My Working Day – Shabbir Mookhtiar and Dinesh Patil – Founders of Cook My Grub

Shabbir Mookhtiar (L) and Dinesh Patil (R)

Left to Right: Shabbir Mookhtiar and Dinesh Patil

As the leader of a company, you are there to set an example, to lead and inspire a team of individuals to achieve a series of business goals. But how do these business leaders go about their daily routine? Business Leader spoke to Shabbir Mookhtiar (SM) and Dinesh Patil (DP) – Founders of Cook My Grub, about their working day.

What time do you usually wake up?

SM: My day usually starts at 7am. I tend to have a remote stand-up meeting at that time with one of our off-shore technology teams – it’s actually midday where they are by then, so I have to be up early!

DP: My working day starts at 6am, every day – we have to be early risers due to the realities of running a rapidly growing start-up!

What do you typically have for breakfast?

SM: Eggs, toast and a cup of tea.

DP: I usually go for the same as Shabbir – eggs, toast and tea start my day off just right.

What’s the rest of your morning routine before you start work?

SM: Before starting work, I usually spend some time reading through recommended tech blogs and current affairs to ensure I stay abreast of the latest news in the world.

DP: My morning is typically filled by the school drop-off and watching BBC Breakfast News. I also love to call my family back home in India for a morning catch-up!

What is the first thing you do at the start of the workday?

SM: Cook My Grub is an industry-first, so it’s very important to check the analytics from the previous day to see how we’re performing within the sector. This is the first thing I do every morning. In the last quarter alone, we’ve seen a 300% uplift in orders, 100% growth in customers and a 200% increase in active users – it’s so exciting to witness these numbers grow so quickly.

DP: My mornings are all about planning. We have ambitious plans to rapidly scale the business and build sales, so every day is precious, and planning is essential. First things first, I check the calendar to arrange my to-do list – I then like to prepare for any meetings I have coming up that day.

How do you prioritise your work?                                              

SM: At the beginning of the week, I tend to prioritise my technology tasks and then pick up my marketing tasks later. This is purely driven by the nature of the food industry – traffic and sales tend to pick up in the latter half of the week.

DP: I like to prioritise my workload based on urgency and importance. At the beginning of each day, I like to ensure I know exactly what should be dealt with first.

Do you plan meetings or are they a waste of time?

SM: I like to keep meetings short and concise. Internal meetings are generally run in a scrum, stand up format using  Kanban boards to keep things focused. I’m a strong believer in developing nurturing environments as a means of getting the most out of an individual’s strengths and this format allows everyone to have a voice.

DP: Well-planned and run meetings are an essential part of how we operate our business. I always like to plan meetings so we can ensure everyone is involved and prepared, ready to make key decisions.

When does your working day finish?

SM: Being a technology start-up founder with a global team is tough work – I normally work past 10pm supporting our developers working in Canada.

DP: We leave the office at 6:30pm every day, but we both tend to work between 9:00 – 11:30pm when we get home. We’re currently executing a major expansion drive, launching Cook My Grub in other areas of the UK so we spend a lot of extra time planning for this while liaising with our tech team members working around the world in different time zones.

How do you prepare for your next day’s work?

SM: After looking at my to-do list, I normally block off some time in my calendar for the next day to take a step back and ensure everything is moving in the direction it needs. Often leaders get bogged down in constant meetings, but dedicating time to reflect is so important.

DP: Before switching off I like to reflect on what I had planned for the day, versus what I achieved. This helps me focus and prioritise for my work in the days to come.

What’s your favourite piece of technology?

SM: Trello is definitely becoming a favourite; it really helps us to collaborate with teams both internally and externally. But I’d say Slack is used most frequently across the business – it’s now so ingrained that you wonder how we coped before…

DP: I would have to say my iMac – I couldn’t imagine doing any work without it! It’s the best piece of technology I own.

How do you switch off?

SM: I love to sit back and watch the sports highlights from the day. I also enjoy watching a TV show on one of the many streaming platforms we’re subscribed to.

DP: Spending time with my one-year-old son is a sure way to take my mind off work! I also like to turn off my phone when trying to relax so I won’t be tempted to have a peak at emails.

Best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

SM: Don’t let an early failure set you back – keep trying until you succeed.

DP: Stay focused! Don’t lose confidence, even if you experience failure along the way.