Name: Dr. Nitin Mittal Ph.D
Organisation: Hotel N Apartment
Dr Nitin Mittal has the distinction of completing one of the first PhD awarded in India, in the field of Film Tourism, from Pondicherry University, India. He has post graduate degrees in the field of Tourism Administration, one in Wildlife & Ecology and another in the field of Finance Management.
With around 25+ years of experience in companies like, American Express, IBM India, Dr. Reddys, in the field of corporate travel, he has been part of multiple start ups, before starting his entrepreneurship journey with Hotel N Apartment, supporting Corporate Accommodation and MICE.
A travel enthusiast, film aficionado and an avid reader, he is based out of Bangalore - India with his family.
Thank you to the 2,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 Questions on Leadership!
I hope Dr. Nitin's answers will encourage you in your leadership journey. Enjoy!
1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?
Acceptance. Either rising from your peer's level to the leadership role or even parachuting into a new organization as a leader, acceptance among the team members could be really challenging in the beginning.
2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?
It was a classic case of a reluctant leadership responsibility. At American Express, I was happily working as a Customer Service Manager, an individual role. However, management decided to push me into a leadership role, managing the consultants across the country, for their largest customer account. There I discovered my ability to associate, empathize, and contribute to other’s success. And then there was no looking back.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
I start my day with the recital of Gayatri Mantra, for Spiritual growth, mental clarity, and peace & calmness. Then go to drop my younger son off at school, along with my wife. This one hour is the most important time to discuss family, work, and life issues. I do not call the team members for work only, but to discuss & understand their personal lives and challenges as they are the reason for the company’s success. In addition to work, I spent a few hours with various Travel Associations and educational institutions, whom I associated with. This is my way of giving back to society.
4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?
Mind is like an umbrella; it works when you open it! Many a time, I have been married to my own thoughts while approaching a problem but most of the time solution lies in the problem itself. Listening to conflicting views from team members always helps. Most leaders know what to do, but good leaders know what not to do and what never to do!
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 Bhagavad Gita, one of the most revered texts in Indian mythology, teaches the importance of leading with empathy. As a leader, it is essential to be empathetic towards your team members and understand their needs and concerns.
6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?
Be adaptable: As a leader, it is essential to be flexible and adaptable in your approach to different situations and challenges.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?
Australian cricketing legend, Shane Warne, his winning of 2nd edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). Many called him Australia’s "Greatest Captain That Never Was" even before captained for Rajasthan Royals. The team was nowhere in contention at the beginning of the championship. However, Warne has assessed the capabilities of each and every player, their strengths and weaknesses. A Yusuf Pathan was asked to go and hammer the bat whenever in the field, irrespective of the match situation. A Munaf Patel to go and pitch the ball hard, every time. His captaincy has been wonderfully spontaneous, aggressive, and articulate. His ability to assess situations and think ahead of the game has put him in a league apart.