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7 Questions on Leadership with Nandakumar Raman

Name: Nandakumar Raman

Title: Chartered Accountant

Organisation: RNK & Co.

I am a Chartered Accountant with 25+ years of experience and specialising in Transfer Pricing. I was part of the Big4 consulting firms for close 12 years and currently supporting my clients in addressing their transfer pricing requirements. Keen to connect with people and establish a mutually beneficial relationship.

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

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


Jonno White

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

Getting the right team and ensuring that they are happily at their productive best is the biggest challenge. Being fair and reasonable is the critical requirement, but it is the most challengin one as well.

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

Blessed with a wonderful mentor, who supported a lot in my early stages. Learning from the challenges and the decisions taken/ not-taken, has moulded me to what I am today. Leadership walked into my life, slowly and steadily. It started by being part of a happy fun loving team and later leading them from front. This gave a good opportunity in understanding team dynamics as well as ensuring that the larger objective is intact.

My Principle & Values are clearly laid down and this helped me in navigating through challenging times.

The one that really defined me was to politely say "NO" when "NO" has to be said.

I strongly believe that every step in life has a pre-defined set of learnings and no-one should miss out from identifying the lesson and learning from it.

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

My days start early in the mornings with a focus on physical activity in the 1st hour and spending time with family in the next hour. Before starting my work, I plan the day with the immediate To-Do's and the steps to be taken towards the larger goal (Target 5th year). I schedule my client meetings in the first half and focus on deliverables / learnings for the later half of the day. Weekends predominantly are for family and friends.

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

Being authentic and genuine is a basic requirement. Identifying and understanding that people would always be biased in their decisions and learning to navigate around the biases is the key to the success of a leader.

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?

Bhagavd Gita is the go-to book for me. It makes me think and enables me to find new solutions.

"Start with Why", by Simon Sinek is one of the best. I repeatedly read this book. It provides different perspective everytime I read. Understanding and defining as to WHY I do a particular activity, provides clarity to me.

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

Be passionate about your work and be more vocal in taking credits for your achievements.

Never hesitate to seek support, when you realise that things are not moving. The whole world would happily converge to support you.

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

Patience is the key in life. Further, before taking a decision, understanding the perspective of the other person is crucial.

I decided to quit an opportunity based on a discussion with a team of people sitting on the other side of the tabe. Subsequently as a parting discussion with the decision maker, I understood that the meeting objective was only to set a corrective action in place and it was never intended to harm. Had I exhibited patience and approached it with an open mind to find a solution, rather than quitting, it would have been a different story. Having taken a decision to move-on, I stayed with it, but learnt my lesson.

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