‘Panchsutras’ from my first month at Samagra: Unlocking Effective Strategies
Sambhavi Gupta
June 14, 2023

It's been over a month now since I joined Samagra. Starting from the ‘orientation week’ to now working alongside extremely talented and driven individuals as part of the outreach team - it has been a month of many learnings and takeaways.

The orientation week provided me with a window to understand Samagra comprehensively - this week was focussed entirely on understanding and imbibing the firm’s values, ways of working, it’s ‘core and constructs’, programs among others through knowledge sessions and discussions supplemented with a full day district visit to build a better understanding of the on-ground realities.

It was during this week when I was introduced to a common parlance used at Samagra known as the "Panchsutras" - a methodology of synthesizing key takeaways/learnings on any topic into no more than 5 bullet points that not only provides one with a comprehensive understanding of the theme overall but also helps with retention of the same. This is a task that may sound easy, but can potentially take you back to the drawing board if it fails to capture the essence of what you intended in the first place.

As I reflect on my first month at the firm, I am thrilled to take inspiration from this concept and share my ‘Panchsutras’ from my first month at Samagra:

  1. Creating your Matrices: Inspired by the Governance Matrix, I discovered how its principles can be applied to assess opportunities effectively and aid decision-making across my workstreams. For instance, to assess the need and frequency for a newsletter can be analyzed by placing the audience/ecosystem inclination towards a newsletter on the x-axis and the organization’s capacity to be able to create this newsletter on the y-axis. Based on this, one can assess if this workstream is a "Comatose”, “Sleeping Giant”, “Shooting Star," or "Battle Ready". Creating such matrices across all my workstreams has been enabling me to optimize resources and maximize impact by enabling me to strategically modify the goals and work towards enhancing my skills.
  2. Efficient Scaling = Process-ified Planning: The importance of breaking down goals and workstreams into long-term and short-term milestones cannot be overstated. In the past month, I have dedicated more time than ever to monthly, weekly, and daily planning. Although it may sound tedious, this process pays off by ensuring preparedness for unforeseen challenges or circumstances beyond one’s control. By doing regular planning, I have set achievable targets and adopted strategies, promoting efficient scaling and enhancement in overall productivity.
  3. Prioritizing Problem Solving: Problem solving (by the virtue of being a consulting firm!) is an essential practice firm-wide. Program teams across Samagra actively work towards arriving at efficient solutions to overcome challenges or problem statements at the program and/or workstream level. Embracing problem solving not only helps us navigate complexities but also fosters team-building. Having been part of a few weekly problem solving sessions now, I have come to realize that by collectively addressing challenges, we are able to arrive at creative solutions that not only helps in achieving better outcomes but also helps build trust among the team, as a source of trusted feedback.
  4. Professional Development: Samagra places a strong emphasis on professional development and provides a supportive environment for growth. One aspect of PD at Samagra are monthly 1:1 conversations that each team member has with his/her managers. More on this in Ujjwal’s blog here. Recently, after having my first 1:1 conversation, I was intrigued how this process gave me clarity of thought in terms of my focus areas for the coming month and how I could track my progress against these competencies. The prospects of transforming and growing as a professional going forward is what excites me the most!
  5. Open Communication: The work we do at Samagra demands our absolute 100%. The firm is dedicated to clear communication and expectation setting. This approach fosters transparency, facilitates collaboration, and promotes a positive work culture that values both performance and overall well-being.

sambhavi s blog

It's hard to believe that a month has already passed since I joined Samagra. The past few weeks have been filled with invaluable insights and experiences. The fact that I get to be a part of a team with great peers who empower me to take on new challenges and sail through with confidence has been truly rewarding.