Life Lessons from Retail Guru & Motivator Govind Shrikhande
— By Esha Gakhar
A retail professional with more than three decades of extensive experience in weaving successful business stories for apparel to multi-format brands, Govind Shrikhande spearheaded Shoppers Stop’s rise as one of India’s leading department store chains. Under his leadership, the company increased the number of stores from seven in 2001 to 84 in 2018 — and its turnover went up from USD 45.1 million in 2001 to USD 600 million in 2018 with the launch of multiple formats such as Home Stop, Mac, Clinique, Estée Lauder, and Bobbi Brown.
He currently advises several businesses and serves as a mentor to start-up CEOs. His passion for people and consumer-centric approach has earned him the distinction of a well-regarded speaker and jury at many national & international platforms. A big fan of books, music, cricket, and movies, Shrikhande’s zest for life is as inspiring as his professional accomplishments.
Here are some insightful life lessons from the inspiring achiever, in his own words:
“Life is like a marathon and it teaches you several lessons along the way. Every individual is on a journey of Self Actualisation throughout life; many of us start it exactly as the famous song “Musafir hoon yaro / na ghar hai na thikhana / mujhe chalte jana hain”. We don’t know the destination that we are chasing — but start on the path anyway!”
As a kid, my inspirations were my grandfather – who saved a bank during the crash of 1929, my father – a gentle soul who installed the love for reading and movies within all my siblings, and my brother — who supported my education and set up the platform for my career. As I grew up, so many people created the hunger in me to drive towards excellence — Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhonsle, Kishore Kumar, Carpenters, Tiger Pataudi, P.G Wodehouse, Pu La Deshpande, Ayn Rand, JRD Tata, Baba Amte, Kapil Dev, Steve Jobs and many others.
I have been lucky to have some great bosses like Anubhai Dhuldhoya, Sudhir Phadke, Govind Mirchandani and Harshad Joshi who have enriched my knowledge. I have learnt a lot of lessons from my bad bosses as well; especially what not to do — never manipulate people, never use and throw people, etc.
Great music & movies, superb books, exciting cricket matches, and inspirational personalities keep me happy and focussed.
My Top 11 Commandments:
1. Treat others the same way as you would like to be treated
2. Love your work & not your chair
3. Disruption is normal
4. We are all work-in-progress, so keep learning as there is no stage called perfection
5. Dedication, Positivity, Passion, Humility & Grooming your team members for bigger roles are the key qualities of a good leader
6. The family must be given priority over all other activities as no one can replace you in that role. Businesses can find someone to take up your role – but the family cannot
7. Health is at the core of a happy and long life; do not take shortcuts. Yoga is the best way to remain healthy and happy
8. Every day is a new beginning. Every Friday a movie bombs or rocks at the box office; the last success or failure is no indication of the next release. So, treat every day like new innings; take guard and start batting in a V.
9. It is important to take a break from time-to-time and enjoy nature and appreciate your family. You need to invest in relationships as well
10. Make books your friends; keep reading as much as possible across genres/interests/media. You will never become old if you keep reading & learning
11. Balance your creative, logical, and emotional thinking; we generally fall into the trap of going overboard in one of these three areas