This interview with Rakesh Kapoor, chief executive of Reckitt Benckiser, was conducted and condensed by Adam Bryant.
Q. What were some important early lessons for you?
A. I was born in a very small town in India, and the literacy rate at the time was just one in six. Thankfully, one of the biggest things my parents could do for me is to recognize that if I stayed in that town it would be very difficult to get out. And I remember learning how my parents decided that I had to leave. I was playing marbles, and I had an exam the next day. My mother said, “Why aren’t you studying for your exam?” And I said: “What’s the point? I’ll be first anyway.”