TQS Deepti Vijaykumar Ep7


  • Philosophy and perspective
    Deepti has traveled the world to gain the insights and education she has. Listen here to better understand how experiencing different places in her childhood helped her master certain skills as an adult.

  • Communication is key
    Both Ant & Deepti are members of Toastmasters International. Slide here to listen to Deepti dive into what she’s learned, and how she has progressed as a leader while serving as President of Toastmasters Club 2481.   

  • Confidence and Freedom
    There could never be a negative outcome to humans being more self aware. Deepti says ‚Äúleadership is not a job‚Ķ‚ÄĚ From struggles in America and India, to personal issues everyone faces; fast forward to hear how she believes everyone is capable of remarkable things. Her words may help you achieve them.

  • According to me
    To be human is to seek validation, but the world needs REAL leaders. What happens when you take a chance and put yourself out into the world, but expect no applause? Is there power in turning people away? If you believe leadership in any facet is for you, listen here to Deepti’s advice on getting started.


Ant Blair  0:00 

Hey what’s up ladies and gentlemen welcome to The Mo Head Y’all Show where we have heady conversations over hard poured beer. I’m your host Ant MillionBlair. My guest on the show today is Deepti Vajikumar. Deepti is a business consultant and leadership coach. She is also president of Toastmasters club 2481 in Columbus, Indiana. Ladies and gentlemen, please help me welcome the birthday girl Deepti Vajikumar! Deepti! Welcome to the show!


Deepti Vijaykumar  0:43 

Hi, I am happy to be speaking.


Ant Blair  0:46 

Yes. Happy to have you here and Happy, happy, happy, happy birthday to you.


Deepti Vijaykumar  0:52 

Thank you.


Ant Blair  0:54 

How old are you if you don’t mind me asking. I know we’re not supposed to ask ladies how old they are. I’m going to Buck the trend though.


Deepti Vijaykumar  1:03 

I think you should be able to ask anyone’s age and I’m all for equality between men and women. So If men can tell people their ages, so should we and I’m 29 proud years old.


Ant Blair  1:15 

Ah, that is awesome. Still a baby a swaddling child. Oh boy. Do you have any big plans? I know we’re in the midst of a stay in place order and everything is happening in the world. I’m presuming you’re probably not going to go out on the town. Do you have anything planned with your husband or what’s your birthday plans?


Deepti Vijaykumar  1:42 

Oh yes, I am someone who loves the company of loved ones and I am actually happy to be home. And it’s quite a relaxing day because my husband has taken over some of the work at home is taking care of the kid and I get to Netflix and chill. I think that is nice as part of today


Ant Blair  2:06 

What do you Netflix?


Deepti Vijaykumar  2:10 

Well, I’m watching selfmade


Ant Blair  2:14 

Oh, tell me about that. I don’t I’m not hip to that. Oh, I mean,


Deepti Vijaykumar  2:18 

I think I’m sure that I think you’ll enjoy it because it’s a short series about Madam CJ Walker, the first self made millionaire in America, first female self made millionaire in America. And it’s it’s a short documentary about her life, and how she as a woman, had to go through all sorts of struggles to become a millionaire from being a laundry woman to being a self made millionaire. So that’s quite an inspiring story to watch.


Ant Blair  2:54 

Wow, I didn’t know that and I am definitely familiar with Madam CJ Walker. Most African American folks are. She was definitely, definitely a vanguard of the time and definitely an inspiration for me and many, many, many other African Americans.


Deepti Vijaykumar  3:18 

women all over the world. Yeah, I think women will connect to her at every level in all countries. So it’s a global, it’s something that will touch people globally.


Ant Blair  3:29 

That’s, that’s good to know. Is it a documentary or a docu series? I know Netflix they’d like to do docu series.


Deepti Vijaykumar  3:36 

Yes, it’s a docu series. I think it has four or five episodes. Yeah.


Ant Blair  3:41 

Okay. Okay. Well, duly noted. That might be something that I put on my weekend watch list if I’ve get to it.


Deepti Vijaykumar  3:47 



Ant Blair  3:49 

Yeah, well Deepti tell tell us a little bit about your background. Where is your home country?


Deepti Vijaykumar  3:59 

 I am from India. And if I can go deeper into my background I am a mechanical engineer who took a sharp turn into management, starting with MBA in Bangalore. And then I moved to the US to do a masters in business analytics and strategy from State University of New York buffalo. And then I went back to India to work with a multinational corporation, got married and came back to the US again to Columbus, and it will be five years in December 2020.


Ant Blair  4:36 

Oh, wow, boy. Sounds like you’ve done a little traveling


Deepti Vijaykumar  4:40 

back and forth.


Ant Blair  4:42 

Sounds like it. What’s your home city?


Deepti Vijaykumar  4:47 

My home city is Powai which is a three hour drive from Mumbai, which most people are familiar with. And it’s somewhat in the middle of the country. The climate is mostly warm, but we do have cold winters not as cold as in the Midwest, but we do have quite a few months. That’s a little cold. Yeah, I mean, that’s that’s where I am from and I see that is home. I think Columbus is home. I feel like a normal person actually.


Ant Blair  5:23 

Oh, it sounds like you’re a global person. globetrotter. And what was what was your childhood like? Like your early life before college and all that when you were in your home city describe what life was like there for you?


Deepti Vijaykumar  5:41 

Well, I think like all children have a childhood that’s carefree and it’s just school and home and friends. And we’ve had quite strict schooling. I think that is common. That’s a common thing in India. We have a lot of examinations and we have the pressure to perform numerically and to and to be ranked more than to perform well in what you like. It’s more about how well you do in comparison with others. So naturally, I think, yeah, that that we grew up in a very competitive environment. It builds some of us, it breaks some of us. For me, it worked. I think it built me. It made me it fueled my competitiveness in ways that I could never have imagined. And it has took, it took me ahead, the schooling system in India.


Ant Blair  6:41 

Why is it like that? Do you think it seems like in America is competitive, but it doesn’t sound like it’s as competitive as what you just described over in India? Why do you think that is that in India, it’s so competitive.


Deepti Vijaykumar  6:57 

I think the basic difference between the US and India is the fact that the ratio of the availability of resources to people is very different in India versus how it is in America, I think there are less of people and more resources to grab. Versus in India, you have a lot of people. And the opportunities and resources don’t necessarily match that number. And that I think automatically makes the system be more competitive, because very few people can reach the top. And I think it’s just that at a broad level. But having said that, I think the US system is also very powerful in terms of building one’s confidence because you are not constantly being pitted against each other. But you were encouraged to be better than your previous so I think that encourages many kids as well. So both systems have pluses and minuses but if you’re lucky, you will be in the right system at the right time and it will help you go forward.


Ant Blair  8:08 

I agree. I agree. Well said. Now, what do you have siblings? Do you have brothers sisters?


Deepti Vijaykumar  8:15 

Oh yes. I have a sister. four years younger than I am. And she’s also in the US. She is doing her master’s at University of Maryland, Baltimore County and she’s enjoying it here. She loves it here.


Ant Blair  8:31 

Okay, good. So you what, what do you do for fun? What what are some of the hobbies that you engage in?


Deepti Vijaykumar  8:39 

Well, we both met at Toastmasters, so you know that one of my favorite hobbies is public speaking. And I also do a bit of emceeing at local events. I dance. I try dabbling a bit in singing and painting and I also have an interest in philosophy I journal quite a bit down philosophy. Yeah.


Ant Blair  9:06 

Tell me about that you use your philosopher Tell me a little bit about that.


Deepti Vijaykumar  9:11 

Well, I mean, I don’t know if it’s because I’m Indian India is primarily a very spiritual country and a country that looks inwards a lot. That’s that’s how it’s been since ancient times. And maybe that is what driven me to philosophy. And as much as I enjoy being in the material world, I think there is a part of me that’s always delving into why, you know, why do we do what we do and how can we be better and experience life on a much happier scale than being stuck in you know, materialistic verses


Ant Blair  9:51 

It’s funny, you mentioned toastmastaers in the context of philosophizing. The speeches that you do in Toastmasters, I always appreciate because they come from this deep place within you. So many speakers I hear talk about things that are very deep, more common topics, more common ideas, common thoughts. In impromptu speeches that you do even prepared speeches that you do they always come from this very deep place. After you finish your after you finish delivering your speeches, I always think I’m gonna have to think about this for a second.


Deepti Vijaykumar  10:44 

Yeah, give you a real hard time right with all my philosophies that I throw at you, but, but that’s how I’m wired. And I think when you say common topics, even philosophy, even knowing how to find truth happiness? It’s a question that’s common. It I think it bothers all of us. And that’s why when I probably speak about philosophy and how one should look at life, and how I look at life based on my experience, I think it resonates with everyone in the room because irrespective of race or culture, these are things that all of us are yearning for. We all want a happy, stable, peaceful life, irrespective of gender, irrespective of economic background. And so when I speak about that, from my experience, it it resonates with everyone in the room. And I think that’s it I just connect on a human to human level and philosophy is a human to human concept. It does not see any other differences.


Ant Blair  11:54 

Absolutely. Well said Deepti.


Deepti Vijaykumar  11:57 

Thank you.


Ant Blair  11:58 

You mentioned You mentioned being competitive and how back in India, the education system is very competitive. You competed in Toastmasters not very long ago, if I’m not mistaken.


Deepti Vijaykumar  12:13 

Yes, that’s right.


Ant Blair  12:15 

Now, was that your first time competing in a speech competition?


Deepti Vijaykumar  12:19 

It was in my adult life because when I was a teenager, or even as a preteen, I have competed at school levels. But obviously, that was a very different experience, and I was a lot younger. And so yeah, I think as as a grownup, this was my first experience competing, giving a speech and I would like to take this opportunity to mention that Anthony Blair, you were my efficient mentor, who guided me through this speech contest and helped me win two trophies.


Ant Blair  12:54 

Yes, and I was so proud of you Deepti. I was gushing with pride. Thank you so much for that I enjoyed every minute of helping you achieve those accomplishments. Definitely. Tell me tell me about how Oh, you’re welcome. Tell me how you prepared or will tell, tell the audience how they prepared I was with you. So I know how, how did you prepare? And how did that experience help you or change your perspective?


Deepti Vijaykumar  13:25 

Wow. I think I entered the speech contest thinking obviously my competitive self wants to try out new things and see if I can win. That was a very basic approach to begin with. But as I started preparing, and as I started performing well and winning, and what dawned on me was how this process was improving me as a speaker irrespective of whether I win or not the process of sticking to the timeline In the process of figuring out what are the exact words to use to connect with the audience and elicit response, and all those components that Toastmasters expects us to, to hone in our speech or to deliver our components that you require in life in general, even at work, even in your relationships, you have to know how to deliver your message, get your point across and elicit the response you want people to give you, whether it’s relationships, whether it’s at your job, whether it’s an interview, you know, so going through the process of delivering a winning speech, actually empowered me with the skills I need to communicate everywhere else in life, that that was my experience. That’s my takeaway.


Ant Blair  14:52 

Wow. If they understood that more, the world would be a better place because we’re communication is a part of every aspect of our lives just as you said, in the better communicators that we become, the better that we’re able with, the better our relationships, and a lot of relationship, a lot of relationships, I believe our struggle, just because people maybe by not any fault of their own, just not very efficient communicators in changing that one little aspect of their life that one aspect of their life is that changes. It could change their whole life. You know, so far as relationships goes and relationships are such a big part of our lives that I think it’s important for us to do everything that we can And to make our relationships as strong as we can, especially during times like this. Yes, definitely describe your experience as a Toastmaster president now that we’re on this Toastmasters subject. You are not even a full year in to being a president of Toastmasters club 2481 tell us about how that’s going right now. What are you learning from that?


Deepti Vijaykumar  16:28 

I am I never expected to learn so much. But every single time that I engage with the club members and with my officers team, and it’s it’s an unbelievable learning experience as a leader. And it is definitely added to my credibility as a leadership coach. And I never expected that to happen. I thought, you know, I would just stand up meetings and help people join and make speeches, but The amount of personalities that I have had to navigate around and the expectations, and especially it being a volunteer organization to ensure that everyone performs and everyone keeps the end goal in mind has been a very, very interesting challenge. And I not only have found out how to deal with multiple personalities, but I have discovered so many things, good things, mostly about myself as a leader and my ability to lead a group to success. So that’s how I would summarize my experience as a leader these last 10 months where it’s dealing with people and bringing out the best in them. That’s that’s a difficult skill and I think I have and Toastmasters is good given me the field space to learn that from being president at the club.


Ant Blair  18:02 

I agree. I’ve seen you grow over the past 10 months from the DT that I knew pre presidency. It’s very exciting to watch. And once again, it fills me with pride to see that unfold right before my eyes.


Deepti Vijaykumar  18:19 

Thanks for saying that.


Ant Blair  18:20 

Absolutely Deepti. You talk about leadership and how Toastmasters has helped you develop in their way. And you are a leadership coach and a business consultant. What took you down that path?


Deepti Vijaykumar  18:39 

Since I’ve been in Columbus, the first few years I did not have the visa to work in the country. So I had a good I had a good many months to really sit back and evaluate what I want to do with life because I have been in the corporate space back in India. as challenging as it was, and as interesting as it was, it was not my calling, I realized the break that I had in Columbus, for the first two years, I found that time to really reflect on what it is that makes me wake up in the morning and really drive me. And in that quest, I figured out, it’s public speaking, one of them, and the other one being business consulting and leadership. Because I go back to my college years, and I know that’s where I tried the most when I was leading a role, when I was making announcements when I was motivating groups to deliver either at events or during class presentations. And I realized that is what I enjoyed the most leading people to a certain goal and trying to do a good job at that and over the I think by default, I collected lot of pearls of wisdom, not just from my experiences, but also from the experiences of the mentors that I’ve had professors that have had who showed faith in me. And all that together led to, again, Toastmasters leadership. With all of these experiences, I collected so many pearls of wisdom that I thought the only way to really make good use of this is not just by using it for myself, but to be able to distribute that knowledge to any aspiring leader who thinks they want to be phenomenal leaders. That’s that’s where I feel my calling is to help regular people who are aspiring leaders to unlock phenomenal leadership in them with the pearls of wisdom that I have gathered.


Ant Blair  20:54 

Wow, okay, okay. Okay. Those are powerful words. So how does how do you do that? In a space where there’s so many people who say I’m a business coach, I’m a leadership coach, I, you know, I’m a consultant that is such a crowded space. How do you break through that noise? And how do you bring value to the folks that you and how would you tell someone about the value that you bring to them?


Deepti Vijaykumar  21:31 

Yes, you’re right about the fact that it’s saturated and there’s obviously an abundance of leadership wisdom out there. There are a lot of experts many of whom I respect and admire and follow. But what distinguishes what I have to offer is the fact that despite their there being an abundance of leadership, wisdom, none of it can really be absorbed into you unless you Have a strong internal system to internalize that wisdom. Despite this abundance that we have, for example, Simon Sinek, who has the best knowledge there is out there, according to me with respect to how you can be a legendary leader. Despite the information being out there, why do we have so many lousy leaders? Why do we have bosses? Why do we have bosses to dislike Why are we sometimes bosses that people dislike? What’s the reason? Let me give you an analogy. Let’s imparting leadership to someone who does not have important leadership lessons to someone who does not have a strong internal system. By internal system, I mean, emotional and emotional strength to take the lessons. It’s like giving lessons to run On the day of a marathon, to someone who has never set foot in the gym, in order to be able to utilize the knowledge to run on the day of the marathon, you have to have basic strength basic. You have to have worked out for eight months minimum, if you’re a beginner, to have the strength to apply the lessons or the tips of running on the day of the marathon. That’s, that’s the animal you’re like to use. So if you want to utilize this brilliant advice that’s out there. You cannot be a regular person. You have to be someone who is completely comfortable with who you are. great leaders make people who follow them feel safe is one of the pieces of advice that Simon Sinek gives and it’s a brilliant advice. Because if you are a leader and you make your followers feel safe and secure, you are going to be legendary. You will try for your organization, but if I have an insecure person not fully comfortable with who I am, do you think I will be able to make others feel safe? No, not at all. Yes, yeah. So so that’s where I come in, I feel that gap, the gap between who you are and who you can be in order to internalize all of that abundance of leadership knowledge out there in the world, because if you are not the best you, there is no way that you can internalize all those lessons out there. phenomenon leadership, and then that leads to Business Excellence. According to me if you are a phenomenal leader that will lead to excellence in your business. Personal excellence leads to Team excellence and organizational excellence. The leaders have to be fixed internally for them to shine on the outside.


Ant Blair  25:00 

Brilliant Deepti, I wholeheartedly agree. Do you have any clients currently that you’re applying this to?


Deepti Vijaykumar  25:11 

Yes, I am working with an entrepreneur who just started out a few years ago, and he has been having the most difficult time keeping people on his team, especially when it comes to a new business. They are short on cash and that is not the motivation to keep people obviously because you are trying to grow fast, and it’s not possible to compensate generously, you know, the employees that you have. So that that is not the area that you probe into to keep your employees the excitement to be in a new business, the feeling of purpose, and how to find people who find joy in that excitement that you share for your business. He has been struggling With that, and I have coached him to how not to hire people who don’t see value in your business, how not to hire people who don’t have that excitement. And in fact, look for those who really align with your purpose and ignore the rest. Once you have them, again, it’s a difficulty to keep them because if they are that good, they would have ample opportunities outside in the world. So I coach him to improve himself as a person to master his own personality and to bring out the phenomenal leadership in him so that these people are motivated to stick with him. That is the primary goal for the entrepreneur that I’m working with. And the other person that I’m working with is a manager, a mid level manager at a multi national Corporation in India. And as most of us know, level managers are most hated people. That’s the truth. Yeah, because they are not the top brass, but they are not you. There’s somewhere in the middle trying to micromanage you that is the general perspective of mid level managers and Multimap national corporations. And it’s and it’s most of the times true. So even with the best intentions, the mid level managers tend to rob their team members the wrong way. And I’ve been working with him to reflect on himself to see if it’s true. Are you really rubbing people in the wrong way? Are you projecting your insecurities on them? Are you projecting your pressure to perform on your team members? So there’s a lot of internal work that I’m doing with him on a one on one level for him to find out if he’s doing anything wrong. Is it something to do with him? Is it something to do with his boss or our esteemed members? was just being nasty. So there are these questions that I make him answer and help him make a mind shift, to be a more giving person to learn how to delegate better. And just through the way he is, you know, trust in his team members, so it’s very tiny tweaks and it’s, and it leads to a mind shift, that can make a huge difference in the possibilities of winning for his team and for the entrepreneurs team. It’s just building a winning team and fixing yourself to do that. That’s what I do with both of them.


Ant Blair  28:37 

Deepti, I listened to what you just said. And I say to myself, you could almost be you could also be a life coach. You’re actually talking about people becoming more self aware, self aware, and becoming more self aware is a path to becoming a stronger leader?


Deepti Vijaykumar  29:04 

Yes, that’s that’s exactly what that’s exactly what I am trying to impart. That’s That’s because leadership is not a job. And what I feel is in life, you have to be in a leadership state of mind, whether you’re at home, whether you’re at work, whether you’re dealing with a personal crisis, or some kind of an economic crisis, or if you’re in public life, if you’re the president or the Prime Minister of a country, whether you’re dealing with a national crisis, you cannot be one person in personal life and another person as a leader. It’s all one. Because if you try to be multiple people in different spaces, you just be bad at everything, right? If you if you work on yourself, if you have a strong core, irrespective of you being a man or a woman or an extrovert or an introvert, if you will. have that strong core of a person. There is nothing in the world that can stop you from being a phenomenal leader. So this is, according to me absolutely imperative to be a strong person inside to be an amazing leader.


Ant Blair  30:25 

Deepti, you are preaching! This is so good. Let me ask you a question dp about the leadership right now, as you see, there’s all kinds of disruption going on in the world right now. As you look at how leaders are responding to this globally, at the state level, at the city level, what are what are you saying? If you were to do it, in fact, uation going back to Toastmasters. If you were doing an evaluation of leaders right now, in the midst of this disruption, what would your evaluation be?


Deepti Vijaykumar  31:14 

So I think I’ll start with India and then I’ll come to the US world. with India, what I have realized is as much as the cases had been the COVID-19 cases had been on the rise in the past month. I think there was an extremely aggressive movement to Covid and India, for that matter, I think has a correct mix of a chaotic nation that still has a system in place that was organized enough to respond to a problem like this. India is not as organized and as standardized. In its operations, like the US is us is beautifully standardized. It’s all documented. Everything has a procedure, everyone knows exactly how many hospitals, what is the capacity and all that. And in India, there are very few hospitals with that amount of organization. But at the same time, India is used to operating in chaos in general even before the COVID-19. Right, it’s, it’s extremely diverse. And and it is it has a huge population, and it’s been thriving. So on a day to day basis, doctors have been dealing with chaos. This is just the next level. And hence, I think they were already equipped to deal with some kind of pandemic, even though it pulls them off their tracks. They could be Gosh, sure. And the leadership in India I would say right now, it’s the people on the ground who really have to save the day when it’s like this. The job of the leadership and is to instill that courage and instill the support. And the emotional backing that the leader of the country needs to give all of these people, including the ground workers, as well as the people affected by this disease. That also has been done beautifully by the prime minister of the country. Who, who kept giving speeches who asked people to light candles at 5am clap for the public workers. These are that way. If you see it’s not exactly addressing the problem, but it’s boosting morale. And I think that is the job of leadership. Leadership is not it’s not doctors, it’s not nurses. It’s not releasable. But the job of the leadership is to instill everyone with the confidence that yes, we can get this done and I give you all the freedom to do whatever it takes to get the country out of this nuisance. That is one thing. And secondly, I think in a country like the US, the people are, I think the people everywhere are saying everybody wants to help. Everybody wants to be out there to get everyone out of crisis. But I think the leadership could be a little more aggressive in terms of seeing the problem head on and not denying it. Because if we see it head on, even if you make any mistakes, you may make 90 you may do 90 things, right? If you make 10 mistakes, but you have to do something. I think that is the difference between the leadership in say, India and America, maybe there’s a little hesitancy or they’re not able to bring, you know, leaders together in the country to decide on a common thought or a common action. And because the people are saying everyone wants to help each other, the leadership needs to boost everyone’s thing That’s the difference.


Ant Blair  35:02 

Well said Deepti, well said I agree wholeheartedly with that. My, my struggle with America has been that observation of things aren’t as coordinated between the leaders as I believe they need to be in order to get to the other side of this pandemic. It’s I don’t want to get too far down there. I’ll get I’ll get off the soapbox. I will say once again, I do agree with your evaluation of the leadership. Definitely. What are some things that someone listening to the show and they would say, Man, you know, I would really like to be a better leader, but where do I start? What what would what advice would you give them to say, Hey, you know, if you want to become a better leader, or if you want to be To become a better communicator, if you want to do something to take your business to the next level. My first recommendation My first suggestion would be…


Deepti Vijaykumar  36:13 

jump into every opportunity that you get to throw yourself out of your comfort zone. When it comes to public speaking, that’s very easy. You are toast at a wedding. You have you have a presentation at work, you sign up for it, you become the opening speaker. These opportunities will be around you every day and they will make you uncomfortable in a good way. And the moment it makes you uncomfortable, you have to do it. I think that is the first step to becoming a better public speaker for sure. When it comes to leadership, I would say stop thinking about yourself and what you need and how validated You need to fail? Or who said you were good who said you were bad. Just keep the end goal in mind. put yourself out there whole heartedly expecting no applause. I think that is the first mind shift that you have to do if you want to be an effective leader.


Ant Blair  37:22 

A lot of leaders they want that applause to they want they want that ego stroke. That’s that’s a jump for a lot of leaders to put that to the side.


Deepti Vijaykumar  37:34 

Yes, it’s it’s human and to feel that way. We all want validation, to feel that we are worth something that we did something well, people look up to us and people probably are looking up to you, but their job is to do their job and you Our job is to help them do their job. And you may end up uploading more people than people applaud you but that is not The goal of the leader to look like this person with a trophy with a shiny crown on the head. That’s not what a leader looks like. A leader looks like someone who’s worked hard all day and weary, and is sweating and his clothes are on and he’s happy at the end of the day, you should accept the fact that that is how leadership looks. And only if you’re comfortable with that sort of a state of mind. Should you even think about leadership? Isn’t there if you’re out there to feel good about yourself or look fancy and be admired? Well, I think leadership is not for you.


Ant Blair  38:38 

Oh, boy, that probably rubbed some people the wrong way. But that’s okay. That is okay. Because that is the truth. You talk about the business part. The third piece was the business. If I’m a business person, if I’m a leader, and I want you to take my business to the next level. But I’m stuck, or I don’t know how, what is the what is the first thing, the first step that I could take?


Deepti Vijaykumar  39:11 

Well, the first step that you could take is hire a business consultant.


Ant Blair  39:20 

Like you perhaps?


Deepti Vijaykumar  39:23 

yes, like me because like me or anyone else who’s equally qualified because sure your job as a business owner is to concentrate on the core competence of the business. You need to direct all your energies in making the product brilliant. That is your primary goal. So you don’t need someone with an expertise from a macro level to take that brilliant product you have and make people see how brilliant it is. Because if you try to do both of those, you may end up being mediocre and both you are Just one person who’s trying to build a business. If you 50% of your time and energy goes to make the product and 50% into marketing it, or figuring out strategies to grow bigger, you are just dividing your energies into places and you never know if you know what that comes out to be. So it’s better that you concentrate on your core craft. Make that brilliant, and that may speak for itself. But if you want to take that brilliance to the next level, grow bigger, get more clients, you need a competitive business consultant who you can trust, not someone who has the best credentials, but someone who is in sync with you and your business interests at the core of his or her heart as well.


Ant Blair  40:46 

Well said, How do you as a business consultant, get on the same wavelength as that CEO as that President you while you’re walking into A situation was not a lot of Intel, how do you make the connection between you and that President and CEO to be able to be that person that they need to make it to the next level?


Deepti Vijaykumar  41:18 

I think how I start with is by listening to the needs of that person of that leader of that CEO of exactly what the problem is or exactly where their stuff, I think I would begin with listening a lot. And then processing it to understand if they and I can be a good fit.


Ant Blair  41:44 

So you might not even take me You might not even Forgive me for jumping in. If I was if I was a potential client. You might not even take me on as a client. Most A lot of people will just say, Oh, I have I have a new client and they’ll tell Come on, you’re saying, you may or may not be the right client for me, I’m going to discover whether or not we’re a good fit. And if we are, we’ll move forward. But if not, I will tell you so and maybe recommend you to someone else.


Deepti Vijaykumar  42:15 

Yes, that’s right. And I think that’s how it should work. There is like we discussed that I come from a very philosophical background and philosophical state of mind. I think it is extremely important for me to be working with someone who makes me want to work with them every day. So it’s not just from a business perspective, but also from a temperamental perspective, are they because I believe in aligning with businesses that are ethical, that have a true intent in doing business, that believe in my in my ability to contribute a mutual respect and also obviously, my skills That I have if they will really be of use to that specific business model. These are the things that I would definitely do an analysis about and present a report to the leader who engage with and then take it forward. If it makes sense we move forward if it doesn’t, it will be a mutual mutual parting of ways.


Ant Blair  43:25 

No hard feelings. I wish you well.


Deepti Vijaykumar  43:28 



Ant Blair  43:30 

Very good. Deepti what are what are what are your future plans in this lane? Are you trying to create a big consultancy like Accenture or something like that or what what is your What is your future plans with your new company?


Deepti Vijaykumar  43:51 

I am like I’ve already mentioned Simon Sinek wise, I think I am someone who is trying to do better To be much the same thing, I think I have developed a knowledge base that I want to share with the world with, with public speaking with events that I speak at a university where I get encouraged young people to look at leadership from a different prism that that is what I want to do broadly. But from a business perspective, I plan on working one on one with leaders or groups of leaders, even leaders in the public space in the public sector, where, especially in a situation like abandonment, you need strong people to be at the helm. Yes, ma’am. Things Done. Yes, ma’am. So I that’s what I want to do. I want to coach and through that coaching, I want to empower leaders everywhere, to serve the public best to serve their customers best and serve the world. That’s that’s my company.


Ant Blair  45:08 

That’s where your company should go. We need to be at the world, these people like you because as you alluded to earlier, and some places in the world, the leadership just isn’t that strong. It really isn’t we we have lamented for a while that there is, in my view, a lack of leadership that is continuing to decline, you know, so far as really strong leaders, ethical leaders, leaders who work for the people, as opposed to work for themselves and their ego and their while and all of those things that I see. So Didi, I hope you’re I hope your business blows up because we we need some leaders that are the leaders of old. In my opinion, I hope your business takes off in myriad ways. If I’m a leader, if I’m a business owner, if I am a competitive, I’m someone who wants to enhance my communication abilities. How do I connect with you?


Deepti Vijaykumar  46:33 

LinkedIn is the best way to connect with me. And I’m the only Deepti Vajikumar in Columbus,


Ant Blair  46:39 

So I was hoping I pronounced that correctly. And I hope that I spelled it correctly.


Deepti Vijaykumar  46:50 

Yes, I think you pronounced it correctly. And let’s see if you spell it correctly.


Ant Blair  46:56 

You find out! On LinkedIn LinkedIn, dt VG Kumar, on LinkedIn. Do you have a website? Do you have any other social media platforms? Do you? Do you say that you wrote? Do you have a blog or anything of that nature we can connect to.


Deepti Vijaykumar  47:16 

I think, as of now, LinkedIn as the best the other stuff is still upcoming. So the primary source for connections and even on Facebook, but Facebook is quite informal, but if people want to find me on that, and I’m open for just a chat, I mean, I’m here to talk to people and direct them to even Toastmasters. I mean, if you want to be a public speaker, be at Toastmasters, and any a member it has done magic to many people’s lives, including my I’m open to chatting on Facebook and LinkedIn.


Ant Blair  47:51 

Okay, Okay, very good. As we come to the end of our conversation, which I’ve thoroughly enjoyed for a variety of reasons. You’ve been a fantastic guest. You’re always you’re always a good conversationalist. A good friend, all of the above. I was really looking forward to this conversation. I ain’t gonna lie. ANd its your birthday!!


Deepti Vijaykumar  48:16 

I know I’m so glad I got to spend almost an hour with you even though it was virtually it’s still, it’s still nice to be doing that on my birthday to spend some time with a friend. And you bring out all those good things in me that you just said it’s even you Ant it’s you have the power to bring it out in people.


Ant Blair  48:38 

Thank you Deepti. If you were to look at my face right now, I would be blushing.


Deepti Vijaykumar  48:44 

I’ve seen you blushing before.


Ant Blair  48:52 

Man, I appreciate you Deepti. What is what is something if you were to leave our listeners with a final thought? What would it be?


Deepti Vijaykumar  49:03 

Whoever you are, however you look, whatever background you’re from, if you have the will to lead and to take people to a better goal and make the world a better place. Phenomenal leadership is just waiting to be unlocked within you. You just need the right key. I have the key by the way.


Yes you do. Yes you do. Deepti that is one to grow on. Thank you so much for your time today for taking time out of your birthday, your your Netflix and chill and you took time out of that to hang out with me and have a great conversation about things that we both are passionate about and enjoy talking about. And ike I said earlier, I enjoy every minute of this with you on your day


Ant Blair  50:05 

I did too, it’s been an absolute pleasure. Thank you for the opportunity Ant.

Heaven Brainz

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