Thank you to the 1646 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 questions! I hope reading 7 Questions with
Prashanth E G
helps you in your leadership.
Prashanth E G
Name: Prashanth E G
Title: Chief Operating Officer
Organisation: Market Simplified
Prashanth Ganapath has over 20 years of broad experience in building profitable strategic business units, driving business line growth, and streamlining operations. In his current role as COO at Market Simplified, he plays a crucial role in overseeing the day-to-day operations of the company. Prashanth is committed to delivering innovative business strategies and client-focused solutions that enhance efficiency and profitability for the organization.
Under Prashanth's leadership, Market Simplified has become a leading provider of mobile-first digital solutions for financial institutions. He has been instrumental in developing cutting-edge technologies that have transformed the way financial institutions engage with their customers. Prashanth's ability to identify emerging trends and leverage them to create innovative solutions has helped Market Simplified stay ahead of the curve in the fintech industry.
1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?
Today's workforce is a conglomeration of variant preferences , aspirations and thought processes. Biggest challenge for any leader today is to structure or maintain an organization culture that caters to this wide spectrum of audience without diluting its core philosophy and agility. Execution of the organization plans with these variables without defocusing the organization efficiency , work-life balance and the underlying process framework requires an extreme balancing act.
2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?
I always believe that the environment I was raised in during my childhood & teenage years moulded me as a trustworthy, reliable and composed individual which accelerated my professional journey. My close association with team sports and extra-curricular events provided me a platform to set the stage in decision making and engagement with people from diverse backgrounds.
My professional progression was organic from a Software Engineer to Solutions Architect to the current role over a span of 20+ years. The role of Solutions Architect provided a visibility of my traits to the organization in troubleshooting technical and business challenges. My style of articulation and my negotiating skills paved the way for working closely with the leadership team of Market Simplified. It was Mr Venkat Rangan ,the founder and CEO of Market Simplified who identified the potential in me and mentored and coached me to shape my path .
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
I am a person who likes to trade each day differently but majorly compartmentalized into three zones viz Personal, Professional & Family. Early morning segment is for my personal priorities with workouts , glazing through the news,events & information. In normal circumstances, I start my professional zone from 8:30 AM till dusk. I leave the space for my family during the evening.
4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?
We cannot write-off any person or a concept or a thought even when you believe it's absurd. At times , the transition of state from “pointless” to “valuable” is so rapid which can defy all theoretical concepts.
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?
Though there are plenty of books on leadership , however one scripture that has influenced me is “Bhagavad Gita”. Though I am not spiritual , the life lessons introduced by this epic had sharpened the strategic thinking in various circumstances.The crux of this saga is how a demoralised warrior is inspired to act with a series of verses defining the need of discipline , accountability , consciousness, equanimity, righteousness, selflessness and with definition of duties.
6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?
The leadership success metrics should never override your principles , never shy away from taking decisions due to the fear of failure and avoid decision making just based on emotions.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?
A Walk-In Interview day at the office , in a corner I noticed a slim young boy with lazy hair waiting for his turn. He was absolutely shivering and could sense his anxiety in his face. As a measure to make him relax I smiled with a “Good Morning” and tried to build a conversation. He was disfluent and even struggled to complete a word. His turn arrived and he walked reluctantly to the Interview panel. Within 10 minutes he came out dejected and was waiting in the reception for his friend to complete his turn. Due to curiosity , I checked with the panel about his performance and I came to know that he was completely silent and he couldn't speak at all. He couldn't write a snippet of code and he gave up halfway through.
I walked to the reception area and tried to understand his background. He was coming from a remote village with a struggling background where he was the only hope of the family. He was rejected in almost a dozen interviews since he couldn't speak English. I tried to build some confidence and provided him an isolated environment for him to showcase his talent in programming. He could pick a problem from the given list and solve the problem in any programming language or pseudocode. To everyone’s surprise he picked the hardest problem and solved it in “C” Programming with the most efficient piece of code, probably the best we have seen over years from a fresher. In contrast , we had profiles from top institutions with excellent communication skills who couldn't meet even the basic expectation. After this event we made the recruitment policies more accommodative to ensure right talents are not discarded due to peripheral factors.
Today, this boy is a motivational speaker and a rock star leader who mentored a lot of employees internally and several unprivileged students in his village. In one of the casual talks he mentioned how that day changed his life since he was about to give up his hopes on a technology career and was feeling guilty about the sacrifice of his family towards his education. Though for me that instance looked insignificant , that second chance made the life of many people surrounding him.
The right stones, well polished, give valuable gems. Unfortunately , in this world of targets and metrics no one has the time and patience to give attention to these stones around us.