Perspectives from ISB

-By Anurag Sabarwal

Shaking hands with a corporate honcho running a 70 Billion Euro technological powerhouse like Ericsson is not an everyday experience for a student. But the other day it was just the thing that happened for many of us at ISB. We not only did shake hands with Hans Vestberg, President & CEO of the company, but also indulged in a spate of selfies with the former handball champ who now heads one of the most successful European companies in the world. But more interesting it was also the Ericsson technologies on display at the School that enthralled us.

During an hour-long session, Hans spoke about various innovations at the company. For instance, we have all tried to use our phones to scan barcodes for more information. We know it is a tedious process. But what if all you had to do is touch anything and all the information pops up right in front of you. Sounds too good to be true, right? Well, the unimaginable is here. Ericsson has already built such tech and is targeting to launch it in the next couple of years. In fact, the price of such electronic labels is expected to come down to match the ordinary ones!.

Imagine a world where you can exchange your visiting cards just by a shake of the hand or know about the health of our car just a touch. By leveraging our bodies as a means of data transfer- the possibilities are just endless.

Many other advanced technologies were also at display at the Ericsson kiosk put up at the Atrium of the Indian School of Business, when Hans Vestberg, the global CEO of the company, along with the Ericsson India leadership team visited the campus to interact with the students and shared the vision of the company.

Under the leadership of Hans, Ericsson is gearing itself to build a network society, where everything that can possibly be connected, will be. Hans highlighted how the pace of adoption of technology and connectivity is increasing rapidly. He believes that India will achieve 100% mobile connectivity based on the current trends for the smartphone prices. Future network solutions will have an impact across industries and can help resolve bigger issues in healthcare and environment.

Hans also spoke about his personal leadership style and also emphasized the importance of diversity in an organization and how critical it is to hire people who can challenge you rather than be yes men. Interestingly, he used to keep a Boss Contract rule to set clear expectations with his boss until recently. His leadership mantra is simple yet powerful “If I do something I do 110%, else I don’t give a s**t about it”.

Hans was down to earth, funny and energetic – and everything that his audience, the ISB Class of 2016, hopes to be someday. Inspired by his words, we look forward to a continued engagement with the company and with its dynamic leader.

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