During the course of our life being aware or not, I feel everybody around have taught us lessons of life. Sometimes while accidentally interacting with a stranger waiting for a train/bus or in a long queue, or maybe a serendipitous encounter at some occasion or a general conversation with family and many times during our professional meetings, we continuously learn new things and understand a new way to look at life. Isn’t it so warming and enriching? I also felt how come I have never known these things, but yes time makes it happen!
Usually, in my case, while growing up in my professional career and I think all of you must have gone through the same stuff, the experiences have been bitter and sweet. At that point in time, a lesson might have been irritating and annoying but today I realise that each incident makes sense and meaning.
The lessons have had a lasting influence over me. Moreover, I owe this learning to two individuals, who are mentors to me, viz. Mrs Poonam Om Kumar and Mr Moez Maredia.
The Lady Who Knew It All
For 12 long years, I had worked at Nestle India Ltd. and Mrs Poonam Om Kumar was one of our mentors. I was always amused by her quality of having an eye for accurate details and penchant for perfection. Excelling in soft skills and the subtle attributes of behaviour, amongst the many expertise she has, she unarguably believed in practising what she preached.
Gentle greeting on a call, cutlery handling, table manners, basic etiquettes, eating a soup (yes, it is eating soup and not drinking!), suitable lingerie with the top for ladies, the length of the tie for men, the match of drapery design with furniture like table, curtains, email etiquettes, and many more intricate ways of appearance and approach were few of the executive abilities of her. Previously being a teacher, Mrs Poonam has a very smooth knack to let us know the rights and wrongs at that very moment itself.
Once when she had visited our program that would involve customer management, she pointed or rather suggested that me being the first to enter the space, it was really important that I should have placed my shoes at a right spot which would have eventually been followed suit by the rest. The flex banner had to be pinned in a straight line, appropriate locations for branding according to the customer point of view etc. Today, I see that these small acts help me so much to maintain the orderliness.
I am indeed thankful to Mrs Poonam Om Kumar for teaching me to pay attention to the tidbit details. Today you never know when small things might transform into big things. Taking care of the minuteness in the present will help to achieve prominent things in the future.
The Gentleman with An Aesthetic Sense
In 2011, I worked for Sveda, one of the ventures of Holiday Inn owners as a General Manager. Mr Moez Maredia, the eldest son of the family was my boss. Possessing an innate sense of aesthetics, creativity and excellent HR skills, he guided me to stand on my feet irrespective of the shortcomings.
It was until working here, I had never given my attention to aspects of composition, art and design. On an equipment purchase trip to south Mumbai, I had an opportunity to accompany him to one of the art exhibitions in the city, where I had learnt some artistic nuances like a sense of colour, composition, form etc. I had never seen a painting in a way artists view and bring their creations to life.
He believed that every product should possess a creative, innovative touch and has to be exquisite. I had my doubts on his way of thinking, that no one cares about such things. But time and again it has proven me wrong. These artistic nuances do affect the viewer. Actually, most people do not realize but this filters the awesome apart from common and mundane. People realize something is great about what they are visualizing or holding but don’t know why – it is the thought that goes into form, function, and design.
It was his confidence in me that the company revenue, during my tenure-ship, remarkably grew manifold. I am deeply thankful to Mr Moez for enhancing my creativity. Today, I always look at my final designs and think of how would he view it before making a final decision.
Lesson to be learnt: Pay your attention to details and let your work have an aesthetic touch to appeal to the corners of our heart.