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Sanjay Bhanja

Sanjay Bhanja

Zonal Training Manager
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Current Job description
I’m honoured to be an employee of Future Generali India Insurance Company Limited, since, September 2008.Presently, I’m designated as Sr. Manager – Learning & Development (Training) at Kolkata Zonal Office, since, 10th September 2008. Zonal Training Manager (handling the Learning & Development endeavours for the states (mapped to East Zone – West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa, Chattisgarh, Assam &rest of entire North – East India) [IMPARTING PRODUCT, SALES & SOFT SKILLS / BEHAVIORAL TRAINING TOEMPLOYEES ; CHANNELS OF DISTRIBUTION (MARKETING CHANNELS) – AGENCY, MOTOR DEALER / DSA’S, NATIONAL TIE – UPS, CORPORATE AGENTS, BANCASSURANCE & MALLASSURANCE] 1. Planning, scheduling & executing Training (at various levels) as per the requirement of various channels and ensuring that team members(under my jurisdiction) deliver as scheduled and planned 2. Ensuring productivity - in terms of business growth from each Training programme 3. Helping my Boss in setting up the Standard Operating Procedures for the Training Department, since operations in the East in FGI has just started in April 2008 onwards 4. Performing Training Need Identification and prioritization of focus areas for both Functional and Behavioral areas for all the Functions 5. Identification of External Training Vendors of my Zone – and analyze the effectiveness of such Trainings 6. Ensuring total responsibility in Content Development (Functional & Behavioral) & Monthly Update of existing Modules & preparation of new Modules and uploading of the same in FG L & D Intranet portal 7. Ensuring complete adherence to Module contents / curricula and Training pedagogies as pre – decided 8. Ensure Training Effectiveness and Transfer of Learning 9. Putting my best efforts in doing Content Development especially in Soft Skills / Behavioral aspects which is my core competence area.
Ensuring Growth
Growth, Self – Development (by continuous research, Learning & Development), Strategy Skills, Talent Management and Change Management are the New Mantra for the most – sought after Leadership Skills in India. Developing the Leader in me to live my highest liferequires a process of unlearning and re – learning by self – remembering and self – honoring. Being an effective leader requires me to be brave and unlock the door to my inner attic, where my childhooddreams lie, going inside to the heart. Based on my decade of research in the areas ofhuman development and leadership, here are some steps which I’ve inculcated to awaken the Leader in me and rekindle my passion for greatness and pursuit of perfection: a) Humility b) SWOT Analysis of Self c) Dream Big with SMART Goals (Realistic & Achievable Goals) d) Cherish a vision e) Perseverance f) Honour my word g) Respect and strictly abide by Deadlines / Timelines h) Find a revered Mentor for myself (who’s already achieved a high degree of success in his / her professional life) and everything I can from their lives and model some of their successful behaviors……………..Whatever a great man does, that other men also imitate; whatever he sets up as the standard, that the world follows…..Bhagavad-Gita 3.21
Managing personal and professional life
If WORK / BUSINESS are activities done regularly for money and accomplishment, LIFE is everything else. There is more to life than work. The unhealthy imbalanced life choices of some people make work and life difficult. The highly competitive and busy scheduled corporate world has made 'work-life balance' a mere concept with little solution to practice especially in the new market economy. However, racing towards perfection and in pursuit of excellence, keenness towards efficiency & effectiveness, in my professional & personal life, after years of research and experience, I try to do the following : 1. Avoid Multi – tasking - Although multi-tasking sounds good, it rarely works. You can multi-task if you're combining a physical task with a mental one (e.g. you listen to audio books while doing the ironing) – but you can't multi-task by reading emails while working on your big report. When we try to tackle several work tasks simultaneously, we're really just switching our focus constantly from one to another. This breaks our flow, slows us down, and leaves us more susceptible to distractions. 2. Manage Worries - The longer you hold, heavier it becomes! We all should learn to put down the burden and pick it up when you need. I usually don’t carry the burden wherever I go. 3. Avoid doing everything myself – This isn't just bad for our productivity; It's bad for the people around you. If we try to do every little thing ourselves, we're going to be using up time that would be better spent on more high-powered activities. And if you never give your subordinates a chance to tackle something new, you're stopping them from growing. 4. Avoid cutting back on sleep – The problem is,skimping on sleep decreases our productivity. In the short-term, we'll find ourselves struggling to focus. We'll work more slowly than usual. In the longer-term, we could end up getting ill more often. 5. Avoid pushing myself too hard - In the quest for productivity, we may find ourselves trying to squeeze more and more into our days. Perhaps we're working full time and running a business on the side – while writing a novel and redecorating the spare bedroom. If our days, evenings and weekends are all packed full, something's eventually going to give. In many cases, that may be our health. Mental and physical health issues can be caused by stress and overwork – and the time we'll lose to ill health can add up to far more than the extra few hours we gained. 6. Manage my leisure time – Practicing Work life balance 7. Avoid compulsive thinking&eating 8. Involve myself Learning & Self – Development and is never detached from the same 9. Incorporating & imbibing the best practices of life 10. Fill my mind with the fear-eliminating words of the Scriptures – There is an enormous power in the words of the Scriptures. The Bible says, 'If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you (John 15:7). Repeating the passage many times during the day, conceiving of it as dropping my consciousness into unconsciousness by a process of spiritual osmosis. Visualizing my unconsciousness as grasping it and fully absorbing it into your personality. If one can truly absorb this and live by them, one can definitely gain control over worry.
Important career decisions
The most important & vital career decision that I’ve taken so far is to retrospect and understand my core competencies, skills and knowledge and steer my career goals towards that direction. One must understand and work in that area in which he / she can perform best and it should be his / her passion not just a job / assignment. Since, Training & Development is my ultimate passion and so I’ve put all my energies towards achieving my career goals in the said direction.
My advice
People new to leadership (and supervision and management) often feel under pressure to lead in a particularly dominant way. Sometimes this pressure on a new leader to impose their authority on the team comes from above. Dominant leadership is rarely appropriate however, especially for mature teams. Misreading this situation and attempting to be overly dominant can then cause problems for a new leader. Resistance from the team becomes a problem, and a cycle of negative behaviors and reducing performance begins. Much of leadership is counter-intuitive. Leadership is often more about serving than leading. Besides which, individuals and teams tend not to resist or push against something in which they have a strong involvement/ownership/sense of control. People tend to respond well to thanks, encouragement, recognition, inclusiveness, etc. Tough, overly dominant leadership gives teams a lot to push against and resist. It also prevents a sense of ownership and self-control among the people being led. And it also inhibits the positive rewards and incentives (thanks, recognition, encouragement, etc) vital for teams and individuals to cope with change, and to enjoy themselves. Leaders of course need to be able to make tough decisions when required, but most importantly leaders should concentrate on enabling the team to thrive, which is actually a 'serving' role, not the dominant 'leading' role commonly associated with leadership. Today ethical leadership is more important than ever. The world is more transparent and connected than it has ever been. The actions and philosophies of organizations are scrutinised by the media and the general public as never before. This coincides with massively increased awareness and interest among people everywhere in corporate responsibility and the many related concepts, such as social and community responsibility (see the ethical leadership and ethical organisations page). The modern leader needs to understand and aspire to leading people and achieving greatness in all these areas. Above all I suggest all upcoming management leaders to keep pedaling the cycle of Learning ! Life is a journey of life – long learning !Learning is not just important to ensure that we keep up – to – date with developments in our particular field. It is also an important source of motivation, stimulation and job satisfaction.
Leadership qualities
Different leaders have different ideas about leadership. Explaining and understanding the nature of good leadership is probably easier than practicing it. Good leadership requires deep human qualities, beyond conventional notions of authority.In the modern age good leaders are an enabling force, helping people and organizations to perform and develop, which implies that a sophisticated alignment be achieved - of people's needs, and the aims of the organization. The traditional concept of a leader being the directing chief at the top of a hierarchy is nowadays a very incomplete appreciation of what true leadership must be. Effective leadership does not necessarily require great technical or intellectual capacity. These attributes might help, but they are not pivotal. Good leadership in the modern age more importantly requires attitudes and behaviors which characterize and relate to humanity. Leadership is centrally concerned with people. Of course leadership involves decisions and actions relating to all sorts of other things, but leadership is special compared to any other role because of its unique responsibility for people - i.e., the followers of the leader - in whatever context leadership is seen to operate.Many capabilities in life are a matter of acquiring skills and knowledge and then applying them in a reliable way. Leadership is quite different. Good leadership demands emotional strengths and behavioral characteristics which can draw deeply on a leader's mental and spiritual reserves. Good leadership depends on attitudinal qualities, not management processes.Humanity is a way to describe these qualities, because this reflects the leader's vital relationship with people. Qualities critical for a leader's relationship with his/her team are quite different to conventional skills and processes: Examples of highly significant leadership qualities • integrity • honesty • humility • courage • commitment • sincerity • passion • confidence • positivity • wisdom • determination • compassion • sensitivity
Handling Grievances
In my humble opinion, a successful leader should strive for these things to handle grievances of an employee in an organization and handle the issue appropriately: a) Conflict Management b) Being firm and clear in dealing with bad or unethical behaviour. c) Listening to and really understanding people, and show them that you understand (this doesn't mean you have to agree with everyone - understanding is different to agreeing). d) Leading by example – always be seen to be working harder and more determinedly than anyone else e) Always accentuating the positive (say 'do it like this', not 'don't do it like that').
My views on India Technical development
In my humble opinion, I believe, we’ve / we’re not grooming our Technical Talents with an entrepreneurial & global outlook – probably they are mere bookworms with a lot of bookish knowledge. Soft skills, Personality & organizational development Trainings should be compulsorily included as an added & mandatory Module in the 4 year of Engg Degree which they are undergoing, so that apart from the excellent Technical knowledge they are gaining, their overall personality could be metamorphosed by the Training they are Industry ready and are proud & fresh Inductees in giant MNCs. Above all, students after their 10th, should be given complete freedom and choice to join their Bachelors according to their core competencies for example one who is strong at Literature / Economics should never be pushed to join Science at +2, so that in the long run they may become Engg / Medical Science. Even if they push themselves hard to do so, they would end up in becoming unsuccessful in those fields, since, that is not where they can play as (Late) Sir Don Bradman / Mr. Sachin Tendulkar played / play the game of Cricket.
Family background
I had a modest upbringing in a middle – class family and was raised in a Catholic School – Calcutta Boys’ School (one of the best in India in terms of Academics), and incorporated all the best ethics and teachings of my departed Parents with a simple philosophy (Simple Living & High Thinking). I’m very unfortunate to have lost my Mother very prematurely at 20 years of age (in 1994), and my father just six years back in 2007. I’m now blessed with a perfect & happy nuclear family – myself, my better – half (presently a home maker) and my son who would be in Standard – 3 in the next academic session (now in Standard – 2), studying in Delhi Public School – Megacity – Kolkata and by the Grace of God and under the guidance of my better half – doing quite well in academics and extra – curricular activities. We’re putting our best & honest efforts for the best upbringing of our child (as in a middle – class family), and indebted to God for all that He’s given us ! I would fail in my duties if I do not mention the fact that my in – laws are extremely supportive and helpful and have always treated me like their son, not son – in – law.
Influenced by
a) My departed Mother and her teachings &her upbringing (Simple living, high thinking) b) Spiritual World Leader – Swami Vivekananda (the depth of an ocean could probably be measured, however, the depth of the latter is like the entire Universe). Noble Laureate Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore had said – “If you want to know India, study Vivekananda. In Him, everything is positive and nothing negative”.More than a century ago, Swami Vivekananda had envisioned Education, and had categorically pointed out that True Education is not the amount of information that is put into one's brain. The human mind is not a bottomless dry well, which has to be filled in with buckets of information by the teacher. Swami Ji had said that Education has more to do with assimilation of ideas and developing 'a mind of the same material as that of which the thunderbolt is made'. He suggested, was to be done with the help of 'Western science coupled with Vedanta and faith in one's own Self'. According to Swami ji - “Education is the manifestation of perfection already in man, and neither money pays, nor name, nor fame, nor learning, it is CHARACTER that can cleave through adamantine walls of difficulties”…….
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