“For us, time is money. We know that each day is so important and we can’t allow one day wasting.”Mr. Sreedharan replied when one of the reporters asked him about the success of Delhi metro. At a time when corruption was at the pinnacle and bureaucratic red tapism hold its hand tight , Delhi metro materialize as a shining star ,brighter than ever.Under Elattuvalapil Sreedharan, the 9-year-old Metro provides perfect service, completes projects on time and under budget, and is making a profit, despite having the lowest fares of any metro system in the world. The ritzy air conditioned trains and modern stations are changing the transportation system in the nation’s capital city. Costing Rs 10,570 crores (Rs 105.70 billion), the project is expected to save Rs 600 crores to Rs 700 crores (Rs 6 billion to Rs 7 billion) on the total cost.
A civil engineer by profession and a fanatical man by temperament, Mr. Sreedharan have not only set a benchmark for young blood to follow but has also proved the clout of honesty, conscientious and skilled management to undergo a successful project. The government always consider him as a‘Shaktimaan’ (powerful man) who focused on achieving targets. With his infrastructural intelligence and good managerial skills he has been the brains in demand in many private as well as government services. He was made the managing director of Delhi Metro in 2005.
This was not the first time when Mr. Sreedharan took up a challenging task, in 1963; disaster struck the Rameshwaram Island when tidal waves washed away the Pamban Bridge connecting it with mainland Tamil Nadu. A passenger train was swept away, killing hundreds of persons. The Southern Railway decided to restore the bridge and set a target of six months. General Manager B.C. Ganguly advanced the deadline by three months and the Railway Board assigned the task to a 31-year-old executive engineer, Sreedharan. It was a tough task as it was an old bridge, built by the British in late-nineteenth century. Sreedharan took up the challenge and advanced the deadline by a month, making the task tougher. He made the bridge functional in 46 days. He achieved this by the application of some common value discipline which includes punctuality, honesty and introduction of new work culture.
Commenting on the red-tape prevailing in our country since long Mr. Sreedharan said: “At the government level, there will be a lot of bickering and bargaining necessary, but ultimately we are able to get what we want. “
The man of true wisdom, he always has vision in his mind, and that vision is sharp, focused and precise. Like a true leader he believes in consensus decision-making and possesses the ability “to get the work done”.
The pivotal trait of a true leader is the ability to have quiet resolution, even after taking up such a crucial challenge Mr. Sreedharan was cool and level headed, unflappable while the world around him goes to pot, he knew what his mission was and he calmly fulfilled it. He was the anchor in the storm.
HE has the readiness to share in rewards with his subordinates; at the same time he has the hardihood to take risk which makes him an absolute undefeatable leader.
Under sturdy political condition and a concise budget Mr. Sreedharan not only completed his project but also made it (metro) a hot-spot and a mandatory place to visit. People from around the country come to Delhi not only to see India gate and Qutub Minar but also to take a joyful ride in the city’s well structured metro.
With a prolific attitude and a sharp vision, his only focus was to complete the project with the available resources and in a finest manner, as a leader he emphasised on quality and consensus from his team member: that is what a leader is suppose to do , when he/she has to knob masses.
In such a narrow time, if this man can not only complete a project but accomplishes it in an organized manner, think about what miracle he will create if he will be given the task of leading a complicated, fluctuating country like ours. Integrity and commitment is his USP that makes him stand apart from the crowd and thus make him a spot on leader.
Author: Apeksha Mishra