Ashwini Patil: Breaking Barriers By Leading Hypro To New Heights
It is believed that men predominate in the technologically advanced sector of mechanical engineering. In India, very few women have entered this sector, and even fewer have attained leadership positions. Hypro is a turnkey solution provider for Breweries, CO2 recovery, Water De-oxygenation and Energy Saving solutions across the globe. It is led by an inspirational woman, Ashwini Patil who with stood gender-based and workplace biases in the industry to emerge as the Director of the business. Ashwini, who comes from a remote town, was motivated to pursue a career this area by her unwavering passion. The encouragement from her mentors solidified her resolve to accomplish great things.
Here are some highlights from our interaction with Ashwini.
What are some important features of your expertise as a business leader? Take us through your early educational journey and prior industry experience.
I come from a small town. However, I have always been drawn to the mechanical field. I pursued Mechanical Engineering, from a renown institute in Pune. I was motivated by a lecture given by a leading representative of the Tata Group at the College of Engineering in Pune, who remarked that starting with a small company is advantageous if one wants to gain practical knowledge and grow in the core field. When i joined Hypro, we were only 10 employees with a very small office. I've worked for the company for the past 17 years in a variety of roles, from mechanical trainee to director.
I had both highs and lows during this time, mostly because the employees were resistant to having a female colleague/ superior, and on top of that honoring the instructions! I remember in Hypro once I was given an opportunity to handle the factory to streamline all the processes over there, one can imagine to have a command at such a place you not only have to be good in administration but also need to possess a good knowledge of the field to break the mind blocks and resistant which comes as a habit from male-dominated culture. To my amazement, the resistance started from my engineer colleagues first and then labor! Today I am satisfied to see the change at Hypro factory when I see the same people are respecting and honoring the suggestions/instructions. I was fortunate to have a mentor who wasn't gender-biased, believed in my ability, and allowed me the freedom to try new ideas and follow my instincts.
When I first joined the company, I focused on multitasking since I wanted to amass broad experience in multiple verticals. We were able to obtain various certifications as a result of the opportunities I was given within the organization for some significant expansion initiatives, making Hypro a global player.
What are the various roles and responsibilities that you shoulder as the Director of Hypro? What are your primary focus areas?
My core focus areas include product development, business development, and the creation of strategies. Hypro has earned a good name and reputation in the industry. Through our niche technical products, we have also been able to outperform a few western rivals. In essence, Hypro is an engineering organization that caters to the needs of various markets with a strong drive for innovation and sustainable development.
Our newest endeavor is to tackle climate change through product innovation where clients are provided C02 recovery solutions, enabling them to recover and thus helping in reducing their carbon footprint.
Similar to how we assist other industries with our unique products, it is my goal to inspire the team to continue creating high-quality products. To maintain consistency in the quality of our services and goods, I intervene in operations as per the situation demands. We believe in thinking out of the box and offering unique solutions. To be successful we try to do more and raise the bar of expectations every next time. As a result now Hypro product presence is all across the globe in five continents and 20+ countries.
"Women have incredible talent and massive potential to excel in whatever field they like"
What are some of the most pressing challenges that you encounter in your current role? How do you mitigate them?
At the onset of the pandemic, many businesses suffered. Fortunately we at Hypro focus on several verticals, which keeps us busy and profitable.
Secondly, finding and retaining good employees is a major challenge across the industry because most fresh graduates want to work in big IT companies and MNCs. However, from the talent that we can secure, they are also reluctant to stay within an organization for a long. A trend to keep moving to new companies for monetary benefits has set in within the industry. Given the wide range of products, we expect an employee should stay with us for at least 4-5 years to gain complete knowledge, which is not happening as expected. However, we are focusing on this and trying to find the best means to retain talented employees, Additionally we are focusing on getting consistent output through the process and document standardization from our employees to stay ahead in the market.
Drawing from your experience, what would your advice be to young females aspiring to become business leaders and entrepreneurs in the future?
Women have incredible talent and massive potential to excel in whatever field they like. My advice would be not to get bogged down by gender bias. We hail from the land of strong women leaders and should take their example. Focus on your Goal and be confident in your capabilities.
Ashwini Patil, Director, Hypro Group
Ashwini received her degree in BE Mechanical from the Government COEP. She began working with Hypro in 2005 as a management trainee engineer and has since become an essential member of the organization. She has obtained skills in numerous verticals right from mechanical design, engineering, manufacturing, quality, systems, sales, and sourcing. Her managerial abilities, business initiatives, and drive for excellence have assisted the organization in achieving sustainable growth and building a solid foundation for people at Hypro.