Nachiket Patankar, 38, is the General Manager of SGA Security in charge of the Coast region.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering (Mechanical) from Datta Meghe College of Engineering in Mumbai and a Master’s Degree in Business studies (Financial management) from University of Pune.
Patankar also holds a post-graduate Diploma in Finance from IndSearch Institute Of Management Studies & Research, Pune.
He shared his career path with the Nation.
Briefly tell us about yourself.
My name is Nachiket Patankar, currently working at SGA Security as the General Manager in charge of the Coast region. I have been in this position for the last five years, and counting. I have an academic background in Finance and Mechanical Engineering. I am a result-driven professional who believes in team-work to heighten productivity.
Tell us about your childhood and family life.
I was born in 1983 and bred in India, in a city called Thane (Mumbai). I hail from a very humble family background in India. My father is running stationery material business whereas my mother is a teacher.
I spent my childhood playing outdoors as mobile phones and the internet were not available during 90’s in India. However, I have fond memories of my childhood with my siblings and friends.
I hold a Master’s Degree of Business studies (Financial management) from University of Pune, a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering (Mechanical) from Datta Meghe College of Engineering in Mumbai, a Post Graduate Diploma in Finance from IndSearch Institute Of Management Studies & Research, Pune.
During my third year while undertaking my Mechanical Engineering Degree at University of Pune, I was the best performer and I received the Sir Ratan Tata Scholarship for my academic performance. Similarly, I also secured first prize in Business quiz and state-level essay competitions respectively.
Share with us your career journey. How and where you started – position, scope of role.
I started my professional career in 2008 as a management trainee in Finance and Quality Assurance Engineering with Suzlon Energy and Manufacturing in India and rose to the rank of General Manager in my current position at SGA Security.
Previously, I was in charge of Corporate Finance in various companies including Securex Agencies in Uganda and Crescent Tech Ltd. in Nairobi.
With my experience, I am competent in financial planning and control, policy formulation and strategic planning.
I have learnt a lot at each step of my career. Having spent 10 years in the security industry, it gives me pleasure to serve and work with staff and also clients seeking security solutions for their homes and businesses.
My role at SGA allows me to be in touch with all the staff, regardless of their job levels, from the sub-ordinates to the top management.
What do you remember most about your career journey?
First and foremost, I owe Africa, and particularly Kenya, a lot for being my host as I scaled the professional ladder. My career journey so far has been very eventful. After completing my engineering course, I only worked for one year in the Engineering field as I spent more time in finance and crunching numbers.
My techno commercial background helped me to get entry into management cadre. SGA Security has truly assisted me to hone my skills and supported me to excel in my area of interest.
Although Covid-19 pandemic derailed each one of us in some way or the other, it has taught all of us how to handle the situation in the most adverse conditions.
How have you progressed over the year’s career wise?
Success has no short cuts. I am moving on a steady path in terms of career progression and looking forward to consolidate and scale higher up the ladder. I still have more than 20 productive years ahead in my professional career which will give me ample time and opportunity to progress in the future.
What has been a key driver of your career growth? Lessons learnt, celebrations and failures?
Hard work and dedication are fundamental to professional growth. Success and failures are part of any profession, but how you handle success and get over the failures will determine your forward progression.
Having the right attitude is also very important providing a platform where knowledge is gained. However, correct attitude needs to be cultivated. I usually share our success and failures with my team because nothing can be achieved alone.
Who are the people or relationships that were key in your career growth? How did they influence your trajectory?
Oh, there are many but just I will name but a few. First and foremost, my parents and family have been my pillars of strength and support. I also owe my gratitude to my teachers back home in India who groomed me with one of the greatest value system – education.
My bosses in charge of SGA Security presence in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, colleagues and team members play a part in my career growth through collaborative efforts. The diverse clients I interact with everyday have a substantial influence on my professional life.
Key decisions you might have taken along your career?
I left Mechanical Engineering field to join the private security industry. It has given me a lot of exposure and freedom to explore new ideas. Service industry gives you an opportunity to interact with many people and every interaction comes with some lessons and valuable networks.
Your current role and scope?
I spearhead overall operations of the entire Coast region, to ensure our quality security solutions to all our clients, aimed at customer satisfaction and delivery in the region and the entire country with extension to East Africa.
I lead 20 team leaders of various nationalities and diverse cultural background to manage the workforce of over 1500 employees and ensure workflow and turnaround of regional performance on medium and large scale projects. The team I work with are in Sales, Operations, Human Resource, Finance & Procurement departments within the region.
What would you tell your younger self?
Never be afraid to follow your passion. Always make viable decisions in your life. As the American actress and songwriter Sabrina Bryan said, “You can do anything as long as you have the passion, the drive, the focus, and the support”.
What would you advise the youth in Kenya and Africa today?
I am fascinated with the potential, hard work and resilience demonstrated by the youth in Kenya. With the right mentorship and guidance, they are bound to excel. Hard work and honesty are very important to grow in your career.
Keep on learning and upgrading yourself with new skills. While technology in Africa is changing each and every sector we are working in, do not fall prey to shoddy ways and short cuts.
Instead, take advantage of the significance that technology brings to explore more opportunities. As the future leaders, keep believing in yourself and stay focused on your endeavours and target. Success will definitely locate you!
I feel I am halfway through my professional career with a good half to go. Each day is a learning process. I am ready for the new challenges ahead with the hope to keep mentoring those around me, especially my team at SGA Security.