Get- Set- Grow —– Into An Inspiring and Motivating Leader!

Group photo- Core team

Leadership is not about you; it’s about investing in the growth of others.
–Ken Blanchard–

Growth is what it was all about–self-growth, leading to team growth, culminating in the growth of the organisation. On 1st. August 2019, Thomas Cook India witnessed a heartening and inspiring event, the first of its kind. Over a hundred mid-level Managers–Pan-India–and all the Execom, converged at the ITC Grand Central, Mumbai, for the first ever Leadership Conclave. It was a platform to meet people from different walks of life who would share the ideas, thoughts and experiences that had contributed to their successThroughout that day the theme was  Get-Set-Grow!

The Conclave covered topics such as: how to build a winning team, leadership principles from history, driving a service culture within your teams and many other topics which would lead to success.

  Those who attended had the privilege of sharing the knowledge and expertise of 9 Industry experts:

  • Madhavan Menon, the Chairman and Managing Director of Thomas Cook India Ltd
  • Prakash Iyer, Motivational Speaker, Author & Leadership Coach
  • Radhakrishnan Pillai, Author of Corporate Chanakya & Founder-Director of Chanakya Institute of Public leadership
  • Aditya Ghosh,Chief Executive Officer, South Asia, Oyo Rooms and Hotels
  •  Matangi Gourishankar, Strategic Advisor, Certified Coach and Catalyst for change
  •  Amin Sheikh,  Ketna Mehta,  Dadarao Bilhore (enterpreneurs, authors and social activists respectively)
  •  Srinivas Chunduru, Senior Advisor & Board of Directors – OLA, Ex. ED of Piramal Capital & Housing Finance
  • Ajay Kakar, Chief Marketing Officer, Aditya Birla

Mona Cheriyan, President & Group Head-HR, Thomas Cook, welcomed the gathering.  She said every organisation was keen to grow, and the objective of the Conclave was to enable the employees to grow too. She explained why each one was given a potted plant at the end of the event.

“You have to water it and nurture it, for it to grow and flourish,” she said,  “Similarly, your mind is akin to a  plant.  For it to develop, it too must be stimulated with new ideas, new experiences , or it will stagnate.  You must grow from within. One must learn every day from colleagues. The Conclave was meant to make learning fun, so enjoy the journey, absorb experiences through different methods.  These will help you in any role at work.”


Our Chairman & MD, Madhavan spoke on “Leadership Values I Stand By.”

He said this activity was something the company had aspired to do for a long time…. to get people from across the Group, also from different companies and different cultures, and create a confluence between them. This would help grow the leadership from within the company, and create succession. Each one would bring skills to the table which would bring value to the organisation.

Madhavan stressed on Ethics and Integrity, “which should be embedded in you,” he said. “When faced with decisions from day to day, ask yourself if what you are doing is according to the law and in sync with the company’s values. You are empowered to make decisions. As a Group, we have a glorious history.”

A host of people worked really hard to make this landmark event a success. The Core Team behind planning this event also followed the theme of “Grow” through the various stages of development.

Starting with planting the Seed (Conceptualization), nurturing it through Germination (Ideation), through meticulous Budding (Planning) till it’s Blooming (Implementation) on D-day on 1st August at the ITC Grand Central, Mumbai. The Core team comprised of members from HR, L&D and the MICE team who worked meticulously towards ensuring that the entire conclave ran smoothly and seamlessly through the day.

Special thanks to them all.

From HR, our gratitude to Mona Cheriyan, and Deepti Sheth, Alpa Patel, Mary Chandanshiv, Linuscia Pinto, Neha Kumar, Ricoani D’Souza, Priya Rakshit, Kashmeera Deshmukh and Anand Desai.

From L&D it was Sraboni Sengupta, Vishal Pawar, Nidhi Gala, Urmila Mukherjee, Mohit Trivedi and Monika Ramgopal.

From the MICE team we had the support of Abhishek Ambulkar, Sunit Mhatre, Priyanka Sangit, Angshu Borgohain, Tausif Shaikh, Manveer Kaur, Jared D’Costa and Varun Kenkare.  

All business owners and executives have varying experiences and perspectives on the approach and qualities necessary for effective leadership. And not all situations require the same type of leadership style. Great leaders adapt to their surrounding environments and empower the team to succeed together. 

The best leaders are passionate about developing the emerging leaders around them, they constantly work to improve their emotional intelligence and know that a strong team culture is the foundation for accomplishing the mission. They are in a perpetual state of preparation and embrace the inevitable changes their businesses will face.

This is exactly what the leadership Conclave provided in a fun and entertaining way. Many who attended will indeed, make good leaders in the future. 

Leaders who will perhaps, embody what Alexandre Auguste Ledru-Rollin said: “There go my people, I must follow them, for I am their Leader.”

( With inputs by Monika Ramgopal)