy!


Jonno White

1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?

My job demands to cater internal clients and external vendor at various location across APAC Region. It calls to strike a balance between cross location and cross cultural demands. It is hard to maintain an emotional and professional balance. This remains as a challenge dealing with various issues.

2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?

I was blessed to have few demanding managers. These managers helped me in becoming diligent in all whatever tasks I performed. I failed many times but learned everytime I failed. These learnings helped in improving our performance every time.

As I kept learning I slowly grew from an individual contributor to a impactive team leader. Eventually, over a length of time I got ascertained as a potent Leader. I would like to give a large amount of my success to all these managers that I have worked with in my entire career.

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

As I support a wide geographical region, my day starts quite early and ends after 10-11 hours. The day is spread with various meetings and discussions. However, I ensure to spend an hour on myself early in the morning. I do keep some time offs for my family in between or at the end of the days work.

My days are generally well planned with a very organised calendar. I keep time offs in between meetings and other engagement to regather. I spend time with my team members at various levels which helps me in gathering various information and also rejuvenate myself.

My weekends are totally dedicated to my family. Spending time with the kids, watching movies and maintaining my vehicles. I love spending times with them which unwinds me for my days ahead.

4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?

Working condition is ever changing and so are the various data's around it. Managing operations is a zestful task. Data management is a key KPI in our department. Hence it is important for me to 'trust but validate' all data points before taking it forward to make decisions based on them.

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?

The great "Bhagavad Gita".

It has a profound impact on finetuning leadership skills. It provides answer to every complexities in life. It acts a great guide in solving all kinds of problems. It taught me to be a true and effective leader and retained my human side.

6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?

Look at every problem as an opportunity to learn new things and excel.

"Learn and Unlearn"

7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?

My job demanded to manage environment at various offbeat places managing few infamous personalities. They used to cause obstructions in performing our regular duties in the telecommunication sector. I was entrusted with the task to maintain a relationship which would help the organization is resolving these issues promptly. While working in such challenging condition the only thing that kept me moving was the learning that I used to gather while solving the issues. That’s how I learned to convert all challenges into opportunities and opportunities into advantages. Not that I succeeded each time, but I learned how to handle unfavorable situations more efficiently. One thing is for sure that one should always keep a positive mindset and stay focused on the set goal.

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