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Executive Coaching – Career Transition

Way back in late nineties Dinesh (name changed for privacy purpose) started a computer
hardware outfit. The dream of own business he cherished from childhood materialized after
graduating from a varsity with an engineering degree. He started assembling the computers
from completed knocked down (CKD) kits. That was a booming era for computers. On the one
hand personal computers started entering households and on the other computers in offices
started getting connected together. Networking of computers involved not only cabling and
connecting the computers, but also posed certain problems of communication protocols which
he started solving. Once in a while there would be some brainteaser in networking that would
be intriguing. Dinesh would relish when encountered with such hard nuts to crack.
Gradually, the business grew and he employed a few assistants to help him. All was well on a
rising scale for few years, however, subsequently the branded PCs gathered momentum and the
market started tilting more toward large hardware companies. It’s around this time that his
business started losing the sheen. As the situation worsened during the next two years, he
approached me to explore what could be done about it.

After a closer look at the waning business, it was amply clear that it won’t sustain for long.
Though the lowering graph would not hit the bottom within a few years, a clear direction and
execution of baby steps was called for urgently. When the trends of other vendors were traced,
a work-around was found prevalent that implied gain of profit margin by resorting to unethical
means of bypassing the taxes that I obviously opposed. Instead I focused on his penchant for
solving complex networking issues that prompted me to appeal to his genius in computer
communication, especially security issues. Together we chalked out a mid-term program that
would have twin aims of getting rid of hardware trading and strengthening cyber-security
expertise by acquiring world class certifications like CISA and CISSP.

After careful grooming for that new walk of profession, Dinesh started tapering down the
trading that started getting replaced with slowly but surely growing cyber-security consulting.
The journey was long and called for determination which Dinesh exhibited with patience and
perseverance. Steadily the results started flowing in. He found and developed a niche skillset of
diagnosing the connectivity flaws in the corporate networks that made inroads of vulnerabilities
for secrecy and called for streamlining the communication for secure network traffic. The point
of inflection was reached when he sold off his trading unit and switched fully to the network
security domain. The transition was tangential and tough; yet was made practicable by providing
him executive coaching as a sounding board to reflect on various ideas, vet the plans and chalk
out the project. Today he flaunts exemplary mastery in his domain which draws several reputed
corporates to him.

 

-Dr. Pramod Damle

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