Anoushka Gungadin’s BIO
Born in Mauritius, Anoushka was brought up in a multicultural environment. After finishing her undergraduate studies, she worked for 5 years in Mauritius. She then went to Beijing for 1 month and ended up spending more than 10 years there. She worked for an International French law firm, heading the finance/client department for the Beijing office.
Today, Anoushka’s primary passion and expertise is developing and coaching leaders, entrepreneurs and their people. She brings forward the concept of ‘people-responsible’ leadership. Conscious improvement is possible with the right leadership in the right culture and with right team, changing one leader at a time, one organisation at a time. Her background in international business environment, finance, client account management and marketing means that she is perfectly positioned to “breathe life” back into your business and people strategies.
Phone: +61 416 525 794
IN THE SPOTLIGHT INTERVIEW
1. Please share with us what prompted you to launch Leaderpreneur?
Anoushka: In the highly competitive corporate world, too often ‘People’ are overlooked and dismissed, despite continuous research proving that healthy, successful and sustainable organisations are those that value and invest in their people. It is not uncommon that the role of one person, a leader, is highly influential on the team and organisation. Any change in leadership can completely change the employee’s engagement company culture. Experiencing first hand the ‘Don’ts’ of leadership at an important stage in my career inspired me to bring forward the concept of ‘people-responsible’ leadership, as a basic and essential component of management, which supports the success of any corporation while ensuring the satisfaction of the individuals who contribute to it.
Setting up Leaderpreneur is the culmination of my professional journey so far and my passion to work with leaders and entrepreneurs with a view to making a difference, one leader at a time, one organisation at a time. As the Australian partner of MTI, a German International management consulting firm with presence in 8 countries, I am able to bring close to 25 years of solid expertise and value in the field of people and organisational development to my clients.
2. There is no typical day in the life of an entrepreneur. Please share with us a sample of your day, start to finish.
Anoushka: Well, no two days are the same for an entrepreneur. Managing my time between a busy work schedule and being a mother of two children under 5 can be quite a juggling act. The happiness and satisfaction I get from being able to manage both my roles does not compare to the challenges and I wouldn’t change any of it. On the contrary: BRING IT ON!!
Ideally, the day starts with an early morning run, followed by breakfast with my children. I will head to the office for a few hours. I normally have a big part of the day packed with a combination of meetings/coaching/work sessions, often at the office or over coffee/lunch. I then spend 1-2 hours in the office to prepare the next days tasks and follow up on pending ones. I like to be home for dinner with the family so I aim to get home around 6-7pm at least twice per week. This time of the day is special time dedicated exclusively to my children which I treasure. Once they are in bed between 8pm-8.30pm, it’s a chance to relax, reflect on my day, read or watch something on the tv for a bit. I normally spend a couple of hours attending to my emails and catching up on social media before going to bed.
3. What are your ‘can’t live without’ Smartphone or desktop applications?
Anoushka: A confessed ‘tech-challenged’ and aspiring to become ‘google-app savvy’, at the moment, I use Calendar, skype, google maps.
4. What are your tricks for time management?
Anoushka: I rely a lot on my calendar both on the computer and phone however I just could not live and be effective without the old fashion diary. I write my ‘to-do-list’ and update it daily. I list the tasks, add more as they come in and tick off those that are completed. Everyday, I look at the list and prioritise the tasks and get them done in order of importance. Tasks directly generating business are most important and are done within business hours, while activities not directly related to marketing and sales would normally be done before 7am or after 8pm. I delegate a number of tasks to my team. I also create a process for activities that are repeated. Both training the team and setting up processes are time-consuming at first, but they save an incredible amount time once they are in place. It is very important to work intelligently and maximise the time efficiency.
5. What was the best advice you received when you started your career?
Anoushka: I live by 3 words I am repeatedly told by one of my business advisers, Jack Delosa, a very successful Gen-y entrepreneur. Those words are focus, focus, focus.
Know what you are really good at and focus on doing just that, build your A-team to do what they are great at and to complement you.
I believe it’s very important to surround yourself with similar minded people and people who are smarter than you. There is no need to invent the wheel every time.
6. Given the current economic climate, what has been your strategy for building awareness of Leaderpreneur? (what you do for short term and long term growth)?
Anoushka: I am in the business of people and people behaviour. My strategy is simple- connect with people in an authentic and personal manner.
I identify the clientele I can bring the most value to and follow with a face to face or skype meeting to get to know them personally. I keep in regular contact with my clients through blog entries, public speaking and workshops. I also offer 1 monthly ‘scholarship’ to a lucky winner for 4-6 free coaching sessions. Although the scholarship is not gender specific, so far a majority of female entrepreneurs have taken this opportunity and have achieved some amazing successes.
In the longer term, early actions start to pay off and lead to more sustainable business in terms of long terms assignment, bigger events, referrals and strategic partnerships.
7. What is your proudest achievement as an accomplished entrepreneur?
Anoushka: Firstly, I believe we never cease to learn and improve, therefore being accomplished is a permanent work in progress for me.
I am thinking of the success stories of my clients and projects I have been involved in and one which stands out has to be the work that continues with a not-for-profit organisation based in Victoria. I have provided the structure around the leadership presence and training/coaching across the organisation. My peak interaction with them has been a workshop I facilitated on defining and clarifying their value & purpose statement. Seeing how proud the team was with what the statement they came up with and the complete ownership of that value proposition made it a highly satisfying experience. This was made even more rewarding with words said to me by the chairman of the board, Mr. Andrew Douglas:
‘They are a great team at Awards Victoria. Your involvement has been critical to the changes that will make the Awards program available to a greater number of Victorian young adults’.
8. How do you achieve balance in your life?
Anoushka: It starts with defining what is important to me and making sure I attend to those needs. My family, my business & my well-being are my top three priorities. I set achievable expectations for each of them. I spend quality and meaningful time with my children and family. I am blessed to have a career I absolutely love & enjoy, and that makes going to work a pleasure. I have a very supportive network around me, both personal and professional. I have a coach who keeps me on track, holds me to my tasks and supports me. Having a coach allows me to save a lot of energy and clarify what I need to do to maintain balance, and it helps me maintain optimal efficiency in my life.
9. Your top 3 book recommendations?
- Eat the Frog by Brian Tracey
- The Entrepreneurial Mindset by Rita Gunther
- The E-Myth by Michael Gerber.
10. What are your most rewarding charitable involvements?
Anoushka: Working with my pro-bono clients and being a part of their journey. Supporting them work towards greater empowerment within themselves is highly fulfilling.
11. Who has influenced your career the most?
Anoushka: My family has been the biggest influence my career; their faith in me and their unconditional and ongoing support has made it all possible.
12. What is your advice for someone interested in entrepreneurship?
Anoushka: There will be some people who will believe in you, others who will doubt and criticise you, and then those who will celebrate your every step and applaud you all the way. When the voice in your head and heart is the loudest, listen to it and follow it. The most successful entrepreneurs have all experienced failure at some point, but they learn from it and keep going. Fail fast and learn from your mistakes. Buy yourself time by getting the best mentors and advisors by your side. Always have a business coach as it will get you where you want to be faster. That’s right: coaching buys you speed.