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When Nestle India CMD Suresh Narayanan made his sailing debut over choppy waters!

He was a part of a team of three, with an expert from the organiser's side to help them.

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Nov 21, 2016, 11.32 AM IST
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He was a part of a team of three, with an expert from the organiser's side to help them.
He was a part of a team of three, with an expert from the organiser's side to help them.
There is a thing or two in common between navigating the seas and heading businesses. Last Saturday, Axis Bank made the connection apparent, putting a select bunch of CEOs literally at the helm of affairs.

The bank organised the inaugural edition of the regatta in Goa, christened the CEO Cup. About 50 CEOs participated in the races, including Suresh Narayanan, CMD, Nestle India. It was a first for Narayanan, being a part of a sailing race.

"I keep using sailing-related terms when I speak, like navigating choppy waters or riding the storm. But it was the first time that I got to experience it," Narayanan says over the phone from Delhi.

He was a part of a team of three, with an expert from the organiser's side to help them.

"We took turns steering the boat and routinely changed roles," he says. "I feel it teaches you about leading but also about giving charge when an exchange of leadership is called upon.

This is what helps companies come out of difficult situations."

A not her lesson which Narayanan took away from the experience was being calm as the direction of the wind is not always known. "To speak from a business point of view, the team is in the boat. And the customer determines the wind, which could come from any direction," he says.

Words of wisdom, these, coming from a boss who navigated his company through tough times, when its flagship product Maggi noodles suffered a setback.

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