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Rakesh Kapoor

Photo of Rakesh Kapoor - CEO of RB

In September 2011, consumer-goods giant RB appointed Rakesh Kapoor as CEO. Rakesh’s previous experiences in the Indian market were an ace-in-the-hole for the company. “I started my career in an emerging market. I worked in India my whole life before I moved to the UK, and that was a very important time for me as I was growing up because, first and foremost, when you’re in an emerging market, you develop a few mindsets. One mindset you develop is growth because you see growth around you, and you’re not prepared to accept any other status except one that is made up of big growth.

“The other mindset that you develop is that there is so much change going on and you need to find a way of managing that change effectively, otherwise that change can become an end in itself. Our end is not to change; our end is to change in order to drive growth. In emerging markets, you undergo rapid change in a very small period of time, and when you’re operating in these markets many of these changes are unpredictable, so you learn to cope with volatility and you learn to cope with significant change that occurs in a short period of time. I learned a lot about managing change that is volatile and unpredictable.

“The third thing you learn in emerging markets is that you’ve got to have a longer term view of the business simply because, in emerging markets, many people make the mistake of overestimating the short term and underestimating the long term. For those of us who have grown in emerging markets, we know that you’ve got to have a long-term view of these markets because there will be short-term volatilities, there will be short-term unpredictability, but if you keep doing the right thing for the longer term then you’ll be in a very good position.”

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