7 Questions with PRASHANT PANDIT
Name: PRASHANT PANDIT
Current title: EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Current organisation: UNIVERSAL CLC
Corporate leader with 21 yrs of expertise with different industries. Never joined competition, always changed industry and did turn around. Last 10 yrs as an entrepreneur leading a team of experts from 5 different domains. Include change management, systems improvement, etc. Strong analytical, problem-solving and decision-making skills with a passion for work well done, together with the quality and ability to build productive partnerships coupled with excellent communication skills.
1. What have you found most challenging as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise?
As a board member most important is clarity of thoughts within the team. If the bigger picture and vision is clear the thought process of the team is always in sync. Biggest challenge is at times neutral view, as a board member what we bring on table is unbiased view and constructive review. The governing team at times takes time to digest neutral view.
2. How did you become a board member of a large enterprise? Can you please briefly tell the story?
This was regarding a renewable energy company, i was dealing with the CMD for raising funds for their 300 million $ project, during our constant interactions i was upfront with my views on the project. After successful funding, CMD offered me to be on the board for my neutral and professional approach.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
I start my day early morning, I start the day with my calendar & my to do list, This helps plan your day better. Then structure all meetings with proper agenda and follow timelines. End the day as per schedule.
4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
During Covid outbreak, each company was in a dilemma to cut cost as revenue was stalled up. I liked the leadership approach followed by Industrialist Mr. Ratan Tata, he was the first to announce that no employee will be asked to leave in his group companies. A leader who stands by his team in crisis understands the efforts his team has put in to make his company. I am sure his team will value his initiative and will contribute 200%.
5. What are some of the keys to doing governance well in a large enterprise?
1. Transparency 2. Clear goals with action plan 3. Regular reviews 4. Learnings & corrections 5. Rewards & recognition.
6. How do you differentiate between the role of board member and the roles of CEO or executive team member of a large enterprise?
CEO & executive team needs to implement the action plan as agreed with the board members. Board members are the guiding force to the executive team.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a board member of a large enterprise so far?
I won’t mention the brand, but story is worth pointing. When the brand was new retail/departmental stores were not keen to give good space. Brand was much better in quality and was higher in price, Indian consumer was not used to spending that much on that category. This was the time when board suggested a strategy to work on ROI for a departmental store case study, ROI per sq ft of the entire company was studied and we asked for fixed space in 3 stores in Mumbai with our fixtures, our staff and direct supply to store. In 6 months we proved that we can give the store better ROI that their whole store average. Rest is history we got maximum space in all stores for that departmental store & other stores also followed the success story. You can take challenges and risk when you are convinced about your product and team.