Make an Impact and Develop Your People: Delta India President’s Leadership Strategies
By David Nakayama - Published March 27, 2023
Mr. Benjamin Lin, Delta India President Text by David Nakayama, DET Corp Comms Photos by Delta India Strategic Marketing
Bangkok, Thailand, February 20, 2021- Delta India’s rise continues with recent expansions of R&D and manufacturing capabilities and the hiring of local talents to support the government’s “Make in India” drive. Looking forward, it’s undeniable that India will continue to grow in importance as a key global market and a core pillar supporting the Delta Group’s growth story.
In this email interview, Mr. Benjamin Lin, Delta India President, shares his international business experience and leadership strategies he sees as key to taking Delta India to a new era of growth. He shares Delta India’s strategic role and how to leverage local talent and cultural awareness to foster an inclusive workplace where all can contribute. Finally, he shares useful tips to help bring out leadership among our people and maintain a healthy work-life balance.
Can you please share with us about your background and your career leading to leadership of Delta India?
I joined Delta with experience in multiple industries, having worked in many different roles across the globe. Earlier in my career, I had the opportunity to work in businesses of all sizes, contributing to their growth and even heading complex programs to optimize organizations.
Today at Delta, our whole organization is looking forward to the future, and we’re building on our established presence as an industry leader in power electronics. I have a great deal of respect for how we’re creating technologies with purpose—developing solutions that will help the environment and improve lives.
It’s incredibly rewarding to be a part of this transition. If people ask me about how I got to where I am today, I attribute much of it to the exposure I’ve had to different business environments, the support of near and dear ones and making the most of the opportunities offered to me.
How does Delta India support the overall growth strategy of the Delta Group, and is the team strengthening the Delta brand in the South Asia regions?
Since 2003, Delta India has grown to be a leading power and energy management company in this country. Delta operates in three business categories: Power Electronics, Automation and Infrastructure. It has a legacy of operating in India with market leadership in Telecom Power Solutions, Renewable Energy Solutions and Display Solutions.
We are also a leading provider of Industrial Automation Solutions, UPS & Datacenter Solutions, EV Charging Solutions, Energy Storage Solutions, DC Fans & Blowers, and Components. With fourteen regional offices, four manufacturing facilities (Rudrapur, Gurgaon, Hosur and Krishnagiri) and two R&D centres (Gurgaon and Bengaluru), Delta has a strong presence across India with more than 200 channel partners.
Delta's core competencies include infrastructure, automation, and digitalization. We are currently implementing a USD 500 million investment in Krishnagiri for a future new manufacturing facility. In addition, we are constructing a new R&D facility and headquarters in Bengaluru.
In the short term, we intend to accelerate our top-line growth by focusing on key segments such as electric vehicles, data centers, and industrial automation, all of which have significant potential in India. Indeed, we are pioneers in telecom power and display solutions.
Furthermore, we want to expand into new markets and businesses in India because Delta has a strong legacy of cutting-edge technology and power electronics. We are bringing in more products from our various business groups in India to be manufactured in Krishnagiri for export and global use.
India is a vast market with a huge population that is set to overtake China in the coming years. Since joining Delta India, what are some key ways you are supporting your teams to take full advantage of growth opportunities?
We believe India has significant potential and opportunity, and Delta anticipates 20% higher growth in India in 2023. We anticipate more growth in India than in other regions, and the country represents a large market size for Delta to grow in the coming year.
Delta is a Global company with a multicultural culture. In fact, working with a diverse group of Delta people is one of my favorite aspects of work here.
There are three key strategies I use to help my teams maximize growth opportunities and become top performers.
Encouraging People to Take Ownership
Delta India has staged a remarkable recovery from COVID-19. What are some of the new challenges you face now and what actions are you leading to overcome them?
The pandemic impacted the whole world on a scale that we haven’t seen in recent history. It did affect us but not to the extent that it would hurt our bottom line. The impact has been minimal for us. There are a few factors of course. For one, we appreciate the foresight and guidance from our global headquarters in Taiwan which has also been a commendable guiding force.
Noticeably, when the Novel coronavirus began shaking Wuhan in China, Taiwan quickly recalled what they learned from previous experience and implemented both preventive and curative plans in a rapid action mode even before the rest of the world even had a hint of a lurking pandemic.
As you can see today, Taiwan is one of the very few countries that have not only successfully warded off the disaster but also quickly brought back normalcy in public life and business. The reason for the success was their learning from previous experience with SARS endemic as well as the foresight about the dos and don’ts.
Cumulatively, all these factors contributed to our staying strong till now. We hope will continue to do this.
Many leading global MNC leaders have Indian origins. What do you think are the reasons for this rise in global leadership and what are some key ways that Delta India is developing leadership within the organization?
We have seen in recent years that many global companies, including Fortune 500 companies, are led by leaders of Indian origin. These senior executives are not only the result of a good education, but they are also experienced and skilled in their respective fields of work.
Indian skills are well-known around the world, and multinational corporations are increasingly willing to hire non-native leaders. The reason behind the rise of Indians in global leadership positions is due to their diverse experience and growth opportunities in India
Global corporations have been expanding and foraying into new markets around the world, necessitating the need for leaders who are familiar with working in a variety of settings. Indians are a better bet in this regard because they have a rigorous educational background and have been exposed to working in a variety of settings.
Furthermore, because India is a multicultural country, people are more open to working in different geographies, which is why we see a large number of Indians going abroad to study and work in those countries in order to make a lucrative career. This allows them to adapt to an uncertain environment, which will aid them in dealing with unforeseen business challenges.
India is a unique country with a rich culture and history. What are some key differences between Delta in India and your previous assignment locations? How are you adapting to the local culture?
During all these years with Delta, I have moved quite a bit between our offices across Asia. I am currently the regional head for Delta India and I have been lucky that the transition between cultures and countries is always smooth at Delta. The moves have been made easy for me by the readiness of each local organization as well.
As a leader, I create an inclusive culture by encouraging discussion. I aim to make everyone feel comfortable throwing their opinion into the mix. In some Asian cultures, seniority is a big thing, so people can be hesitant to challenge their manager, but I make sure my team knows it is OK and that these are just my ideas and suggestions.
I think an open dialogue is very important. Sometimes of course, as a leader, I have to make a clear decision that is not debatable, but most of the time, I encourage discussion around the things we are working on.
What is your management style and how do you apply it to manage such diverse teams across such a vast territory of India? What are the top qualities you are looking for in your leaders?
I see all employees as my teammates and I treat them as such. My democratic management style involves collaborating closely with different business leaders to develop strategies and make decisions together. I constantly work to make sure all employees are well aware that their ideas and voices are heard by working on projects we all agree on. This helps them feel motivated and encouraged to provide impressive results as they work to make their original ideas come to life.
Diversity and inclusion in the workplace have wide-ranging benefits. Employee performance and productivity improve. Staff are also noted to be happier in inclusive environments, which means they are more likely to stay with the company. This includes ‘outliers’ – people who are outstandingly talented but may find it difficult to fit in at some workplaces.
We need good leaders to help guide us and make the essential large-scale decisions that keep us moving. A good leader should have integrity, self-awareness, courage, respect, empathy, and gratitude. They should be learning agile and flex their influence while communicating and delegating effectively.
What are some ways you enjoy time off work, and can you share any tips for how to balance career and family?
Work-life balance, in my opinion, is about creating the right kind of environment that allows your team members to feel like they can do a good job while also prioritizing important things in their personal lives.
I enjoy spending time with my family and keeping up with my professional development and continuing education responsibilities as one of my extra activities. At Delta, managers are required to complete six hours of continuing education each year, as you are aware. I stay current in my field by reading professional journals.
Here are some tips to maintain work-life balance:
Wind down after work by listening to the radio or a podcast or reading a book.
Try working out after work to release stress.
Try doing a mindfulness exercise in your car before going to work and when you return home.
Make a hands-free phone call to loved ones on the way home to catch up with them and leave work behind.
How can we find a sense of fulfillment with our work at Delta, and what do you think can provide us with purpose in our lives?
Making a positive difference in society is what we stand for, and our purpose to energize society does not stop with our energy technologies. At Delta, we believe in the power of a more inclusive world – a world where negative biases are recognized and stopped, and where discrimination is no longer present.
Allies play an important role in achieving a truly inclusive culture, and with a little more knowledge and understanding, we can all be better allies.
Finally, is there anything you would like to share with your Delta colleagues around the world?
Delta has had a significant impact on the world's technological evolution. Delta's mission is always to create solutions for a better future, and it is driven by this vision.
Since joining this fantastic company, Delta has provided me with numerous opportunities for advancement. My early career was in Taiwan, and I immediately felt like I was joining a very large family that is extremely innovative and driven to make a difference in society.
Delta’s culture is the reason why so many employees are celebrating their extended tenure with the company. It's been an extremely enriching experience because I've had opportunities in various countries, roles, and portfolios.
Delta, in my experience, cares about its employees, is socially conscious, technologically advanced, and committed to employee development. When you transition from one function to another, you are never fully prepared for the next step, which is where Delta comes in and allows you to develop on the job.
About the Author (Editorial Team)
If content is king, there must be a kingmaker. And the universal theme in my favorite stories is our innate human desire for freedom. I have a master’s degree in Chinese education and experience spanning industries and countries. As the Comms guy at DET, I’m obsessed with the stories behind our products and people. Share your stories with me https://www.linkedin.com/in/yushi-david-nakayama/