Vaishali seeks to connect people and possibilities; Moundir unlocks profits and productivity. Together, they demonstrate that there’s no limit to what you can achieve when you dream big—and manage small.
Vaishali describes herself as a “naturally curious person.” As a child growing up in Mumbai, she read constantly, dreamed of traveling, and longed to “create a life without limits.”
Seeking to fulfill that vision, Vaishali became one of BCG’s first employees in India, joining our Mumbai office in 1997 shortly after earning her MBA from the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad. Within a decade, she had become BCG’s first female partner of Indian descent, and she is now a senior partner in our Singapore office.
Among her many roles at BCG is leadership of our Technology, Media & Telecommunications practice in Southeast Asia. “Just as books and education opened up my world, mobile technology is opening up a world of opportunities for people in emerging markets,” she says. “Mobile is far more than a communication platform, it connects people to new ideas—and new possibilities—to help them create the better life they seek.”
“I learned at BCG that the first rule of success is never to define barriers for yourself. There is no ceiling—ceilings exist only in your mind.”—Vaishali
Moundir’s quest to find a better way has always driven him to dig deeper. In 2010, that quest led him to BCG. After 15 years of experience in manufacturing and logistics—including working as the head of operations at a Toyota plant in France—Moundir sought to expand his career in a more strategic direction. Today, he is a leader of our Western European and South American operations centers.
An expert in lean operations management, Moundir compares what he does with detective work, uncovering inefficiencies, or waste, that can add expensive time and cost to our clients’ businesses. “We help our clients examine every piece of the puzzle—how their plants, warehouses, supply chain, and people—all work together,” Moundir said. “That’s where companies can make the leap from incremental changes to breakthrough improvements of 20 percent and more.”
As creative as he is inquisitive, Moundir launched BCG’s mobile-lab program at our Paris office, creating gamelike simulations that help client teams rethink their manufacturing and supply-chain operations. “The complexity of these issues can mask the underlying opportunities,” he says. “Lab simulations enable client teams to visualize how their operations could work, with an entirely fresh mind.”
Although their roles at BCG may be vastly different, both Vaishali and Moundir share the same determination to acquire in-depth knowledge of their clients’ challenges from the ground up, no matter where that takes them.
“I’ve never hesitated to go anywhere,” says Vaishali, who has traveled to more than 20 emerging nations to help her clients uncover new insights into being more competitive and profitable in those markets. Vaishali refers to it as being street-smart and urges her clients to “win big by thinking small” and to go beneath the surface to really understand what drives the local markets in which they compete.
Among her treks was a memorable visit—complete with bodyguards, a precaution her client insisted upon—to Lagos, Nigeria’s “computer villages,” teeming outdoor markets with hundreds of vendors selling telecom equipment.
Moundir estimates that he flies more than 60 times a year, visiting different plants, warehouses, suppliers, and customer locations. “What you learn by talking to people about operations is that many of the challenges are as much cultural as they are physical,” he says. “It’s the truly great companies that are able to get both dimensions right.”
Photography by Paolo Pellegrin of Magnum Photos.