Expert Talk Series : “Excellence means doing your job right when nobody is watching” – Mr. Ashish Wadekar, Head Talent Acquisition, Corporate HR, Larsen & Toubro

On 3rd November 2018, Mr. Ashish Wadekar, Head Talent Acquisition, Corporate HR, L&T addressed the enthusiastic cohort of first-year students and shared insights from his life experiences. Mr. Wadekar commenced the session by drawing similarities between his organisation and TAPMI, he commented that while L&T has been a pioneer in its business for over eight decades, TAPMI too enjoys a rich legacy of nearly forty years and both have strongly stood the test of time.

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The session was aptly named, “Pause to explore possibilities” and Mr. Wadekar explained that there are certain critical values and traits that a manager must possess to deal with contingencies of the workplace, which through years of his experience, have stood the test of time as well. The first value was ‘Pursuit of Excellence’, which is also one of TAPMI’s mission values. He elaborated by saying that excellence is a continuous process and it defines an individual’s conduct in the workplace. With organisations rapidly increasing in size each year and need for better talent ensuring greater technical competencies, he explained how a pursuit of excellence helps individuals self-monitor and organisations function as a cohesive unit.

The second value centred around the idea of ‘Smartness’. Mr. Wadekar said that smartness is a culmination of ability, agility and stability. While ability comes from competency building, agility would mean the ability to respond to challenges and stability would signify the ability to be confident in what an individual pursues.

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The third value is to ‘Challenge the Status quo’, Mr. Wadekar emphasized the importance of staying curious and asking questions that stem out of inquisitiveness. Eagerness to learn is essential to challenge the existing norms and beliefs as well as to continuously grow. The fourth value focused on the need to be ‘Proactive and not Reactive’ and being aware of one’s surroundings. The fifth value, ‘Feel the Accountability’ was explained through the famous case of TATA employees going out of their way to ensure the safety of their customers, who were stuck in the Taj Hotel on the night of the Mumbai terror attacks and the example resonated deeply with the students. The sixth value was about the need to provide ‘Feedback’ and how to use it as a mechanism for improvement or as Sir called it, “Feedforward”.

Mr. Wadekar concluded the session by reiterating that as students and future managers, we must learn to act and go the extra mile, for a vision as a mere thought is nothing without the required action but when coupled with the right efforts, could take the organisation to the apex of its growth story.

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