The third episode of “Coffee with Leaders” was held on 22nd Sep 2019 @ Thane and

was super special as our very own “Pawan Wadhe” or Pawan Dada as well known to our Shahapur students was with us as a Leader. There can not be a bigger moment of pride and joy than having our own Alumni as a leader to share his motivating journey with our students.

StudentsA total of 30 participants attended the session including students and alumni majorly from engineering, ITI streams along with core coffee team members. Pawan’s Karyakarta Palak & mentor in VSM Shubhadatai  was specially invited & felt so proud to witness & hear her mentee share his life experiences.

The session started with brief informal self-introduction from Arunabh and Parag. Parag then introduced Pawan & together with Arunabh, all three took the audience through an extremely interesting session unfolding Pawans’ journey to success and Arunabh sharing his knowledge & experienced inputs intermittently.

Sharing below the excerpts of the interactive session

Q: Why did you choose electrical engineering?

A: From childhood I was fascinated by electrical appliances, I used to dismantle & assemble them and eventually I landed into electrical engineering. But soon I realized that there was a huge difference between what I thought & what electrical engineering actually was.

  1. How did you start your own electrical appliances distribution agency?
  2. I was confused, did not want to do a routine job, wanted to be independent, and I started thinking what was my worth, I wanted to do something different, I started thinking as an employer. One needs to put in lots of efforts to study, research and explore the fields that interest us. “Haat Paay Marayala Paahije, I read, I explored, I researched on net, through books and more importantly speaking with people in same field. I wanted to do something independently, on my own & thought about this venture. Also, one has to keep eyes open & understand the reality around to think of starting a new venture.
  3. What was your initial experience & what were the difficulties you faced?
  4. When I started, I faced multiple rejections. Even after meetings with 100 people, I was just getting NO. This made me think what was going wrong. I worked on human behavior, How to communicate, How to negotiate, How to build and keep good relations with everyone. I learnt all this from my experiences. Did lot of introspection & it helped me. Constant improvisation was the main key for me.

Pawan said “I dared to explore unpaved paths; it pays off if you follow them persistently”.

  1. You were a very shy & silent person, how did you change so much?
  2. It was necessity that made me change myself”.

Pawan shared that he realized the importance of good communication, maintaining good relationships & the disadvantage of being silent. He thought improvising this skill would be the only option left, otherwise he would not make anything significant in his life.

According to him -One can develop skills overtime if you consistently work on them. He was a shy person; not particularly comfortable or competent with public speaking or interpersonal skills. He took this challenge and worked hard on it. In his own words “Paanyat udi marali ki doan  parayay rahatat – Pohun Taranae kivnha Budanae” & I chose the former..

It doesn’t take expensive classes, formal study or family background to acquire skills and experience. Pawan picked up several competencies and skills just by applying himself, self-study and learning on job  accounting, stock market investing, finance management, marketing, etc

At this juncture, Arunabh interacted with students & asked each & every student what they like to do.

Session 1Responses were phenomenal like cooking, drawing, nature photography, coding, circuit designing, repairing electrical instruments, playing Kabaadi, solving mathematical questions, singing, automation, research, traveling, decoration, taxes, share market, loving bike etc etc. On listening to such wide interests Arunabh shared few insights, on how there are varied jobs out in the world, like if you love writing you can be in advertising, content writing, if you love to sketching, cooking etc then one should research & explore related opportunities. There are many unique jobs like a water taster, India has only two, we got to know that offbeat professions exist which are very well paying but generally students are unaware of these. Arunabh genuinely advised the students to spend time researching on google, to go out, reach out to people who are doing what you want to do, explore & tell people that you would work for free. Then learn from that experience, it makes you stronger and decisive. Then start thinking how you can monetise it, how you can generate revenue out of it in order to survive.

Arunabh added that one must try new things, fail fast and learn fast from ones mistakes. When one student asked Arunabh on how he achieved the success of TVF (The Viral Fever) he told that he never imagined that he could have started this channel. But he worked really hard, he spent 6 years struggling, learning & improving his skills. He talked about starting to take small risks, face the hurdles, overcome them & survive to achieve something big.

The interview with Pawan then continued…

  1. You had started your first venture of Electrical Equipment Distribution while still studying, how did you manage College & your business simultaneously?

Pawan said- One can always find solutions in situations where there doesn’t seem to be a natural solution. He had to manage compliance in the college viz. attendance, securing minimum marks, submission, etc. By having a good rapport & communication with teachers he approached it objectively and managed college compliance to the level needed with some practical solutions and relationship building. Think solutions and not problems- is his moto.

He stressed on the fact that one has to secure “safety net” before taking leaps of faith into bigger things. For example, he cleared engineering degree with good marks and that become his fall-back plan.

  1. We heard that you have ventured into different businesses? Can you tell us why & how you managed to do this?
  2. Well, I am into electrical contracts, distribution, stocks & share market trading, investment and interior designing.

He talks about risk and reward ratio. How he always thought of risk and reward while making any decisions.

Session 2His advice was to focus on a single vertical first when it gets stabilized move on to another. He did all this while starting newer ventures. He added that he spent 4 years to stabilized his one vertical which was distribution and contracts. After than only he went onto interior designing, stocks. His moved into stocks in order to reinvest his profits earned from his first venture. He also shared that for money management his mentor was Swati Khare, who runs her own enterprise.

Pawan believes in Interdependence. He always tries for having genuine and healthy relations with everyone he meets. He has developed his “interior decoration” business line through these personal connections. He believes in interdependence and finding win-win solutions for eg. Pawan takes help from his CA cousin in accounting matters as needed and in turn helps him with finances.

Pawan firmly believes if you work toward greater good and take everyone along with you, it helps in your own ambitions. In his words, “Man Motha Theva (Have a Big Heart)” &  take everyone along with you.

He is grateful towards everyone and anyone who helped him in his journey viz. VSM, his KP-Shubhadatai, others who helped him in business, his teachers, his business mentors, etc According to him “Being Grateful is a natural way to seek continuous support”.

Key Takeaways:

  • Your childhood fantasies maybe different than reality
  • Research about your chosen path
  • Understand what value you bring to the profession
  • Understand your surrounding system and act accordingly
  • Be a life-long learner
  • Start something, try fail, get up, learn & try again
  • Think of your freedom to do what you like
  • Work hard and do not worry about rejection
  • Communication is main key to success
  • Go and explore something which fascinates you
  • Learn to earn
  • Create multiple sources of income
  • Having mentors for each part of your life is very important
  • Learn to have gratitude towards all who helped usCertificate ed

The program concluded with thanking all for their active participation & Shubhadatai handing over the certificate of Appreciation to Pawan.

Overall, a very motivating session & a thoroughly encouraging experience for students and a moment of great pride for VSM.