Corporate Review

The Unconventional Path to Leadership: An Interactive Exploration with Arun K Sharma, GM- HR & Admn. – Luxor Writing Instruments Pvt. Ltd.

Business Interviews Personalities

Dear Leaders, let’s delve into Arun K Sharma’s unique journey to leadership. This experience will let you explore your career path, values, and aspirations. As we progress, you will explore aspects that resonate most with us.

Background and Journey

Could you provide a brief overview of your career trajectory and personal experiences?

My journey to leadership wasn’t a straight shot. Growing up in a small town, I wasn’t focused on getting top marks. While my classmates dreamt of engineering and medical schools, I was drawn to the puzzles of math and the logic of physics and chemistry. Though a math whiz, my lack of disciplined studying meant I struggled with the theoretical side of science subjects.

This became clear when I joined my friends for the engineering entrance exams – and didn’t get selected. This experience was a turning point. I realized my potential for more, and the desire for a better life spurred me to action. Fresh out of high school, I started teaching English to students up to 12th grade. My teaching was a hit, bringing respect, recognition, and financial security. I enjoyed it so much that I even teamed up with like-minded friends to open our own institute, creating jobs for many.

Despite this success, I felt confined by my small-town environment. Yearning for more, I decided to pursue management. I aced the entrance exam and landed a spot in the MSW program at the Institute of Social Sciences, Agra. This program provided the solid foundation for my career and helped me become the leader I am today.

How have your life experiences influenced your professional choices?

My teaching experience, while fulfilling, highlighted the limitations of staying in my small town. It was the catalyst for my shift towards management. These studies equipped me with the tools and knowledge to navigate a broader career path. This entire journey solidified the importance of taking initiative, believing in my potential, and the never-ending pursuit of self-improvement.

Passions and Balance

What recreational activities do you enjoy when not working? And how do you maintain a work-life balance?

I find solace in long drives and bike rides, embracing the thrill of adventure. Nature’s wonders, from hills to rivers, fountains, and beaches, captivate my soul. Speed exhilarates me.

As for work-life balance, it’s an ongoing journey for me. While much of my life has revolved around work, I’m committed to achieving harmony. I prioritize spending quality time with my family and myself during moments of respite, reserving professional commitments for designated times, except for urgent matters.

Values and Leadership

What values guide you both personally and professionally?

I am inspired by the line, “KHUDI KO KAR BULAND ITNA KI KHUDA BANDE SE PUCHE BATA TERI RAZA KYA HAI.” I believe in “Live and let live” and uphold values like curiosity, optimism, faith, contribution, responsibility, loyalty, honesty, trustworthiness, determination, adventure, meaningful work, and self-respect.

How do you embody these values in your leadership style?

These values are embedded in my DNA and manifest naturally in my actions, decisions, and interactions.

Achievements and Goals

What professional accomplishment are you most proud of?

I take pride in my journey so far, having contributed to business growth and stakeholder satisfaction. My achievements include leading business growth for textile and export-oriented companies, establishing sustainable social compliance, and setting up effective HR, administration, and IR functions. I have completed greenfield projects for large conglomerates, transformed HR for a European MNC, and led time-bound hiring mandates, unit closures, policy formulation, organizational structuring, HR digitalization, employee engagement, and change management. Additionally, I have mentored and facilitated career advancements for many employees over my 26-year career.

Where do you see yourself professionally in the next few years?

I pray to continue making meaningful contributions to the business community, its human resources, and society.

Relationships and Growth

How do you build relationships in both personal and professional settings?

Fair dealings naturally lead to beautiful relationships. I believe in mutual benefit and the spirit of service as the foundation of meaningful connections.

How do you prioritize personal growth and development?

Continuous effort to acquire knowledge and wisdom is crucial for personal development. Personal growth follows naturally from personal development. By constantly evolving my mindset, skills, and abilities, I achieve optimal results and success, leading to growth.

Health and Adaptability

How do you prioritize your physical and mental well-being?

A person’s best can be achieved only when their soul, mind, and body are synchronized. I understood this early in life and incorporate it into my daily routine as much as possible.

Can you share an example of how you’ve adapted to change, either personally or professionally?

My career journey is a testament to embracing change. Working in different workplaces and management environments, each new assignment felt like starting anew. Despite challenges, I’ve always had the full confidence of my management, a source of pride throughout my 26-year career.

Community and Learning

Are you involved in any community activities or volunteer work?

I volunteer by sharing my life experiences and learnings with the next generation, offering counseling and mentoring.

How do you approach continuous learning and skill development?

We live in an era rich with learning and skill development opportunities. I stay open to learning and regularly update myself through books, articles, seminars, workshops, and interactions.

Challenges and Resilience

How do you overcome challenges in both personal and professional life?

A positive approach and self-confidence are key to overcoming challenges in both personal and professional life.

Can you share a time when you showed resilience in the face of adversity?

Fortunately, I have not faced significant adversity in my life and hope it remains that way.

Role in Luxor Writing Instruments

How has your role in Luxor Writing Instruments influenced your approach to leadership and personal development?

At Luxor, my role involves supporting management on people issues. Business success relies on satisfying customers, and people are crucial at every stage. I believe in investing in our people’s development and leadership to ensure customer satisfaction and business efficiency.

Can you share a significant learning or experience from your time at Luxor that has shaped your professional journey?

Joining Luxor six months ago, I’ve been impressed by its journey since 1963. Many generations have an emotional connection with Luxor’s famous brands. As the head of HR, I’m enjoying shaping its human resources to support business growth and help rewrite Luxor’s future in India.

Closing Thoughts

Is there any additional insight you’d like to provide about yourself or your journey?

I believe in the importance of maintaining a meaningful and values-centered personality. Upholding a strong value system contributes to enduring success, both personally and professionally.

What guidance would you offer to individuals seeking equilibrium and achievement in both their personal and professional spheres?

Remember, personal and professional lives are interconnected. Cultivate a meaningful and value-driven persona, integrating these principles into your daily life. This approach paves the way for genuine success in all aspects of life.

Leave a Comment