Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) contribute significantly to the growth and economic development of any country. This study explores the key managerial challenges faced by the leaders and managers of public sector organizations. We interviewed 42 senior managers of PSUs from various industries representing 12 Indian states representing all the regions of India. Specifically, three key managerial challenges emerged in our study: political interference and lack of autonomy, rigid rules and HR practices, and lack of employee motivation. Positive leader personality, communication skills, change- and relation-oriented behaviors, HR skills, and decision-making emerged as top leader qualities. Staffing, training and development and performance management emerged as the top priorities of HR departments of PSUs. Public-service motivation, job security and work environment were the top reasons for continuing to work in PSUs for Indian leaders. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.