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Leaders with Ambition – An interview with Prateek Jain
Every experience is an opportunity for you to learn and grow. The key lies in immersing yourself fully and exploring it in-depth. Only then will you be able to gain the most out of each experience. We talked to Prateek Jain, an experienced Supply Chain leader who has built an illustrious career for himself by following this method closely. Get inspired by his personal story and take in his nuggets of wisdom in this interview.
1. How did you get to your position today?
It has been a long journey and quite an exciting one. It was about learning, gaining depth and connecting the dots within Supply Chain. Every role that I performed revealed to me that there is always so much to learn and to keep growing through it. There will always be something to learn, you just need to go into the depth of something to scale its heights. The deeper you go the higher you emerge!
Currently, when I look back, I see how even small steps were big decisions and how the small lessons in life have been so enriching.
2. From your first job until present, what important lessons have you learnt along the way?
Basically, three fundamental truths:
No job is too big or too small. It is what you make out of your job and not the job itself that defines what it is.
Be curious. Never be shy to ask questions or afraid to accept the things you do not know.
Bring your heart to work. Without passion, even the most exciting things can be drab.
3. Who is your role model and tell us a bit about them.
All the people I have worked with, who have shown and demonstrated to me what humility really is and what it takes to persevere in the most challenging circumstances, be it work or personal life. There are too many names to list but the qualities that these individuals possessed are ones that I try to emulate personally.
4. What inspires you?
People that I have had the opportunity to work with. There is always so much to learn from the people around you.
5. What is your greatest achievement to date?
Being able to re-pay partly what my mentors taught me throughout my career to budding graduates. It is about sowing the seeds and nurturing them through the experience, and in turn, they will brighten up the world with their new mindset and wisdom in the future.
6. What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your career and how did you overcome it?
Checking on my performance while working in a competitive environment has been the biggest challenge. When you work long hours, you tend to behave mechanically and you may constantly have to remind yourself that you are only human. You have to set your own limits by drawing the line between passion for work and being a workaholic. Living a holistic and healthy life is a big challenge for corporate workers today and it is something that needs to be worked upon constantly. Taking care of your physical and emotional well-being is imperative for you to perform well in your role.
7. What is the most valuable advice you have been given?
Keep the faith. There is always light at the end of the tunnel. Faith is not about everything turning out okay. Faith is about being okay, no matter how things turn out.
8. What advice would you give to professionals looking to excel in their career?
Get the depth in whatever you do. You are only as confident and knowledgeable as what you’ve experienced first-hand.
9. Can you give me 3 things on your ‘bucket list’?
-Vipassana Meditation Retreat
-Write a book
-Put on a guitar concert with my son
10. What 3 words would you use to describe yourself?
Persuasive, developer and maximizer.
11. If you could live in any country in the world, where would you live?
I will have to choose India. It offers vast challenges and opportunities to learn; from the most modern and technologically advanced environments to the most basic infrastructure in the rural areas. Learning is growing and that applies not just to your professional life but also your personal life.
12. If you won a lottery ticket worth $10 million, what would you do?
I would spend the money on afforestation. More than half of our problems are because of the unscrupulous actions of some people that have destroyed the environment. Some efforts to restore nature back will hopefully contribute to creating awareness and momentum of greater masses towards the concept of ‘sustainability’, a key concept in the modern-day Supply Chain.
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