This is the Leadership Journey series on the Choosing Leadership Podcast.
I believe we all have a lot to learn from each other’s stories – of where we started, where we are now, and our successes and struggles on the way. With this series of interviews, my attempt is to give leaders an opportunity to share their stories and for all of us to learn from their generous sharing.
In the interview, Prakash opens up about his early childhood filled with struggles, and how he had no choice but to succeed. He shares how he created a life for himself through hard work and never giving up, and how he started his own company to give back to others like him. We talk about leadership and responsibility, and he surprises me by sharing that he feels no pressure as a leader because everyone in his team takes equal responsibility. His leadership style, in his own words, is “people come first, everything else follows”.
You can find Prakash at the below links
In the interview, Prakash shares
- When I was a kid, my father was a rickshaw man, so that’s how I had my school days and so on. So I quit the schooling and the age of 17, I think, after, right after the 12th grade in India and I started working.
- If you take a look at our company, we’ll see a lot of ESE graduates become graduates, diploma graduates, and not necessarily from the city, the major cities they come from. Various backgrounds, basically rural areas. They don’t speak English.
- If you go to marriage halls, you’ll see people serving you and making food. So that was my first job.
- I used to go to all the interviews, but I was rejected because I could not speak English.
- I did not have a choice. I had to fight hard
- We have an employee-first policy. So we have a belief that if you take care of your employees, Then they will take care of your customer
- Our first customer is still our customer
- People ask me, what is your leadership style? My leadership style is basically, that people come first, and everything else follows.
- Three things I do carefully is to eat, sleep and do some exercise. These are the three things. Everything else is work.
- We have a partner here, they came to our partnership only because we take care of people. They really value what we are doing for the people because they are also a people-driven company.
- we have people, for example, one was running a pawn shop. Today he is a software engineer who’s really doing a fantastic job for us.
- It’s not just, that we start a company and you deviate from your purpose. We are very strong in our purpose. We have also ensured that purpose has been transitioned into the people. Because I alone cannot do this. My next level alone cannot do this alone. This purpose goes into the roots of people.
- My responsibility – It’s not totally on my shoulder. So here the culture, like when I say people-first culture, we also don’t go there and do micromanagement.