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7 Questions with Kinny Ahluwalia
7 Questions with Kinny Ahluwalia
Name: Kinny Ahluwalia
Current title: CTO/Co-Founder
Current organisation: Unimbu
After over 25+ years working for various enterprises in different industries, I have set up an independent boutique technology consultancy specializing in helping organizations leverage technology capabilities to innovate, disrupt, transform, and grow.
1. What have you found most challenging as a leader of a small or medium enterprise?
Starting a new enterprise makes me not just the CTO but the chief finance, marketing, and sales officer. As a founder of a small enterprise have to be able to learn quickly in various disciplines
2. How did you become a leader of an SME? Can you please briefly tell the story?
I worked in technology for over 25+ years working for various enterprises in different industries, my partner and I found we kept on coming up against consultancies large and small and thought we could do a better job, we also wanted to shape our future and grow a business, so we took the plunge and quit our jobs and started Unimbu! We are a technology consultancy specializing in helping organizations leverage technology capabilities to innovate, disrupt, transform, and grow.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
My day starts with coffee! Then breakfast, a review of the news and electronic papers, and my agenda of the day. I like my schedule to book up with either meetings or time to carry out tasks.
We have a team huddle when required to make the sure team all know the priorities for the day, and then go about the day as planned and review emails and social media such as Linkedin every few hours. We use Slack, Teams and other tools to keep updated with customers and the team during the day, as a small enterprise more often than not, we are juggling several things.
I like to finish the day with exercise before I have time for my family - wife and two boys, 16 and 19! Sometime before I go to bed, I review my newsfeed in Feedly and Reddit to look at the topics I have set up to review - this is a new thing as this would be done on travel pre this Covid era.
4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
You have take risks, standing still is not a real option as it might feel safe but someone will be taking the risk and beating you to it!
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?
It's the classic The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. I read this first back in 1993 when I wasn't a leader at all, but it profoundly impacted me!
Even not as a leader looking for win-win situations for myself and the person/vendor I am dealing with, prioritising and continually sharpening the saw!
As have taken on more and more leadership roles I have gone back and re-read the book, and the book is timeless, and I like the fact that it focuses on integrity and honesty to drive effective outcomes for all.
6. How do you build leadership capacity in an SME?
This is a hard one, I think it's about communication and mentoring and allowing people to have a safe space to grow without fear of failure. Not always as easy in an SME
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader of an SME so far?
When you realise that you don't have the corporate backup! Initially, we found it was just the two of and doing everything and being a leader, can be draining as you don't feel like a leader. You to keep in mind the goal ad what you are growing will be a journey!