Manoj Juneja is the Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Timex Group India. Manoj has over two decades of deep understanding of the consumer durables and sporting goods segment in the India & SAARC countries and has worked for companies like LG Electronics and Adidas India in senior leadership profiles. Previously Manoj spearheaded the sales & e-commerce verticals and led several strategic leadership roles in Retail, Digital and Marketing for leading brands. Known for his strategic thinking and long-term sustainable business approach, Manoj believes in building trustworthy relationships and long-term human connections.
Here is the first job experience of Anil Gupta, Chairman and Managing Director, KEI Industries Limited.
What is the biggest lesson that you learnt in your first job?
The biggest lesson I learnt in the course of my first job is that if you think big enough and have the right vision, then nothing can stand in your way, nothing will be impossible to achieve. It’s important to understand that working alone doesn’t amount to anything. Building trust with stakeholders is the key to success because once you build trust with internal and external stakeholders, then it’s very easy to accomplish your goals.
What would have happened had the pandemic struck while you were starting your career? How would you have tackled things in your stride?
The pandemic was unprecedented for all of us and changed things in ways we would have never imagined. Especially for freshers, who were just starting out it brought a cloud of uncertainty into the job market. However amongst all the negatives, it has taught us the importance of relationships and empathy towards our teams. Had I been in this situation at the beginning of my career, my team members and their family’s safety would have been my topmost area of concern. As they battle through these tough times, support goes a long way and helps in creating long term relationships towards the company.
To tackle these new circumstances, we could create war rooms with key members of the team to brainstorm on possible solutions. The idea is not just to work hard, but to be agile and think differently and work on creativity to find the desired solutions.
One interview tip that you find extremely useful and relevant over the years.
An interview is not just an interaction between your prospective employers and yourself, but a representation of what you will bring to the company in a matter of minutes. Preparation for the interview about Macro and your job is vital. Confidence is key, be confident to show what difference you can create in that job and to do that efficiently, make an effort to understand yourself. Do a SWOT analysis for the company beforehand so you understand what is required from the job better.
What are the 3 main soft skills that a fresher must possess to ace jobs?
As the years have gone by, competition has only gotten more cut throat. Basic requirements don’t cut it anymore, one has to stand out from the rest. The first softskill a fresher must possess to ace jobs is a solution oriented mindset rather than just highlighting problems and a growth mindset. The second would be maintaining a relationship with all relevant stakeholders with strong communication skills. Third, most importantly is strong planning and long term thinking, it paves the way for a secure manner of thinking.
How has the pandemic shaped/changed the work culture?
From going to working in groups in the office to working alone at home, the transition has been a tough one but everyone seems to have adjusted by now. Working remotely is the new normal, however the only gap technology can’t seem to bridge is human connection. One big challenge we are facing is that team bonding and connections are difficult.
Your perspective on the changing work culture over the past decade.
With the onset of digitisation, the way of working has changed forever. Automation is a more favoured way than doing anything manually nowadays. Globally, the focus on increased diversity and inclusion is a welcome change and is one amongst the many brought by Gen Z’s impact on work culture and changing work dynamics.
One book that you would recommend to the freshers that can help.
First 90 days by Michael D Watkins is a great read for the ones just starting out. The first few days at any workplace are critical in setting an attitude and the tone which will follow for the rest of your time there. The book focuses on how you can plan your first 90 days which decide your failure or success in that job. It emphasises how to form tighter relations with key stakeholders which will ultimately benefit you.