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I am Peyush Bansal, CEO Of Lenskart, And This Is How I Work

I am Peyush Bansal, CEO Of Lenskart, And This Is How I Work

The word entrepreneur, coined by economist Richard Cantillon, means "bearer of risk". And the journey of Lenskart CEO Peyush Bansal is an ideal example of how calculated risks can turn an unproven business plan into one of the most successful endeavours of all time. At a time when e-commerce start-ups were playing safe by emulating successful business models in India, this IIM Bangalore alumnus toyed with an innovative idea of selling spectacles online. Lenskart was launched in 2010 and six years later, it stands as a leading market player, selling 1,50,000 spectacles a month.

We met Peyush to learn how he revolutionized traditional optical retailing in India and this is how he works.

Location : New Delhi

Current Gig : CEO of Lenskart

One word that best describes how you work : Swift

Current mobile device : iPhone 6

Current computer : MacBook

Tell us about your journey and how did you get where you have?

After completing my post graduation from IIM Bangalore, I went through a series of failed interviews before landing one of most enviable jobs at Microsoft USA. However, I felt I was losing myself in the enormity of the software bubble with nearly 70,000 people on the campus. After much introspection, I realized that I wanted to commit to something bigger in life. I was not comfortable with the idea of being one of the faces in the crowd.

I decided to quit my job and return to India after I realized that the kind of problems we were working at were very small as compared to the ones in India.

After a few months of indecisiveness, I returned and began my journey as an entrepreneur. I ventured into classifieds business from my basement with a website called SearchMyCampus that targeted college students. Major revenues were coming through advertising and while we were doing well, we had ambitions to look at other projects which could grow even bigger.

That is when the idea of selling specs online in India was conceived. Initially, the main challenge was how to make specs, followed by how to make good quality specs and perform eye exams.

This year we plan to strengthen Lenskart Lite - a version for the markets which may not have 4G connections and large retail stores.

What's your best time-saving shortcut or life hack?

I am most productive in the morning, between 6-8 am and I like to utilize these crucial hours to the best of my capability. I multitask at the gym and hold work calls when I am on the cross-trainer for a good 35-40 mins. At times, people realize that I am panting but I always deny it. (laughs)

Also, I prefer being driven to work. That helps me utilize my commute time to hold video calls and streamline workflow. I avoid activities that waste time. Even at airports, I skip the serpentine queues by checking in late and boarding the flight after everyone else does.

I also use a lifestyle hack to stay away from binge eating. Every evening, I order a bowl of soup to fill myself up in order to avoid over-eating when snacks are served.

Technology helps me in developing new habits too. I am a very critical person by nature and often miss appreciating people, which is something I am not proud of as a leader. I now schedule an SAP (Simply Appreciate People) reminder on Google calendar, which reminds me to write an e-mail to one employee every day, appreciating him/her for work.

The calendar also reminds me to stay hydrated. Three time slots (11 am, 2 pm and 5 pm) are designated to remind me to drink 4 liters of water daily.

I believe in effective time management as well. I reach office between 9-9:30 am every day. When I work on a crucial project, I re-locate that team closer to my cabin temporarily. Every time I see them, I'm reminded to complete the project on time. Also, clients who fly to Delhi to visit me are shifted to a place close to my house, so I can easily meet them without wasting any time on travel.

What everyday thing are you better at than everyone else?

I am very resourceful. I don't tend to over-think or over-analyze. I take tough decisions pretty faster than most people. In addition to that, my strength lies in my support systems. I have created a system where in I hold people accountable for various tasks at every stage. It not only gives them a sense of power, also divides work, increases productivity and works well as an organizational hack.

What are you currently reading?

I like reading a certain style of books - mainly those on people, culture, and organizations. I also try to implement the takeaways into my work. Currently, I am reading Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike . One of my all-time favorite reads is Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger. The book tells you how things go viral. These days, I'm quite fascinated by the concept of audiobooks. In fact, I rely on Audible app on flights.

What's your sleep routine like?

I sleep for six hours flat, from 11 pm to 5 am, no less no more. It is not a conscious effort, it is just that my body clock works that way.

What apps/software/tools can't you live without?

I get a lot of mails every day, many of which do not call for immediate attention but would need my response in a few days. So, I use Boomerang for Gmail to snooze e-mails and set follow-up reminders. This way, I get to prioritize my work without overlooking the mails I need to address later. People think I remember everything but the secret weapon is Boomerang.

I am also heavily dependent on Whatsapp to ease out my work woes. Currently, we are thinking about a new warehouse and all discussions regarding the store design and logistics are discussed on Whatsapp. In fact, some of the most important decisions are taken on Whatsapp group called 'Lenskart Leaders', which includes all core members of the company including CXO, COO, VP and co-founders.

I also use Asana to track the progress of various teams, OneNote to maintain logs and Google Calendar to manage my daily schedule.

What's your work-space setup like?

I like to have the best space in office (laughs). My workstation is clean and well-lit. Laptops don't fascinate me. Around 70 per cent of my work is done on smartphone, 25 per cent on desktop and 5 per cent laptop. And I work on dual monitor system - one solely to track incoming mails and the other for rest of the work. Weekdays are quite hectic in office, so I prefer working from home over the weekend. Meetings on Saturdays are held in the basement of my house, which is a humble office set-up with a conference room and a couch.

How do you recharge when you feel exhausted after managing all the responsibilities at work?

Whenever I'm exhausted, I tune into interesting TV shows. I'm hooked to Netflix and have seen every show rated 4 stars or more.

What's the best advice you've ever received?

'Health is Wealth'. When I began work as an entrepreneur, the only thing bothering me apart from work was my weight. I realized the importance of health and with a chang e in my lifestyle and diet, I have lost around 11 kgs (from the 20 kgs gain) in the last two years. I was also often advised to stay focused and disciplined, which I believe is crucial for both, personal and professional growth.

Also Read: I am Suchi Mukherjee, CEO & Founder of Limeroad, and This is How I Work

The How I Work series asks heroes, experts, and flat-out productive people to share their shortcuts, workspaces, routines, and more. Have someone you want to see featured, or questions you think we should ask? Email Ishita.

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