Chandresh makes it a point to wake up at 5 o’clock in the morning and set about his daily chores. Some days he fails but the habit he picked up during the end days of the PGPMAX programme is getting ingrained. ‘In the last term of the programme, we had a subject called ‘Leadership and You’ where we were to make a collage on what our true North was and things that make us contented and happy. One thing I put on the chart was to wake up at 5 a.m.’ Though he has yet to attain a hundred percent success rate, the key is to be persistent with good habits that take you closer to your goals. ‘The exercise was powerful and effective. I still have the chart with me. It constantly reminds me of my true North, what excites me, and what I want to excel in.’
“True North is the internal compass that guides you successfully through life.” Bill George
Chandresh, PGPMAX Co’2015, is the Practice Head at Wipro HR Services. ‘The attraction programmes such as PGPMAX offer is the opportunity to learn while you earn. Your workplace provides you with the testing ground to implement the knowledge garnered in the class. In addition, the peer network you establish is an immense advantage.’
The experience of entering the campus and the class, the housing facility, the professors, all of it presents the moments of truth, and gives an exalted feeling, he says. The entire experience has taken him to an all-new level. ‘Without an exception, every class began on time. Everything was so professionally managed. In such an environment, you not only imbibe knowledge but also learn the importance of discipline as a professional and the way you must conduct yourself.’ These soft skills may sound like minor things but are crucial in career progression, he emphasises. ‘The first thing you learn is that whoever and whatever you are once you step in to the classroom you are a student. This paradigm shift is very important.’
Spending most of the waking hours in the class, interacting with fellow students, and in endless discussions with professors; burning the midnight oil on assignments and sleeping for only two or three hours when on campus are firmly etched in his mind. ‘You may not gain mastery of the subject but you know where to look for answers. At a professional level, you can co-relate with what is happening.’ The concepts learnt during the leadership, strategy and negotiation topics, for example, are being extensively used by him at work. ‘I distinctly remember decision making under uncertainty, the first subject in the programme that puts you through the rigours of statistics. In today’s world, you connect so very well with those kinds of topics.’
One of the most amusing recollections he has is of writing a two-hour exam with hand. ‘It’s then you realise how bad your hand-writing is. To read your own handwriting gives you a realisation of the forgotten habit,’ he chuckles.
“Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice, and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do” Pele
The visible impact he has made at work and in his personal life is because of the transformation he attributes to the programme. ‘The projects I am doing now are in sharp contrast to the assignments I was doing earlier and wouldn’t have been possible without the credentials of ISB. It’s the result of the complete holistic experience that you internalise and execute.’ Being in the School for 15 months is not a small duration. The small steps of transformation one takes right from the first day do not go unnoticed. ‘By the time you are out of the School, your way of looking at things changes, your ability to solve complex problems improves dramatically.’
As a leader, he has become better at delegating tasks. ‘Because you are so busy balancing your life, your skills to delegate mature. As a result, your team feels empowered, and it helps you develop new leaders within the team.’ One of the biggest responsibilities of a leader is to create more leaders for the organisation, he asserts. During the course on managing teams and people, Chandresh recalls two ever-important rules. The first was never touch a task you are delegating. Always let the team members accomplish it on their own. The second is when the team member is making a mistake remember that it is not their fault it is yours because you did not put the right processes in place or you did not train them well enough to avoid the mistake.’ His personal leadership philosophy is that it is all about people. People Matter. Take care of them and everything falls in place. ‘You need to help others, lift them up.’
“The bigger the DREAM; the more important the TEAM”
He believes that more than networking, it’s the friends you make that hold you in good stead in life. ‘The alumni community is very helpful. Fellow alumni, not only of your class but also of other classes and other programmes, go all out to help you.’
Chandresh has great faith in incremental learning. ‘Small changes within lead to gigantic successes. If you change even 1% every day, you will be a different person at the end of the programme. Identify at least three things worth implementing from each subject and you will have a substantial number by the end of the programme.’
“To make big changes, think small, as, small adjustments add up to larger changes over time. If you get 1% better each day for a year, you’ll end up 37 times better by the time you’re done.” Atomic Habits, James Clear.
He is an active alumnus. He is on the interview panels and is also a part of the alumni association senate. ‘We must do for our alma mater as much as we can. I believe in building something bigger and helping the school create future leaders.’
– Chandresh, PGPMAX Alumni Class of 2015; Practice Head, Wipro HR Services