A CEO should be focused on the people served by the company. Not only should the CEO be mindful of the customers—the CEO needs to be the kind of transformational leader that his or her employees will follow. The CEO also needs to have a strong connection and trust built with the other C-suite leaders at the top of the company.
Bobby Chacko has spent time in leadership roles for a number of big companies. Most recently, he was President and CEO at Ocean Spray where he led innovative renovation for the 90-year-old corporation.
CEOs Have to be Able to Inspire Change
The CEO takes on one of the hardest roles, says Chacko. They lead the charge and sometimes have to make unpopular decisions. A lot of pressure is put on the leaders at the top. They have to be able to see pitfalls before they actually show up.
As a child of immigrant parents, an immigrant himself and an Indian CEO in charge of a major American enterprise company, Bobby Chacko believes diversity in workplace leadership is crucial. He spent nearly three decades traveling to over 30 companies.
Perspectives from Culture and Background are Crucial
He says companies need to incorporate more perspectives at higher positions. After working at Ocean Spray as President and CEO, he has stepped into the role of strategic advisor for other business owners and management. He wants to see more diversity in the higher levels of business.
With diverse perspectives, it’s easier to hit a broader target audience and include many more voices at the table. Different perspectives will challenge the status quo, he says, which is a very good thing if you are pursuing transformational leadership and innovative solutions.
As an experienced CEO and exec in the business world, Bobby Chacko has long been focused on productivity.
Focus on Productivity
He says business leaders need to work smarter. Rather than focus on spending more time at work, Bobby Chacko says the goal has to be on an efficient workflow. His tips include:
- Outlining tasks and keeping a task list on hand
- Focusing on just one thing at any given time
- Saying no to things that aren’t highly beneficial
- Balancing personal life with work life (and taking breaks)
- Working out to keep the mind sharp and less distracted
Chacko helps clients learn effective methods for growing their business as a strategic advisor. His work as CEO and President of Ocean Spray was just one point in a long line of positions with iconic brands.
Entrepreneur and executive Bobby Chacko looks back on more than two decades of success as a business leader in driving equality and sustainability.
For 25 years, entrepreneur and executive Bobby Chacko has been a transformational leader in business, driving progress, equality, and sustainability across multiple industries. Working with iconic brands in category-leading companies including Mars, AB InBev, The Coca-Cola Company, and GE Capital, Chacko looks back fondly on more than a quarter of a century of professional success.
“For two and a half decades or more, I’ve worked tirelessly to become a transformational leader, responsible for driving progress, equality, and sustainability, as a dynamic change agent impacting businesses across the U.S. and internationally,” says veteran executive and entrepreneur Bobby Chacko, speaking from his home in Massachusetts.
Most recently, Bobby Chacko served as CEO and President of Ocean Spray Inc., a cooperative with $2 billion in global sales. At Ocean Spray, he delivered, Chacko says, a significant and innovative renovation, completely transforming the 90-year-old company in the process. Today a widely celebrated consumer packaged goods executive, Bobby Chacko’s early experiences in life have, no doubt, fueled his subsequent success, according to the businessman.
The youngest of four siblings, Chacko was born and raised in Nigeria by immigrant Indian educator parents. Arriving in the U.S. at age 15, then-international college student Bobby would graduate four years later at age 19. “With my student visa expiring, I was left with just weeks to find a job that would sponsor a work visa,” he reveals.
Walking from building to building through Manhattan’s midtown streets as he cold-called businesses, Bobby Chacko’s hard work and determination eventually paid off. “With days to spare, I proudly became the youngest employee at Marketing Management Analytics in Westport, CT,” says Chacko.
From his first job at 19 through to today, Bobby Chacko’s impact upon businesses and communities alike have cut across many facets, he says. Whether integrating existing companies for rapid growth or founding entirely new ventures, Bobby Chacko’s place as a transformational leader in business is as varied as it is impressive.
Pioneering new products, shaping global marketing and innovation strategies for iconic brands, and opening up international markets for fast-emerging category-busters, Bobby Chacko says his experiences have shaped and formed him into the strategic and transformational leader that he is today.
To date, Bobby Chacko has worked across more than 30 international markets. “During my career, I’ve enjoyed living in Europe, Latin America, and Africa,” he reveals. This, Chacko believes, has served to afford him with a rare, globally insightful skill set that most C-suite executives can only ever dream of.
Bobby Chacko is praised by his peers as a key driver of diversity in thought and equality in the workplace, fostering debate-oriented environments with a strong meritocracy. “I do so,” adds Chacko, “with an edict of accountability, balanced with strategy and execution.”
Elsewhere in life, a passion for community involvement has seen Bobby Chacko support a number of his local food banks, childhood health and education initiatives, community sustainability efforts, and more. He and his family now happily reside in Boston, Massachusetts, around 200 miles up the coast from where it all started for the business visionary, then just 19 years old, back at Marketing Management Analytics in mid-1990s Westport, CT.
Bobby Chacko recently discussed the key elements of revitalizing a tired brand.
A tired brand isn’t a dead brand. Business executive Bobby Chacko recently discussed how a tired brand or business can be revitalized into one that thrives again. First, he explained that some major changes need to be made, as continuing the same habits will only cause more harm to an already flailing brand.
“Trends change in the business world just as they do in the fashion world,” Bobby Chacko said. “Sometimes your company just needs a mirror for a reality check and some humble pie to realize consumers vote with their wallets, not with likes and smiley emojis .”
Bobby Chacko explained that the concept of a “brand refresh” is nothing new, and it’s something brands in all industries need to do to stay relevant. Bobby Chacko stated that a brand refresh can be as simple as a change of logo, or it can be as serious as changing the entire company strategy and brand reference point. Marketing experts like Bobby Chacko suggest revisiting your brand’s purpose on why it exists is a great exercise to see if that simple question can be answered effectively. Understanding the likeability and usability of the brand with varying ages and lifestyle consumer cohorts will shed powerful insights.
“Revitalizing a tired brand can also be as simple as bringing me some new products,” Bobby Chacko said. “It’s easy for years to go by with your tired old product promotion and packaging schtick that salespeople love till retailers start taking away shelf space”
Bobby Chacko added that simple updates can make a major impact on the relevancy of your brand. Innovation is constantly adapting, and your brand needs to serve new use occasions in creative needs states, if you are struggling to understand your consumer, you’re behind the times. Recommendations include incorporating connecting relevant messages that resonate with target consumers into your marketing campaign, taking updated lifestyle cues to incorporate into advertising, and even refreshing your sales pitch with more gravitas. Bobby Chacko explained that, across the board, society is becoming more visual, and revitalizing your brand means creating more arresting visuals, vibes, and sticky user-generated content leveraging new social mediums including Insta, Tik Tok, and Reddit.
“It’s important to remember that revitalization begins with igniting passion from within the company,” Bobby Chacko said. “Those seeking to make the change need to discuss key issues with staff members and see where they think the business can improve.” Culture is at the heart of revitalization. If the culture of the brand and company are tired and deteriorating, then surely that spills into the products and service. Change it and do it fast.
Bobby Chacko explained that, many times, those who are working for the company day in and day out know where the company is lacking most. He stated that they may know where advancements are being held up or can clue you into management issues. Many times, the issues holding the company back from growth can be discovered and resolved quickly by asking hardworking and progessive employees.
“Revitalizing a brand is a team effort, and it’s something that everyone should be excited about,” Bobby Chacko said. “Get all facets of the company involved in the process, and you’ll likely see that your team takes a lot of pride in the success of your brand. Growth and productivity are practically guaranteed to follow.” There is nothing like seeing a turnaround of a brand and happy customers and consumers. It’s an emotional journey, but very rewarding.
The business world is constantly becoming more globalized. Industry experts explain that diversity within the workplace can result in several advantages for the employer, employees, and the success of the company as a whole. Bobby Chacko is a business executive with roughly three decades of experience working in more than 30 international markets. He recently discussed how employers can maintain diversity in the workplace and why diversity is an essential part of success.
Bobby Chacko stated that it’s important to remember that diversity can mean a number of things. In some cases, it means color and nationality. In other cases, it means gender or other characteristics, like weight, education, religion, socio-economic status, thought process, political affiliation, and more. It’s normal for those performing the hiring to let their unconscious bias weigh on the decision-making process. This can lead to them hiring people who are similar to them, even if that’s not their intention.
“The most powerful reality is our differences. That is a team’s most valuable catalyst to understanding how to tackle the most complex issues and find solutions that work and truly have an impact for progress,” Bobby Chacko added.
Bobby Chacko explained that all problems have multiple solutions. The most informed problems tend to pick the right solution, and diversity of thought gets you there. Bobby Chacko stated that it is all about choice at the end. When a problem arises in a diverse workplace, people come together to solve it in a variety of ways. These unique and creative solutions result in quicker problem-solving. This diverse creativity can also be used to make sound decisions regarding operations and more.
Bobby Chacko explained that it’s essential for business executives and managers to create a culture that helps employees succeed. He stated that those handling the company’s hiring need to hire the correct person for the job and ensure the culture of the workplace helps them thrive in that position.
Bobby Chacko added that hiring a tremendous talent into a company, then letting them fail due to the culture of the workplace can be detrimental. Too many companies hire for cultural fit versus hiring the person most capable to perform the job. Bobby Chacko explained that too many times, the person doing the hiring chooses employees that look, act, and aspire like themselves. This is what leads to an under-diversified workplace that can stunt the growth of a business.
“Leaders need to take stock of their own superficial bias/unconscious bias, such as tattoos, weight, color etc.,” Bobby Chacko said. “They need to tap into the diversity of thought, experience, and execution capability as the basis to build representative teams to drive progress and growth for their enterprises.”