Malti Lakhani, Founder at Kaizen Institute of Training Excellence
Great Companies: How did you get your idea or concept for the business?
Malti Lakhani : There is always a triggering point in past for some event in life. Thus, two stories on a different time line triggered the birth of my company – Kaizen Institute of Training Excellence.
Event 1 : During my second job in 1993, I worked as a Systems Executive for an organisation that catered to BARC. I was rated as the best employee for the year 1993 under the Japanese Management System – Kaizen. That was the time, I imagined to start a company of my own someday and name it as Kaizen.
Event 2 : Further, in 1996, as my first job on the post of a Branch Head with an IT Company, I was asked to address the students and faculty. For the first time, I could not stand on my feet, or speak to people. I so wished that I could faint and be carried away from the spot as I did could not even gather the courage to walk away. Smartly for that time, I saved myself by pushing the mike to the ex-branch head and excused my turn by saying I will speak when I have achieved something with the team! I realised the fear of public speaking was more than the fear of death!!
I made up my mind to do something in my career that would connect me to people and drive away the fear for once and all. Years later, I find myself training and coaching every level of employee, conducting outbound trainings, creating training content, networking, and so on..
And that was the story of birth of Kaizen Institute of Training Excellence in 2015! A dream realized after 22 years!
Great Companies: What are the various Services provided by Kaizen Institute of Training Excellence
Malti Lakhani : Kaizen is offering services in the following Categories :
1. Students : Training for Aviation, Hospitality, Travel and Tourism, Retail, Event, Dramatics, Personality Development, and so on. The Trainings are followed with Placement assistance.
2. Corporates : Employee Training at all levels, Coaching for Mid, Senior and Top Level, Content development for Training, Outbound Training, Change Management, Behaviour Based Safety Management, Soft Skills, Business Consultancy, etc.
Great Companies: What makes Kaizen Institute of Training Excellence different from hundreds of other Training and Development firms?
Malti Lakhani : Every organisation is unique and has had great intentions while it was born. Kaizen decided to stick to its meaning – Continuous Improvement (Kai-Zen). With this goal in mind, we have ensured to grow each minute, day and year, together.
1. We have had many students from weak financial background whom Kaizen supported with great discounts and support in studies also giving them internships with us while they learnt. We
2. We have had many students pursuing other courses along with Kaizen courses whom we supported by providing them access to our classrooms entire day so that they could stay back to study for their other courses.
3. We guided few UPSC exams students, students reappearing for boards by motivating them to study positively and guiding them through during their queries, though this was not a part of Kaizen’s course.
4. We also counselled and continue counselling students who have lost their hopes and have had self-destructive thoughts. Some such students have been placed well in the industry with proper guiding and counselling and have been doing very well since then. Proud to state that we rose hopes and positive mindsets.
5. Kaizen has worked closely with blue-collar employees in the industries and has been able to deliver complex ideas in very simple manner. No wonder, we have been favourites in the corporate sector, specially for organisations who have tried our services!
6. Kaizen has been helping students with presenting themselves in interviews and bagging jobs. Ours students do say that if there was one company that should have been for motivating lives and career, it sure would be Kaizen Institute of Training Excellence.
7. Kaizen might have missed to make money, but never missed to collect blessings! It’s a living entity of heart, body and caring souls.
Great Companies: What are the struggles and challenges you face?
Malti Lakhani : Challenges have been only another upping stones! But yes, before we overcome them, they have been the struggling milestones for us. We have borne the brunt of exit of various Airlines which in turn gave us less confident footfalls. Demonitization came as another hitch. And to top up was the Pandemic! Yet, we have not seen much fall in terms of percentage of work we have been doing. There is definitely fall in number of projects currently than what we handled earlier. There has been a stagnancy on and off but the word of mouth and repeat clients have saved us in time! It helps to build a “Delighted Client” base for an automatic traction in the business. 40 percent of clients are through Word of Mouth. But, building that rapport is the biggest challenge organisations should serve well.
While designing and delivering a Self Development content for the Self Help Groups of Maharastra (under Mahahrastra State Rural Livelyhood Mission, Mahrastra Goverment) the biggest challenge was to explain the technical and management terms to the Rural folks. Kaizen took up the challenge to design a very simple and user friendly curriculum to raise the bar of motivation and excitement in learning. Its not about fitting them in our training. It’s all about fitting our training in them!
Great Companies: How do you plan to grow in the future? What does 5 years down the line look like for Kaizen Institute of Training Excellence?
Malti Lakhani : The skyline of my industry from my vision window is completely changing! Earlier, where we used to have a professional approach for training sessions requested by organisation, now they have started considering Resilience training, Soft training approach, Happiness Quotient approach, and so on apart from mainstream trainings. For Kaizen, these were always the top of the cake. Now, we have better opportunities to present what we believed in with the advantage of even the industry believing and seeing the same.
Kaizen Institute of Training Excellence is focusing on supporting women entrepreneurs by providing them tools and techniques to solve their day to day business problems, in 2021. Kaizen is in process of signing up projects in the areas of expansion of a pharmacy chain, developing training content for Tribals of different states, and so on.
By 2025, we are aiming to positively support 2000 women entrepreneurs in developing tools and techniques to help deal their day to day business problems with implementation of Kaizen practices. The journey has already begun! At the same time expanding to international frontiers is on the cards!
Great Companies: If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?
Malti Lakhani : When you begin, all you need is TRUST in yourself. Trust leads to perseverant approach. And that means never giving up. Innovating ways to reach your dream if one way fails. There aren’t 100 failed ideas. They are all new ways which did not work in a particular case. They could be used by someone else. So, you document failures so as to not repeat them for the world will document your success.