“Straight talk” with Vivek Gupta, MD Procter & Gamble

Vivek Gupta Later this month a collection of leaders and CEOs will gather in Sydney to share their insights and mentor future leaders at the E-LEAD Leadership Summit.

The focus of the summit is leadership in the 21st century with an emphasis on digital disruption, diversity and inclusion.

Vivek Gupta, vice president and managing director, Procter & Gamble ANZ, will be speaking at the event. He chatted to Inside FMCG about his views on leadership, the power of a positive attitude and staying connected with 21st century customers.

Inside FMCG: What do you think makes a good leader?

Vivek Gupta: I am very fortunate to work in a company that is known for developing leaders. Over the past 20 years at P&G I have learned so many great things from the leaders I have worked with. Great leaders prioritise coaching of their teams and accelerate careers, with true respect for each individual. In today’s dynamic marketplace, agility and humility are critical – there is always more to learn. Good leaders are good followers as well. For example, in Australia we encourage our people to learn from the best practices around the world and try to reapply here.

Inside FMCG: How would you describe your own leadership style?

I am an avid learner – I learn every day. Being self-aware is most important. I continuously try to learn about my strengths and actively work on my development areas. We hire great people and it’s our responsibility to enable them to bring out their best. I believe that positivity and a positive attitude is a business driver and has a big impact on the performance of the organisation. I also practice radical transparency and ‘straight-talk’. For me, the bad news needs to be delivered first and with full transparency.

Inside FMCG: What do you think is the most important lesson you’ve learned in your career?

I have learned that our true value as a leading FMCG company lies in driving total category growth and value creation for the market – not just growing our own share. I also take great pride in P&G’s purpose, values and principles, which guide us as a company. This means operating with integrity, doing the right thing, trusting and respecting our colleagues and having personal accountability for our business.

Inside FMCG: What do you think has been the key to P&G’s long-lasting success in the FMCG space?

At P&G, innovation is at the heart of everything we do. This begins with our unparalleled consumer & category insights, which help us stay at the forefront of industry trends and allow us to create the most superior products. When we go to market – we’re focused on growing the total category and working with our customers to deliver the best value and innovation for shoppers. Ultimately, our long-lasting success is a result of our great people at P&G. I am very proud of the incredibly diverse, highly inclusive and very talented team we have.

Inside FMCG: How is P&G connecting with 21st century consumers?

We connect with consumers through our superior products which make a meaningful difference, with superior packaging, exceptional brand communication and retail execution. Our purpose as a company is to improve lives, now and for generations to come. While we continue to make superior quality products – we want to have a positive impact on society, by leveraging our brands’ voices and supporting the communities in which we operate. I am very proud of the work we are doing locally with our partners such as Mission Australia and Foodbank.

Inside FMCG: What can we expect from P&G in 2019?

We will continue listening to our consumers and customers and responding with the best innovation. In today’s market, that requires humility and we will be agile in delivering the best opportunities to drive category growth and value for consumers.

The E-LEAD summit takes place at UNSW Sydney on November 24. More information can be found at www.e-lead.com.au.

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