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7 Questions with Jitin Masand
7 Questions with Jitin Masand
Name: Jitin Masand
Current title: Founder & MD
Current organisation: Okie Ventures
This is to share that Okie Ventures forayed into the Consumer Electronics Business in July 2020 with LED TV's and has successfully grown from presence in 1 state to currently 8 states with a Team of 100+ people. We have models available in all sizes from 24 inch to 75 inch. The TV's are High Quality HD & 4K LED TV's with superior sound, exhilarating picture quality and Bezel less designs. We have renowned actress Ms. Kajal Aggarwal as our Brand Ambassador. In addition to product quality, our strength is an experienced Team, Superior service and extensive reach in remote areas of India.
On the Gaming Business, we have built our own platform in house from scratch and within a short period of 4 months, we have successfully scaled up to 20+ skill based games, now available on our platform. Quite a few games are exclusive like Dahi Handi, Hole in the Wall etc and are based on a unique concept of 'Desi Sports League' unmatched by any in the gaming Industry. We were recently awarded the 'Startup of the Year 2020' by Business Connect.
1. What have you found most challenging as a leader of a small or medium enterprise?
Challenges can come in myriad forms, few of the challenges faced was to set up a business right in the middle of the pandemic, hiring a team, finding customers for the product and locations to sell to. Organizing material from factories under lockdown was a tough challenge and the whole new concept of WFH which the Team and generally SMEs were never used to.
2. How did you become a leader of an SME? Can you please briefly tell the story?
Leadership comes from ownership and accountability for your actions. Leaders like to persevere, believe and rise to the occasion in the face of adversities. I was fortunate enough to find my foot in the door when things globally were falling apart in the wake of an unprecedented pandemic. We grew from virtually nothing to a team with more than 100 employees spread across geographies, not to mention our presence in business grew from 1 state to 7 states in a matter of a few months. We also received a Start up of Year 2020 award from a popular Business Magazine, Business Connect. Even though our gaming platform was built from scratch by our team in house and games available on our platform are unique and exclusive under the banner of Desi Sports League, Desi is the Hindi word for Country. The games have a traditional & cultural flavor and we are finding good traction on our platform in the couple of months since its launch.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
Mornings begin with gratitude prayer and a brief work out regime in the form of a walk or exercise. Post this, spend some time with my family and then head for office with work related priorities chalked out in my mind and on my phone. Once I am in office, I am engaged completely with my Business & Team meetings. Being a start up, there is little room for us to take rest as we are growing rapidly. I make sure to have lunch with my Team and spend some bonding time with them. Evenings again I head out for business meetings or have team meetings to understand progress and to address mission critical events or activities that have happened and prepare ourselves for the road ahead. Being a workaholic and much as I would like, I end up leaving the office late everyday spending little time with my family for dinner and relaxing time. This is one area where I am working in finding the right balance so that I am fully satisfied and retire to bed with joy and happiness.
4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
Leadership is a vast subject and there are a plethora of examples available in history in the current world from which I draw inspiration. VUCA as a concept is quite well known and I am continuously working to address these 4 very strong business events which come uninvited. One significant leadership lesson which I recently learned is about remaining calm and strong in the wake of unprecedented challenges and my belief in the famous adage 'When the going gets tough, the tough gets going' only got reinforced.
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?
Eckhart Tolle's 'The Power of Now'. It touches upon how one can use the NOW to create and manifest what one wants by leaving behind the past and preparing yourself for the future by acting NOW. This belief was so ingrained in me that I utilized every moment productively to create and manifest what I have wanted and I am busy creating the future by continuously acting in the NOW.
6. How do you build leadership capacity in an SME?
Capacity is by definition a word which expresses the maximum that one can reach, be it in any sphere. Leadership Capacity is by itself a hallmark or a measure of a Leader with virtues from which not one but many can draw inspiration and enthusiasm. To build this, one needs to practice basic principles of Ownership backed by actions, Accountability for all stakeholders, Planning in detail for the future, Trust & Delegation to the right people, Commitment to outcomes. All this with the right Team is a potent mixture for sure shot success especially for businesses that are young and growing.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader of an SME so far?
The story of how Organizations (with earnest intentions) have gone about creating businesses, creating employment and creating value for all stakeholders in the middle of the world's most unprecedented event (pandemic) which shook everyone's confidence and belief in getting up and rising back to glory. We stood apart in this time and are today at an inflection point from where we will only get bigger and better. This does not mean we did not face or do not have challenges at hand, it simply means that we believe in the Vision and are putting in every effort to be recognized an Organization of Repute and Respect.