Bali Padda, the recently appointed CEO of the LEGO Group, has participated in a revealing article in which he discusses his early life and progression within the company.
Padda was born in Punjab, India and moved to the UK with his family at the age of twelve. Speaking to The Times of India, he shared a little about how his family impacted him.
“Mine was a business family and therefore, making a career in the corporate world was never a priority for me. After taking up odd jobs for several years, I started my own business and failed. Realising that business was not my forte, I started working in a blue-collar job again,” tells Padda, who started taking evening classes only after his son was born.
When he began working for the LEGO Group, he found that things happened quickly for him.
“Lego was recruiting in 2002. That’s when my Lego journey began. And my rise within the company was quick; I went from being a director to senior vice president in three years. I had met the current CEO as a director. He became CEO in 2004 and asked me to join his team in 2005.”
“As part of the famous turnaround in Lego, five of my six colleagues were fired and I was asked to hire a new team and lead them. Looking back, I realise how fortunate I have been to get a lot of breaks in my professional life,” shares Padda, whose major decisions at Lego included bringing back the outsourced manufacturing and later, moving it closer to the markets.
The article notes that one of the CEO’s priorities has been to move the manufacturing of LEGO products closer to the markets they serve, a decision that is controversial in the LEGO fan community.
In discussing his heritage and the future, he mentioned his current nation as an example for India to learn from.
“The real India should not get lost in the process of modernisation. There is a joy in walking through the ‘bazaars’. The experience as well as sights and smells are lacking in branded retail stores. Look at Denmark and how they preserve their heritage. There is a local bakery in every town, which makes the best bread in that area,” says Padda.
Padda took on the role of CEO in January, as Jørgen Vig Knudstorp was appointed as CEO of the new LEGO Brand Group.