Meet the Director: Dharmesh Chauhan

Hello, I’m Dharmesh Chauhan, a Digital Learning Consultant for Domestic & General. I look after our digital learning provision for third-party clients, working with organisations ranging from online and national retailers to domestic appliance manufacturers.

I’ve been an eLN Director for 14 months and a member for around 2 years.

What do you like most about the L&D field?

Whilst I’ve worked within an L&D function previously, I’m currently part of our Client Sales & Business Development function. What I enjoy most about my role is building relationships with client organisations as well as leading a team who are new to digital learning.

What made you decide to stand for the eLN board?

As an eLN member I wanted to be part of a collaborative network where we share and gain knowledge from each other’s experiences. As a Director I would like to help grow our community and raise awareness that the eLN is here to mentor, support, guide and inspire.

What would your dream job be?

Growing up I always wanted to be an archaeologist because of the Indiana Jones movies. As a child I believed that’s what archaeologists actually got up to when not lecturing!

A dream job now would be working within the CGI industry for movies. It involves technology, photography, getting out and about on location with some time working from home, all quite creative elements and right up my street.

What does a typical work day look like to you?

I’m usually with clients 3 days a week and spend a lot time travelling around the UK or down to our Wimbledon head office.

Given the lockdown, a typical day consists of checking in with my team to help them with any issues, keeping in touch with our clients to update them on various initiatives or projects, scoping out new client launch plans, working with the wider L&D team on blended learning initiatives and keeping on top of statutory and regulatory program completions.

Something a little bit different we’ve recently completed was our Move for Mind challenge which focused on wellbeing. This involved an entire department running, walking or cycling 3410 miles from London to Dubai (virtually), and we raised a staggering £1559 for Mind which was seriously impressive.

What book are you reading right now? Or what podcast are you listening to?

Currently on my playlist is the Eddie Hearn podcast No Passion No Point. I’m not a huge boxing fan but listening to people’s candid stories, challenges and successes keeps me inspired and focused.

In terms of a good read, I’m about to start The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks which tells the story of a lady whose cells were taken from her body without her knowledge and were used to form the HeLa cell line, which became one of the most important tools in medicine.

What is your favourite type of training to either build or deliver? And why

Whilst a lot of my time is spent keeping on top of clients’ statutory and mandatory learning, what I most enjoy working on is our Engaging Conversations sales training program, which focuses on areas such as effective questions or converting product features into customer benefits.

It’s amazing how a few simple techniques can make a huge difference to both the customer experience and the learners’ performance in the workplace.

If you could give yourself advice when you were first starting out, what would it be?

Have confidence and believe in yourself.   Also, keep it ‘simples’ – usually the best ideas are the simple ones.

What has been your proudest moment?

In terms of professionally, I was delighted to win a Learning Pool award for the most innovative use of learning technologies in 2018. At the time I’d only been in digital learning for around 10 months and the project involved a full-scale rollout of a multi-tenant learning platform. It was a fantastic team effort with a lot of late nights and to receive that type of recognition and pick up the award made it all worthwhile.

Personally, I’d say my wedding day as we had two ceremonies in one day! We kicked off the day early with a traditional English church ceremony followed by the wedding breakfast, and in the evening, we condensed down what is usually a 4-hour Indian ceremony to a 90-minute blessing. All of our guests got changed from their traditional English attire into Indian clothes for the second ceremony, and despite the crazy schedule and many logistical challenges, everything turned out perfect on the day!

If you could go back in time, what year would you travel to and why?

I’d probably like to go forward rather than back in time to be honest, as I’ve always fancied trying out that DeLorean.

If you were a super-hero, what powers would you have?

I’d choose to have the power to speak, write and communicate in any language. From human to non-human, from programming languages to extra-terrestrial communication. That would be a very useful superpower!

If you could share a meal with any 4 individuals, living or dead, who would they be?

It would be great to enjoy a meal with both sets of grandparents as I never really knew them, and I’d love to introduce them to my daughter. Since becoming a father I’ve become more interested in hearing stories about what my parents were like as kids and I’m always trying to find out more about my family history.

What’s the most daring thing you’ve ever done?

Manta Ray snorkelling in the Maldives. Although they are not dangerous, they are huge, up to 7 meters in width! Scary as well as exciting! I would definitely try it again, but I’d probably like to opt for diving next time.

What three items would you take with you on a desert island and why?

My Indian spice tin! I’m not sure what my diet would consist of on a desert island so my spice options would be a real treat.  A football to help keep fit. A good quality spiced rum.

 What’s the most unusual thing you’ve ever eaten?

Bone marrow soup when I was working in India – interesting!

Would you rather win the lottery or work at the perfect job? And why?

I’d want to win the lottery for obvious reasons, and then build a business enabling others to work their perfect job!

 Aside from necessities, what one thing could you not go a day without?

Daily cuddles from my 14-month-old daughter, Isla. They make my day and always put a smile on my face.

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