Priyanka Padode on thriving in chaos.
Growing up in Mumbai and New York has been a lesson in efficiency for Priyanka Padode. As our conversation traces the outline of her entrepreneurial nature, we understand how she employs structure and thrives with chaos.
As the CEO of CW Interiors, Priyanka serves at the helm of a leading publishing house that caters to the Indian real estate sector. A second generation entrepreneur, she adds fresh perspective to the family business. Her fondness for design and content generation has been evident through her first startup ‘DezignGenie’, which was launched under the wings of CW interiors and delivered handpicked articles on home decor to subscribed readers.
Born into a business family, the atmosphere shaped her beliefs as she sought a common path for her interest in business and performing arts. A stickler for discipline and an early riser, Priyanka follows a schedule that revolves around a healthy work life balance. Chaos is welcomed at work, where disruptive thought processes pave the way for something new. Working closely with her family members who are also her work colleagues, Priyanka works towards stepping out of her comfort zone, towards bigger projects and calculated risks.
What is striking is the calm fluidity with which she focuses on work at hand. Her habits in discipline and allowing freedom of thought to effectively mold new ideas is akin to flawless implementation of textbook ideals. It is a balance most hope to achieve.
AST: How emotionally driven are you and what moves you?
P: Being a Cancerian, I am extremely emotional. I think from my heart, and in business I’ve had to train myself to think from my head. I trust my gut and instinct very strongly - when something feels off, it is most definitely off. Music moves me. It evokes feelings within me and renews my spirit.
She understands the need for structure around business fundamentals, and encourages the flow of ideas around this framework. Together with her team, she builds a workspace conducive to learning and creativity.
AST: How has your work process changed over time?
P: I am more organised, more structured, and have a more focussed view on the end goal. Anything that doesn’t contribute to my end goal isn’t part of my plan.
The cities she has grown up in have moulded her perspective towards work. She does not know how to slow down, and prefers having a quick turnaround on most things. It’s the effect of the pace of life she has always led and is accustomed to - she knows nothing else.
AST: Do you find it difficult to switch off?
P: I am actually fairly balanced. I cannot maintain my sanity and focus without enough mental time off. Weekends are usually my switch off time. I will have and discuss new ideas, but I don’t obsess over them till the week starts. My daily dose of exercise helps me switch off too.
Priyanka focuses on quality, and always gives her customers something she would like to receive herself. She seeks out feedback - understanding that it’s important to realize that in the content business, give the consumer what they want, not what you want to give them.
AST: Would you say that you have achieved success?
P: Oh no, I have only just begun. I have a long long way to go. And I don’t think I’ll ever have achieved success. There is always room to grow, to reach further. The hunger will keep me going always.
Written by Sushrut Munje
Photographed by Blake D'Silva