Tanmay Vora
Current Organization Basware India
Designation Director and Country Head

Previous Organization(s)

Head (Corporate Quality) at CIGNEX Datamatics, Head (Quality) at Gateway Group of Companies

Belongs to (place from)


MADS Interest

Drawing and Sketching as a tool to think and learn, Public Speaking, Music, Creative Pursuits in Business and Life

Favorite MADS Personalities

Leonardo Da Vinci – the original multi-disciplinary thinker

Life Mantra

Journey is the reward and every step counts!

I draw inspirations from

People excelling in multiple disciplines like sports, arts, culture, politics, science and literature

Had I not been an Business Leader then

I would have been a teacher

How has been your journey as a leader? When did you realize that you have qualities to lead people?

Leadership is an emergent quality. It emerges out of us when situation demands. My journey as a leader can be best described as the one that has emerged in organizations and continues to evolve. Throughout this journey, I have constantly tried to ‘raise the bar’ and deliver value to key stakeholders namely customers, people and organizations. The journey has been extremely rewarding because I got opportunities to drive the business, build high performing teams, develop people, create processes, evangelise quality and deliver value to customers across the globe.

I started my career with teaching, and I knew early on that I enjoyed working with others. My early experience in software development taught me valuable lessons in teamwork and the fact that the whole is always greater than the sum of its parts. In 2005, I had the opportunity to build a team from scratch. That’s when I seriously started exploring various aspects of leadership and put them into practice. I thoroughly enjoyed that opportunity to build something for our customers that we could not have built individually. I experienced first-hand, the power of collective effort and complementary skills to create value.

In past 21 years, I had excellent opportunities to practice my leadership at personal level, team level and at organizational level. The journey of leadership is also an exploration of our own selves. This journey has made me a better human being.

As a country head and director, you touch many human lives directly. What roles do leaders at your position must play to reduce stress levels of employees?

Leaders have a responsibility to ensure clarity in their teams. Most stress in teams and organizations emanate from lack of clarity. Leaders themselves may deal with situations where wayfinding is required, but their teams always must be clear of bigger picture including strategy, priorities and processes. This also means leaders must constantly clarify strategic direction, corporate values and what it means to be a strong team.

Trust acts as a great cushion against stress. Great teams are built on foundation of trust and leaders are focal points of enabling trust with people. People perform their best when they know that they are valued and trusted. To generate trust, leaders need to give up the control, create a safe environment for people, have the right intent and perform actions that match that intent. They need to relentlessly communicate, actively listen and enable people through feedbacks. They must consistently walk the talk when it comes to values and behaviours that they want to see in their people. 

Finally, leaders must ensure that people grow. Industrial leaders were trained to look at people as “resources” to get work done. Today’s leader must look at work as a resource to build people. Leaders need to constantly watch for upcoming opportunities and plug their people’s potential with right opportunities. If a leader has “enabling mindset”, it helps people to ride on wave of changes instead of getting crushed by it.

At your position, you are expected by stakeholders to deliver and enhance economic value of your concern. But your work says you are also involved in motivating employees towards their co-curricular passions. How do you balance between these two?

Delivering value to our stakeholders and customers is the reason why we exist but we run into problem if that is the ONLY reason why we exist. Because true value comes from people doing what they truly love doing. So, we encourage people to diversify and take up related roles that will enable their growth and help them deliver more value to stakeholders. 

I believe that co-curricular activities is an integral part of our professional development. I have been active in co-curricular pursuits since last 12+ years and from my personal experience, I can say that co-curricular pursuits enhance performance in the core work. 

A lot of passionate employees pursue their co-curricular passion outside of their normal working hours and we encourage that. When people know about each other’s shared interests, it allows us to build communities around these interests. We often see people discussing their passions like sports, fitness and music at coffee table conversations which is a very healthy sign of organization culture. 

We provide opportunities for our people to showcase and leverage their co-curricular passion through organizational initiatives and events. 

What is the one change that you would like to bring in employee-employer relationship that has potential to boost employees work-life balance?

In knowledge-oriented work, it really doesn’t matter where people work from as long as they productively deliver value. I feel that if more organizations invest in technology and tools that enable people to work from remote or work in flexible hours, it will enhance work life of employees by cutting down on commute time.

What are your personal interests in Music, Art, Dance or Sports and how do you continue to pursue it?

I am passionate about learning, sharing and helping other people learn. I practice my passion through the blog I have been writing (since 12 years), books I have written and through sketch notes. When creating sketch notes, I use drawings and visual metaphors to communicate complex ideas and concepts. Drawing also helps me connect ideas, create meaning out of those connections and simplify insights. Though visual thinking/sketch notes is not as much about art, it is about combining use of drawing with power of ideas to make sense of complexity. 

I am also passionate about music. I admire good soulful music and at times, I also indulge in singing along karaoke tracks. I play harmonica (mouth organ) occasionally. I have done photography as well and still do it when the right moment presents itself.

Blogging, writing and drawing have been constant pursuits and I practice my passion as often as I could, mostly once or twice each week. I don’t read newspapers and watch TV so that saves me some time to read, write, express and explore.

Any other thoughts you may want to share.

Art is anything that changes other people for better. We can all be artists because we can all make a positive difference to others. 

For that, we must practice artist ethos in everything we do. In Japanese, “Shokunin Kishitsu” means craftsman spirit that can be summarized into three practices:

-    Take Pride in whatever you do (No work is small)
-    Elevate your craft (Can I do it better?)
-    Pursue the benefit of community through your craft (How can I do it so well that everyone benefits from my craft?)

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