A Proactive Strategist With A Progressive Mind
God-fearing, religiously inclined, and education-minded describe Dr. Mukundarajan Sundararajan in just three words. A mechanical engineer by profession, Dr. Mukundarajan is a merit student who earned a scholarship from the Government of India. His mother’s moral teachings, his efforts towards gaining an education, and scholarly thoughts led him on a long but fruitful professional journey.
Senior corporate performance advisor, Dr. Mukundarajan, who received the Dubai Tamil Sangam’s Abdul Kalam Award in the year 2018, is a spirited professional. He believes in teaching the average or below-average employee in simplistic ways. The three P’s- persuasion, perseverance, and passion, act as Dr. Mukundarajan’s driving forces to enable a communicative relationship with subordinates. He is an expert in balancing this attribute with an authoritative voice to compel attentiveness, trust, and respect.
The maturity to measure the business model or canvas of a company comes with knowledge, work experience, education & analytical thinking, and a certain level of intuition. As a corporate professional, Dr. Mukundarajan’s efforts lie in understanding the business dynamics of the organization. With the application of skills plus the hard work, he perfected the art of strategic thinking and decision making.
There was a time when this bundle of courage choked when interviewing for the job of a Strategic Planner. Back then, Dr. Mukundarajan didn’t know that something as fundamental as making a PowerPoint presentation could be a setback. This episode happened seventeen years ago. Today, he is a prosperous man in his industry.
Success comes to those who acquire the skills to lead a team and still be a part of the team. Dr. Mukundarajan shares his success mantra for corporate leaders, “Delegate, delegate, and delegate. Do not micro-manage.” He elucidates how active listening skills, trust, confidence, decisiveness, humility, creativity, transparency, and leading from the front are all the qualities that brought him this far in his career. In his experience, he found that addressing issues right from the start, and having the space to communicate them makes an incredible team.
The corporate world is a complicated place to survive. Over the years, Dr. Mukundarajan learned how it is necessary to keep the top management informed of the tasks you perform. “I failed to do this in the early part of my career and suffered when others took credit for my achievement. You must trumpet your achievement and do not allow others to usurp your accomplishment,” he asserts.
Dr. Mukundarajan opines that learning is a continuous process, and those who disagree may become redundant soon. “The recent pandemic is an example of how every single professional and businessman had to re-learn their jobs to progress online.” A forward-thinking man like Dr. Mukundarajan is admirable in the corporate world.
According to Dr. Mukundarajan, monotony and lack of interpersonal skills make working life dull. “Every professional should foster some amount of fun and creativity at work while maintaining stringent deadlines. Work shouldn’t seem like a burden at any point.” He also argues against the idea of being a workaholic, which is why he suggests creating a balance between office and home. “Don’t bring work or work thoughts at home.”
Vision is an aspiration of an individual or a corporate to reach a definite position in a given time frame. Dr. Mukundarajan believes in having big hairy audacious goals abbreviated as BHAG by Collins and Porras. In their theory, Collins and Porras conjecture that a good set of BHAG forces you to become a spectacular company.
Strategizing work is significant for Dr. Mukundarajan. He shares, “We have a simple one-page strategy map to follow for achieving our vision where we set the objectives, kpis, targets, and initiatives. We have frequent strategy review meetings to gauge the progress towards our vision.”
Dr. Mukundarajan realizes that his four decades of corporate career will soon come to an end with his retirement. He wishes to pen down his experiences from these years in a book titled Strategy- Concept to Execution. Targeting the MBA audience, Dr. Mukudarajan wishes to include concepts from managerial economics and industrial organization in his book. It will comprise of concepts like design method, agile process, etc., besides highlighting the strategy execution process.
Despite being a man with years of experience to boast of, Dr. Mukundarajan doesn’t forget his responsibility towards the environment. He makes it a point to gift glass bottles to his clients and colleagues to reduce the use of plastic.
He takes a particular interest in Veda Pathshalas and makes regular contributions to these schools.
Strategist and progressive-minded Dr. Mukundarajan Sundarajan won the Hall of Fame Award when he worked for Electricity and Water Authority, Bahrain. The recognition came for his excellence in strategy execution from Palladium inc., USA, an organization run by Dr. Robert Kaplan of Harvard business school and Dr. David Norton.