The man behind the leaders of the 21st century

The man behind the leaders of the 21st century

SME Inspirations

GlobalLinker Staff

GlobalLinker Staff

266 week ago — 8 min read

Enterprise: LMI India

Executive Director: Ashok Thussu

Industry: Business services and consultancy

Year it was founded: 1995

Based out of: Gurgaon, Haryana

“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way” – John C Maxwell

So, what exactly defines great leadership?

In essence, leadership is a mindset in action. Exceptional leaders work towards the larger good of society and nurture future leaders. They are the pillars on which the foundation of a great enterprise is built.

With the firm belief that great leaders are made not born, Ashok Thussu, the Executive Director of Leadership management International (LMI), India has taken forward the legacy of Mr Paul J Meyer who started LMI nearly 55 years ago with the aim of training and producing great leaders in society.

LMI was brought to India by Dr Hiru Bijlani in the year 1995. Since then Mr Thussu has been the torchbearer in taking the organisation forward in India. The various leadership and management programmes offered by LMI India have helped nearly 15,000 participants from diverse background reach their goals. Today LMI India boasts of a 40-member team which includes 33 licensees and 3 associates pan India.

In conversation with GlobalLinker (GL), Mr Ashok Thussu (AT) shares his business journey.

GL: The phenomenal work that LMI India is doing is worth sharing with the world. Can you please tell us a little more about LMI?

AT: LMI India is the master franchise of Leadership Management International in India. We are present in over 20 locations in India and millions of people have done our transformational leadership interventions. We help people become more focused on their career path so that they can be role models in the society.


LMI is uniquely different as it produces visible results and generates a Return on Investment (ROI) on the learning investment.


GL: What motivated you to start LMI?

AT: Dr. Hiru Bijlani bought LMI to India as there was a great need to help the Indian managers and owners to become more effective and productive. He and I run the LMI business in India. The journey has been hugely satisfying as we have worked with small business owners, as well as managers in the medium and large organisations. Our participants have become our greatest advocates due to the immense life changing value addition they received.

We are unique in the sense that we start by evolving five live project goals for the duration of the elapsed time of the intervention with better than normally accepted outcomes.


GL: There are many firms doing leadership trainings. What differentiates you in the industry?

AT: Most leadership trainings are transactional. One day, two day programmes mostly. A lot of good points and gyaan (knowledge) is shared, but this only suffices to bring awareness and knowledge. Application of the knowledge is not done. Our LMI interventions are done in several half day parcels, with leading edge tools and ideas that are hugely useful. Our process is designed on the learn-introspect-apply mode and therefore is experiential in nature.


We are unique in the sense that we start by evolving five live project goals for the duration of the elapsed time of the intervention with better than normally accepted outcomes. This enables us to deliver ROI on the Learning and Development (L&D) spent. Our group coaching methodology delivered by LMI certified coaches and facilitators ensure the change process happens, with proof to show that it has happened.


GL: Running a leadership and management programmes is no easy feat. We are sure you too have faced your share of challenges? How did you tackle them?

AT: The first challenge is the physical presence and locating suitable city franchises who we can train to peak degree in consultative selling and delivery of the specialised LMI offerings. So, finding the right people apart from metros especially in tier 1 and 2 cities is a huge difficulty. We are using the digital space to find such people but more needs to be done as the opportunity is enormous and there is no one else who does what we do so effectively.


The second challenge is the launch of our new online programmes which bring the power of the LMI process to online single or group coaching. Getting the right digital lead generation and follow up mechanisms in place to get this scalable is what we are working on now. Finally locating and reaching out to SME business owners is challenging as there are huge numbers. In this regard a platform like GlobalLinker can be of help.


GL: You are a Linker. Which offerings of GlobalLinker have helped you? And why should other SMEs use it too?


AT: The webinars and articles are powerful and useful.  Apart from that, the networking opportunity is a powerful source of connecting the right people and interests.

GL: What advice would you give to a new entrepreneur setting up their first business? Or What would you tell your younger self?

AT: Get organised, master goal setting, have your priorities in place, retain work-life balance, improve communications so that you actually connect across, delegate well and nurture your teams. Had I done this at the start of my journey as well as LMI has taught me now, I would have traversed greater distances in my life journey.


GL: Thank you for the great advice. Looking ahead, what is the next big thing on your business agenda?

AT: Getting the LMI online coaching to new levels, get more people as certified coaches, reach out digitally and help more people to grow as we touch lives and make a difference.


GL: Can you tell us a little bit about the person behind the Executive Director of LMI India?

  • Every day you wake up at? 6 AM
  • The first thing you do when you wake up? I exercise
  • Three things you do to unwind/ relax are? I have my morning tea with my wife for an hour of bonding. I read books and also cook occasionally.
  • When you face a big challenge? I crystalise my thinking, use a pen and paper to think through, work out an action plan and act upon it
  • The best piece of advice you’ve ever been given is? Do the right thing at the right time but only for the right length of time
  • The one book everyone should read is? Atomic Habits by James Clear


Interested in reading more SME Inspirations articles? Check out some of our articles here:

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From ban to yes we can! - A Mumbai entrepreneur's story against all odds

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Network with Ashok Thussu by clicking on the 'Connect' button on his profile.


Disclaimer: This article is based solely on the inputs shared by the featured member. GlobalLinker does not necessarily endorse the views, opinions & facts stated by the member.


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GlobalLinker Staff

We are a team of experienced industry professionals committed to sharing our knowledge and skills with small & medium enterprises.