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How tending to plants keeps Sirona's Deep Bajaj upbeat

The CEO and co-founder of the women's hygiene company talks about the people who inspire him, and his mentoring style

Bajaj follows the advice by his mentor to prioritise financial prudence over valuation.
Bajaj follows the advice by his mentor to prioritise financial prudence over valuation. (Deep Bajaj)

Deep Bajaj is the CEO and co-founder of Sirona Hygiene, one of the leading brands in intimate and menstrual hygiene category. Among its range of products, it claims PeeBuddy as the country's first stand-and-pee device for women. The company is actively creating awareness among women to switch to menstrual cups. 

Earlier this year, the company raised $3 million funding lead by NB Ventures and IAN Fund, which will used to strengthen its R&D capabilities. Bajaj shares his thoughts on mentors and mentoring.

Also Read: Why Ajinkya Rahane likes to work hard during a lean patch

Who do you consider your mentor and why? 

At different stages, many people have played an important role in my life. Hence, naming one person would be difficult. Having said that, I do hold MR Rohit Jain from Willis Towers Watson (WTW) in my speed dial list to reach out for advice when in business predicament. In general, I believe, if you meet good people, you must keep in touch with them. This has helped me a lot. 

One major insight you worked on with your mentor's guidance? 

Of the many things he told me about, one has been particularly helpful prioritising financial prudence over valuation. The point was to create enough wealth and value for the team and investors but not get completely swayed by the vanity matrix of valuation. 

The real proof of the pudding is in customer sales, something which has become the mantra for us. As a result, Sirona has been growing profitably for the past three years. 

What does being a mentor mean to you? How do you mentor your colleagues at work? 

To me, a good mentor is a life coach. Someone who is equally invested in your success, helps you plan and think through life and business. At Sirona, we conduct a monthly review where we exchange ideas around improving operations and accelerating individuals' and company’s growth. With this, we keep everyone in the loop and, thus, motivated to aim higher. 

What time do you wake up and what's the first thing you do after waking up?  

I usually wake up at 6 am and take a walk for 40-45 minutes. I also use this time to listen to podcasts. After that, I go through the newspapers for about 15-20 minutes. My two daughters are usually up by this time. I spend about an hour from 7 to 8 am in their company, especially the younger one, who likes me to read the newspaper to her. I usually make up stories, like people getting injections because they didn’t eat properly. By 8.45 am, I get ready and leave for office. On the way, I pick up my colleague and, on most days, head first to our warehouse to meet and cheer up our team there.  

Also Read: Why Wakefit's Ramalingegowda prefers having multiple mentors

What's the one positive work routine you have developed during the pandemic? 

Capturing one good thing of the day, every day, has become far more regular for me. Everyday something good happens—writing it down daily helps, especially on days when things are not going well. It just trains your brain to look at the positive, no matter what. Also, when things are slow, going through these notes can be very calming. Another thing I have picked up is spending Sundays tending to the plants at home. It has helped me stay balanced during the pandemic.

Any book/podcast/app/videos you would recommend about mentorship and workplace growth? 

Jim Rohn’s (motivational speaker) videos on YouTube are just fantastic. They are decades old but still so relevant and fresh. I highly recommend them. In books, I still find My Gita by Devdutt Pattanaik a good one to find positivity/ motivation. We tend to get too harsh on ourselves at so many levels. However, this book explains how there are always things that are beyond your control, no matter what you do. 

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.

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