Seema Patil: Winning Over With Honesty, Courage & Resilience
Pune is a fast-growing industrial centre of India, upping the charts by overtaking several metropolitan economies of the nations. The business leaders in the city are upbeat about steadfast growth strategies. The city's business community is boarded as an important merge for its progress. Showcasing high regard for the commitment of the go-getters for promoting an enterprising environment, CEO Insights decided to honour a few remarkable businesswomen in Pune. In our quest, we found that Seema Patil is one such dynamic stalwart who leveraged the profuse opportunities to emerge as a leader. Currently positioned as the Managing Director of the company Poona Pressings (PPPL), Seema is leveraging her skillsets to navigate the firm to greater summits.
Engaging in an exclusive interaction with the Women Entrepreneur India team, Seema highlights the distinctive details of her journey and how she is redefining corporate performance in the manufacturing industry which is often known as the male bastion.
Take us through your early educational journey & the prior industry experience that you bring to the table.
After completing my education in Electronic & Telecommunication Engineering, I worked as a lecturer in Bharti Vidyapeeth for close to a decade. Poona Pressings is a family business founded by my father late. Shri Anil S. Gupte (Recipient of Rajiv Gandhi Sadbhavana Award). I joined PPPL in 1996 and looked after the quality system initially. This apart, I was certified as lead auditor for ISO:9000 by Allen Griffith, UK.
Tell us about the various roles that you shoulder as the Managing Director of Poona Pressings. What are the primary focus areas in your current role?
I take care of the entire operations such as people management, strategy, and more. It all comes down to managing, maintaining, and making sure that the whole system is effectively functioning at an optimum level. My primary role was conducting a lot of training programmes in quality, productivity, SPC, Team Build-ing, and Communication. However, I am now concentrating on setting company-level KPIs (Key Performance Indicators), Build-ing Strategies, Business Plans, Vision, Mission and Branding.
What are some of the most pressing challenges that you encounter in your current role? How do you successfully mitigate these challenges?
We did face the thump of COVID just like most compa-nies and the last two to three years were full of chal-lenges. Also, our product range in automotive & diesel engines sector faced recession. Being a small company we also encountered poor cash flow and labour short-age as well. We are slowly overcoming the challenges by entering into the non-automotive sector like HVAC, Renewable Energy.
We took consultancy of Bhupender Singh Rathore- International Business Coach & Motivational speaker, whose sessions on Business Blueprint, ultimate growth strategies, Discover your Vision, and Ultra Sales Systems helped us overcome several challenges. I personally believe that challenges are to make you not break you.
In your opinion what are some of the most significant milestones that you have achieved throughout your professional journey?
Poona Pressings is pioneer in developing PTFE rotary shaft seals in India. We supply oil seals to domestic market & export to US & UAE. It was incorporated by Late Anil S. Gupte in, 1976. Under his dynamic leadership Poona Shims (POSH) our group company is supplier of plate type Oil Coolers to more than 30 major OEM's in India & Overseas. PPPL manufacture diesel engines sheet metal parts, automotive parts like handbrake assembly, accelerator bracket, EGR assembly, HVAC parts. We are also having expertise in brazing (Inert atmosphere conveyer belt furnace) using Cu, Ni, silver for SS, MS assemblies for automobiles, HVAC, fuel tank.(two and four wheeler).
We have received various appreciation certificates from our customers for best quality, delivery and out-standing performance. Moreover, PPPL was awarded the `Ship to Use Status' by Cummins India Ltd in 2000. We also received a Certificate of Merit from the Indian Institute of Industrial Engineering Pune Chapter for `Productivity Improvements at PPPL'. As a personal ac-colade, I was awarded 1st Prize in D.Y. Patil Management Quest for excellent case study presentation.
In your opinion what is the current state of women's representation in the Indian manufacturing space? How can women's representation in top leadership roles within the manufacturing industry be improved going forward?
When compared to developed countries, very few Indian women are in a leadership positions. Around 20 per-cent are in management roles and two percent are at the executive level. There is hardly 12 to 15 percent of women working in the engineering or manufacturing industry. Currently, women are under-represented at the CEO level due to overlapping roles in personal and professional lives, gender stereotyping, lesser network-ing opportunities, lack of confidence, and more. I believe that with a better environment and societal acceptance, more women will be able to take place in top leadership positions.
Drawing from your experience as a business leader, what would your advice be to young women & girls who also aspire to become business leaders & entrepreneurs in the future?
Women must learn to be ambitious, should focus on their capabilities, and should not miss the opportunities that come their way. Believe in yourself, set your vision (personal & professional), have a positive attitude, work on your networking skills, improve your decision-making capability, and always focus on self-review and self-realization.
Seema Patil, Managing Director, Poona Pressings
A confident leader & epitome of honesty & integrity, Seema adheres to moral & ethical principles along with resilience & persistence even while running the business through uncertainties. She is a keen listening ear with sheer will to learn, adapt & move forward with courage.
B.E. ( E&T/C), Executive MBA
Awards of Recognitions won so far 7th Rank In SSC Board §2nd In Executive MBA ( Pune University Master in Business Administration ) .