Chanel CEO Leena Nair: The success story that came out of criticism and restrictions, will be stunned to hear

Chanel CEO Leena Nair: The success story that came out of criticism and restrictions, will be stunned to hear

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new Delhi. The career of Lena Nair, CEO of French company Chanel, which is one of the world’s largest fashion brand, was as glamorous as it looks today, she was very dull and surrounded by criticism like a common girl.

When Leena was made its Global CEO in December last year by the Chanel brand, suddenly she started being discussed all over the world. Leena, who spent 30 years with the Indian FMCG company Unilever, was suddenly elevated from chief human resource officer (CHRO) to global chief executive officer (CEO). Now she leads the company’s 28 thousand employees working worldwide.

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Didn’t give up on childhood between the taunts
Born in Maharashtra’s Kolhapur district, Leena’s childhood was spent in an environment where girls were taught only what they needed before marriage. She was called upon for everything that was not considered necessary for girls at that time. Leena says, ‘People used to ask what will you do after studying more? Your parents have only two girls, why are there no boys? I would get very angry and upset after hearing this, but I made this anger the fuel for the path of my dreams.

Convinced father for engineering
Nair was very fond of maths, physics and chemistry and after persuading his father, he started studying engineering. She says that a college professor advised that you study MBA instead of becoming a good engineer. After engineering, he worked in some factories, but had made up his mind to follow the advice of his professor. When he told this to his father, he became sad. However, later earned an MBA degree from a college in Jamshedpur and the career turned towards becoming an HR.

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Created many new avenues for women
Leena says that there are many such turning points in my career, which came to the fore as a woman. When you are the first woman in Asia to join a profession, both your success and your failure are tested very closely. I was the first sales lady of HUL to go to the factory. I thank the fact that I got a chance to break these taboos. At the time of leaving the company last year, about 47 per cent of Unilever’s management were women. We made several major changes to create an environment conducive to them.

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Unique way to instill confidence in women
According to Leena, a better way for women to move forward can be a better way for another woman. Said, ‘We were opening a HUL store in Pakistan and wanted to hire girls to work there. For this, we asked their families to spend a few days together, so that they instill confidence in the work environment. As a CEO, it will be my endeavor to create new avenues to advance the women and men working in the company.

Tags: Hindustan Unilever, Leena Nair

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