7 Questions with Yashavanth Anantharaj
Name: Yashavanth Anantharaj
Current title: Managing Director
Current organisation: SYConE CPMC PVt Ltd
Yashavanth Anantharaj (Yash) is the co-founder and Managing Director of SYConE, an Engineering, Project Management and Construction Company with offices in Bangalore and New Delhi. He also owns and runs a Construction Consulting Business SYConE Middle East LLC, in the Middle with projects in Oman, UAE and KSA. Solstice Eco Energy (EPC of Renewable energy projects) and Iridium Projects (Turn Key Construction) are the other two companies that are owned and managed by Yashavanth.
A Civil Engineer by education Yashavanth has an MS in Construction Technology & Project Management from Iowa State University, USA. Having worked with a highly disciplined and result oriented Japanese Construction Company in the United States in the beginning of his career, Yashavanth has over 30 years of experience in managing projects across India, United States, Sri Lanka and the Middle East, he brings with him a global perspective and the never-say-die attitude. Steered over 300 projects and continued guiding the SYConE & the group companies to a higher growth trajectory.
A Certified Project Management Professional (PMP), Yashavanth is also a senior elected member of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). He is also trained in Lean Thinking.
Being a passionate teacher, Yashavanth is a Member of Board of Studies at Jain University, Bangalore, Amity University School of RICS, Delhi and SJCE, Mysore. A regular speaker for RICS, PMI, ACCE and other professional bodies in workshops and seminars, Yashavanth regularly teaches at several universities & Colleges in India and outside.
In addition to playing a major role in mentoring all projects under SYCone, Yashavanth has delivered projects in the United States, Sri Lanka & the Middle East. The range of projects delivered includes Institutions, Industries, Hospitality, Healthcare, Residential, IT, Telecom, Retail & Infrastructure – Power plants, treatment plants, Roads & Bridges, and Water & WasteWater. Considered among the top three consultants for Institutional projects, won projects of IIM in Udaipur, IIIT at Delhi & IISc in Bangalore through technical competition with large corporations, Public Sector undertakings and MNCs.
Professional Affiliations: Institute of Engineers (MIE), India, National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE), USA, American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), USA, Association of Consulting Civil Engineers (ACCE), India, Indian Concrete Institute (ICI), India, American Concrete Institute (ACI), USA, Chamber of Commerce and Industries (CII), India, Project Management Institute (PMI), USA, Consulting Engineers Association of India (CEAI), India and Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), UK.
1. What have you found most challenging as a board member of a large enterprise?
Hesitation of the board to take bold decisions. Trying to play safe and missing out on opportunities
2. How did you become a board member of a large enterprise? Can you please briefly tell the story?
I would like to skip this.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
10 hours of professional work, 1 hour of physical exercise, 2 hours of self improvement (L&D), 4 hours of family time
4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
If you are not constantly looking at and creating a future different from the present, you and the organization that you lead will become obsolete in no time
5. What are some of the keys to doing governance well in a large enterprise?
Decentralized, transparent and lucid Authority
Engineered and religious review mechanism
Clearly defined purposes for each workflow
6. How do you differentiate between the role of board member and the roles of CEO or executive team member of a large enterprise?
The Board sets the direction for the business and sets boundaries and are answerable to the stakeholders of the business while the executive team led by the CEO is responsible for all actions from strategic planning to detailed planning to organizing resources to actual execution of the plan to achieve the targets set. And the executive team is answerable to the Board
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a board member of a large enterprise so far?
Two founders on the board not being able to agree on a future course for the organization leading to a split in the organization which destroyed the huge potential the business carried. The other board members being mute spectators was too painful to fathom