Webgility’s Vice President of India Operations, Manoj Chhablani, is an HR strategic leader and people-performance strategist who’s been with the company since its launch in 2007. Over the years, he’s helped Webgility successfully scale by nurturing the culture of the SaaS-based software company’s Indore office, inspiring his teammates, and equipping the organization to operationally deliver at the highest rates of performance.

The award-winning HR leader has also authored the Amazon bestselling book, The Genius You, which details how to think, act, and live like a genius. He took time away from leveling-up Webgility team members to talk to us about how online retailers could apply tools from his personal excellence theories to find their ecommerce genius and reach their full potential as entrepreneurs.

Operations Excellence Award
Manoj has won a number of awards from the HR community, including the Operations Excellence Award from Red-FM, and the Top HR Minds and HR Leadership Awards from World HRD Congress.

Applying a Growth Mindset to Ecommerce

Team Webgility: Tell me about the key concepts of your book. Is there a backstory around how you came up with this philosophy? And how can ecommerce leaders put these concepts into practice?

Manoj Chhablani: After working closely with hundreds of professionals over the last 20 years, I’ve observed that each individual has a tremendous amount of potential. But most of them are settled with mediocrity and don’t want to leave their comfort zone. Several of them dream and desire to get the best in their lives, but they don’t want to give their best to get that. It’s with the same intent of igniting people around me to chase their dreams by taking massive action and living the life they aspired to that I’ve penned down my thoughts in the book. 

Having the copy of this book in my hand is a prime example of how a dream can be a reality and how I put those strong beliefs into practice with a growth-mindset approach. Yes, a few years back, I dreamt of authoring a book. Being in a full-time job with a bunch of other responsibilities, it was not an easy thing to accomplish, but the following two quotes kept igniting me:

  • “If you want something you never had, you have to do something you’ve never done.”
    —Thomas Jefferson
  • “Either write things worth reading or do things worth writing [about].”
    —Benjamin Franklin

    Here are the five key concepts The Genius You focuses on, which can apply to both personal growth and achieving ecommerce success
Manoj Chhabiani Quote
  1. Why live a mediocre life when you can create magic? Unleash the potential and live the life that you’ve dreamt of. As this applies to entrepreneurship, if you have the capability to grow your ecommerce business, why settle for little growth?
  2. Be uncomfortable in your comfort zone, and you’ll see the magic happening. Your business has to change to evolve, but the growing pains are worth it. Embrace these shifts as learning opportunities.
  3. Peak Performance Formula = (Potential-Interference) x Motivation x Environment. Identify the potential of your ecommerce business, eliminate all the interferences and hurdles, have motivation to build your business to the next level, and find an environment/ecosystem to support the growth.
  4. Have an opportunistic thinking style, empowering beliefs system, and a growth mindset to develop in your life. Look around the opportunities in ecommerce and omnichannel, believe in yourself and your team, and have a growth mindset to conquer the market.
  5. Fall in love with FEAR (Focus, Energy, Adaptability, and Resilience). There is certainly fear around the world due to the pandemic, but you have to face the fear by being energetic and adaptable to stay resilient. 

Assessing Organizational Strengths is Key

Webgility: The book is written to apply to people on a personal level. How could high-growth ecommerce businesses apply some of those same tenets?  

Chhablani: Ecommerce businesses tend to grow with creative strategies, and strategies are made by people. If we equip people that are responsible for making business decisions and creating strategies, nothing can stop the exponential growth. Ecommerce, despite being tech-oriented, is still people-centric, where several strategic key decisions are made by people themselves. 

It’s critical for ecommerce businesses to assess and leverage their strengths to seize the humongous opportunities that exist in the challenging yet high-growth environment. What ecommerce companies have to realize is, they’re in a relatively better spot to take advantage of this pandemic than any other businesses except healthcare. And it’s not just taking advantage of their business, per se, but they can even serve the customers uninterrupted supplies of daily needs by providing wonderful customer experience and building trust.

Ecommerce companies have the technology, talent, and opportunity to take a big leap, and all they require is the right strategies and execution to succeed. Focusing and prioritizing a strategic roadmap and walking on the roadmap (as close to perfection as possible) is the key to success that the market offers in the current pandemic. Business owners and executives of ecommerce businesses have to continue to believe in the ever-evolving story of ecommerce, have a growth mindset, and leave their comfort zones by making some creative and bold decisions to take advantage of opportunities that exist.

Manoj Chhabiani, VP of India Operations, Webgility

Additionally, data is the new superpower—it not only helps in analyzing the past but also provides valuable insights in proactively taking the decisions that change the course of the business. When it comes to ecommerce businesses, there’s an ample amount of data, which can certainly help in key decision-making if analyzed with the right mindset and purpose. 

Make Well-Being Part of Strategic Planning

Webgility: Why is the concept of carefully crafting a path toward betterment (whether we’re talking about personal or business) more important now than ever? What is the impact of the pandemic on people and organizations’ strategic planning, and why is having long-term goals that are documented by something agile so crucial? 

Chhablani: As the saying goes, “If you’re still talking about what you did yesterday, you haven’t done much today.”

The impact of the current pandemic [on the business world] is widespread. Billions of organizations have barely survived, millions have lost their jobs, and thousands have closed their businesses. Why? Because they were not prepared for the sudden change. However, several businesses and individuals have made big leaps within these challenges. The reason they were able to do so is they were better prepared in terms of skills and innovation. The path of consistently getting better, whether one is an individual or running a multi-million dollar business, is the need of the hour. These are different times, and the ones ready with better life skills, social skills, and tech skills are certainly going to thrive in these challenging eras. 

This pandemic has made a huge shift in people’s and organizations’ strategic planning. The strategies made earlier require a major shift, as they were not made for the “new normal.” The major change that we’ve encountered is in the way we operate ourselves and our businesses. The definition of workplace and personal interaction has changed completely, and physical and mental well-being have taken the center seat. This certainly requires a strategic shift by business owners. 

Manoj Chhabiani, VP of India Operations, Webgility Quote

Meanwhile in India, we are still in the midst of the crisis. Several of our teammates at Webgility have had health challenges due to COVID. However, their mental toughness has helped them stay strong, social ties have provided much-needed psychological support, and physical well-being (strong immunity) has supported them to fight the crisis. Guess what? They made a successful comeback, and they’re stronger than they were before! 

In the end, as humans, we have a tremendous amount of potential, and we can do wonders. All we have to do is believe in ourselves, have a growth mindset, and take advantage of every opportunity that exists. And trust me, there are ample opportunities for every ecommerce business. Just go grab it!