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Sarika Ravlekar Lone

Sarika Ravlekar Lone

Managing Partner
DesignLIFE
 
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Sarika Ravlekar Lone's Experience
Head/ VP/ GM-BD
DesignLIFE, Mumbai, INDIA
Project Mgr-IT/ Software
Spigit Inc., Pleasanton, US
Ensuring Growth
Learn from experiences, take risks, take constant feedback. Other’s view point always help to understand if your message is well communicated or not. Try implementing something new which is unconventional and see the response. That provides unique way to your team members to find out where they want to put more efforts and are they doing something worth, develop them and develop yourself in the process. Leader has to build the team, everyone can do it if they are well equipped and told how to do it...it is the right thought process that leader have to cultivate in the team that brings him new opportunities to build something meaningful, valuable. Be Consistent in whatever do, never stop on celebrations of small achievement...move on to the next big thing in life...keep moving...
Current Job description
Currently, I am Managing Partner and investor in Industrial Design Studio, DesignLIFE. I started understanding Industrial Design and work of DesignLIFE since when I started interacting with my would be in Oct 2011. I got involved initially into finances to foresee overall health of the company and then slowly into details of projects, clients. DesignLIFE is an Industrial Design company started in Mar 2010 with the aim of partnering with the enthusiastic and curious minds with ideas and help them recognize and shape their dreams. Currently DesignLIFE working on myriad of Designs from futuristic Unmanned Aerial Vehicles UAV’s, Gigantic Cheese Packaging machines, Future ready Network Security Devices to a humble Screwdriver. When I joined the team it was critical to properly manage complex design projects and finances to help company to balance the cashflow and build its vision for the next 3 years. After a year of closely working with my husband now, I handle client interactions, initial briefs, project proposals, client schedules, generate new business inquiries and follow up on getting the done deals. Apart from this, we are always in search of elusive talent in Design and giving advice with strong opinion to the team from a point of view being neutral or an non-Designer.
Handling Grievances
I had to take hard decisions in workplace when it’s time to be fair to the situation and think about future to tell that someone that boss you are wrong. It depends on situation where you might have to be agressive, stubborn at times to let it go or stick to your decision. Grievances result from many factors and root of all is not able to speak clearly what you want and what the person wants from whom you want. It is always a good practice to explain your thinking behind your action and listen to what an employee want to say. Words, written or spoken matters a lot, so anything you do, leader has to take care of employee to give them confidence in whichever situation they are in. It’s your call to make or break that employee after fact findings and you always have to make that person, not break them.
Managing personal and professional life
A leader leads by example, not by force. If you don't have a righteous objective,eventually you will suffer. When you do the right thing for the right reason,the right result awaits. Be it personal or professional life, always be true to yourself and believe in what you want to do and achieve it despite of difficulties thrown in your way. Emotional drive is necessary although don’t get immersed into it, let it be a soothing part of your actions; at the end you have to do the right thing in that situation. As a leader, you should connect the dots so that everyone gets onto that connected path with the sense of fulfillment and satisfaction of their individual achievements. Any human being can add value to you, so have a learning mindset to learn from any layman without having an Ego, if a person sees that then they open up to you.
Important career decisions
Jumping ! I have pushed myself into doing things which at my experience and capability, was a big bite to munch on. After my bachelors in computer engineering, being a top rank holder thorughout school & college days and technically sound, I was still struggling to find a job due to poor english vocabulary. I failed many english aptitude tests and I was not able to make it to Technical round to get selected. It took me a good amount of time to land up on the first job. I had decided to go for masters outside India and explore the world on my own, that thought didn’t allow me to slow down anywhere after first job and I started preparing in that direction in terms of finances. Thereafter, I had severe health problems as much that parents had given up on me being able to do any kind of strenous-stressful work ahead and it was dramatic time for me to come out of all that to focus on what I wanted to do in my career. While I was working for almost 3 years in IT companies in Mumbai, I continued to study for pursuing masters in US and I was able to crack GRE to overcome that mournful thought of not getting job because of good english vocabulary. I feel that was the turning point for me to understand my capabilities and start living myself in reality. I am glad that I stayed determined to do everything that I wanted in my ways after getting into Masters course. I worked my way up at start up company with highly volatile, stressful, aggresive work environment and did the right thing to work and develop myself as a leader. Those are the days when you really feel ...been there...done that...what’s more ahead...bring it on ! All the jobs that I have taken up are deliberately into different domains, completely different than what I have done earlier and I think that’s they way to try out yourself to see what all you can do ! and now I have been working for more than a year for our own startup setup DesignLIFE in a non IT field of Industrial Product Design and thinking the Design thinking...to design our life ahead...
Leadership qualities
Leaders find themselves into lot of difficult situations in their journey under various circumstances. A Leader should be one who can shadow their actual feelings towards what is happening around still should be able to give right way to the feelings of others. If it requires to take a step back for someone to get ahead by encouraging them to build their future. They are not always welcomed especially when they come from a different background into a totally new field. It is challenging to be a part of the team which is new, moving at different pace and divert its attention to something different. Good managers are often unpopular as people tend to tag them with their individual experiences. Be a good listener and strike a good balance in your personal achievements and your team’s performance. Treat well emotional intelligence of your team.
My advice
Understand people around, what are their immediate needs, what do they want to do in future and act accordingly to keep them happy. Many times we don’t speak clearly and openly from management side what we want our team to achieve and guide them properly. Everyone needs a direction to move on in their journey. A leader has to take all the passengers on this journey in one direction with focus on ultimate goal and make them feel that their time & efforts are worth contributing, satisfying their intellectual and personal goals. Identifying good skills of every team member and unknowingly heading them to build up on those skills to fully utilise their potential to get the work done is a special skill every Leader should develop. Leader is also learning in this process so his words, actions, behavior speaks what is happening around and is a crucial part of influencing everyone. So, concentrate on your actions and words, people will trust you to be with you in your good time or bad time. “When one treats people with benevolence, justice, and righteousness and reposes confidence in them, the army will be united in mind and all will be happy to serve their leaders.”
More about me
A bit rebellious in the sense that I will always ask ‘why’...I like to do things when anyone says you won’t be able to do it and I find my pleasure in ‘making it happen’...although fun to be with if you want to be yourself when you are around me...I do not hesitate to talk when it’s the time to talk the talk...not afraid of ‘anything’ in LIFE...:)
Influenced by
There are many interesting personalities around who has influenced me since childhood. My father, mother and maternal GrandFather are the inspirations for all my thoughts and actions so far...and not to forget our neighbor Deshpande family had influenced a lot on us... Books ! Being an avid reader in school days, I have grown up following Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, Bhagat Singh, Ratan Tata, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Narayan-Sudha Murthy, Bruce Lee, Stefi Graf. If you are keen on observing people around and do not bother much about status quo, traditions then world is full of inspirations...just keep your eyes open to see good things and ears open to hear good things...
Family background
On my parental side, I have my father, born and brought up in a suburb like Thane. He has worked his way up doing all kind of jobs in his childhood to support the family post death of his father when he was 4 yrs young. He is currently working as a plant operator in a chemical company in Thane for well over 35 years now and still enjoys the work. My mother is a housewife, shifted from a small village in Satara called as Pali to Thane after marriage. My younger brother, is a computer engineer and working in an MNC in pune. My husband is an Industrial Designer and Professional Photographer. He has completed his Mechanical Engineering from Mumbai and Master of Design in Industrial Design from IIT Kanpur. He founded DesignLIFE in Mar 2010 after working in various design studios in India to spread out awareness about Industrial Designing in India and with aim to make world a happier place with help of Design. He is also a well known Photojournalist style Wedding photographer with his one more venture, GirishLone Photography. My Father in Law is retired school teacher who also has worked at various jobs to earn the living. My Mother in Law is a homely housewife who enjoys cooking and envisions setting up papad making business sometime. That’s about my lovely family members and great thing about each one of them is everyone “wants to do something in their life”.
My views on India Technical development
India has lot of talent, although as it happens in every other field in India, our upbringing tends to teach everyone to do something to “Earn Money” and follow a routine path of growing in your life. We hardly ever imagine is this the thing I want to before accepting any job. On technical side more or less, we are producing engineers and we are missing on a thought process to actually gain knowledge and understand in depth what we are learning to make use of it for building something better. To build a tech product, one should be keen on thinking over how can you build something that will be useful and will be used by everyone. To do that, we have to come out of our mindset of “serving others” and “start creating” for ourselves. If you put yourself into a situation and try to solve that problem, you will have a better solution which can be easily adopted by people around you. We have lot of opportunities to create good products and we still have to strengthen our competitiveness in terms of learning new technologies to be ahead of the game. There is just a need to “start”...
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