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KONE India's Amit Gossain on finding joy in your work

Amit Gossain, the MD of KONE Elevators India, talks about cooking, making lists, and the lessons he's learnt from mentors as well as by himself

Amit Gossain likes to unwind over the weekends by cooking for his family. 
Amit Gossain likes to unwind over the weekends by cooking for his family.  (KONE Elevators India)

Amit Gossain, managing director of KONE Elevators India, started last year by cooking for his family. Since the pandemic, his cooking, especially of non-vegetarian dishes, has become somewhat of a weekend ritual in the Gossain residence. Trying out new recipes, Gossain admits, is a stress-buster for him after a hectic week of calls and virtual meetings that often extend till late in the evening. He particularly enjoys cooking Hyderabadi style meat dishes — their  unique blend of spices appeals to him, he says.  

Read: Why Cognizant India's Nambiar considers Steve Jobs a mentor

It was in 2015 that Gossain had joined KONE Elevators India, a subsidiary of Finland-headquartered KONE Corporation. And alumnus of IIT Delhi, he'd worked with JCB India, L&T’s earthmoving and construction equipment division, and CNH Global in Australia before this. In this edition of Monday Motivation, Gossain talks at length about the people who have influenced him and his professional journey at work, what he's learnt on his own through his years as a professional, and what it's like learning to play video games lately. Edited excerpts:

Who do you consider your mentor? 
Most of my bosses in my corporate career have been mentors to me, starting from L&T to Case New Holland (CNH) in Australia, and JCB. I am still in touch with them. They taught me time- and people-management, being patient, and how while it's important to pay attention to details, it's important to look at the bigger picture.  

An advice from a mentor that has kept you in good stead?
This advice didn’t come from any one mentor but something I gleaned on my own. It’s the importance of finding joy in your work. In current corporate culture, youngsters often move companies for monetary increments, but the work may not bring joy. It becomes important to focus on bringing this in, by yourself.  

What does being a mentor mean to you? 
Our teams are our greatest assets; they’re our competitive advantage. I surround myself with my teams — they motivate and inspire me, and in turn, I nurture a creative environment for them, helping them find ways to maintain an innovate culture. 

How do you mentor your colleagues at work? 
My strongest strength lies in teamwork and collaboration. Instead of finding their shortcomings, I always focus on ways to enhance their potential, inspire them to push themselves and achieve more. Put simply, I work towards bringing the best out of my colleagues in a way that my mentoring generates confidence, elevates trust and collaboration, and fast-tracks team development. 

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?
I like to keep my mornings calm and relaxing. It prepares me for my busy day ahead, and keeps me focused throughout the day. I wake up at about 6 am in the summers, and slightly late in winters, by 7 am. The first thing I do is drink a glass of warm water. After that, a strong morning tea is a must. I enjoy it while catching up on my e-mails and messages. I then head out for a run or a walk. I believe the first meal of the day, a high-quality breakfast, plays a key role in fueling up energy and is critical for workday productivity. 

How do you deal with afternoon slump?
I usually prefer having a light meal. I used to go for a walk after lunch, but now I have a cup coffee. 

What are the positive routines you have developed during the pandemic?
During the pandemic, with a little more time in hand, I introduced more variations into my daily exercise routine, watched movies, mostly Bollywood, that I would normally not have time for, and tried my hands at innovative cooking. I have also learnt to play online games with my children in a competitive way.

What are your productivity hacks?
In the morning, I create a list of things I want to do, and try tick off as many things off the list. When I started doing it, there would be task that would run to the next day. But over a period of time, I have realized that by doing this, I initiate that conversation, send out the mail, or start on the task at least from my side. I can then keep reviewing its progress periodically. I feel satisfied that I did my part.  

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

I found Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life incredible. “Ikigai” is a Japanese word that means — a reason for living, a meaning for living. The book helps realize the value of a purposeful life and helps find our purpose. Another powerful lesson from the book is to be resilient. It encourages us to accept everything life throws at us without feeling discouraged. 

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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