We are overjoyed at this opportunity to shout out about our friend and colleague Patsy Padayatchi who has reached the incredible milestone of 28 years of loyal service to Lead.
Patsy is the Sales Manager in our home appliance company: Lead Household Appliances (Pty) Ltd. Since her very first day back in September 1995, she has been a consistently outstanding performer, showing remarkable commitment and passion and a dedication to excellence across all aspects of the business. Patsy feels it’s been a very happy and successful journey, and we say the company’s success over the last 3 decades is in no small part a tribute to the key role she has played in steering it .
She responded to a few questions about the journey…
Congratulations on reaching the incredible milestone of 28 years of loyal service to Lead. How do you feel about this?
“I’m proud – I never imagined myself working so long for any company. The work culture at Lead is great, we are like one big family. The 28 years with Lead, has no doubt been the best years of my working career, and it is the reason that I’ve remained so loyal.”
Can you tell me a bit about what your life was like before you joined the Lead family – like where you grew up and what you studied. Did you work elsewhere before working at Lead?
“I grew up in Lenasia and matriculated in 1986 at MH Joosub in Lenasia. I was 18 years old when I started my first job at Nouwen’s Carpets, a manufacturer. I secured a job with them in internal sales. I worked for them for close on 2 years and soon found better prospects at 2 other renowned carpet wholesalers, taking it to a total of 8 years in the carpeting industry. I then ventured into other industries to seek better prospects, and soon realized that sales was my forte.”
Can you remember how you felt on your first few days in September 1995?
“Excited for the new challenge and ready to prove my worth. Management and the staff made me feel so welcome. The warm, friendly family culture allowed me to fit in seamlessly with the Lead team.”
Describe one of your favourite work memories?
“It was my second year of working for Lead – it was the 31st of July 1997; I remember the date because my son was born the next day on the 1st of August 1997. I was sitting at my desk working and started to feel contractions, but didn’t think too much of it as I still had 3 weeks to go before my due date. My colleague got worried, and notified Colin (our FD). To my surprise Colin and 2 other staff members arrived in my office. He asked me. ‘Are you okay – are you really in labour?’ He jokingly said, ‘we were expecting you to be deep breathing here’ – but he obviously noticed that I was normal and composed.
I looked up at him, a bit shy and replied everything was fine and continued working because it was after all month end, and I needed to push to get all our deliveries out, because we were still short of target.
Before I knew it, it was time to go home. I travelled with my brother-in-law, and he said, ‘Patsy just to be safe – as we are going to hit peak traffic travelling to Lenasia – let’s just pop in at Parklane Clinic, just to check if everything is ok’.
We arrived at the clinic, the nurse examined me and to my surprise announced that I was in labour.
The next morning my doctor arrived, examined me and confirmed my baby was ready to be delivered. I was still waiting in the General Ward when I started getting call after call from work colleagues everyone expressing how surprised they are and wishing me well. My son was born at 14h00.
Rory (our MD) called me a few days later, after returning from an overseas trip, to congratulate me and tell me I had reached target for the month. He said to me. ‘You are unbelievable and crazy. You worked right ’till you went into labour’.
This memory sticks with me the most, as it was the turning point in my career with Lead. We sold up our house in Lenasia and we bought a house about 7 km away from Lead’s new offices in Modderfontein.
With a 4-year-old daughter and a newborn son, I felt I could raise my children while building a career with Lead and I did want to find a good balance between family and work. This was the best decision I made and I have no regrets.”
What are the things you’ve done at this company that you’re the proudest of?
“I have implemented many procedures that still today are being used. They allow the company to function effectively and they work – which makes me feel very proud.
I have grown our customer base and have developed and maintained good relationships with our customers over several decades, and this is evident in their continued loyal support.
Some of my independent retailers, are now into a third generation relationship with me, and it brings me so much of joy to see these accounts still with us and continuing to grow every day.
I run the company, with very little involvement from the Board of Directors. They have so much trust and confidence in me, that they let me run with it.”
Is there a motto / belief that you live by?
“Hard work doesn’t kill – it can only make you stronger.”
Who are your role models in life?
“My mom and dad are my biggest role models. I’m a product of the values and work ethics that they’ve instilled in me.”
How do you like to relax when you are not at work?
“I love cooking, gardening, watching a good movie or reading a book and most of all spending time with my family. My favourite holiday destination is Mpumalanga. I love the mountains and the breathtaking views. I find a sense of tranquility and peace when surrounded by nature and this allows me to disconnect from the normal hustle and bustle, and to unwind and relax.”
“The love and passion that I have for my job, keeps me challenged and striving to do better.“
“Working hard keeps me young and brings me joy.“
“I am excited for every single day.“
Setting the Bar for Customer Service
“Patsy is an amazing human being. I will never forget my first interview with her which concluded with her saying to me ‘Trust me and I wont let you down.’ I’m glad I did. Her professionalism and her honesty and integrity in dealing with our customers and colleagues deserves recognition, acknowledgement and appreciation. It is a great priviledge and honour to have worked with Patsy on our team for so long. But its not just work…she has an amazing family, is an amazing mother, wife and a great friend to so many, and contributes positively to the world she lives in. Thank you, Special Lady.“
Rory Macfarlane (MD)