Deepak Kunal - Run Behind What You Love Doing, Give It Your Best Shot, The Rest Will Follow (Director - Store Program - Delhivery)

                                  

I am in support of having a formal education for sure. This is not because this would help someone secure a good position in a good company but more like it gives you a fair understanding of life overall and your thoughts and decisions in life are somehow impacted by this education.


Tell us about your background, journey, and upbringing.

Born and brought up in a tier 2 town of Jharkhand, Bokaro - The Steel City. A place where kids are taught right from the beginning that the only way forward for you is either to become an engineer or a doctor or you need to get trained to be having one of the underpaid labor-oriented jobs. 

The pressure is actually too overwhelming on studies, right from the beginning. I frankly, was one of the unfortunate ones who did not even score so much to keep myself in the science stream and had to change schools after my 10th board exams, I was deemed not eligible to be a part of the fraternity which I had been for the past 12 years if I wanted to pursue science any further. (This becomes a challenge when you have a sibling who is a genius at his studies!)

Somehow, post completing my 12th, I was able to secure a national rank of 47 in the entrance exams of NIFT (National Institute of Fashion Technology) and that was one break-through that possibly gave my parents a good night sleep, else, I myself was almost prepared to pick up one of the not so high paying jobs! 

Got admitted to NIFT Kolkata, started making some good money post my college hours by repairing and selling computers out of the famous Chandni Chowk market of Kolkata and the days were well spent and things followed. Well, these were the days when I think I learned the most from my life.


How did you rise to the highest echelons and what are your future plans?

This was a sheer accident coupled with a lot of hard work - and I do take credit for this. Post working almost 5-6 years into the fashion and retail industry and then doing my own label for almost 3 years, my wife and I became a few of the victims of the demonetization. 

I also, unfortunately, underwent surgery and some serious micro-bacterial infection which was life-threatening and became a turning point in my life. We were selling online and suddenly there was a dip in the e-commerce space so earnings crashed. 

We ultimately had to shut the start-up and I had to find a job. This is when out of nowhere I got an opportunity from Myntra in the supply chain for something new (Kirana model) that the company was starting and I was offered to lead the southern region of the country for the project. 

This was more of a Do or Die situation for me to keep my family chores up and running so I got involved with all that I had. Then was picked up by Delhivery to start the same here, heading the whole country and that is what I do now.

I got more involved in the Kirana model personally because things like demonetization and the current COVID pandemic don't need in the invitation, in this model we help small-time shopkeepers to make some extra money, this probably will help someone like me at some point at some part of the country to not shut shops, but to aim for a better living.

In the future as well, I wish to keep doing innovative things that can help for the greater good, for a better life!


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What does your typical workday look like?

I am an early riser, usually around 5 AM. The first one hour I prefer dedicating myself to doing whatever I feel like, it can be something from just doing nothing to maybe cooking some breakfast or maybe sipping a mug of coffee on my balcony. 

I do not prefer fixing a routine for this hour. Then is the routine time with lots of meetings and calls throughout the day and even late evenings. One thing I make sure of is I speak to someone in my team for at least 10-15mins daily to understand how life is treating them outside of work. I prefer being connected to them always!


Several global companies have come out and thrown their support behind not needing a formal education. What is your opinion about this?

Well, I am in support of having a formal education for sure. This is not because this would help someone secure a good position in a good company but more like it gives you a fair understanding of life overall and your thoughts and decisions in life are somehow impacted by this education. 

I would be a classic example here, someone who completed 12th with Science, did grads in Fashion Tech, worked for production and then retail, did masters in retail, then some bit of consulting and then e-commerce stuff, and now into the supply chain. I do not have any formal education in operations but if I am still able to do this, it is because of the way I have conceived things throughout my life.


How do you handle someone who has lied on their resume?

First I get them to accept that he/she has lied. Then I prefer getting into the reason of the lie, see if it is a legitimate one, it doesn't really bother me. We do not hire resumes, we hire people. I would personally hire someone only if I am sure the person can be trained with the task he/she is supposed to do and is hungry for more.


How has covid changed things at your workplace & which of these changes do you intend to make permanently?

The extent of changes can not really be defined or framed. One thing that I am absolutely loving about this change is now everyone is out of the stereotype work culture with limitations on where to work from and when. 

If anyone has to be with family for lunch or dinner, they can always be, this keeps the family happy. The same is the case with work, if something is urgent and the individual feels it needs attention, there is no working hour stopping it from happening.

                                 


What advice do you have for those starting their career and those who are eyeing the top job?

This might sound from the movies, do not run behind a position or a particular role. Run behind what you love doing, give it your best shot, the rest will follow. You might take a bit longer, but what you eventually get, will not only create history but also give you the level of satisfaction you had always craved for.


Which is your favorite book and why?

Though I don't read much, there is one book "I Celebrate Myself" by Osho. This was one thing that gave me the motivation to identify the best out of the worst and how to be thankful for what you have. With all that has happened in and around, it is absolutely true for me - I celebrate myself.

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5 Comments

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. Truly inspirational 👌and the best line is " we don't hire resume, we hire people. "

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  3. It's my opinion by Harsh
    I am really very inspired by this interview by my uncle as I am not also very excellent at studies and this interview inspire me that I have to do what I like and to be success in life by hard work and by making my own way by me own. And I think that this interview is the best interview I heared.

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