Ishan Galapathy: Building Businesses with a New Approach

The 10 Best Entrepreneurs with an Inspiring Story 2020 Vol 2

Capability Unlimited

Leading by example is more of an inspirational thought than an act in practice. But when you decide to lead on and leave a prominent mark of excellence, you are compelled to become an inspiring example for others. A similar thought propelled Ishan Galapathy to follow his passion which led to the founding of Capability Unlimited. With a positive approach Ishan ventured out into his entrepreneurial journey with Capability Unlimited that focusses on building capability within businesses to increase productivity and enhance team dynamics. Ishan has been an employee and now a leader, he has certainly come a long way in his professional journey and CIO Views is honored to feature his inspiring insights derived from his life experiences.

What were your dreams and aspirations while growing up? What led to the foundation of Capability Unlimited?

As child I wanted to be a pilot.  This wasn’t just a childhood fantasy. I really enjoy aviation.  However, I decided to study Mechatronics Engineering at the University of New South Wales in Sydney Australia.  Subsequently, joined the manufacturing sector and stayed in it since.  My last corporate role was with Kellogg, responsible for Manufacturing Excellence in the Asia Pac region.  I enjoyed this role very much despite the travel working with seven factories in six different time-zones.  On my old son’s 10th b’day back in 2014, I was overseas for work.  He was OK about it and I promised to celebrate when I got back.  However, waking up in a hotel room all by myself, staring at a blank wall I realized that I wanted to do something where I could be around my family a bit more.  I also wanted to demonstrate to my kids that it is Ok to take risks in life, if you believe in yourself.  One year later, I registered my business exactly on my son’s 11th b’day.  It reminds the me the reason why I started this journey.

What were the initial challenges and setbacks that you faced and how did you overcome it?

Like all entrepreneurs, generally there are more challenges than solutions.  I guess that what separates the entrepreneurs who are serious versus the ones who are just trying their luck.  Registering the business was easy.  Everything else from then on was an initial challenge.  I surrounded myself with some successful entrepreneurs as mentors and also obtained the services of a good business coach.  It helps to fast track the journey.

Tell us in brief about the services of Capability Unlimited.

We work predominantly with manufacturing businesses to help them move from chaos to excellence through productivity improvement programs and frontline leadership development programs.

How has technology helped in improving your business operations?

I now have a Business Manager who helps me with admin tasks.  Sharing cloud services to share documents and meeting with clients on Zoom are examples of how we use technology in our business.

How do you define the growth of the company over the past few years? (Can be explained with statistical data too)

Over the past 4.5 years I’ve been tremendously lucky with the growth.  Starting from zero revenue, the biggest growth came in my second year nearly doubling the topline.  In the last 18months, we have plateaued due to re-structuring and reformatting our services. However, the next 12months look really promising.

What is the scope and importance of team dynamics?

Given that it is a small business with one admin person and an extra person to help me with deployment, it is critically important that we understand what tasks are meant to be done irrespective of the who is meant to get it done.  It is important that we watch each other’s back and support each other.

What is your vision for the company?

I now want to work with organizational teams to help them improve productivity, based on what I’ve learnt from the manufacturing sector over the last two decades.  The principles can be readily transferred to most industry sectors.

Tell us about your roles and responsibilities as the Director of Capability Unlimited and how does it make you feel?

The title doesn’t really mean anything.  Honestly, I don’t really care for it that much.  It only shows up on name tags when I register for events ?

How do you manage to balance your personal and professional life?

With great difficulty.  It feels like I’m on holidays 24/7 and it also feels like I’m working 24/7.  One needs a lot of discipline to stay focused and also to separate the activities.  The family also need to be part of the journey.  I’ve got my kids involved in small activities such as mailing out my books.  It is also important to separate time with family and switch off.  Establishing a daily routine helps.  Having worked in manufacturing for over two decades I’ve established an early waking-up routing. So, I get at 5am even on the weekends.  Usually get things done before the family is up.

Describe yourself in one word and tell us what inspires you?

The one word that could describe me is “Positive”.  My family inspires me and I try to make everything I do about them, with them and for them.

Tell us in brief about your other venture named after you and how do you manage the operations of both?

I’ve established my name as a brand and trying to establish a speaking and authoring under this brand. I’m currently writing my second book titled “Rising Above Chaos”.  My keynote presentation is also titled the same.

What keeps you and your employees motivated?

The multi-national companies I worked for have got a lot of what I’m talking about somewhat well established.  However, a lot of mid-tier businesses are struggling trying to improve productivity.  Most are trying to implement technological solutions to cover the process gaps and it sometimes worsens the situation.  What we are driven by, is helping these small to mid-tier businesses and their owners the capacity to get more from their businesses than they thought possible.

What does the future of Capability Unlimited look like, globally? How do you plan to widespread the business?

There only two aspects of the business that will be spread globally.  Firstly, an online leadership program titled “Confident First-Time Manager” to help first time managers to become future leaders.  Secondly, speaking at leadership forums and conferences delivering my keynote presentation.

If a positive approach in life can reap such successful results, then every aspiring businessman should be motivated by Ishan’s journey that began from humble beginnings but catapulted to great heights. He is a leader who not only understands the importance of family time but also comprehended the need to follow his passion as an example for his kids, his team and the generation to come.