FUELLING STARTUPS & MSMEs POTENTIAL
Dalveer Bawa, Founder of NineOne Blackboard Advisory Solutions a firm for training coaching and business consulting. He has worked with large corporates like Idea Cellular and Max Life Insurance. Mr. Bawa is a six sigma
certified coach, he has trained on 7 Habits of highly effective people by Franklin Covey Institute and leadership training from GRID Inc. the USA.
How would you describe your style of leadership/mentorship?
Dalveer: Personally I as a functional leader, I like to strike a fine balance between getting results and people orientation. Being analytical in approach, situations and problems, I take well thought 360-degree decisions, while also following my gut feeling. For me, trust in my team members helps create a strong emotional bonding with them. As a mentor, I am adept at goal setting for everyone in my team considering his/her skill and interest areas.
How did you get your idea or concept for the business? What was your mission at the outset?
Dalveer: While I was involved in detailed research on the management consulting business in India, interestingly I found that most of the big fours were aiding large corporates, obviously for the fee. While only a handful was assisting SMEs/MSMEs. The Gap was wide and unrelenting, as most consulting needs were expressed by the unorganized sector. These are usually run by owners themselves and not by professionals as in case of big corporate. Considering, the future of India are these SMEs and new startups, with this single-minded focus, we jumped into mentoring and handholding these SMEs and startups, assisting them in reaching their desired goalposts.
Sir, was there a time you messed up and felt like you’d failed? How did you bounce back? How did you learn to embrace risk-taking?
Dalveer: Despite the fact & experience of corporates for over 21 years, it was not an easy beginning. It took us 3 months to capture and convince our first client. Difficulty to establish our new brand into the market, also catering to
a latent need. Nothing was stopping us, we wanted to do something for our clients who had brilliant ideas, models, methods and needed accurate and timely guidance, we focused on quality rather than quantity. Hard work reaped results and we began being referred by our clients, and as they say ‘word of mouth’ publicity made us grow.
Which leadership skills were the most difficult to develop?
Dalveer: Acquiring grip over execution as planned was the hardest part and subject to variables. But we took to it with ease as we had always kept plan B/C. While within the SMEs change management was also difficult, but we invented our ways to make smaller changes.
What is the most important leadership lesson you’ve learned and how has it proven invaluable?
Dalveer: In my experience, I have learnt that people must be at the center for any strategy creation or execution. If
you have the right resources, create the right relationships with them then results are bi-product. Focusing on people management is crucial to success.
Do you have any quick tips for re-energizing an overworked team?
Dalveer: More than re-energizing, it’s important to keep your team energized and engaged. If you can connect the
team to a common goal and there is a strong emotional bonding towards the goal and within the team then the
energy will always be upbeat. Goal setting of all individual team members is very important to keep the fire burning
in them. Spending quality time out of the office and team outings keep the pot boiling.
Do you have a template that you use for long-range visioning and strategic planning?
Dalveer: I like to ensure to recognize the organisation’s vision and connect the team with it. It’s also very important to know which opportunities to grab and some opportunities to let go. We have a simple template wherein we first bring this vision on a piece of paper and the values which are very important for this vision to become a reality. The strategy flow is then very simple basis the SWOT analysis of the organization.
What is your upcoming project, how ready is it for the millennials, what purpose/problem will it solve?
Dalveer: We are working with a couple of startup incubators as mentors (99% of startups are dyeing their death in absence of proper coaching and mentoring). These people have strong futuristic ideas but tend to fail because of a
lack of management experience. The exchange of experience & newer innovative ideas is infectious. We are driven to make each of them survive and succeed.