Downtime: How baking taught Pearson India’s Vinay Swamy essential lessons in leadership

Baking cakes is not just a way for Pearson India's Vinay Swamy to unwind and bond with his children. It has also taught him to plan ahead and manage his time better

A qualified chartered accountant and a corporate finance leader, Vinay Swamy, Country Head of learning company Pearson India, keeps a busy schedule. Yet, he has figured out ways to keep himself focussed and pumped up through the work week by spending his ‘me time’ doing something that delights him. For starters, he spends his mornings relaxing in his terrace garden. And every other week, he indulges himself by baking cakes.

Baking, he says, helps him to unwind, connect with his family, and create memories with them. For this baking enthusiast, the journey started in 2014, when he decided to turn his love of baking into a meaningful pursuit. And for that, he enrolled in a certification course at the Bengaluru-based Institute of Baking & Cake Art. “This allowed me to bake a strawberry cake for my mother-in-law’s 60th birthday. It’s been 10 years now, and she still recalls it as one of the best cakes she has ever had,” Swamy says with a smile.

The Pearson India boss says his ardour for baking has also played a pivotal role in his parenting journey. He recalls how he began baking delectable chocolate cakes nearly every week for his wife when his younger daughter Maanya was on the way. “This not only heightened my love for baking, but it also became a medium to craft some of my most cherished memories,” he says, adding that now, every moment spent baking with his children is a treasure for him. Not only do these baking sessions bring them closer, he says, but they also give him an opportunity to impart vital life skills to his children. For him, it’s a fun way of forging connections and cultivating endearing memories, and at the same time sharing in the sheer delight of baking a delicious cake.

Swamy says that the true joy of baking is not just in the end product, but in the process of making a cake. It’s a meticulous process that requires careful planning and foresight, which Swamy says, has helped him organise his life better.