On Day two at FHW Mumbai 2018, purchasing managers of leading hotel companies discussed how they coped with stressful situations at the workplace and enumerated on the best ways to maintain a healthy work-life balance
The Power of Purchase panel discussion on Day two at FHW Mumbai 2018 started with a sombre note with the purchasing managers fraternity remembering those members who have lost their life at a young age in the last few months. The panel discussion on ‘How to manage stress and create work-life balance’ was moderated by Mahendra M Shinde, purchase manager, Kapco Banquets & Catering. The panel members were Hitesh V Lilani, purchase manager, The Lalit Mumbai; Rajendra Kankekar, materials manager, Nesco Foods; Teckbahadur Beersingh Sarke, materials manager, Sahara Hospitality; Jaideep Gupta, director, Aanyah Management and Hospitality Consultant; Harvey Rodrigues, director of purchase, Hotel Meluha The Fern; and Manish Kumar Jha, procurement manager, Pullman and Novotel New Delhi Aerocity.
“We lost four of our colleagues and brothers in the last two months from sudden heart attacks. This discussion is not only for purchasing managers but everyone dealing with stress-related issues,” said Shinde. Jha agreed that the fraternity members have been victims of stress. “We try to complete our assignments on time and miss out taking care of our own health. My father passed away 15 years ago in similar circumstances, following which I became a fitness freak,” said Jha, reminding that it is a state of mind. Kankekar agreed that keeping oneself fit is of much importance. “There are a thousand things that cause stress. If you love your job then stress is not there.”
Prioritising is key
Pointing out that it is significant to understand that stress will happen in every walk of life, Gupta asserted that how it is managed is important. “You take up things that cause the stress, you have to get rid of it. We have to take up only what we can handle properly. Balance is in the mind – it is important to prioritise things in life. The key is to work at commitments and take up things that can be handled. You have to make yourself important. If you are able to manage properly, stress will reduce,” mentioned Gupta.
Sharing his mantra for work-life balance Lilani remarked that he does what he finds is best for himself and his team, and finds solutions. “I exercise regularly and have a sound sleep,” he shared. He was of the view that a lot depended on the nature of the industry and the complexities of the job. For instance, a purchase manager working in a hotel has to take care of everything in the hotel, whereas a purchase manager with a catering company has to be be focused on F&B. “If you understand the requirement of the job and have a strong database, stress is less,” he said. The management often gives the purchase department other responsibilities, for instance GST details of vendors, remarked Sarke.
A veteran purchase head, Rodrigues advised purchase managers to reduce stress by knowing what is required of the job first. He also asked them to take into confidence other HoDs. He believes that insecurity in the profession leads to stress. “Often there is also insecurity regarding the vendor,” he mentioned. And this is where HPMF is of much help.
How HPMF helps
Sharing of data among HPMF members contributes significantly in reducing stress levels. Gupta stated, “HPMF has reduced stress as we have come together as a group to hold each other.” HPMF, which currently has more than 1400 members, actively shares knowledge with each other. The fact that the association has grown in strength in recent years, makes a great difference, particularly when it comes to vendor verification and relationships. Jha affirmed that the association has helped them a great deal. “The industry and vendors have also benefitted from this. We are in a situation where we can show our strength. We should team up with consumer courts and take errant vendors to justice,” he said.
Nitin Shankar Nagrale, founder and general secretary, HPMF informed that 22 people have come together from the industry and created a campaign called ‘Save the Purchase Managers’. The focus of the campaign is to understand the issues of the purchase managers and find solutions.