Ajit Jain, 60, an IIT-Kharagpur graduate who heads the reinsurance division of Berkshire Hathaway, has been mentioned as a possible successor to its legendary founder-head, Warren Buffett, by the latter himself. With his boss on an India visit, he speaks to the NDTV Profit television channel.
Does that (high praise from Buffett) act as a constant pressure to outperform?
It does in ways in which you want to live up to the expectations that people have for you, and it doesn't because he's one of the few bosses who does a very good job in distinguishing between outcome and decision-making before the event happened.
The way the world works is, it looks at outcome and you may have made a good decision but which ends up in the bad outcome and everyone comes down like a ton of bricks, but by the same token, on the flip side, you might make a bad decision, but comes out with the good outcome and you get all the glory under the sun.
Warren does an incredible job in de-coupling the two, and measuring people in terms of the quality of decisions that were made before you know the outcome.
That makes it very easy to work for a human who is rational and clear about what is it that is important and he sets very clear guidelines in terms of expectations and ethics, and how business should be conducted, and pretty much within those limits, leaves you to manage the business and do your best.
Text: Business Standard