“Build on the culture of camaraderie at Urban Company” — How Gaurav chases all his missions
Meet Gaurav Bajetha, Vice President, Workplace, Administration and Risk Management Group at Urban Company.
Gaurav joined us back in September 2019, and over the last 3 years has made significant strategic changes in the way UC manages its real estate, workplace and partner engagement.
He also led UC’s Covid response and vaccination efforts, benefiting thousands of staff and partners.
Apart from work, he enjoys playing football (plays every week with the UC Football club). He is a foodie to the core and is also well known in his friends’ circle as a great cook (Pahadi mutton and Lal Maas being his favorites).
Gaurav belongs to the hills (Uttarakhand) where he spent his formative years as a child. He is an alumni of Sherwood College, Nainital and considers the time spent in boarding school the best days of his life.
As a leader Gaurav believes in taking up challenging mandates, motivating his team to understand the mission and then doing whatever it takes to get to the target. He believes in dealing with his team with very high trust levels akin to the army where you can trust your buddy with your life.
He lives in Gurgaon with his wife and his 2 year-old son but shuttles very frequently to his farm at the foothills of the Kumaon Hills.
Read on to find how Gaurav leads and motivates his team.
What was your journey to joining Urban Company, and how have you grown since?
Having studied at Sherwood College (which has an illustrious list of military veterans), I was always clear about my aim in life — Indian Army.
I served in the elite Gorkha Rifles, mostly in counter insurgency areas of J&K and credit the management experience in the army for moulding me as a leader and my style of operating which continues to be quite military like.
Post my army tenure, I worked with CBRE and Macquarie which gave me great exposure in industry best practices of global corporate services.
The urge for being in an action-packed role got me to UC and I haven’t been a tad bit disappointed. The best part of my role here is that I continue to get additional mandates and have a new mission to chase one after the other.
What is something unique about Urban Company?
The culture of regimentation and camaraderie to be part of a common mission and do whatever it takes to achieve it — sets Urban Company apart.
There is always a group of people who come together to solve problems. My proudest moment at Urban Company has been the way the organisation rallied together to manage the Covid lockdowns, the unprecedented crisis of the second wave of Covid, and the vaccination efforts.
This was when I saw the true spirit of UC and what better time to bring it to the test, than the worst crisis of our times! I led the COVID task force of cross-functional teams to support employees, partners and families and also vaccinated more than 25,000 partners and staff free of cost.
This was the first time after my army days that I saw such levels of camaraderie to help and support each other through a crisis. It’s the same spirit of regimentation that spills over to our daily style of working where we hunt in packs, trust our team, give them the opportunity to make decisions, and then stand by it.
What is the most common challenge that managers face while leading teams?
It’s really important that the team trusts and accepts their manager as their leader.
Leaders need to do the right thing that is in favor of the organization and their team, take the right decisions and be cognizant of the team’s welfare — and team members need to believe that. Teams need to trust their leader so they can walk up to them with their problems (professional and personal). Once you have a motivated team, no mission is impossible.
What’s your Personal Mantra, and where did it come from?
My style of operating continues to be military-like — Be bold, accept challenging missions, never say never, keep your team motivated, and leave no one behind!
What is a piece of advice you give to new managers at Urban Company?
Do not wait for the special moments to show your leadership qualities.
Every day is an opportunity to be a leader — irrespective of what size of team you manage.
You are here to do bragworthy work and make your team feel really proud of the value they are adding to the organization. Engage with them beyond work, play sports, celebrate outcomes, party hard, eat meals together and make work fun for all.
Sounds like fun?
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