Interview with Srikrishna Vadrevu

2018 PCMA ICESAP Annual Conference Programme in Bangkok

What excites you the most about your line of work?
Problem solving, undoubtedly, number one. Fortunately, my work experience around the world (in India, USA, Malaysia, and more) with both very small and very large businesses has exposed me to problems as well as the way they are solved. It is always exciting seeing how identifying issues and tackling them is great for the culture of a business.

What is your definition for organizational success?
Organizational success is a balancing act. A company has to consider the wellbeing of all its stakeholders: shareholders, customers, employees and the community. I do not believe success can be sustained for long without such balance.

What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learnt from working within large organizations such as Chartered Bank, HCL and General Electric?
The importance of clear and frequent communication, and a broadly established process for doing any organizational work.

What’s the best piece of advice anyone’s ever given you?
“Watch your relationships”. In the sharp focus on results, it is easy to step all over relationships, but they are the most valuable.

What will be the main takeaways of your talk delivered during the PCMA ICESAP Annual Conference in Bangkok?
We will focus on change. It’s become a truism now that change is everywhere. What is being ignored is that many things also remain the same. Identifying these variables, enables us to leverage them and tackle the change while enjoying the ride.

Throughout your extensive career, you have seen how large businesses can struggle to maintain growth, manage talent and develop leadership. What are the main causes for these and how can the business of events industry avoid them?
As a business grows larger, to make performance more predictable, strong policies and procedures are established. This is good to start with. But then, these same things become ossified and inflexible, the letter overrides the spirit and they become prisoners of their own making. This is what we call an erosion of ‘entrepreneurism’. The business events industry is very young. It is too early for it to become bureaucratic. It needs to stay entrepreneurial. It should cultivate the nine ‘entrepreneurisms’ from now on.

You have worked with hundreds of businesses and entrepreneurs from India, USA and Malaysia. How does the Asia-Pacific market stand out from the rest of the world?
Asia Pacific is a different market. It is much more relationship driven. Much more cost conscious, and importantly, has a more top-down management style. This is changing, of course. Thanks to the philosophy of management pushed by top business schools, business practices are slowly becoming more global.

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