Kanchan Mittal is the Co-founder and COO of ipsaa Day-care. She is a Chartered Accountant with more than 20 years of progressive experience in Management Accounting and assurance services. She has worked with the non-profit sector for several years, in organizations like CARE, Praxis, Katha, GFI, and Access. All these organizations are known for their outstanding work for women and children that enables them to live an independent and respectful life. By virtue of these associations and her multidisciplinary knowledge, she is a strong advocate of business with social consciousness.
ipsaa has also allowed Kanchan to emerge as one of the leading women in the country who continues to fight for the cause of women empowerment. As a Co-Founder of the ipsaa Day-Care, she has been the driving force behind revolutionary decisions that have made a substantial difference in the working mechanism of the organization and the day-care industry.
Our Exclusive Interview:
1. What does Leadership mean to you?
A person’s association with an organisation is not only for job one is hired for, but one also earns a lot of knowledge experience and life lessons through the association. I try to bring this fact in everyone’s vision. Encouraging them to become aware of intangibles in day to day working. Giving due respect, recognition and love to the team members is big motivation along with a frequent reminder of necessity and importance of organisations work and everyone’s crucial contribution to the larger goal.
2. It is said that a leader is as good or as bad as his/ her team. Do you agree? Why?
Totally agree with the statement. Team is reflection of the leaders working style, efficiency, and value system. Good leaders are successful in building great teams. Thus, the teams are an indicator of how good or bad a leader is.
3. How do you delegate responsibility? What is your mantra for making your team accountable?
Open conversations with immediate supervisors and colleagues understanding were great moral boosters and support. They made sure that I didn’t have to sit up till late and I made sure that my leaving office in time did not effect the deliverables . I delegated the responsibility at home to paid help so that the burden of my physical absence does not fall on family. Brought discipline in life so that both the fronts could be managed better
4.Have you struggled with work-life balance? How did you handle it? How do you handle it even now?
Being a woman, who choose to continue with professional engagement after maternity has been a tough journey and has been a big challenge for work life balance. I was the first one to become a mother at E&Y in the year 1996, when the profession wasn’t very popular among women. Though spouse’s encouragement and families support was help but still there were difficulties related to long and demanding working hours and childcare needs at home.
5. How would you describe your leadership style?
Inclusive, compassionate, and democratic.
6. What is that key factor that is needed in building great leaders in India Inc.? Do you think any intervention is required in the process?
For India Ince to have great leaders, we must initiate the process of leadership and responsibility early in child’s life. Appropriate importance should be given to polish the skill along with efforts for academic excellence. Responsibility, Risk taking ability and decision making should be taught early in life. Children can be given practice for problem solving and creative thinking through various activities and workshops. It is important for adults to identify strengths and weaknesses of a child and working on them instead of following a common race to popular goals. Those with inherent leadership qualities may be encouraged to identify and polish the skills and those who lack the same can gain though practice. There should be a process to recognise the skill for encouraging children to improve it further.
7. What are you most proud of in your organisation? How did you go about achieving it and ensuring it sustainability?
The cause that we work for and power it gives to all the women associated with it as a provider or consumer, makes me a proud entrepreneur and leader. I frequently talk to team members reminding them of importance of our everyday work in creating a happy and vibrant nation, the significance and criticality of being financially independent, and nurturing oneself is important, along with taking care of others around us. While the cause we work for is noble, however, to be sustainable it is important to be financially viable and for that the organisation is run professionally making sure the profitability and reputation of the brand is maintained well at all the time. There are processes and, controls & Checks are put in place for quality delivery.
8. What matters to you the most – loyalty of your employees or loyalty to your customers/ clients?
Loyalty to the customers’ demands loyalty of employees to their jobs, which is crucial to the organisation’s success.
Know the Person
1. Money to you is Means for comfort and security
2. Your favourite film is Guide
3. Your favourite food is Rice Idly
4. Your favourite film star (male) is Dev Anand
5. Your favourite film star (female) is Deepika Padukone
6. Your favourite holiday destination is South India
7. Friendship to you is Like an anchor to a ship
8. The person you admire the most is God Krishna
9. Your dream is to be able to write poetry
10. Your best kept secret is better kept secret only