CSK owner N Srinivasan on how he weathered corporate turbulence

N Srinivasan, vice-chairman and Managing Director, India Cements at the 37th Endowment Lecture organised by IIT- Madras and Employers’ Federation of Southern India (EFSI) Thursday.

Chennai: “There was an onslaught on me and on Chennai Super Kings (CSK). But we resisted, a natural instinct took over,” said vice-chairman and managing director, India Cements, N Srinivasan while addressing students of IIT-Madras at the 37th Endowment Lecture on “Leadership in turbulent times’ organised by IIT- Madras and Employers” Federation of Southern India (EFSI) here Thursday.

Srinivasan told students to stay grounded, be up to date and learn to identify the cause of turbulence. “A turbulence can hit anybody. History is full of people who weathered corporate turbulence. In my mind, one name standing out is Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. While the British had guns and cannons, we had bow and arrows. We had the will to fight. But we could not stand to the superior weapons,” he said.

Speaking from his own tryst with controversies, he said, “Cricket was supposed to be a gentleman’s game. CSK has been a successful franchise. There was also jealousy that the “power was going to the South.” There was an onslaught on CSK and on me. There was half-page news about me on front pages for 13 consecutive days and what did I do? There was only one thread in common: Attack Srinivasan. It was severe and pointed. We were put under the gun.” He added, “We kept the eye on the ball, we did not lament. We took every allegation it with merit, We dealt it without emotion.”

He shared with the students what CSK captain MS Dhoni kept in mind when he took his team back to the cricket pitch: Focus, training and discipline and nerveless execution. Speaking about the success behind CSK, he said, “We have always owned the franchise and not the players. That is why the players respect us and they give everything for us on the ground.” Professor Ravindra Gettu, Dean (IC&SR), IIT Madras, R Srikanth, president-EFSI and Joint Managing Director, Brakes India Ltd and Professor G Srinivasan, Head, Department of Management Studies, IIT Madras were also present.

NT Bureau