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7 Questions with Rahul H Kakkad
helps you in your leadership.
7 Questions with Rahul H Kakkad
Name: Rahul H. Kakkad
Current title: Founder
Current organisation: Fettle Works LLP
I am a former national champion in swimming, I have received my Engineering and business degree from the University of Southern California.
I first started a brand of tyres called- ULTRA MILE. This was a solution to our family's existing tyre distribution business, where we were looking to create a long term market for our products.
During this journey, I realised I was lactose intolerant, and I could no longer have my favourite coffee. Being tired of the unhealthy options available in the market, I started looking into the FMCG space. I also found out there was absolutely no healthy solution to relax and de-stress, and that's how the idea of Poshn came into being.
1. What have you found most challenging as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise?
There are never ending challenges when you are the CEO. And that's the fun part, the ability to solve these challenges is what entitles you to be called a CEO.
Based on the time of the year, certain topics become your most challenging scenarios. There are times when all you need is good cash flow, whilst there are times, when all you need is good execution. The ability to wear the right hat at the right time, is what being a CEO really is.
2. How did you become a CEO or executive of a large enterprise? Can you please briefly tell the story?
Well I personally don't consider myself to be a CEO of a large enterprise. I am simply a founder of two enterprises, and so I happen to be in a leadership role. Having said that, I don't know what role I can see myself playing other than this. As a founder and entrepreneur, a large part of becoming a CEO is just plain and simple confidence that I can do it. For the rest of the journey, nobody is perfect, and we are all learning something new everyday!
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
Well since there are 2 major functions that we do. selling Tyres and selling Juices, so once I wake up, I am normally just browsing through emails, to get a taste of what my day is going to look like.
I start my day with a 30 minute buddhist chant. And then I switch my brain into high gear!
My tyre business is much older and larger, so automatically my first half of the day is spent in aligning despatches to our customers. Once we cross the 3:30pm mark, we stop taking new orders for the day, and focus on execution. So from here on I let our people do their jobs, and start focusing on Juices, till about 6:30 or so. I wrap up my work around 7:30 by just getting a recap of all things that happened and didn't happen. And then I hit the gym, or sometimes play football or even go on a long bike ride.
I like to think that I am still very athletic. Although there are a few things that I can no longer do. But I try!
Once we get to dinner, I spend some time with my family and then I spend another 30 minutes to chant and call it a day.
On most nights I watch a little TV before shutting the lights. But I always try to watch something that's thought provoking, rather than the latest drama. Nat geo is my favourite channel.
4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
Definitely a big one I learnt recently. Is knowing how to use the tools at your disposal to the fullest! I cannot stress the importance of this, as we all dont have the same resources, so knowing how to play to your strengths makes a lot of sense.
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?
I liked the book I read recently- The psychology of money. Another book that really helps me in my thinking, is ZEN. It is about how to live everyday with a happy and positive mindset.
6. How do you build leadership capacity in a large enterprise?
There is no shortcut to this. Being a leader is equivalent to earning everybody's respect. And there are no two ways about that. In order to earn everyone's respect, you have to not just be able to fulfil your duties, but also be able to think out of the box and get the job done at any time of the day.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise so far?
There are far too many. One of my biggest deals of the day was undergoing huge criticism because the buyer was not letting us make good profit. So I thought out of the box and organised a much cheaper mechanism for delivery, that enabled us to increase our profit. In this way everyone was happy. Our company needed the cash flow at the time, so there was no way I could turn away from the deal. Making tough situations, a win-win for everyone, is what the real job of a CEO is.