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'Never Stop Listening and Learning': Rajeev Dubey, Member - Group Executive Board at Mahindra & Mahindra

  • Aug 17th, 2017

Merely getting a management degree from a top institution is not adequate for a successful professional life. The success after graduating from an MBA program is largely dependent on the efficient application of amassed skills in the working world. These skills are not limited to the theoretical coursework mastered in the classroom and can be as subtle as developing the right attitude for the right situation.

In this interview, Rajeev Dubey, Member of the Group Executive Board, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. throws light on what are some habits that young MBA students should develop and some unproductive habits that they should discontinue to excel in their given fields and expand their knowledge of organizational dynamics.


About Rajeev Dubey: Rajeev Dubey is the President (Group HR, Corporate Services & After-Market) & Member of the Group Executive Board, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. He is the Chairman of Mahindra Insurance Brokers and Mahindra First Choice Services and serves on the Boards of several Group companies including Ssangyong Motors, Mahindra Electoral Trust, Mahindra Intertrade, Mahindra Electrical Steel, Mahindra First Choice Wheels and Mahindra Retail. He is the Chairman of  Group CSR Council and the Corporate Governance Cell, and a Member of the Group Sustainability Council and the Governing Council of the Mahindra Institute of Quality.

Career2NextOrbit: What are the various qualities that have helped you achieve the pinnacles of success?

Rajeev Dubey: What pinnacles of success?!!

Satya, Prem and Seva, have been the guiding principles for me in my corporate journey- and these are the attributes which have helped me reach wherever I am today. Elaborating further, I can think of four other attributes which have been my compass during the journey of life:

  • Commitment to make a positive difference in the lives of all those I come in contact with
  • To keep on trying and not give up, no matter how difficult the circumstances
  • Having a dream / purpose, knowing how to manage fear and leveraging the learnings from failure in relentless pursuit of this dream /purpose.
  • Creating Trust through authenticity – total alignment of thinking, saying and doing

Career2NextOrbit: What has been one of the biggest learnings in your profoundly long Corporate Innings?

Rajeev Dubey: Three learnings stand out:

  • When you succeed, don’t be arrogant. When you fail, don’t lose hope and confidence in yourself.
  • Don’t blame others. It is easy to declare oneself as a victim of circumstances - this doesn’t take you very far. I have always taken responsibility for my actions, and not looked outside of myself for excuses.
  • We don’t achieve anything in life totally on our own. We always need to have a support system of people to help us.

Career2NextOrbit: What are the three habits you would advise young MBA students to develop?

Rajeev Dubey: Will you permit me four Mantras?

  • Every individual has unlimited potential and it is for us to create the conditions for unleashing this potential.
  • Don’t focus only on yourself. Learn to give, for giving is a powerful source of joy and empowerment.
  • Define what success and happiness mean to you and work towards that.
  • Know and believe that you can make a difference in any situation.

Career2NextOrbit: What are the three habits you would advise young MBA students to drop?

Rajeev Dubey: These are easy picks to share, but relatively difficult to implement. My three mantras here would be:

·       Move from “I” to “we”

  • Don’t rely only on your left brain that deals with logic and intellect. For success in life, the right brain of empathy and intuition is just as important as the left brain of knowledge and rationality.  And, only those who use the whole mind (combining left and right brain) will have success in the VUCA world which is going to be the new normal.
  • Be willing to take a risk and drop the tendency to pursue only those things which appear “safe”.


Career2NextOrbit: What are the three present job-readiness skills you would advise young MBA students to hone?

Rajeev Dubey: With the changing corporate landscape in the present VUCA times, three job-readiness skills young MBA students must have to succeed in life are:

  • Ability to Listen Well: Listening is the source of getting to know the unmet needs of underserved customers in under-penetrated markets and can become the mother font for creating strategies, business models, products, services and target customer segments. Most of us are so keen to let others know how much we know that we often lose the ability to listen carefully and hence, shut out the source of success.
  • Constant Learning, Unlearning and Re-learning: Learning has to be a life-long passion. In the fast changing world, not only should you have a hunger to constantly keep on learning, but also the ability to unlearn and re-learn, ensuring that you are always on the frontier of cutting-edge thinking /knowledge.
  • Working in Teams: You may be a genius, but in order to play long innings, you must be able to work with others. Leaders are known for their ability to work with diverse teams and bring out the best in them. So, this is another attribute young MBA graduates must work upon.


Career2NextOrbit: What are the messages you would like to give to B-School leaders and administrators?

Rajeev Dubey: B-Schools today must create students who are holistic in their thinking and can understand the inter-dependence of various elements in any ecosystem. They must teach students how to think rather than just teaching them various facets of knowledge and skills. Last, but not the least, they must teach students how to frame a question – identifying the right question to solve, is perhaps the most important role of a leader. To sum up, they must prepare students who are led by Purpose and who can align KNOWING, DOING & BEING in pursuit of the triple bottom line of profit, people, and the planet.

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