Trust in the process and results will follow

Avid cricket fan and engineering enthusiast Sourabh Mehta explains how India’s ex-captain has inspired him to keep cool under pressure, and not get caught out by the challenges that have come his way while working at Vanderlande – including leading the company’s biggest ever warehouse project.

Author

Sourabh Mehta

Controls Project Engineer

In my role, I have three major responsibilities: firstly, to collaborate with the engineering disciplines – like electrical and mechanical engineering, integration and IT – to come to a functional solution that fulfils the customer’s requirements. Secondly, I make sure, from a control engineering perspective, that all deliverables, such as documentation and programming, are of the highest quality and finished within the required timeframe. The third is to guide and mentor new or less experienced engineers in the project team and department.

I did not know much about the company when I joined in 2011, I was just in the right place at the right time. I was always an engineering enthusiast, and from that point it’s been about going from strength to strength.

Firstly, I was a trainee engineer, working with senior engineers, then I slowly progressed to doing smaller projects on my own. Now I am leading the biggest warehouse project that we have ever done – for Woolworths in Sydney, Australia.

This is a huge challenge in terms of the scale, complexity and number of people involved. It’s always in the limelight. And because I’m leading from a controls’ perspective, it gives me additional responsibility. However, it’s also an opportunity to put all my learnings and experiences over the past decade into practice.

While doing a project, we are always running against strict timelines, and often you are under pressure to deliver on schedule. I have learned how to remain calm and be patient in those situations, because that helps in delivering better quality and making more effective decisions. You just have to follow the process, and the results will follow.

I’m a great fan of former Indian cricket captain MS Dhoni – he could take difficult decisions with calmness. It did not show on his face, that he was under pressure, which had a positive impact on the team as well.

It really helps me at work also. In difficult situations in projects, there will always be ups and downs, but you just have to remain calm and you will be able to take many difficult decisions. Those circumstances should not directly impact the team, especially if they are new to the job. It should be left to me, so they don’t feel pressurised and still get the work done.

One of the things I like about Vanderlande is that the people around you want you to be successful and grow. There are always great opportunities to grow professionally and personally as well. Another important aspect is one of our core values, “Every day better” – we just don’t say it, we live it every day. If we are working on something great, then there is a good chance that we can make it even better the next day. We really strive to do that.

When I joined Vanderlande, my initial expectation was quite simple: to excel at what I am doing and learn more, because it was all quite new to me. At this stage, I would like to do more customer-facing roles. In my opinion, those are quite challenging as well – you are responsible in every way for the projects, capturing all the elements across the value chain.

I have learned so much during my time here, through travelling, meeting new people, experiencing different cultures, and making new friends. My experiences have been really great, and at no time in the past years have I thought of going elsewhere.

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