Weekly Mail: Exclusive interview with Dr. Rajesh Mohan Rai
Interview originally published in Weekly Mail.
One thing that makes you passionate about Business Coaching.
After working 20 years in the industry and over 5 years with consulting organization, I chose to partner with Small and Medium Enterprises as business coach, (though I still work with Big Companies too), that these organizations have the potential to grow big and generate employment. The business Owners want to grow and expand. However, the companies lack the Brand pull. Even in the case of these companies willing to offer competitive salaries, the Talent is hesitant to join these organization on account of the Brand Awareness either missing or low. However, I am aware that the number of jobs these companies create is very huge. The model I adopted was not to just give just models and formats to the Business Owners/ Entrepreneurs but also hold their hands to ensure the vision these business leaders have Co created along with the Team is fulfilled and not remains a shear dream for them and for their teams. Their contribution to the national GDP is huge and their contribution in the employment generation is significant.
I firmly believe that the more employment I help generate, less social disruption would happen. This is my contribution to Nation Building. I take pride in the growth of my clients and they reciprocate the emotions about my value addition to their growth.
This gives a sense of fulfilment and also makes the organization grow. It is WIN WIN for both.
What was your turning point as a business coach?
The journey as a business coach has seen several ups and downs in last 6+ years with many turning points in the journey. However, the most significant Turning point in the journey has been when one of my clients introduced me into his Business network after evaluating the value addition, I was doing to his enterprise within six months of I, getting associated with the organization. Since then, there has been no looking back. The same client Organization is a listed entity on stock exchange has also appointed me as independent director on the board.
I am also on the advisory board of many organizations. I have also been awarded at national and international forums for my contributions in the business coaching domain.
What is your learning mantra?
Keep sharpening your Axe all the time. The day any business coach stops learning, the decline would begin. The mantra which I religiously follow is that I invest in learning on varied subjects and share the learning and use the learnings with the clients. Every new learning/ skill acquired has been implemented with my clients. However, the degree of implementation may vary as the organizations are at different capability maturity levels. One more thing which I am very mindful of is that I very keenly learn about the client business, growth plans and from his/ her wisdom.
One tech/ innovation that will transform business coaching
During pandemic, the face to face interactions have been successfully replaced by the virtual interactions irrespective of the platform used. This has opened several opportunities for many business coaches across geographies. The simulations which are being used today for business modelling would require the modifications which could be put to use with equal ease by the business owners/ leaders using these virtual platforms. The communication channels, its frequency its neutrality would start playing a significant role in the internal communication of the organizations. Business coaches will have to play the moderator for this.
Your advice for aspiring professionals
Don’t look for shortcuts, keep learning and focus on the Value addition to the clients, bring in the personal touch in your interactions with the clients. Manage the expectation of the client tactfully. Understand the clients’ needs and wants deeply. Please ensure that the communication is two way. The business owners/ leaders have worldly wisdom which could be great source of learning of the young aspiring business coaches.
One must read book for business coaches
It is a difficult one. There are many books which have created a lasting impact on me as a business coach. However, If I have to name a book, with great difficulty, I suggest “First Break all the Rules” from Gallup. This is about what the world’s greatest managers do differently. The “5 AM Club” by Robin Sharma is also an interesting read.