The Quickest Way To Grow In Your Career – Be Passionate About What You Do!

Most people who find success early in their career are the ones who are passionate about what they do and spend their time learning and growing in their job because of that. This is a story of a guy who chose to pursue a career in sales and how he kept upping his learning curve to climb the rungs of the corporate ladder.

Kumar Koonal hails from a family which supported his choices in his career and gave him the freedom to explore the infinite possibilities of the world of business. As he was figuring out his choices, he identified that he had the knack for building deep relationships with people and was good at getting them on board with his ideas. He realized right then that  Marketing domain will suit his skills the best and open up the right career growth opportunities for him.

His Career Path:

“I decided to pursue a career in the Marketing domain, more specifically sales, as I felt it was something I really clicked well with. I also decided I wanted to grow quickly and add value to the organization I chose to work with. I loved interacting with people and thought it’d be an ideal start to the career path I have chalked out for myself.  My interactions with the faculty at FIIB was really interesting and I always felt that I was learning something new, no matter how big or small. In my job,  I was travelling from one place to the other, meeting new people, exploring new places and learning how human behaviour gets influenced by cultural differences and then used these learnings in my work. This is one of the biggest reasons I was able to grow in my career, and I was absolutely enjoying what I did. Whatever I had learnt and experienced about sales during my college life at FIIB was now making more and more sense and I could join a lot more dots with much more ease.”  When you love what you do, and are willing to learn with an open mind, success follows. And it was true for Koonal as well.

On Climbing Up The Corporate Ladder:

“It is all about how driven you are. The more you become curious about a particular concept, the more you grow by exploring that. With me, I was, am, and forever will remain curious about ways to take sales & marketing to the next level from my end as a performer/manager. And yes, one needs to be creative and a smart worker in order to set things up for him/herself in the corporate world.” In the 11 years of his career, Koonal’s self-drive has helped him progress to the senior leadership positions pretty fast.

Choice Between Brand Vs Startup

If you think that to succeed in your career you should start working with a brand, Koonal says think again! ” Startup or a well established set up, your career success depends on how well you have utilized the opportunities you came across, better yet, how well did you create opportunities for success for yourself. While sometimes starting with a brand can give you a head start, in the long run, what matters is your skills and passion to grow. I consciously made a choice of excelling in the profession I chose and believe me, that’s the only thing young managers should be thinking of when they start a career.”

Crisis and Opportunities

In our interview we also asked him about how has his sector been impacted by Covid-19 pandemic, and how as a leader he has adapted and strategize for the future, to which he answered, “No doubt, we were not prepared for it (no one in the world was!) but we can always turn the situations to work better for us, if not the best. In my sector (Real Estate) business slumped as most of the purchases used to happen after the physical visits to the site. Initially, it was very difficult and our sales team did their best to genuinely let our customers feel connected and have trust in us. They practised more empathy and started finding better solutions for customer challenges, slowly we adapted to the new normal, the customers did too. Where a physical meeting/visit was necessary, we were substituting it with a virtual visit/video interactions. We didn’t want to hard sell, we wanted our customers to know that we were enabling them better. It has worked out well for us so far, and should help us jump back to our feet as the economy picks up again. However, it has taught us an important lesson – that it always boils down to solving the customer needs, if one way doesn’t work, you’ve got to find another way.” 

Leadership and Life Lessons To Youngsters:

“We all need to be very mature and understand that the right things should be taken up on priority. It is normal to get carried away by those things in life that do not require much hard work, it sometimes makes us fall into the ‘Had it been’ trap – Had it been a better company I joined, Had it been a better career track I opted for? Instead, my advice to the younger managers is to focus on how to become employable, how to become deserving of better opportunities, and how to make the best of your skills and strengths. Making our life revolve around ‘constant and continuous learning’ not just helps us grow, but also helps us make a meaningful difference in our life, and of the ones we interact with.

Have an interesting story to tell us about you? Get in touch – alumni@fiib.edu.in