Gurumukh Uttamchandani, executive director,Syska, believes in finding solutions rather than to dwell on problems. And that reflects in his mentoring style, too, he says, as he focuses on his team’s strengths in order to get effective results.
Pune-based Uttamchandani joined Syska in 2017. A keen tech enthusiast, Uttamchandani spearheaded the company’s foray in internet of things and wearable devices. An alumnus of Purdue University, Uttamchandani worked with Bank of America before joining the family business.
He speaks withLoungeabout how the pandemic made his meetings efficient, his productivity hacks and on the importance of swimming in helping him focus.
Who do you consider your mentor?
I don’t have any specific mentor as such. I think it's important to learn from others and one's own experiences. Every person in my life has a unique narrative to tell, a point of view and set of ideals to provide. I am blessed to have colleagues, friends and family who push and provoke me while also providing me a support system I can rely on. Their perspective of the world has kept me motivated.
One major insight you worked on with a mentor's guidance?
The people who have inspired me have always encouraged me to trust the power of being true to who I am. Even in unfortunate situations, I have felt inspired to push my own thoughts in coming up with alternative approaches. The idea of not giving in to self-doubts is something that has stuck with me. I distinguish myself from professional challenges, and take charge knowing that my circumstances do not define me.
What does being a mentor mean to you? How do you mentor your colleagues at work?
Collaboration and teamwork are my strong suits. I never look for my team’s weaknesses. Instead, I constantly try to discover solutions to enhance their potential, encourage them to work harder, and help them accomplish more. When mentoring becomes overly transactional, you disregard the person in favour of something as limited as their output.
It's critical to engage with each person in a genuine way, discovering about their perspectives, goals, concerns, and obstacles as well as their special talents. We cannot release the power of their authentic selves unless we do that.
What's your morning routine?
I usually wake up about 6 am and kick-off theday with a cup of coffee and the newspaper. It’s my "me time". I use this time for prayer, meditation, and exercise. After finishing the first half of my morning ritual, I set goals for the day and create a to-do list to help me stay focused. I have enough time in the mornings to construct my thoughts, activities, and ideas in order to achieve my goals. Additionally, I make an effort to spend as much time as I can with my family before I start for work.
What's the one positive work routine you have developed during the pandemic?
My meetings have been far more structured. I discovered that interacting with the teams more frequently was the best approach to maintain the energy. This brought us a lot of fresh ideas and new field insights, and it also helped me communicate my ideas and visions with all levels of the organisations.
What are some of the productivity principles you follow?
I divide my day into various tasks. Since we have far too much on our plates, we frequently blur the lines between work and personal life and slip into patterns that do not prioritise healthy activity. My day is divided into planning, meetings, and discussions with important stakeholders. The time that is left aside is for relaxation. All I require is a good meditation app on my phone, some peace, and a pair of headphones. With this discipline, I am able to better manage my time.
Any book/ podcast you would recommend about mentorship and workplace growth?
I would recommend Chris Yeh and Reid Hoffman's Blitzscaling. The book is motivating for budding entrepreneurs. My takeaway from it was how to create a sustainable company model and a dynamic workplace that values people for their untapped potential.
I also suggest Charlie Mackesy's The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse. The book has the most vivid and lovely tale ever told about friendship, compassion, and elevating others.
How do you unwind?
Swimming and music. I wouldn't have the same amount of energy without these two; they help me stay motivated and focused. I play the guitar and go for a swim whenever possible.
Monday Motivation is a series featuring founders, business leaders and creative individuals who tell us about the people they look up to and their work ethics.