Lessons in Excellence: The power of impossible thinking — episode 4

K V Kamath, MD & CEO, ICICI Bank in the concluding part of his dicussions with Wharton's Yoram (Jerry) Wind on The power of impossible thinking on CNBC to be telecast on Saturday May 7, 2005, at 10:30 pm, and repeat telecast on Sunday May 8, 2005, at 8:30 pm, anchored by CNBC-TV18's Anuradha Sengupta.

Previewed exclusively on domain-b.

Anuradha Sengupta: In the past decade or so, Indian companies have perhaps been in the process of shifting from the old process of old mental models to new mental models. We are going to discuss how they are coping, how they are faring with this process and to do that we have with us KV Kamath, MD & CEO of ICICI Bank and Jerry Wind, the co-author of The Power of Impossible Thinking. Jerry, who leads the task of changing the mental model towards success when we are talking about a country? Are we going to leave it in the hands of the government? Who takes the role?

Jerry Wind: I would hope that you would not leave it to government if everyone wants to see change. I think we need leadership at all levels. We need leadership not only — the central government will need leadership, every village, every town, we have to rethink a town, have to rethink a village of how to create them. Businesses have a huge role in here. There is nothing like their entrepreneurial spirit as we heard from KV ().

Anuradha Sengupta: KV, you have seen up close this almost radical transformation that is taking place in the corporate landscape. What is it that? Do you see Indian companies adjusting from the old way of doing things, from old mindsets to new mindsets comfortably or are they like adolescents?

K V Kamath: Indian industry came through structurally difficult times in the last six — seven years and I guess that everyone understood that those who embraced change, those who went beyond the one-way street would succeed and they changed. For example six years back, five years back, every industrialist you meet in India would say "The China factor is going to kill us." If you ask the same industrialist today, "What about the Chinese factor"? "Not a problem, we can compete."

The latest one where I find this new thought coming very clearly is the textile industry. Just 18 months back, two years back they were all saying, "This industry is wiped out", and indeed due to structural change the industry was in deep trouble. Recently they are saying that we are a globally fit fighting machine… and they are able to compete. So clearly industry has been able to re-invent itself and understood that change is paramount and this change started from their shop floor.