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Today we’re highlighting Rohit Wadhwa, who is our Head of Production at Fillmoore in Milton. Rohit is more than just an organized and integral part of our operations; he’s also an amazing leader and we’re thrilled to have him on our team.
Rohit’s job is to manage production of all the products that come out of our Toronto-based factory. If you’ve slept on an Industria pillow, Rohit and his team are to thank!
How long have you worked with Industria?
For four years and two months. When I first joined Industria back in 2017, I went to the old factory in Brampton and saw just two people and one machine. It’s amazing to think how much we’ve grown since then.
What is your role now, and how has it changed over the years?
When I first started back in 2017, the company was much smaller. They needed somebody to take care of the plant and fill the pillows. So, the cushions going out from Fillmoore were filled by me.
Over time, the team grew, and I became a team lead, a supervisor, and now I’m the Head of Production. That means I’m responsible for everything we make here in Toronto, and overseeing our production out west as well.
How did you come to this field?
Back in India, I used to work in sales, but the skills are surprisingly transferable. I had a team of 50 – 70 people there, and so I learned how to manage people, which has been a huge help now that I manage a similar number of people here at Fillmoore.
What are some of the most challenging parts of your job?
Our team here come from all different backgrounds and cultures. They’re also often quite young. So, it can be difficult to motivate them and help form a team culture.
So how do you deal with that?
A lot of talking. We start each day with a 5-10 minute meeting to go over our daily tasks and challenges. And during working hours, employees can listen to music, use speakers. Those little things that make the workplace more enjoyable really matter.
We give our teams the freedom to work as they want. We set the quantity goals each day, and as long as we hit those goals, employees can and should feel comfortable in their workplace.
What inspires you each day?
The first thing I normally do when I get up is check my emails. I get really inspired when I see the POs. I take each one as a challenge. How can we fulfill the goals we have, and hit the timelines? Those deadlines really inspire me.
What’s a project at Industria you’re particularly proud of?
In early 2020 when we merged with Superior Quilting, each company was producing about 3,000 cushions a shift, for a total of 6,000.
But we knew that the whole can be more than the sum of our parts. I didn’t set any goals for the first three days, I just wanted to see what our teams could do.
On the first shift, our new combined company produced 9,000 cushions. Now, we do an average of 11,000.
How did you achieve this?
It was really a combined effort of both teams coming together. Their experiences, cultures, and excitement to be working together.
How has COVID impacted the work you do at the factory?
We’re extra careful, of course. We make sure that everybody observes safe distancing and lunch breaks are now staggered. Along with all our other health and safety protocols, we’ve managed to make sure that production hasn’t been impacted.
What’s your favourite part of working at Industria?
My overall favourite part is when we have our team meetings with all the supervisors, team leads, and team members. We have a pizza party and celebrate our achievements. We normally do this once every few weeks, and it’s a great chance to meet everyone and share what we’ve achieved together.
So, what’s next for you? What do you see for your long-term career goals?
In the next few years, I would love to become the Director of Operations at Fillmoore. This would expand my role to include logistics.
I really want to continue growing with Industria, because this company has given me the freedom to do my job as I need to, without micromanaging. They’re also really good at helping me learn and grow professionally with courses and things like that.
Thank you, Rohit! We loved hearing from you and look forward to sharing more stories about the dedicated, passionate people who work at Industria. If you’d like to join us, make sure you check out our LinkedIn page here for our current open positions: https://www.linkedin.com/company/mahajan-home