Since the covid-19 pandemic hit, Pritesh Talwar, the CEO of Livpure has had a renewed realisation on the appreciation for health – both physical and mental. Now, his mini-home-gym is the commitment towards this. Gurugram-based Talwar has been heading Livpure since 2020. The direct to consumer platform in the sleep and wellness sector is into water purifiers and air conditioners. Prior to this, he was heading OYO Townhouse and worked in Reckitt Benckiser and Pepsi.
Like most people, Talwar misses travelling for work and connecting with work acquaintances, partners, and distributors on a one-on-one level. “It builds a different kind of bond,” says Talwar, who hopes that travelling for work will resume soon in the future. In this interview with Lounge, Talwar, an IIM Calcutta alumnus, talks about being inspired by Ratan Tata's leadership style, on letting one’s work speak for itself, and shares some productivity hacks. Edited excerpts:
Who do you consider your mentor and why?
I have been fortunate to work under extremely talented leaders since the start of my career. So, there is no single mentor as such. I always try to learn from these leaders. Each one of them had different traits and I have tried to imbibe the best from each. Among business leaders, I have always admired Ratan Tata, Chairman Emeritus of Tata Group, for the way he has led the transformation of a traditional business into a modern, forward-looking conglomerate. He has taken bold decisions without losing sight of consumers and employees. His genuine concern and care for employees comes through very clearly in his actions.
One major insight you implemented/worked on with a mentor's guidance?
Mr Tata has always worked towards the progress of his company and the country without giving much attention to being in the limelight. That is something we all need to work towards as it is important for you to let your work speak. Giving unreasonable statements just for the sake of it and letting yourself be distracted because of some negative comments is what I tell my team to avoid. If you are working hard and honestly, these things should hardly matter to you.
What does being a mentor mean to you? How do you mentor your colleagues at work?
There is no need to give motivational speeches all the time if you have respect for your team, and trust them with the kind of projects that you want to take ahead. If someone is capable of working on something, I help them in any way I can to ensure that it is successfully undertaken. This in turn gives them motivation to work more and productivity also shoots up. As a leader, you need to also walk the talk and lead from the front. You have to be genuinely invested in the career of your mentees so that they can truly reach their potential.
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?
Even before the pandemic, it was a ritual for me to wake up early, by 6.15-6.30 am and do some yoga. That routine hasn’t changed, however since the pandemic I have added resistance training, which I do every other day. I bought few weights and stretch band for this. It helps me get calm and enjoy a productive day ahead. After one hour of exercise, I have my morning tea, breakfast and spend time with my family. I am ready for work by 8.30 am.
What's the one positive work routine you have developed during the pandemic?
I make sure to talk to my colleagues about their well being and also of their family members. We are in a very difficult phase in our lives and it is of highest importance that we, as well as people around us, stay healthy more than anything.
What are your go to productivity hacks?
One of the key things is to organize one’s day. So, on Sundays, I take one an hour and spend time on my calendar to organize my week in terms of things I need to get done, which meetings to set up or attend, etc. Another thing I strictly follow is to make sure scheduled meetings don’t run beyond the stipulated time and that everyone sticks to the agenda of the meeting. To ensure I am not overwhelmed by continuous meetings, I try to have a gap of 15 minutes to half an hour between meetings. It gives me time to mentally prepare for the next one.
How do you ward off afternoon slump?
I ensure having a light lunch by 1 pm, followed by a protein shake after an hour. I have realized this routine helps in keeping my energy levels from dipping. Earlier, before the pandemic, I would walk over to colleagues and chat with them about things other than business.
How do you unwind?
Besides my exercise routine, I read books. I also spend time with my family where we talk about our day, watch TV. One ritual that we try not to miss is having dinner together.
Any book/podcast/videos you would recommend about mentorship and workplace growth? Why?
I would definitely recommend Principles: Life and Work by Ray Dalio. It gives a very good framework for behaviour that gets you what you want out of life. For me, it helped in clarifying my principles for growth, both in my corporate and personal life. As a leader, one faces plethora of challenging situations. These principles help me to respond rather than react to these situations.