His love for education, training, and the passion to help entrepreneurs in Pune experience the power of great business connections, a better lifestyle and the joy of long term fulfilling relationships is what got Devanand Deshmukh to become the executive director of BNI, Pimpri Chinchwad Region. He believes if you are the conduit for good things to happen, then you are living your destined life and are on the right path. Through BNI he aims at making these entrepreneurs get a view and feel of a world that exists outside of their immediate environment.
How His Journey Of BNI Started
“BNI has not just changed, but transformed my life” – says Devanand. He got introduced to it through a friend and attended the first meeting as a visitor in 2010. From there he was inducted into an upcoming chapter where he got an opportunity to showcase his leadership skills. He says he didn’t know he had those skills within up until then. He got the hang of the situation pretty quickly and was made the president of that chapter. In one year, it transformed from the worst to the best performing chapter. After this, he was made the support director and was told to support another chapter which was struggling at the time. That chapter got the highest retention award and he got the best support director award in Goa’s award night. A breakfast meeting with the franchise head and national director and a few interviews later he was given the BNI region of Pimpri Chinchwad.
Being supportive is like second nature to Devanand, and he extends his unconditional support and assistance to anyone who approaches him for help. His love for networking enables him to get more and more like minded people connected, once he gets an insight into where they are coming from and what kind of connections will help them. And he feels this is what wins him the confidence of those around him.
Recognising people for their hard work is a motivational factor for everyone and can encourage them to do great work in future as well. Everyone comes with a different mind set and understanding that before appreciating anyone is very important. At BNI, they honour members with a Key to Success. Members who have benefitted through BNI anywhere, come up and share their success stories and are given this badge as a little recognition, that takes their spirits to an all new level of energy to give and help more and more members. All the members are also given constant mentoring and support to help them put their best foot forward and this is something that actually sparks joy in them. Just having someone around at times of difficulty is all you need to calm your nerves down and think with a rational mindset. Through BNI, the network and the support, he spreads joy in all he does.
His Experience With Gifting
The best gift that he received goes back to his college life. Inspite of his fear of public speaking, his language teacher convinced him to participate in a debate competition. He memorised his entire content, went on stage and forgot one word which ended up messing the whole speech. But to his surprise he was still appreciated for the great content he delivered. He was considered the best in that competition and this incident opened a lot of new doors in his career. He realised it is ok to slip, but genuine effort and good content can turn out to be your saviours.
The gift he gave someone which holds a lot of importance for him, is the gift of rock solid and constant support to a BNI member who was extremely good at her work but had no family backing and was constantly criticised. But now that he sees her after 3 years, back on her feet, it makes him really proud and happy.
What he got from his language teacher, was the confidence to go out there and speak up and this turned out to be the best gift for him. So much so that he was inspired to pass the good deed forward and he ended up doing the same for someone else too – empowering them to speak up.
His Story Of Being Grateful
He attended a workshop on leadership coaching and was asked to write down something he is grateful for. He had nothing but a blank sheet of paper and realized that he was facing a tough time expressing gratitude. On his 50th birthday, he went on a holiday with his wife to Udaipur. His wife asked him how he is feeling about life. And he only had one thing to say ‘good’. After he went back to the hotel, he sat down and wrote about every small thing in his life, that was good. This is when he realized the countless number of things and people that he was grateful for.
He has been managing portfolios and mutual funds of people for over two decades now and this is what gives him a great sense of purpose, as he adds value to them, helps them realise their dreams and helps their investments grow. It wasn’t the amount being invested that excited him but the results they got from that investment. He believes in, ‘Don’t look at the content but understand more importantly the intent.’ It was a huge achievement for him when he could make his clients invest in lakhs, when at one point they couldn’t even save Rs. 500 at the end of the month.
Relationships mean a lot to Devanand.
“Everything is relationship based. If you concentrate on the relationships and not sales, the results will still be achieved and in a much better way. They might not be immediate but will surely come at some point.”
With Devanand Deshmukh (centre), Leena Munot (left, Editor in Chief @ HWP) and Aditi Mittal (right, Senior Editor @ HWP)
Gifting And Happiness
Devanand has two sons and like most modern day parents, he too would surprise them with Christmas presents, disguised as Santa Claus. The boys grew up and soon understood that it wasn’t real but this didn’t stop him from doing what he had been doing for so many years. On being asked what made him do it, he said it was the faith. He wanted his kids to feel that there is always someone in the background holding their space and looking out for them. His younger one still believes that maybe his dad has some links with Santa Claus as he always gets a gift every Christmas.
The power of faith is vanishing in today’s day and age. As we become more and more capable, independent and confident about taking on the challenges of life, we have somewhere forgotten what surrender looks like. And to him, this surrender to faith is very important, as it allows you to do your best work and then give magic an opportunity to happen.
You can follow him on LinkedIn to know more about the work he is doing.
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