Since you started here in late 2017, you have helped Diaz Group evolve from a decentralized, paper-based record-keeping system to the integrated digital systems that we use today. What was the biggest challenge you faced in affecting all that change? Do you ever miss the old way?
Never! I am definitely not missing the old ways. Checks and balances are the foundation of any company and we have solidified that foundation with our integrated systems. The biggest challenge by far was to get everyone on the same page. On the surface, this meant overcoming some language barriers. My first language is Gujarati, which was my native tongue growing up in India. For many of our employees, Spanish is their first language. Our common ground is English but some back-and-forth was necessary to get a true understanding. Beyond that surface problem, the real challenge to doing this was to convince everyone to adapt to our new technology and processes. Making sure everyone understands that time is of the essence when gathering data and that all pertinent data must be kept in one centralized location — in other words, replacing the old habits with new ones — has been the real challenge.
You were born over 8,000 miles away from where you live today and you are an enthusiastic world traveler to this day. What is the most interesting place you have ever traveled to and why?
My favorite, so far, was Tanzania, a country in eastern Africa. During our visit there, we visited Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Crater, and Lake Manyara. Watching wildlife in their natural habitat so closely was a great experience. We also visited a village where some of the Maasai, one of the most famous tribes of Africa, reside. They live happily with the least of amenities that we have. For the Maasai people, life revolves around amassing and grazing large herds of cows. Their cultural dance and vibrant colored, beautifully crafted handiwork were very interesting.
Among other things, you enjoy the cultural exchange that has become a part of Diaz Group, especially when it comes to food. You have introduced the Diaz Group family to some wonderful Indian cuisine and it’s no secret that you enjoy hot and spicy foods. Can you describe your favorite dish?
My Favorite dish is called Dosa and it originated in South India. Dosa is a thin flatbread made with a fermented batter created using rice and lentils. It is similar to a crepe but usually savory, with a hint of salt. I like to eat dosa with spicy Sambhar, a lentil-based stew with vegetables, and also with potato filling and coconut chutney. Dosa must be served immediately. You cannot make dosa in advance or save them for another time.