Its 6 a.m. Start of another day, another quest for a consultant.
Many a times, consultants are asked, what do they exactly do all day. Well, a day in the life of every consultant differs, but stays the same is their unquenched thirst and hectic schedule that starts from around 6 in the morning to 11 at night or probably even after that. We had a chat with our last month’s Faber of the Month, Manjunath and tried to have a little sneak peek inside the daily life of a consultant.
Start of Manju’s day!
Manjunath has some large clients under his belt and has always to be on toes for any kind of action that needs to be carried out. Managing clients from African countries like Kenya, Zambia and from India as well, his day is usually packed with variety of experiences – though a very difficult yet interesting lifestyle. While in India, Manju’s day starts around six in the morning, when his alarm sweeps his dreams to give him a wakeup call. Followed by the old habit of checking emails before even getting out of the bed, Manju describes the ritual as a vital part of his morning routine. Manju, which friends and team members call him, shares that ‘‘After being lagged due to time difference, getting updated with the latest stories-incidents at other locations and addressing them is necessary part of my morning routine.’’
As he quips, “After a long, tiring journey from one location to another, you might not be in a good mood and would just want to wrap yourself in the blanket. However, you must be alert and at your best while interacting with senior client executives and top officials. Keeping yourself aware about recent happenings and news not only helps you to be updated but definitely helps to strike a chord with people. Finally, what we work with is people and teams!”
Challenges, Lifestyle, Vacations?
As management consultant, there are several basic challenges which have to be tackled by the consultant at each and every segment of the day. Starting with managing demanding schedules to handling different projects at the same time after travelling over weekends. Speaking of which, Manju describes some of the most basic challenges he faces in his daily life.
The very first one is being able to mingle with a completely new workforce at the clients’ site and motivating them to do more. “It is always a difficult task to change or modify the daily mindset of the operators and encourage them to produce two more units than their usual daily productivity”, adds Manju. Another big challenge according to him is to create balance between the different divisions of the organization and operators by working as a bridge between them to achieve the desired goal. “The projects are always typically result oriented, and since I have to meet everybody’s expectations in the organization, from MD and Chairman to middle management and operators; aligning the mindsets of all these parties towards a common goal under the same circumstances is obviously a challenging job yet a satisfying one, that a consultant has to do in his everyday life” as quoted by our Faber of the Month. He adds that it is the value addition for all involved stakeholders is what keeps him going to achieve more.
A consultant must always try to be creative and innovative. “Clients expects us to be magicians and thinks we should be able to create something out of the box when required and should be able to deliver the same in a very short span of time. These obviously creates an impact on our lifestyles – in a better way and differentiates us from other corporate personnel. We plan our work schedules as well as personal development activities a whole month in advance and hence must convince the client teams to come together and follow the schedules as planned.”
After an entire day of checking-in, grinding with the problems, coming up with solutions and most importantly implementing it on the floor along with client teams, attending client meetings, debriefing, planning, responding to mails and a lot of work, a consultant is none other than a Superman of the corporate world. In his last question of the interview, Manjunath mentioned that a consultant works 24*7, which after the session seemed astonishingly true to me.
Considering the human nature of a consultant, even he needs sleep, and needs to log off for the day. Manju usually leaves the office around 7 in the evening when in India and around 6 while working in the African Countries. It is then when he hops back in the cab and returns to his place, again checking emails for any further updates, managing different sites and planning for the next client engagement. Upon inquiring about his reasons for opting consulting life, Manju very passionately, mentions that he is a consultant by choice. “What brings joy to me is sense of achievement each day, being part of non-routine endeavors each day, it is a kind of expedition which enables me to create value for different industries, different segments of people, different geographies!” adds Manju as we were wrapping up.
However, in midst this expedition, Manju makes it a point to catch up with family over series of phone calls and goes for a swim once in a while to keep fit for everyday demands. Manju, who originally hails from relaxed land of Goa, is completely opposite himself and wants to make most out of every minute. And it is tempting for him to create value, connect dots on different client shores!
Faber Manjunath Powar is one of the lead consultants at Faber Infinite Consulting with operations in Asia Pacific, Africa & Middle East. He holds a masters degree in Operations (Major) and Finance (Minor) with his 1st degree being in Mechanical Engineering.
Written & Compiled by Faber Kishlay Krishna & Faber Mayuri Pandya