CEO of Exotic Innovations Private Ltd (Interview PART-1)
Dharmesh Kamdar is a senior executive in the design world with 34 years of successful expertise, who is extremely qualified and determined. He is proficient in providing strategies and operations leadership in particularly difficult circumstances, demonstrates unwavering enthusiasm, a positive outlook, and visionary leadership with relentless dependability. He is a person with wealth of experience, focused on tried-and-true methods, with immense knowledge of the technical and managerial aspects.
Dharmesh had a very humble beginning and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in commerce from Narsee Monjee College of Commerce and Economics in 1987. After that, his actual journey began when he encountered the businessman Mr. Akshay Pakvasa in Mumbai. Akshay Pakvasa was looking out for a candidate who can support him in his business. Dharmesh thus joined him in 1988, albeit only as a part-time accountant. He wasn’t entirely certain about the construction business back then. But at the same time, he was pursuing a course in computer that is a software programming and application and was very good at mathematics.
He graduated with the NCC, UK, with a gold medal and was doing fairly well in his mastering classes. Later, he teamed up with Akshay Pakvasa, his mentor. Their company was expanding, and they wanted to take it outside of Mumbai. Dharmesh claimed that Akshay Pakvasa continued to play a significant role in his life and work, and that he learned a lot from doing the internship with him. He is an expertise in this industry with 36 years of experience and have grown through every vertical of the building industry, basically the interior contracting which he is into. He has seen how the industry have changed and grown over these years.
Dharmesh said that, “so from there onwards, it was never a look back and interior became my subject. I was always a creative person and my patience drove me and I was getting a lot of insight and satisfaction of doing this particular thing. From then, working in the industry I started coming to know more of the nitty gritty of this particular sector. And by 1992-1993, we travelled to Bangalore and at that time, Bengaluru was a pensioner’s paradise and we were the first to come to Bangalore when the opportunity arrived. So, the interest grew and I started at a very nascent stage from the very bottom of this particular business.”
“A very essential lesson I picked up during my early career is the importance of quality and customer satisfaction. Interiors are synonymous with excellence, and vice versa. But aside from that, the most important lesson I took away from it was to make sure the client was happy with the work that was done. We then began to develop the strategy and the focus on what your strategy should be, your company, how you want to run it etc. So, it is all going to begin with your own set of people, and the team building approach within your structure. These are the initial set of learnings that became the foundation of my overall growth into the leadership structure.”
Dharmesh said that he has learned a lot from his maternal uncle about business and career. He used to say that it is ok even if you are working as an employee and not a businessman, but always look at it from the leadership point of view. So never walk down into it. So, these are some of initial insights that Dharmesh got from his leaders and the mentors in life. So that paved the real path and foundation for his success. Since then, he has continued to follow the same leadership structure, team-building strategy, and business setup with a focus on the client, the client’s satisfaction, and in that specific path.
Now, Dharmesh is with Exotic Innovations Private Ltd as the CEO and been there with this company for almost 12 years. This was a second journey that he started. He recollected that while he was here in Bangalore for almost 12 years, but literally not heard about exotic innovations. Then later he came here and once again the journey started at the nascent stage. He said that, “what I have achieved once again in my leadership is the quick transformation that we have done. So, what I had gained and built up in my initial falsetto for 25 years of long journey while I was with my previous company called Elegance Interiors and then followed by 11-12 years here with exotic innovations. So that has really helped me all along in my journey.”
Exotic Innovations today have grown into a larger organization for nearly under his leadership and they are managing nearly 500 employee workforces across the pan India and have offices in Hyderabad, Bangalore being headquarter, Mumbai, Kochi, Tamil Nadu and a small setup that they have begun in the north with Delhi. Dharmesh, with immense satisfaction said to us that Exotic has turned into an experience that the client wants and that has happened not just with the leadership or the leaders but, the entire gamut of the exotic family have built it together. Quality of the work one does is so important. A designer especially has to be passionate about the process, about designing. It is not just about getting the job done in. Unless and until you are passionate about the work, it will not give you that turn around. Dharmesh pointed out that, “it is passion that we are driving within our setup, organisation, people and culture. This is how we remain motivated all the time.”
Delivery of quality being one of the top philosophies of Dharmesh. He has also nurtured lot other philosophies over the years. Because he has this realization that they thrive into a very challenging business environment. He says that one has to accept that particular fact and takes it forward. Sometimes it happens that you have to sacrifice lot on many occasions. By choice or not that once you have come into this particular thing and there are lot many challenge that a designer has to face in his way. This is what he has told his people. He quoted that, “there is nothing to shy, there is nothing to fear and there is nothing to lie. He himself has cultivated this philosophy over the years because we were coming under so much pressing scenarios time and again. So, we have imbibed this particular ideology as a very important philosophical asset.” To be continued>>