Thank you to the 1646 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 questions! I hope reading 7 Questions with
Pavan Kumar Malladi
helps you in your leadership.
Pavan Kumar Malladi
Name: Pavan Kumar Malladi
Title: AVP and Leader Comms Media and Technology
Organisation: Cognizant Technology solutions
Pavan Malladi is an experienced leader leading business in the technology sector. His accomplishments include making large scale transformations in large multi national companies to startups both bringing them to next level including acquiring investments.
1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?
Finding other leaders to continuously execute at speed and with purpose. Man management has been most difficult
2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?
I was a good technology contributor when I was thrust into leadership due to a situation with a company I was in. I found the situation challenging but led with sincere purpose. I also then went to the top management school in India the Indian institute of Management to get formal knowledge in general management and formalized my skills. While the initial success I had was based on the core tactical knowledge I had in later years it was the ability to influence talent and prepare strong execution plans backed by the right people choices that catapulted me into senior management.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
This is possibly where I have devised my own way. I always plan my day the evening before listing down strong focus times and others where I have to spend time. Subsequently schedule my times of productivity to align with the geographies I need to work with. I start my day at 6 am to 1 pm and then again from 3 pm to 8 pm as my most productive times. The afternoon is where I spend time for myself either learning or just relaxing catching my breath. This makes me most effective.
4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?
When there is a lot of pressure transferring it downstairs doesn’t mean you can be successful. You have to see if there are people below you who can accept the same and accordingly adjust the delegation.
5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?
The Alchemist is a book not on leadership but on spirituality and having positive intent. My personality has been shaped by it and it reflects both with my teams and with the top management I work with who always find a positive minded individual in me come what May. Also the faculty of imagination and due to it innovation has been a constant theme in my career. This book has a profound influence in me.
6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?
No 1. Take up challenges. You need to play out of your skin for two three times at least in your career to arrive at the top.
No2. Always be magnanimous once you have the power ( not before it). Because post reaching a position of power you need folks below you that trust you to move you further.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?
I was once asked to step up and take the role of a country ceo for a multi national company. Until then I was head of the engineering division. The ask was to take a triple target on revenue which the previous ceo would not take and so was removed.
I took it up and integrated the engineering and marketing divisions closely due to my knowledge of the tactical aspects. I assured teams of sales incentives un heard of until then as well as backed engg into the incentives to make it a team goal.
We beat the targets first year and the entire team had new Mercedez cars and ever since never looked back. Positive intent, nothing to lose attitude and strong knowledge was the key and I shaped the team with complementary capabilities like this .
This was the first and then I repeated the same multiple times although in different ways with positive intent and risk taking being key elements of this. A strong imagination and understanding of talent were also additional personal traits I developed in the process.