Dear Friends,


It gives me immense pleasure to share the happenings around with you through the ninth edition of The Redwood Edge Newsletter.

Leadership is the most powerful way to differentiate a brand. It is the most direct way to establish and showcase an organization’s brand image. Any Leadership brand /personality has three elements – Credibility, Visibility and Connect.  This association works as a collateral to guarantee present and future performance of the organization in the market place. Powerful leaders can take ownership of the words that describe the brand association – the attributes and impact.

Amidst the ever evolving business landscapes, the mantra to thrive is by “Creating a Brand Image” and when a Leader facilitates the brand recall element, it is the miraculous difference that the Leader brings to the organization.  Try thinking Apple  without  Steve Jobs,  Dell without Michael Dell( easy one !!!!) , Infosys without Narayan Murthy , Tata group without Ratan Tata ( another easy one !!!!) , Wipro without Azim Premji , Starbucks without Howard Schultz… the list goes on and on……

Leadership is the courage to dare, to take charge and lead an organization forward … The Leadership journey is a blend of both “Ocean of Emotions” and “Power of Logic”…how smoothly a leader can transact and maintain a balance between the two is what defines a true leader…

Leadership is never a decision but a continued problem solving game…More than aiming at perfection leadership is about continuous value addition. Leadership isn’t necessarily always excellence but always an engagement towards excellence…

A leader isn’t one who never fails…but one who never quits…

Leadership is not a facade…it’s a lifestyle that a leader embodies throughout the journey…

Hence the Title“Leadership – the Eternal lifestyle…”

The inspiration of the title comes from the exceptional contributions made by different leaders to individuals, teams and of course the organization and the influence they had in creating fans out of customers with their Customer Centric Approach. I had the privilege of meeting some of them and apart from admiring, I have learnt a great deal from them.

In this edition we focus on some of the ICONS OF LEADERSHIP, WOMEN LEADERS in the financial space who have created destinies and balance sheets, individuals who fought odds to raise the personal leadership levels, stories of sporting icons who have fallen to shake the very essence of sporting spirit – confirming the view that Leadership is not an act, but an ETERNAL LIFESTYLE.

Happy Reading !!!

Leadership– Determination Defying Situations

“If you want to be inventive, you have to be willing to fail”

Jeffrey P. Bezos of who added $111 billion in market capital and has delivered industry adjusted shareholder return of 12,266% during his leadership – he is now the best living CEO in the World as per HBR, January ’2013edition.

In recent years the online retailer has expanded aggressively and shows no signs of slow down.

Jeffrey believes in his three big ideas at Amazon, which are long-term thinking, customer obsession, and a willingness to invent.


Jeffrey Bezos was always fueled by a secret passion for the infant business of electronic retailing. It was a risky move that he

took in 1994, which quickly paid off for him after the initial years of struggle.

Jeff strives for excellence in his company by creating a successful brand and a culture that promotes openness, support and innovation. Amazon is constantly transforming to sustain its platform of excellence in customer service; it’s the main aspect that keeps Amazon as such a notable brand. Amazon’s revenues are around 61$ Bn and employs around 89,000 employees.

Ratan Tata…
         …the mantle of Values and Leadership passed on…

ratan tata

Ratan Tata, who led the transformation of the Tata group from a conventional corporate house into a $100 billion global conglomerate

with high-profile acquisitions abroad, retired on 28th December 2012, ending a 50-year run in one of India’s oldest business empires.

In a farewell letter to all the employees, he asked the employees to live by the value systems and ethical standards the group had followed all along. In his last lines, Mr. Tata wrote, “Tatas are a group where I feel proud to have belonged and proud to have been associated through the years. I wish the group, Cyrus Mistry and each of you great success in the years ahead. I hope the group grows and shines in the coming years”.

Ratan Tata an iconic corporate leader shows us that it is possible to do business in an ethical way. We salute him as a brilliant leader who went on to attain global heights and wishing him a rewarding life ahead.


The League Of Extraordinary Women – Pillars of the Indian Financial Industry

We present here a few ladies extraordinaire, who are running financial powerhouses in India…

Chanda Kochhar – MD and CEO of ICICI Bank


Power to me means: The ability to impact the lives of common people.”

Chanda Kochhar has been named as the most powerful woman in business in India for the second consecutive year by fortune magazine.

She began her career with ICICI as a management trainee in 1984 and has thereon successfully risen through the ranks by handling multidimensional assignments and heading all the major functions in the Bank at various points in time.

   Naina Lal Kidwai – Group General Manager and Country Head of HSBC India

Naina Lal Kidwai

Power to me means: Being able to make an impact or a difference.”

She is the first Indian woman to graduate from the Harvard Business School. Fortune magazine listed Naina Lal Kidwai among the World’s Top 50 Corporate Women from2000 to 2003.

Naina Lal Kidwai has also received the Padma Shri from the Government of India for her contribution to Trade and Industry. Naina Lal Kidwai took over as the first woman President of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry(FICCI) on December2012

Shikha Sharma – Managing Director and CEO of Axis Bank

Shikha Sharma

Power to me means: The ability to influence change.”

Axis Bank, under Shikha Sharma, is transforming into a full blown financial services firm with retail as well as corporate focus, including complex advisory on mergers & acquisitions and trading, but with minimum risks.

To name a few awards and recognitions to her credit are, Transformational Business Leader of the Year’ at AIMA’s Managing India Awards – 2012, Woman Leader of the year’ at Bloomberg – UTV Financial Leadership Awards –2012.

Kalpana Morparia -CEO, JP Morgan India

Kalpana Morparia

Power to me means: The ability to make a difference.”

For someone who’s standard introduction for years was ‘Kalpana Morparia from ICICI’, she surprised many when she moved from ICICI Bank after thirty three long years over to JP Morgan India as CEO

She was named one of `The 50 Most Powerful Women in International Business’ by Fortune magazine in 2008 and one of the 25 most powerful women in Indian business by Business Today, a leading Indian business journal, in the years2004, 2005 and 2006 and 2008. She was also named one of `The 100 Most Powerful Women’ by Forbes magazine in 2006.
Now, she has to broaden JP Morgan’s footprint in existing areas.

Renu Sud Karnad – Managing Director of HDFC Ltd.

Renu Sud Karnad

Her biggest challenge is growing HDFC while keeping its culture intact.

Over the years she has to her credit enormous awards and accolade like “Outstanding Women Business Leader”  at the CNBC Indian Business Leader Award 2012 and is honored as one of the 25 “Most Influential Women Professional in India.

Non-stop growth can make an organization complacent; eventually leading to stagnation is what Renu Sud Karnad strongly believes and focuses on taking the services to another level.

    Shubha Lakshmi Panse- Chairman and MD of Allahabad Bank

S A Panse

Having got an MSc and diploma in business management and masters in management science from University of Pune she has also done CAIIB and MBA from Drexel University, USA.

She has over 33 years of illustrious banking experience during which she was accredited with several rewards and recognition in diverse fields. She has wide exposure and expertise in diverse disciplines like credit management, recovery, and treasury and information technology at levels in several locations in the country…

Chitra Ramakrishna – MD and CEO of National Stock Exchange

Chitra Ramakrishna

Power to her means: Shunning media glare and letting her actions speak for her work.”

Among the top-20 bourses in terms of market value of listed companies, South Africa’s Johannesburg Stock Exchange and China’s Shenzhen Stock Exchange are the only two exchanges currently headed by lady executives. Chitra will be the 3rd CEO in this exclusive club.

Ms. Ramakrishna has been with the NSE since its inception and at present serves as the Managing Director. She will take charge of India’s largest Stock Exchange from April 1’13.

What happened? A tale of 2 Sporting Icons

Lance Armstrong – We fight to improve the lives of people affected by cancer

Some people pay attention to cycling. Others pay attention to cycling only when the most successful American cyclist of all time is banned from the sport and stripped of his seven Tour de France titles.

Lance Edward Armstrong an American former professional road racing cyclist. Armstrong had won the Tour de France a record seven consecutive times between 1999 and 2005, but in 2012 he was disqualified from all his results since August 1998 for using and distributing performance-enhancing drugs and was banned from professional cycling for life.


Lance Armstrong has chosen to voluntarily resign from the board of directors of the Livestrong Foundation to spare the organization any negative effects as a result of controversy surrounding his cycling career.

A brand is built on trust. People buy into a brand because they believe and feel an emotional connection with its values and what it offers. Never was this more apparent than with Lance Armstrong and the former Lance Armstrong Foundation or “Livestrong”.

But what happens when this trust breaks down?  Lance Armstrong a name that inspired millions…  What happens next…?

Oscar Pistorius : Success and Credibility…a joint affair…

oscar pistorius

Around six months ago Oscar Pistorius was watched by millions as he sprinted down the track of London’s Olympic stadium. He made history as an Olympic and Paralympic athlete, being an inspiration to many around the world.    Sometimes referred to as the “Blade Runner”, Pristorious is once again at the centre of the crowd gaze.

On15th February 2013, he stunned a nation that revered “the fastest man on no legs” as a national hero who managed to compete at the highest levels of sport despite being born without a fibula in either leg.

Pistorius stood in the dock a broken man who was accused of fatally shooting his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. He made a tearful appearance at a courtroom in the South African capital, Pretoria.

Ordinary lives; Extraordinary Accomplishments

Mumbai the financial capital of the country becomes a witness to an inspirational story……


  Surmounting all odds, Prema Jayakumar, topped the all India Chartered Accountancy examination. Daughter of a Mumbai-based auto-rickshaw driver, who bravely fights all odds to make his children achieve the very pinnacle of academic achievements.

The dedication and sincerity of his children inspired faith and confidence in him and decided to never let financial difficulties come in between their way. Resident of a one room apartment in the suburbs of Malad, where her brother would sit on the table and she would sit on the floor to study. Prema says  that her key to success is nothing else but sheer hard work and an immense passion for giving her family a comfortable life.

A father rejoices in his daughter’s success and feels that Prema had brought to their family the pride they had hitherto seen only in the news.

The zeal in this 24 year old ordinary girl makes her truly extraordinary…..

A Horse which was her ticket to stardom…

It was a dream come true for the 36 year old beautician R Rajamma as a horse Super Storm ridden by jockey Jimmy Fortune stunned a packed crowd at Mahalaxmi to win the Derby on 4th February2013.

r.rajammaPicture 06

R Rajamma was a staff at the Bangalore turf club who sold tickets years ago, is now a proud owner of Super Storm.  She initially risked all her saved money on a horse which could have ended up into a big failure.

She never lost hope and with a strong belief kept dreaming that a horse would be her ticket to fame. And today her earnings from Super Storm till now stand over Rs 3 crore.

This truly is a scripted, happy ending to an inspirational and touching story of the horse owner. This is like the famous horse “Seabiscuit” which caught the imagination and inspired America during the great depression.

Quick Flashes

A Red Carpet Preview for Steve Jobs First Movie

A Journey of the Apple’s legendary co founder from an experimental youth to a man in charge of one of the world’s most recognized brand. Staring Ashton Kutcher as the tech and entrepreneur who revolutionized the way people listen to music.

Indian Economy

India’s star has lost its luster as the global economy has slowed, exposing the country’s rampant  corruption, rickety infrastructure and shortages of skilled labor. The economy will grow by 6%-plus, but it should be doing better.

Exxon and Apple become world’s most valuable companies 

 Ina year that continued to prove that if Apple makes a product, people will buy it, the tech giant officially became the world’s most valuable company only to slip again to Exxon in last week of January.  The third generation iPad, the iPhone 5, the fourth-generation iPad, the iPad mini and Apple Maps were all released in 2012, and all the while Tim Cook’s leadership style was put under the microscope and compared with Steve Jobs.

The Redwood Edge Strokes

The year 2012 at The Redwood Edge was an absolutely energetic, exciting and a delightful year. On one hand where it marked a moment of pride, it also created a moment of looking at life as “LIFE” on the other.

I had the opportunity of conducting a variety of interactive sessions with a number of esteemed organizations. An enriching experience indeed.

The Redwood Edge TV Commercial on CNBC 18

It gives us a great sense of pride in sharing with you our new TV commercial aired on CNBC TV 18 in January, 2013.


“Life a Rainbow”

A special motivational video by The Redwood Edge unfolding the beauty of life…


Open Workshop

An eventful journey where leaders from different industries came together to explore the importance of presentation and public speaking skills, it’s implications and execution.

The open workshop Interact to Impact was a learning experience for me.

One on One Coaching

Considering the dynamics of today’s market and the critical need to accentuate the leadership skills we had introduced One on One Coaching Programs. It is a pleasure to share that it has been received exceptionally well and is a success with sessions conducted for professionals in leadership roles.

ASTD- American Society for Training and Development

It was a pleasure for me to be a part of the American Society for Training and Development Seminar held in Singapore. A great opportunity to learn share ideas and network

Leadership is not banking on the past but a bet on the future…Leadership is not a coincidence but a philosophy…

Leadership my friend is not today or tomorrow…It’s a Lifestyle for Eternity…


It is always a pleasure to share a few thoughts and stories for us to may be learn from some of them and incorporated into our Personalities. May we keep creating new milestones and create a legacy…as we all are a BRAND .

Like said in the beginning of the Newsletter… it’s about 3 elements – Visibility, Credibility and Connect. It is about believing that Learning is Eternal and…Leadership is Eternal… Remember you are a BRAND.

I hope you enjoyed reading the 9th Newsletter edition and I look forward to receiving your comments at:

Regards and Cheers

Prakash Rohera