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Mr. Deepesh, one of the leading business leaders and Director- Shapoorji Pallonji Real Estate in a candid discussion with our editorial team.
Q1. Deepesh, thank you for your time and it’s pleasure interviewing you, firstly I would like to ask you, how has been your journey so far as a CXO in one of the top real estate companies in the country and simultaneously your experiences as Creative Vision behind building Mughal-e-Azam?
My first job as a management consultant with Tatas exposed me to Business Analysis and feasibility. With a penchant for the execution of my ideas, I joined Shapoorji Pallonji as an Executive Assistant to MD. From the structured approach of consultancy, I was now handling unstructured problem solving as I learnt the entrepreneurial approach. Thus, Real Estate became my core business activity.
After a few years, I wanted to do something different along with this job. So, I started working on the restoration and colourisation of the 1960s classic, Mughal-e-Azam which was originally produced by Shapoorji Pallonji.As the designer and director of Mughal-e-Azam (colour), I got a completely different perspective of doing things.
After a short stint with Mahindra Lifespaces, I was back with Shapoorji headinga real estate vertical with projects involving complex problem solving. And, when I again realized the stagnancy in real estate, I started working on my own blog Deep Impressions, the core of which is Critical Thinking. And, also simultaneously produced and provided the
Creative and Strategic Vision for Mughal-e-Azam: The Musical, the first Broadway-style musical from India.
Sooverall, I am very happy with the broad bouquet of businesses and complex assignmentsthat have been undertaken so far by me.
Q2. What is your current reading about the Real estate sector and what do you expect for from the sector in the next 5 years?
In the 90s, parents of graduating students would tell their kids “Beta jaldi se life me settle ho ja”. The term “settle” referred to marriage, family and house. So, these were the three priorities of youth back in the 90s. For the youth of today, none of these is on the priority list. This tectonic change will bring a huge impact on the housing industry. And, a disruption is in the offing.
With increasing preference towards rental for all kinds of real estate (office, homes, shops, warehouses), real estate developers will have to rework their business models. So, there will be lots of pain, lots of churns and also lots of opportunities.
Q3. What will be your key focus areas in times to come?
With fast changing consumer preferences, the asset-light model will be the key. Also, as consumers get more matured and more sophisticated, the design will play a very important role in the real estate sector. In the affordable segment, the entire process will have to shift from from affordable homes to affordable residential solutions.
Q4. While you are role model for many, however, who are your role models or leaders who have inspired you over the period of time?
No two success stories can be similar. So, I don’ot believe in role models. To me,success stories are great tools forinspiration but not for imitation.
Achievements of some of the leaders have impressed me a lot. Warren Buffet has proved that a large empire can be created even with just a few employees. Gandhi was successful in selling abstract thoughts like freedom and the right to vote to Indians when even the basic needs of Indians were not fulfilled. Steve Jobs has successfully demonstrated that going forward, continuous disruption will be the new normal.
Leaders such has these challenged various gospels and such achievements are key drivers that inspire me.
Q5. Our readers would like to know that as a successful business leader, what is your mantra for success? What is the key to being a successful leader?
Achievements of big leaders are great inspirations for discovering yourself. Such discoveries help youin building your own path to success. So, as I mentioned earlier, everyone’s story is different, hence success lies in evolving and discovering your own path rather than simply following others’ path. One must always remember that success is less about how others evaluate you and more about how you evaluate yourself.
Q6. What is Your advice to young leaders and professionals on managing work-life balance?
The natural tendency of every system is to move towards a state of equilibrium. And, balancing opposites is fundamental to any equilibrium. Be it electrons and protons, be it Yyin and Yyang or be it work and life.Presence of Yyin is a must for the existence of Yyang and so is the anelectron for a proton.
Work also,. therefore, cannot exist in isolation. One needs to find a way to get rid of the superfluous things generated by work. A hobby, generally, is the best option. At work, your mind is governed by external forces (e.ge.g. professional requirements, organisational needs etc.). During an engagement in a hobby, your inner energy drives your mind.
Hobby is also a great long term investment. In old age, they will be your best friends, even better than your pension. It Although, it iswill bedifficult to develop hobbies but.tThetime to develop them is now.
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