Jagrut's 2020 Hero is Kaushik Vakil, Sr. Vice President, Aditya Birla Group
My 2020 Hero is Mr. Kaushik Vakil (Sr. Vice President, Head Copper Vertical, Unit-Birla Copper, Hindalco Industries Limited, Aditya Birla Group)
Challenges: There was an unprecedented and sudden halt of plant operations when COVID-19 struck in March, 2020. To run plants with 20% resources, he used his 'never say die' approach and quick decision-making skills to help restructure and run at least one plant by combining the teams of various plants.
When the 1st COVID case got identified on July 19, the preparedness, planning and vision of senior leadership (which he was a part of) helped prevent further spread of the virus by way of contact tracing, isolation, quarantining and sanitization.
We found him leading the front with great commitment when employees were afraid to join the plant due to cases of COVID-19 by risking his own health, meeting people regularly at a work spot, and encouraging them to join back.
He seamlessly took on several challenges such as handling 1000 people in a planned shutdown of Cu-1 through planning and system orientation.
Personal Commitment and Sacrifice (Work-life balance): Mr. Kaushik is a family-bonded person. However, in crisis, we found him sacrificing his personal life as he couldn't visit his family for months (though they were only 120 km away) as he was busy resolving plant issues. He maintains his fitness and health by walking, reading, listening to music, and finding time for himself in spite of his very busy schedule.