Q&A with Anuj Nayyar, one of GMI Forbes India’s Top 100 Great People Managers

VDX.tv Team

In the October Issue of Forbes Magazine, Great Manager Institute (GMI) and Forbes announced their list of India’s Top 100 Great People Managers for 2020. We were incredibly thrilled to see that VDX.tv’s very own Anuj Nayyar, Senior Director of Global Operations, was featured among India’s top talent, all of whom demonstrate an exceptional ability to connect with and inspire their team members.

As we sat down with Anuj to chat about his philosophy on management, it became abundantly clear why Anuj was so deserving of this recognition! Read the Q&A to learn more.

Congratulations Anuj for making it to the list of India’s Top 100 Great People Managers. How does it feel and what did you do to celebrate this achievement?

Thanks, it feels amazing to be chosen as on of the Top 100 Great People Managers in India and published in Forbes. I would say this is the biggest win of my career so far and will provide a great platform for the future.

The day I got the news, I was overwhelmed with joy and celebrated with my family. We had a family dinner at home with a few drinks and a home-baked cake.

What is your management style or philosophy?

My management philosophy is based on relationship-building and trust. When there is mutual trust between an employee and a manager, employees feel secure and encouraged to do their best.

I like to recognize talent and give them complete autonomy to demonstrate their skills and gain visibility. I love managing people and always believe in leading by example and making myself approachable to each and everyone in the organization. I also encourage my team to develop their interpersonal skills by participating in various task forces and gaining exposure to new experiences.

Managing a global team that provides round-the-clock support services, it’s important to me to foster a culture of balance between professional and personal engagement. Over the past few years, we have established an internal group to focus on team bonding, and plan and organize various engagement events.

In order to keep my team motivated, we’ve implemented an awards program to recognize valued members who are exemplifying company values or contributing to team performance. I feel the main purpose of these awards is to ensure that recognition is not only limited to top performers, but even employees demonstrating some unique skill set. I truly believe everyone is contributing to the success of the team!

I also believe my team members’ roles should not be confined to just one department; if I see that somebody’s skill set and experience will suit other departments or processes and will benefit his/her career and the overall organization, I encourage them to pursue that role. Enabling opportunities to learn and explore new things empowers employees to carve out their own career paths.

Lastly, I feel it’s important to create a culture of open communication where ideas, resources and knowledge can be easily shared. For example, I have promoted learning sessions across departments, where team members can get a better understanding of how other teams operate and gain new knowledge, whether on the topic of client servicing, performance strategy, analytic team on excel skills, etc.

We have created this platform where every team member is encouraged to come forward and present a topic of his or her choice that aligns with his or her strengths. The topic can be related to our domain and industry, for example, mobile advertising, programmatic, real-time bidding, video ads, or as general as business etiquettes, email-writing, etc. Presentations are followed by feedback. Through these sessions, I aim to emphasize the importance of knowledge sharing and learning, because they can play a key role in employee day-to-day performance and decision-making, especially for hires who may be in the early stages of their careers.

Have any of your personal experiences helped you to become a better manager?

I come from a sports background and have played Cricket at the National level. Hence, I know the importance of teamwork. Captaining various sports teams has definitely enabled me to develop my managerial, leadership and decision-making skills.

Due to the current health crisis, everyone is working from home. What are some challenges you think managers often face in these tough times? What are the top three things that you do to create a good remote culture?

Initially, WFH was a challenge for everyone as we were used to working closely with one another in the office. But keeping in mind our values, ‘Boldly Adapt and Innovate’ and ‘Enable Collaboration Across Boundaries’, we adapted to this new remote work culture. The approach we took was:

  • Frequent work group meetings: The entire group meets twice a week on virtual calls so that everyone feels connected.
  • Training session on values: Conduct interactive training sessions on our global values so that everyone is on the same page and expectations are clear.
  • Team engagement activities: We conducted team bonding activities and games virtually, twice a month to keep everyone engaged.

VDX.tv is known for its work-life balance. How do you encourage this on your team?

At VDX.tv, we ensure that employees are provided flexibility in their job responsibilities, whether that mean taking leaves or working from home. Employees reluctant to take leaves are encouraged to take holidays by our management group. I also feel it’s important to ensure that at no point does an employee feel micro-managed. I always try to remain approachable so that employees feel comfortable enough to discuss any issue with me.

Every quarter, my department rotates team members to have different shifts, so that the work is distributed equally, and employees don’t feel burnt out.

Last question: Do you have any secret talents that your colleagues would be surprised to hear about?

I am a sports enthusiast and love to compete, but this may not be a huge secret to the people that have worked with me over the past 12 years!


View the full list of GMI & Forbes India’s Top 100 Great People Managers 2020 here

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