Mahesh Sees An Opportunity in Every Challenge!

We asked some of the CEOs and Heads in our Company to tell us how they and their teams dealt with the long hiatus, the the work-from-home situation, the vast changes that took place from March 2020 onwards.  The pandemic hit us, but it also unlocked our strength.   And our executives kept the organisation together, never failing to motivate their teams and taking care of their staff.

Here is  Executive Director & CEO Mahesh Iyer’s take on it. We like his gung-ho approach!

MAHESH IYER---IMG-20210625-WA0001

What, in your opinion, are the top three challenges that you faced in the past year? What measures did you take to meet these challenges?

Frankly speaking there were no challenges as I saw opportunity in adversity. To begin with , the new way of working…WFH…which we used sporadically in the pre-pandemic era, when I had to finish some errands, or didn’t have too many things to attend to at  the office.  WFH made sense then.  This was definitely practical in  a city like Mumbai,  where on an average we spend  2–3 hrs, daily, on the road. However, to continue doing that for over 6 months, until we came back to the office around mid-August 2020, taught me 2 traits. One was the art of listening, and the second was patience! Patience, to me personally, is a great thing to cultivate and hold on to, and I am hoping I can continue to improve on this over a longer period!

Secondly, as we were grappling with zero business across all our lines given the intense lockdown and closing of borders, as a team we used this opportunity to reimagine many parts of our businesses and automated, or are in the process of automating,  a large part of the customer and sales journey in such a way, that we are ready to face the new world where it is believed that most of our customers will now prefer to deal with us digitally. This new journey catapults us in our omni channel efforts, and we believe the results from these will be long lasting.

 Last but not the least, managing costs and conserving cash was painful but a great learning experience which, in BAU mode, would not have been as intense as we were during this lockdown period.

 As you see through all the above and many such examples, the challenges came with an opportunity and as an eternal optimist, I think it has only helped me learn and focus better.

What was your key message to your team during the lockdown, and how did you keep your team morale high?

Frankly speaking,  I am not much of a verbose guy, hence always kept the messaging simple. 

Be yourself : If some things are not done, its fine.. just say so. Speak up if there is something bothering you..

 I would also urge my staff to seek help, when needed, and also to offer help to whoever you can. Switch on the camera once in a while on a virtual call, and ask about the family, and well being, of all the colleagues you work with, or shared things with in the pre-pandemic office environment.

 I must confess that the I am blessed to have an Execom Team that has stood by me through thick and thin. It was only because of their support that, as a team, we could keep our employees motivated through this phase.  I also cannot forget the support from Madhavan through this entire pandemic period ! A pillar of support, a box for hearing and a hand to pat…Can’t write enough about him! Thank you, Madhavan.

List five words to describe your team.

Just one word is enough— “ BLESSED “ !

What message would you like to share with your team today?

This pandemic is not the end of the world but a bend. The journey is long and will continue. Do vaccinate for your own safety and for that of your family and community ! We will fly soon ………. This too shall pass!