"Let yourself be silently drawn by the stronger pull of what you really love" - Rumi
This beautiful quote cited above captures what how has my journey in last 25 years has been. There is one thing that has always differentiated me and that is the inner peace and joy which I experience while pursuing the work, I enjoy every bit of effort that I put in and that makes me want more of it. My commitment and focus towards my career have always been a result of this love for the process of achieving it. I remember my days during high school, there was no competition that I did not participate in, the thrill of those rounds, passion to perform better, it all developed from the very inception. I began my journey as a protective child in a small town Sirsa, in Haryana. I had a beautiful childhood in this place and made my parents proud time to time by my small achievements which very significant at that time. My parents always had faith in me and I believe that has been the cherry on the cake all this while. I moved to Delhi after my 10th standard to build my career as an engineer. Those two years were a game changer for me. Moving from a protective environment to the open fields with the competition levels so high helped me mold my personality constructively, and there has been no stopping ever since. I got admission in Delhi college of Engineering in 2009 and I opted for the area of expertise I always wanted to be which was Mechanical. One of the most significant achievement that I can remember from my college days was being a part of the Formula one team, we called it "Defianz Racing". We were a team and we self-designed, manufactured and drove a formula-1 car on the legendary tracks of Silverstone circuit in the UK in the students F-1 competition. Those were testing times because a lot is at stake when you represent in competitions like this. I believe this role helped me explore myself in the true sense. I remember those days and it makes me proud we did it. There were sleepless nights, challenges of finances, technology barriers but we could manage all of it through commitment. On the other hand, like I mentioned, fun and enjoyment have been an integral part, I had a memorable college life being a hosteler in a college located in the heart of the national capital. I love travelling and I explored many destinations during those 4 years. I graduated from college in 2013 and joined the leading automobile firm in India i.e. Maruti Suzuki as an assistant Manager in Supply Chain Division. My profile included managing supply chain operations and purchase of car accessories and components of alternate fuel (OE) for CNG Models. I handled purchases of 3 billion INR of CNG components across 11 vendors in the category including overseas suppliers. My key responsibilities included cost reduction, quality optimisation, new part development, delivery and inventory management and vendor risk mitigation. I was awarded twice with the achievers certificate during my tenure. One of the most significant work achievement for me was the localisation of a critical CNG component from Italy to India. This not only helped us reduce the cost but it created job opportunities for many people as the complete manufacturing was moved to India. Of the many things that I learnt in this organisation few have been very pragmatic and of great use to me and I would like to share them over here: Customer obsession (thrive for excellence), innovative approach, flexible in actions and having a strong network and partnerships. My role exposed me to various branches of management and this inculcated in me a desire to learn more about fields of finance, marketing and management. Preparing for the entrance test for B-schools and managing it with a Job which demanded 100% contribution was the most exciting part. There were a lot of sacrifices, support from friends and family which helped me remain focused and that is how I managed to pave my way to the prestigious IIM Shillong. I am currently an office bearer in the Public Relations Committee of the institute and also a member of the Marketing Club. I enjoy being in this institute and the place because of its pristine beauty. Inspite of the busy B-School schedule, I managed to take out time to travel and explore the outskirts of this nature's abode. My hobbies include dancing and sketching and I am just in pursuit of achieving my dreams, one of which is to open a leadership school in India which shall serve as a medium to enhance the skill set of mid-level managers so that they can perform better and contribute effectively to the growth of their organisations and the country.
Give us an instance when you failed miserably and how did you overcome that downfall?
For me, Failures have always been one more chance to prove myself in a better way, I have stated this above also - I love the process of achieving a goal and thus failures have never demoralised me, rather they have extracted a better version of me at each instance. I got my admission into IIM Shillong in my second attempt at CAT, I could manage an average score in my first attempt and I believe that was one failure which made me introspect a lot. I analysed the reasons associated with that failure and I realised there have to be serious modifications if I need to get a good score. I used to make a weekly plan, a monthly plan and monitor how my preparations are going. My working hours at Maruti used to stretch up to 7-8 pm, but I never made this an excuse for not focusing on CAT preparations, I used to extend my study hours till my daily plans were not met. I had to sacrifice a lot on my social circle, on my family but in the end, everything was worth it.
What is the biggest risk that you have taken so far and why?
I have been blessed with a supportive family and so there were not many risks involved in reaching so far, but yet there were few tough choices that I had to make to shape my career. During the 4th year of my graduation, my batch mates started preparing for GRE/GMAT and had the ambition to pursue higher studies outside India. I prepared for these competitive exams too, but when it was the moment of making a choice I decided to stay back in India. This decision was a big risk that I took at that moment, the major reason for such decision was that I was not willing to do something because many thought it was good. My instincts never pushed me for it and I have faith in what I feel while making choices. And as it is said, the dots connect, I believe my decision has proved to be appropriate, had a chance to work with the biggest supply chain operations of India when it comes to Automobile and manufacturing, and also made to a reputed Institute. The experience has been enriching so far.
If you had a magic wand, what is the one problem in India that you would magically wish away? Explain why.
India is a blessed nation in terms of geography and natural resources, but still, we do not hold that position in the world which we deserve. There is one problem which is the major root cause for this and that is the lack of education. Through my magic wand, I would like to resolve this problem. If we have higher level of education it will decrease unemployment, decrease corruption, have positive impacts like a better standard of living, decrease in exploitation and terrorism. Imagine a country with learned politicians who will think for the betterment of the nation. Education at the lower level of the pyramid which has a major chunk of the population will be a game changer for the country.