Rahul Hora

President and Chief Executive Officer

AXA Philippines

2018

Outstanding Leaders in Asia

Rahul Hora

Outstanding Leaders in Asia

2018

President and Chief Executive Officer

AXA Philippines

Rahul Hora

Finding greatness in the small

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Hui Lin Chit is the epitome of a self-made man. He was forced to drop out of school to help contribute to the family income when he was just a student in Primary Five. Nevertheless, the lack of formal education did not prevent Hui from continuously learning from other sources. His willingness to learn and his ability to leverage on that and his experience along the way bode well for him. In the course of more than 30 years of business operations, continuous learning has enabled him to improve his management skills and realise the principles of career development and life.
Growing up, Hui had the best role models in his parents, who were kind and decent folks. His mother was always helping people less fortunate than they were, even in the days when food supply was scarce and when having food on the table was not a guarantee. His father was honest, and he educated Hui to be macro-minded, generous and considerate at work, and to contribute to society once he was able to.
Aside from parents, Hui also admires Inamori Kazuo, a Japanese philanthropist, entrepreneur and the founder of Kyocera Corporation (Kyocera), a Japanese multinational ceramics and electronics manufacturer headquartered in Kyoto, Japan and KDDI Corporation, a Japanese telecommunications operator. At Kyocera, Inamori Kazuo implemented his Amoeba Management system. Amoebas are, in general, groups of a small number of people, composed of personnel in a company, with a clearly defined purpose of making profit for itself. Profit is calculated in each amoeba with the goal being to identify and maximise profitability per hour. Hui finds that the principles behind the Amoeba Management system jive with his own principles.

Hui, therefore, implemented the Amoeba Management system while leading a third management reform in his own company, Hengan International Group Company Limited (Hengan Group). He created small teams of personnel which create value, shoulder responsibilities, and share interests together. This is in line with Hengan Group’s corporate mission of ‘Growing with You for a Better Life’. The Amoeba Management system has successfully reinvigorated the Group’s sales network and improved its sales efficiency as well as expense ratio.
Hora explains that by practicing openness to his staff and their differing perspectives, regardless of age, experience or background, he obtains a deep understanding of the true workings in his own company on both a macro and micro level. Hence, he is able to snuff out issues early, and open doors to unexpected opportunities. Hora believes that this element is vital to his inclusive leadership strategy, and is a necessary skill for top leader executives. Such leadership skills is mainly attributed to his role models: his father, Vinod Kumar Hora, and Shikha Sharma, former Chief Executive Officer of ICICI Prudential, and current CEO and Managing Director of Axis Bank. From his father, the graduate of St Stephen’s college learnt soft skills such as integrity, being results-orientated, and diligence, regarding them as important as technical skills in his work ethic. He has also picked up qualities displayed by Sharma such as her risk-taking ability, willingness to learn and work-life balance. Although his formal education in Physics, Math, Chemistry and Management was essential to his success, much of his skills came from the workplace.

Hora is the prime example of an encouraging leader who listens and pays heed to the opinions and needs of his employees. Despite achievements and awards his company receives, Hora humbles himself, stating, “If I touch one life in a positive way, if I am able to overcome my own challenges and have them resonate with others, I would consider myself successful.”

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