Name: Vinod K. Pandita
Title: Founder & CEO
Organisation: Perception Management Consulting Pvt. Ltd.
An entrepreneur at heart leading a self started management consulting firm in 1997 when I was just 26 after serving two large manufacturing companies and one Swiss SME in India where I found my purpose to serve small and medium enterprises to help them overcome quality and delivery issues in the supply value chain.
Founded Able Coaching Hub in 2018 to serve entrepreneurs and business owners for next level growth and profitability using my legacy frameworks and many strategies and tactics to turnaround stagnated businesses.
The journey of transformation, turnaround and excellence continues in serving my clients and community.
Thank you to the 2,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 Questions on Leadership!
I hope Vinod's answers will encourage you in your leadership journey. Enjoy!
1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?
The most challenging thing for me is to be consistent with my personal and professional goals but facing those challenges has helped me to improve myself everyday. I have always been on top of my purpose and passion and constantly working on refining my work in progress. I love any challenge coming my way as I strongly believe that challenges hone our skills and craft to the next level. Afterall, we are here on this planet to achieve pinnacle of peace and happiness and unless we keep working on things which bring us peace and happiness, this life should go on.
2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?
I am from a small town Jammu in J&K state in India. I was not a very bright student academically but a very enterprising kid who always was happy around people and friends. I got into engineering without really understanding what I am going to achieve out of engineering and was almost clueless. I got into engineering because my father wanted me to be an engineer probably because he was on an engineering post in government office without he being an engineering graduate. Those were the days every second student was attempting to do an engineering in private donation driven colleges in India. When I got into college, it took me just 6 months to realise the potential and I chose subjects of my choice. I was given mechanical engineering but I chose to pursue Production & Industrial Engineering which built my foundation as a production engineer who fell in love with quality, productivity and performance. I scored high marks in subjects which I loved the most which I am pursing even today. It was in 1993 when I passed out with good marks, I joined a big company not on campus but through some reference of my friend. In just 10 months, I started feeling that I was one of the boys which triggered me to go to next job and then next and then next in just three and half years I changed three jobs and quit my third job in 1996. I quit my last last with a pure intention of helping my suppliers to organise, manufacture quality products and grow to the next level. I was very good at quality assurance and productivity tools at that time and my clients stated paying me good money. Started my entrepreneurial journey with my immediate boss who was also an enthusiast. I considered him as my mentor and we both started something big after 9 months of my quitting the job. After about six years, in 2005 I formed a privately held company and went places. Served clients in four countries after that and the journey continues.
Choices make you a manager or a leader.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
I follow a routine and mostly my ideal week plan which I keep refining regularly based on what’s on my plate. What should be on my plate, how much can I eat and how do I want to eat is very clear in my mind. This makes life very simple and super productive. In fact I always tell my clients and coachees that I feel proud that I have never taken a break from work but have delivered all my personal commitments with enthusiasm all my professional life of 30 years so far. I feel contented with what I have and what I am doing. I always keep learning and learning is a big chunk of my weekly routine. I keep sharpening my ideal week almost every month. I normally follow a theme of a month and try to be available for my clients 24X7 without any fatigue and stress. It took me quite some time to follow a certain routine of 16 hours of wake up time and 8 hours of sleep and rest. I am a very organised person in my life as I teach being organised and practice the same to the extent possible.
4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?
One of the most important lesson I have learned about leadership is to be “Courageous” to deal with challenging, difficult and awkward situations, people and events. In my opinion COURAGE is not only a valour to deal with or do something, it’s being authentic and honest to the core. Accepting your faults, mistakes and results of bad decisions and then working towards improving yourself so that you don’t repeat the same things again. We have live with courage clubbed with love in hearts for others even when you know the other person is not eve worth your attention. I would like to add HUMILITY with courage as I think this can be a weapon to conquer any challenging situation or event.
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?
Who will cry when you die by Robin Sharma has impacted my life deeply in many ways especially spiritually. I read this book when I was in my early 30s in 2000. This book along with many other books like “The Success Principles” by Jack Canfield has helped in my time to time transformation in my life.
I have coined an acronym of LIFE which is Life is nothing but “Leadership Inspiration For Everyone” and such thoughts have developed in me only because of my reading habit. I see life as a leadership inspiration for us to lead and make a change in our lives and keep aligning with our purpose as well as impact lives of others who come in our contact.
6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?
Be authentic, be true to yourself, keep learning, imbibe spirituality, love your parents unconditionally and respect all elders, help poor and destitute and always be humble.
But I were to give one advise, I would always tell them to pursue what you love the most but don’t forget to see the opportunities coming your way and bring passion along and not always other way around.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?
There are many stories of transformations of our clients but there is one story which I think has made a major impact in the lives of a business family who was my client. The chaotic relationship between two generations was sorted in 9 months and the company is ever growing and enjoying benefits of coming together with their individual strengths. I am proud to say that I am blessed to be a part of my clients business journey and have always earned respect, due attention and trust for my work.