Exclusive interview with Deepal Mistry, Founder of Ascent Insights

Deepal Mistry, Founder of Ascent Insights receives the Global 50 Glory Award 2021 for achievement in Healthcare. Her vision is to provide strategies to help companies grow faster; especially in the healthcare sector by providing actionable insights. Here’s an exclusive interview with Deepal Mistry:

Tell us something about yourself?

The origins of my entrepreneurial spirit can be traced back to very young age. I grew up in a family where business was very much a part of life from day one. My father was the owner and CEO of an enterprise. Naturally, this environment had a huge influence on me and my future ambitions, so after completing school in Mumbai, I went on to study pharmacy.

My parents made sure that my education was sound. From a young age, I was taught the value of determination, perseverance and how to be independent. The values they instilled in me have remained with me all these years.

My first brush with doing an independent business was after my 12th grade. Something which we 3 friends started as a fun thing brought out the entrepreneurial qualities in me.

After my bachelors in pharmacy, my eagerness to join the corporate world pushed me into taking up a job even before my final year results were out. After my initial work stint, I decided to pursue a management certification to gain a broader perspective which would help me take leadership roles in future. After completing my B-School education from Narsee Monjee College, Mumbai; there was no looking back for me.

From early on, I was part of a decision-making team; learning, growing and raising the corporate ladder. My belief and commitment to teamwork, my positive relationship with my colleagues, coupled with the guidance and support of my seniors played a stellar role in my achievements in the corporate world. The joy of building brands from scratch to a size of 500 crores is a trajectory, that I will cherish forever.

Having been involved with several innovative teams across my career, I felt inspired to start my own.

I founded Ascent Insights, with a vision to provide cutting edge strategies to help companies grow faster; especially in the healthcare sector where I focus on providing actionable insights that can help our clients maintain a competitive advantage.

On a personal front, I have been happily married for 17 years to a man who is not only my supremely supportive life partner but also the love of my life! We have two beautiful daughters together, and they bring us great joy every day.

What are the challenges that you faced and how did you overcome them?

Life in the corporate world has its share of excitement and challenges.

When I got into the SBU Head role, I was the youngest in my company to get into that position.

A man, tough in business dealings, is respected for being savvy and getting things done. A woman is dismissed as being shrewd and bossy. Taking a woman boss is not every man’s cup of tea.

Luckily I had the support of my seniors who guided me at that point. Navigating the way I tried to understand the performer/ non-performer rather than understanding the performance alone. This broke the glass ceiling for me and I had one of the most closely knit and competitive teams onboard.

As an entrepreneur, battling unrealistic expectations was something that I had to deal with during the initial years, but eventually putting things down, straight onto the table and setting expectations clearly for both ends, made things easier.

What has been your most significant achievement?

There have been quite a few significant achievements in my career. From being recognized as a member of Leaders Excellence and Certified Leader from Harvard Square to receiving the Nationwide Under 50 Business Leader award, leadership has served as an essential stepping stone in garnering this kind of honour. I have received several awards – year after year – during my long stint with Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Limited including the Chairman’s Excellence Award.

How do you come up with new ideas?

I believe, when you keenly observe the world around you, when you travel, interact with people, read books, you constantly challenge and enhance your paradigm. And when you continuously do that, you manage to come up with interesting ideas which can make a difference. So, the trick for coming up with new and excellent ideas is to keep broadening your horizon all the time.

What is your biggest inspiration?

My parents have always been a huge inspiration for me. They were highly disciplined and had a set path for their lives which inspired me. In the outside world great leaders like Ratan Tata whose passion and tenacity fueled my fire to dream big and follow my heart.

What motivates you?

The idea of success motivates me. The entire process of coming up with a novel idea and seeing it yield positive results motivates me As an entrepreneur, a content and happy look on my client’s faces, watching them enjoy their positive experiences with our business solutions motivates me. On the personal front, the smile on both my daughter’s faces motivates me. The grey streak in my hair motivates me (just joking), gaining wisdom is a huge stimulus.

What does a typical workday look like for you?

I begin my day early and it starts with a small prayer followed by some tea and about 45 minutes to myself, which helps me open up to the direction of my self-introspective mind. This is followed by a biweekly yoga/ dancercise regimen for 45 mins.

Then, I push the table around the house getting my daughters ready for school and my husband for office.

After which I get into my corporate avatar in the office, with phone calls, checking emails, meetings, ideating sessions etc. Dinner time is reserved exclusively for having healthy conversations and bonding with family. Eating dinner together is a must where I listen to my kids and my husbands day’s happenings and share mine.

Who do you look towards for advice?

My better half has always been my “gyan guru” – my true friend, philosopher, and guide. Together we have taken a lot of important decisions in this journey so far. I am also a voracious reader which helps me with the constant transformation. As a reader of management and self-improvement books that I have read over the years, also comes in handy to guide me during any testing or decision-making time.

How do you define success?

If I can execute something novel which I have never done before and which generates tangible positive results; it is a success to me. So, for me, success is all about adding new dimensions to your existing scheme of things.

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