Ketan Patel took over as CEO of Mswipe, the financial services platform for small and medium enterprises, in July, this year. He was earlier the CEO of CASHe, an instant personal loan providing company. The Mumbai-based company, which began as mobile POS solutions provider for SMEs in 2011, is looking to apply for an NBFC license, and position itself as a bank for SMEs. Patel talks about mentors who shaped him as a leader, and his mentorship style.
Who do you consider your mentor and why?
I admire veteran banker Uday Kotak. A self-made man, his persistence and hard work throughout his entrepreneurial journey, eye for identifying opportunities, and constantly adapting to the changing environment are characteristics that set him apart. One of the things he said that I have tried to emulate is: “If what you create does not outlive you, then you have failed."
One major insight/change you worked on with our mentor's guidance?
We always strive for return on investment but an important aspect we tend to forget is the return on our time along with the money we have invested. While we may generate more money by investing more, we can never generate more time. So, return on time invested is one of the fundamental principles I live by.
What does being a mentor mean to you? How do you mentor your colleagues at work?
A mentor is a torch bearer who creates future leaders. I share my life experiences and the challenges that helped me grow with my colleagues so that when they come across a similar situation, they can outperform my growth path and achieve more than what they expected.
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What time do you wake up and what's the first thing you do after waking up? Basically, what's your morning schedule after waking up?
My wake up at 5 am and the first thing I do is take a jog. It gives me my ‘me time’ and allows me to introspect on my previous day, and plan the rest of the day accordingly. I have a healthy breakfast post that, which gives me my morning energy. I then connect with my team members before starting the day's work.
What's the one positive work routine you have developed during the pandemic?
The pandemic has led me to become a patient listener. With the remote working culture being the new norm, I believe listening to people is more important than speaking. It has helped me to understand the challenges faced by my teammates and support them through their difficult personal and professional situations.
Any book/podcast/app/videos you would recommend about mentorship and workplace growth? Why?
The Last Samurai is one of my personal favourite movies, and something that I would recommend to everyone. It is a beautiful story of courage, truth and justice. As a leader, it is important to encourage an organisational culture where colleagues respect each other and are courageous to accept both success and failure. I have always believed and followed the seven virtues of the Bushido code – integrity, courage, benevolence, respect, honesty, honour and loyalty.
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.