Wisdom Stories Ep.53: Vijay Chaddha

Wisdom Stories Ep 53: Vijay Chaddha
Cultural expectations surrounding the elderly are being challenged today, and with good reason!

While it was the norm to slow down and retreat into a quieter life post-retirement, more men and women are finding purpose and joy in doing the opposite.

WisdomCircle honours such men and women by shining light on their journey through an inspiring series called “Wisdom Stories”. These people have successfully smashed stereotypes, and their stories remind us that life should be lived to the fullest, no matter what age or stage.

I am an Automobile Engineer with over four decades of experience in leadership roles across Sales & Marketing, After-sales service and Profit centre management in organizations like Eicher Tractors, Automobile Products of India Ltd., DCM Toyota, Modi Champion, Deepak Shriram Group and Birla Yamaha. I also had an opportunity to lead the retail business of premium and luxury car brands while managing Prime Honda as Managing Director and Deutsche Motoren (One of the largest retail dealerships for BMW cars in India) as CEO before taking a break to initiate my entrepreneurial venture as a Business Consultant specialised in Data analytics and Process Excellence.

I was fairly content in my career, as it was chugging along smoothly, till an unexpected opportunity arose. My boss decided to leave and I was offered a leadership position at Honda. I felt unsure about being ready for the added responsibility. However, I embraced the challenge and that became a turning point in my life and career.

There were no notable failures along the way but I was aware of the slow pace of it. Sticking to my core values of being positive, humble, focused and simple, helped me to create opportunities for myself. Success is a slow phenomenon and does not come overnight. Disciplined focus on core values over time certainly paved the way for greater things.

A key skill that led to success was to approach every endeavour with well-defined objectives, timelines, and a system of accountability and structured monitoring. Another important skill was to work towards ensuring the success of colleagues which automatically guaranteed my own success. A lesson I hold closely is “Anything that is scheduled will happen and every aspect that gets measured starts growing”.

After a career spanning 38 years, I took a leap of faith to start a business consulting firm focused on data analytics and process excellence in the retail automotive segment. We offer support to Automotive Dealerships for growth and improvement in business volumes, revenue, productivity and efficiency, customer satisfaction, and profitability.

While there are several external sources for motivation for me today, be it people, books or real-time examples, motivation is a very short-lived phenomenon. Identifying long-term and immediate goals and creating a daily schedule and action plan keeps me going.

During our careers, we often find ourselves trapped in repetitive tasks that become monotonous over time. It’s crucial to recognize skills within our daily routines that hold value for both industry and society, skills that people are willing to invest in. This approach ensures that we remain relevant contributors to both sectors, fostering financial independence and the freedom to live life on our own terms.

Moreover, it firmly establishes a sense of purpose, as I embrace each new day.

– Vijay Chaddha

Interview and photograph credit: Saonli Sen Choudhury from WisdomCircle

Read more Wisdom Stories on WisdomCircle

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