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Ask Anand P Kumar (anand Kumar Padmanaban) for Advice
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Advice Request
Anand P Kumar (anand Kumar Padmanaban)
Anand P Kumar (anand Kumar Padmanaban)

Anand P Kumar (anand Kumar Padmanaban)

Managing Director

ELADO Strategy

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Advice For New Professionals:
Make sure you get into something because you have an inherent love for doing it. Become an electronics engineer because you love electronics. This is one way to ensure that you love your job and have a fulfilling career. Nowadays, there are many career options available, its about being persevering and believing in your dreams.
Other Thoughts:
I enjoy coaching and mentoring individuals and being involved in start-ups and have won several awards including being a finalist for the economic times power of ideas contest in 2009. I am love being part of panel discussions and love sharing my learnings and have been a part of many CXO conferences. I also love writing and have written articles for DataQuest, Voice & Data and sustainuance magazines.
Changes In The Professional Environment:
I think there are positives and a few negatives as well from the time I started working in the US to how things stand in India now. Information progression has become lightning fast and there is an overload of data and information from all sides. Making sense of this is key to success in business. Data mobility has helped have superior quality decision making ability in our hands. The downside of this is also the same ..data is not validated and sometimes unreliable data makes its way onto social networks and leads to chaos. The ability to responsibly handle information is one of the main challenges as well.
Done Differently:
Knowing what I know now, I probably would have better assessed my situation before making key life changing decisions. I would have better anticipated the downturn in the economy and would have better positioned myself in terms of finances for the start-up.
I would have also made career changes by pursuing a career in talent management since my passion is to coach and mentor for success. Currently I do that as a hobby since in India eligibility criteria is established for a career in human resources.
Career Profile:
I am currently in a business operations role where I deal with enterprise strategy, looking at ways to improve product engineering, customer engagement and also core business operations. This is a role where I partner with functional managers and layout the path forward. My earlier role was as CIO of a large MNC where I was resposible for information technology operations. This was a functional manager role.
Professional Strengths:
My ability to take up discrete data points and build a collaborative model with it, my ability to be a people person while ensuring that business outcomes are met, my ability to always ensure that when there is a challenge in terms of values and ideals, I choose the values driven approach.
The Decisions That Matter
There are quite a few decisions I have made. The first and most challenging decision was around moving from a secure career at the headquarters of a fortune 500 company in the US to taking on a very challenging role for the same MNC in India. This decision was further challenged by the fact that management in US were not sure whether this India business would be worthwhile or not.

The next big decision I took was when I left a great job with great pay for starting up in the social sector in India. I wanted to make a difference by helping address the rural employability problem where students from rural colleges in India were struggling to get jobs.
Degrees That Matter:
I would always recommend a good foundation course in the area of interest. I was interested in industry and perspectives around industry so ended up doing a master in industrial engineering from the US while my bachelors was in electronics.

I also recommend pursuing a project management certification for professionals who have 5+ years experience. For senior professionals, I would recommend a certified manager certification or similar certifications which help provide an overview of business.
Plans For The Future:
I see myself in a role with broader responsibilities where I can help deliver more value to the business. This role could be in the form of a COO or in the form of a vice president for a larger company. I also see myself doing more and more with my volunteering role where I run rural employability advancement programs (REAP).
Involvement in the Industry
Pioneering electronic submission of clinical data to the FDA in the US in 1998 when nobody else was doing it. Won several awards for the same.
Turning around a struggling business and delivering value of over 15 mill USD over a course of 3 years.This team has grown from 1 person(me) to over 800 now and winning offshoring award.
Start-up selected within 100 finalists from over 20,000 start-ups in India after several rounds of screening in the power of ideas economic times contest and helping more than 500+ students from rural backgrounds get placement.
Role Model:
One of my role models is Dr.Deepak Chopra for the eloquence and understanding he brings in a very complex world. He could have gone on and been a very wealth doctor but chose to also share his learnings on how to deal with life and its challenges. A few other role models include Dr.Ambedkar for his struggle and brilliance, Rajaji for his simplicity, Peter Drucker for his intellectual acumen
Working Life Management:
With data mobility work does follow you from the office to the home. I make conscious choices in terms of what is work life and what is personal time. That choice changes when there are urgent and immediate challenges but for the most part I balance things well. I am also very habitual and get up at 430 am everyday and sleep early, I am able to manage my time well.
Required Reading:
What got you here wont get you there by Marshall Goldsmith
The Essential Drucker by peter drucker
HBR blogs are a good source of learning
siddartha by herman hesse
wsj.com , siliconindia.com, linked-in pulse magazine
Job Profile:
I am the Vice President Of India Operations for a US based smart metering company. My role per se is Lead in development of an Enterprise product and support services strategy in the AMI/Smart metering business; Partner with leaders to identify and deploy technical business solutions; Control expenses and capital budget; Negotiate vendor contracts to net lower cost while sustaining quality. Maintain a cohesive work environment, liaison between customer and engineering teams. Manage manufacturing finance and procurement costs and projections. Direct all aspects of emerging product implementation, conversion and handover.
Growth Strategy:
I constantly pursue learning opportunities. I did my certified manager certification this year which is a 9 hour exam run by the institute of certified professional managers in the US. I also keep myself occupied by writing blogs and sharing my learnings since I believe that learning is also about sharing. I have also published a self help book called All It Takes is a minute.
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