As part of my series about the “How Business Leaders Plan To Rebuild In The Post COVID Economy”, I had the pleasure of interviewing David Indursky.
David joined ENCON full-time in 1993 and worked his way up to president. He’s most thankful for having an incredible working relationship with his father Marty — who founded the business in 1968 — for over 26 years which is rare for generational family businesses.
David’s vision is for ENCON to continue to lead the industry over the next 50 years, both in the use of technology, growing the team, and working with customers who appreciate the value of partnering with ENCON. “I give so much credit to our team and am really proud of their work and the degree of complex projects they have completed,” says David. “Some of our top performers have been with the company over 40 years.”
While Marty taught David to be a problem-solver early on, at the same time his mother Micki taught him compassion. This “figure it out” mentality mixed with his compassion for people and charity is a common thread throughout the company, and a value instilled in their team. While ENCON has always supported charities and the local community, David has taken it to the next level with the creation of ENCON’s Rock & Bowl charity bowling event to benefit the Make -A-Wish Foundation, and David was recently named Chairman of The Board of Make-A-Wish New Jersey. David and the team are proud to have donated over half a million dollars to charities nationwide.
Thank you so much for your time! I know that you are a very busy person. Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?
I was raised in the business. I interned every summer at ENCON starting in high school and experienced every entry level role from driving a truck to assisting techs on-site. I feel incredibly fortunate to be in a generational business.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘take aways’ you learned from that?
When I first joined the company full-time, it was right after a major change with the partners and I was thrown into many aspects of the business that I was unfamiliar with. It was an “all-hands-on-deck” period in the company’s history. I was very inexperienced and when I reflect back I made many funny mistakes — big and small. When I look back today, I realize I didn’t belong at some of the meetings I attended, BUT work needed to get done so we worked hard and figured it out. I remember I even installed an AC unit backwards because I didn’t know there was a direction to the equipment!
Although I started during trying times, as a young team we accomplished so much together. It was trial by fire and we grew tremendously as a united company during those years.
Is there a particular book that you read, or podcast you listened to, that really helped you in your career? Can you explain?
One of the first business books was The E Myth. Most small business owners spend all of their time working IN the business, not ON the business. This book was an early stepping stone in my career.
Extensive research suggests that “purpose driven business” are more successful in many areas. When you started your company what was your vision, your purpose?
In a family business, the second generation has the privilege — and detriment — to only know what the first generation did. My father did a great job developing a very technical business, and was attached to every single process with a mindset of an entrepreneur. My approach was to devise and develop the infrastructure and processes to continue to empower our staff to do their jobs successfully.
This approach set a new foundation for ENCON’s success, because we already had the technical competence. While the overarching company vision and the purpose was cast for me by my father, as I took more control of management decisions my purpose was to figure out how to grow the management side of the business in order to grow.
Do you have a “number one principle” that guides you through the ups and downs of running a business?
Yes, my number one principle is simple: Do the right thing.
Doing the right thing translates to all aspects of the way I run my business and it extends to our staff, too. It means we take care of our internal team and our customers.
If it doesn’t look right and feel right, then we probably shouldn’t do it. Simply put, if we under delivered on a job or we made a mistake then we own our mistake, have an honest conversation with the customer, and remedy it.
As hard as it is to do sometimes, ultimately, we strive to do the right thing.
Thank you for all that. The Covid-19 pandemic has affected nearly every aspect of our lives today. For the benefit of empowering our readers, can you share with our readers a few of the personal and family related challenges you faced during this crisis? Can you share what you’ve done to address those challenges?
To give you some background, we were a very traditional 50+ year-old company. We all worked from the office five days a week, the world of remote working was foreign to us, so we weren’t set up for it. We were totally unprepared.
When we were forced with a stay-at-home order, it was challenging to transition our teams to work from home. We had no technology infrastructure to help get us set up. However, our line of work was deemed essential so we never stopped working, we had to become virtual — literally overnight. We worked with the teams to develop new communication processes very quickly and didn’t miss a beat for our customers.
Can you share a few of the biggest work-related challenges you are facing during this pandemic? Can you share what you’ve done to address those challenges?
What makes ENCON unique is that we are quick to market with our work compared to our competition. We lost that connectivity that happens inherently within the office environment literally overnight. The collaboration with our staff within the office is priceless. People overhear conversations and step in to help solve the problem for co-workers throughout the day, that was instantly lost when we went virtual.
We quickly got up to speed with Microsoft Teams and Zoom to combat some of those challenges and help our staff effectively communicate. While we’ve always had an open door policy and all staff have my cell phone number, I’ve tried to reach out to more of them on an individual level and on a consistent basis to stay connected.
Many people have become anxious from the dramatic jolts of the news cycle. The fears related to the coronavirus pandemic have understandably heightened a sense of uncertainty, fear, and loneliness. What are a few ideas that you have used to offer support to your family and loved ones who were feeling anxious? Can you explain?
I’ve tried to find the good in everything and in whatever is going on around us — however you can find it in your own way. There are so many things to be grateful for, including the fact that as a company we’ve remained healthy through all of this — we’re busier than ever right now. We think about the positive side of things and the value we’re providing each day to continue to make our clients’ lives more comfortable.
I also try to limit my exposure to the news, too much negativity is overwhelming and it’s hard to parse out the facts.
In terms of staying connected with loved ones, our family did lots of late night games together virtually and happy hours on Zoom, as my son is in the Marines in Colorado. Leaning on your family and circle of loved ones now is more important than ever!
Obviously, we can’t know for certain what the Post-Covid economy will look like. But we can of course try our best to be prepared. We can reasonably assume that the Post-Covid economy will be a trying time for many people across the globe. Yet at the same time the Post-Covid growth can be a time of opportunity. Can you share a few of the opportunities that you anticipate in the Post-Covid economy?
Post-COVID, we have a huge opportunity to expand the business with our air purification systems. Our company lives in the commercial Class-A building space, so we are working with developers and business owners to determine how we can help them keep their environment as clean, safe and comfortable as possible while remaining cost effective.
We also work a lot in the medical space, so we’re talking to our customers to help them navigate a safer way forward within hospitals, surgery centers, etc.
How do you think the COVID pandemic might permanently change the way we behave, act or live?
It will change every aspect of the way we behave and live.
We actually have an event coming up and the organizers are talking about using different colored stickers to signify attendees who want to stay six feet away, give an elbow bump, or are open to a hug hello, because everyone has different feelings about what they’re comfortable with.
I was at Home Depot the other night and a gentleman was standing behind me way too close. We need to be extra mindful of being respectful while out in public.
Considering the potential challenges and opportunities in the Post-Covid economy, what do you personally plan to do to rebuild and grow your business or organization in the Post-Covid Economy?
One of the unique aspects of our business is that we are very diverse in our market sectors which has enabled us to remain busy during the pandemic. We’ll continue to look at getting deeper embedded in the senior living, medical, and multi-family housing spaces as we grow post-COVID.
We’re fortunate that we have a lot of opportunities from pharmaceutical to surgery centers to hospital spaces — all things that will be vital to rebuild NJ’s economy. Thankfully they still need our services.
Similarly, what would you encourage others to do?
I encourage others to look at their core business and if it’s finitely focused in one market sector, you may want to rethink the business and devise ways to use a broader brush to expand and pivot. We’ve seen this in restaurants that are surviving and even thriving, because they got very creative about their marketplace. You need to be able to think strategically about the long-term trajectory of your business.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
My favorite life lesson quote is “Act as if…” — Ben Affleck in Boiler Room.
You can fill in the blank after “Act as if…” There are days I need to act as if I’m the business owner and on other days I need to act as if I’m a tech installing a unit for a new client. As a leader, I’ve found you need to be able to act as if whatever the day calls for.
Act as if you care.
Act as if you have pride in your work.
Act as if you are the customer.
How can our readers further follow your work?