BELIEVE in yourself to succeed

Debut book by inspirational leader, management consultant, leadership coach and hospitality veteran Shantha de Silva released by Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of BW BUSINESSWORLD Dr Annurag Batra

Do you want to be a great leader? Do you want to be better at what you do? Do you want to achieve your dreams, your goals and your vision? Be challenged in your thinking and learn how to unlock your true leadership potential, a potential you may not have been aware even exists! All you need to do is pick up a copy of Shantha de Silva’s Believe: Helping Leaders Unlock Their True Potential to embark on a journey of self-reflection, drawing upon the experiences of the amazing career successes that the author has enjoyed in his career.

The virtual launch of the debut effort by inspirational leader, management consultant, leadership coach and internationally acclaimed hospitality veteran Shantha de Silva was done by Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of BW BUSINESSWORLD Dr Annurag Batra in the presence of hospitality industry bigwigs. The launch was followed by a panel discussion on Unlocking Leadership Potential for Tomorrow which was moderated by CEO of BW Communities at BW BUSINESSWORLD Bhuvanesh Khanna. The panellists included Radisson Hotel Group Chairman Emeritus and Principal Advisor (South Asia) KB Kachru, Indian Hospitality School Founder and CEO Dilip Puri, HVS Anarock South Asia President Mandeep Lamba and former MD & CEO, Hamstede Living Pvt Ltd Rahul Pandit.

Speaking at the launch, de Silva said, “I grew up in a home where my father was an author, and I was always surrounded by books and always nurtured a dream to write a book one day. I didn’t know on what, I didn’t know when and I didn’t know how, but I knew I wanted to do it. As years went by, it dawned on me that I wanted to share the stories of my success and the inspirations, the learnings and the experiences I’ve had, from a trainee who earned Rs 600 a month to leading a region of over 100 hotels.” He added that his mantra in life was that if he could do it, anyone could do it too. “It was up to me to share the stories with others so that they can get inspired too. Trying to find the best way to do this led me to creating this book. The idea was not only to inspire leaders but to give something practical and simple to implement, so that they can realise their own potential and realise their dreams,” de Silva shared.

Soon after releasing the book, Dr Batra applauded de Silva on penning this inspirational work to help leaders realise their potential. “You believed that you could write a book that could impact the lives of leaders, help them discover themselves and realise their true potential as well as learn from their respective journeys. I feel not only will it inspire and be helpful to people in the professional domain but also valuable to students and learners,” he shared.

Congratulating de Silva on his literary effort, KB Kachru said, “I know little of him but what I have heard from people who have worked with him is that his team agenda comes before self, and he needs to be commended for what he has done. His has always been appreciated for the efforts he puts in. I’ve heard he looks at opportunities and how he can improve himself.” Sharing his views on the present status of the hospitality industry, the veteran hotelier said that it has seen a paradigm shift in the last two decades, primarily due to ever-evolving consumer behaviour and impact of technology. “It has made all the difference and changed the way hoteliers conduct businesses. A few years back, not all but most of us worked in a controlled manner. I think that approach has changed for better to a more collaborative one which I think is good for fostering teamwork, productivity, innovation and above all, creativity,” he said.

ISH Founder Dilip Puri said that while the book by de Silva may be inspiring to be a better leader “but for me personally, it has inspired me to finally try and write a book myself. Now, I’ll try and put pen to paper.” When questioned on hospitality jobs in future, Puri shared, “I think young people should understand that this perhaps is the best time to be in college because they can have an inside view of the monumental changes taking place all around.” Puri added that his mantra with young people has always been to help them become the best version of themselves. “If they are able to understand and imbibe some of the lessons which De Silva has put in this book, imagine how well-prepared they will be to meet the challenges of the future,” he said.

On the significant qualities a leader must possess, industry veteran Mandeep Lamba said, “Leaders have different attributes. We live in a world where everything is changing so rapidly that if you’re not able to embrace change, then it’s going to be difficult for a leader to last long. I also feel that leaders must be great communicators. There has to be an environment where there is a free flow of communication. Most importantly, a leader should be able to nurture and build teams for if you can’t nurture people and if you can’t be a people’s person, it becomes critical.”

Answering the question on the need for an apprenticeship-based model in the hospitality industry, Pandit said, “If we were to propel everybody into a university and ask them to run hotels then it is a waste of nation’s time and talent. You don’t have to be married to an industry to be an apprentice. We can’t change reality, but we surely can drive in optimism. Also, while recruiting, we need to look at attitude. Skill is something that we can train someone in.” Appreciating de Silva’s effort, he added, “This book will enrich many people, personally and professionally. To write a book like this calls for humility and courage.” 


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