Pawas Chandra

PAWAS CHANDRA, DTM

Candidate's Office: International Director

Region Number: 13

Toastmasters member since: 2008

Education: Post Graduate in Strategy & Leadership from Indian School of Business & Kenan-Flagler School of Business, University of North Carolina Bachelor of Technology – Electrical Engineering, MNNIT, Allahabad, India

Employer and/or position: Director, Growth & Enterprise Accounts at WeWork, a global workplace platform with more than 8,000 employees in 23 countries

Served as district governor of district number: 92

Term of service: 2016-2017

In term as district governor, district achieved: President's Distinguished

Toastmasters offices held and terms of service (international and regional level):

Toastmasters honors and recognition (international level):

  • 2016-2017 Excellence in Leadership
  • 2016-2017 #2 District in the world with 104% of base clubs as Distinguished or above
  • 2016-2017 President’s 20+ Award
  • 2015-2016 Excellence in Club Growth

Relevant work experience and how it relates to Toastmasters and your role as a Board member:

In my 11 years of work experience, I have shouldered the responsibilities of managing multiple product and services business across Americas, Europe, Middle East, Asia Pacific, and Australia/New Zealand regions. Having worked in Technology, Education, and Digital Advertising sectors, I have learned a great deal about each business and their respective strategic growth, sustainability, and product offerings. I have navigated through each business’ evolving customer needs. Through my experience with client engagement and scaling businesses across different parts of the world, I have deepened my understanding of cultures and sensitivities required for product-market fit. As we move into the fourth industrial revolution, my professional expertise of adapting to dynamic consumer segments in different markets across the globe will augment the board’s deliberations on the current strategic plan, and collaboratively help with seeding the key components for 2020 strategic plan to enhance the experience provided by Toastmasters International.

What experience do you have in strategic planning?

While working in companies that have global portfolios, I have participated in strategic planning, managing the current business, and improving market share. Having been involved in projects ranging from entering into new markets to formulating plans to handle regulatory changes such as GDPR, my experience in strategic planning involved maintaining liquidity, market position in evolving competitor landscape, and investments in new products to cater to customer needs. Each of these projects required maintaining sustainability of business and anticipating changes impacting the business.

What experience do you have in the area of finance?

My professional experience has been primarily with revenue roles. For each of my roles, there is budget allocated to drive revenue and margins. Managing this budget requires prudent fiscal understanding of two key metrics – customer acquisition cost and customer lifetime value. Marketing, operational costs, headcount, and travel are some of key activities that have to be managed within the budget to help make sure the fiscal health of projects is healthy or stable, at the same time driving revenue. On average, I have had to manage business worth $20 Million annually.

What experience do you have in developing policies?

Living in the mobile-first era, the policy development and policy evolution is critical to stay competitive. Product development, business development, and business operations are three functions to which I contributed on numerous occasions in developing policies that are relevant, practical, and have guardrails to preserve the best interests of the organization. In my experience of policy development, each stakeholder (business, finance, product, legal, operations, and technology) was consulted as a collective unit, addressing as many potential challenges as were brought forth.

What lessons did you learn from previous leadership positions?

An individual joins an organization to be successful. I have learned through my leadership experience that two things form the basis of high impact teams – clarity and alignment. Each person brings something to the table. It is our job as a leader to appreciate the person as a whole, empower the person to perform, and motivate to overcome inhibitions. Practicing compassion has helped me bond the team together, bringing clarity and alignment towards a common goal.

What experience and key strengths would you bring to the Board of Directors?

Strategic growth planning, analytical skills, ability to drive collaboration, and Digital Marketing are the key strengths that I bring to the Board of Directors. Having helped multiple mobile-first companies for their growth in key markets across the world, I have worked collaboratively in building new era monetization models. This experience of different markets, understanding of target segments, and an attitude of appreciating sensitivities would add a new perspective to help my peers on the board to collectively build futuristic growth of an organization and strengthen the value proposition to cater the needs to current and future members.

Why do you want to serve as an international officer/director?

Toastmasters has played a key role in my life and career to where I am today. The journey from an IT engineer to Director of Growth of a global company would not have been possible without the transformational experience I had through Toastmasters. Leadership lessons learnt through serving in multiple roles has helped me navigate through numerous personal and professional challenges. Today, our organization is on the cusp of a revolution in creating even more positive impact to our Toastmasters member. I experienced the power of Toastmasters quite early in life and am aware of how it can transform the lives of young professionals. I am keen to help more people discover Toastmasters and let them experience its benefits. Through my profession skills and humble learnings from Toastmasters, I would like to serve with my peers on the board to help facilitate the best interests of members and our organization.

What volunteer experience do you have outside of Toastmasters?

As an alumni of the Indian School of Business, I volunteer for info sessions about the school, mentoring of current students, and interviews for admissions. For “Janagraha,” a citizen awareness not-for-profit organization, I was involved in creating awareness about the importance of having a voter ID card and voting during general elections. Lastly, I often volunteer with “The Ugly Indian,” a movement to help clean the street of cities.

Have you worked with other Boards of Directors outside of Toastmasters?

I have worked with members of multiple boards as a consultant for short-term projects. Most of the projects have been about viability of products in particular market or market entry strategy. These included mobile app companies from Australia, China, and North America. The assignments were project focused and I shared my expertise in business and digital marketing for target segments in Middle East and South East Asia. Each of the projects have been time-bound and highly confidential in nature requiring me to collaborate with different stakeholders and present focused topics to the respective boards.

In your opinion, what are Toastmasters International’s major objectives and how would you work to achieve them?

In my humble opinion, there are three major objectives of Toastmasters International. Firstly, to help make the member experience and learning more intuitive. Second, to keep the program and experiential learning relevant to create a positive impact in an individual’s personal and professional life. Lastly, to empower clubs in constantly providing positive learning experience to its members. I would bring my experience in Strategic planning, Digital Marketing, and Leadership to collaborate with fellow Board members to help develop strategic initiatives to meet the objectives and deliberate on topics to help make sure we remain the first choice for an individual to develop communication and leadership skills, keeping the values of our organization at the core.

Additional information about candidate:

As a Yoga and meditation practitioner, I have come to appreciate the power of awareness and staying fit. It has helped me become cognizant and compassionate both in my professional and personal life. I have realized that continuous learning is the way to acknowledge perspectives and sensitivities. Additionally, travelling is something that not only rejuvenates me but also builds perspective. Apart from travelling at numerous places in India, I have travelled to USA, Switzerland, Spain, Sri Lanka, China, and South Korea.