The Conversation was conducted by the Corporate Relations and Placement Committee, IIFT Kolkata for ABGLP Woo ME Competition Season 2's Second Round.
A conversation with Ms Tejashree Vaidya, Area Retail Manager for Louis Philippe at Aditya Birla Fashion & Retail Ltd., helped in gauging the deep insights about the professional life at Aditya Birla Group, her transition through various phases at Aditya Birla and how she evolved with Aditya Birla Leadership Program (LEAP).
IIFT Kolkata: Please tell us about yourself.
Ms Vaidya: Born and brought up in Mumbai, I went on to pursue a degree in Electronics Engineering from VJTI college in Mumbai, Maharashtra. Post my graduation I worked in Cisco Bengaluru, for 1 year and 11 months as a Network Consulting Engineer. Later, I went on to pursue an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta.
IIFT Kolkata: Could you please share your experience of your summer internship with Aditya Birla Group?
Ms Vaidya: With a passion for technology and data analysis, I chose the telecom sector (Idea Cellular) for my summer internship with Aditya Birla Group. I spent two months analyzing data across 22 telecom circles and designing strategy to increase the volume and improve the quality of MNP acquisitions at the post-paid marketing division at Idea Cellular. This was my first professional experience with Aditya Birla Group, where I got a chance to influence business strategy through detailed market research, analysis of the data across geographies & competition bench-marking. At the end of this exciting internship, I secured a placement offer as an Aditya Birla LEAP candidate.
IIFT Kolkata: Tell us about your professional experience with Aditya Birla as a Leadership Associate and further.
Ms Vaidya: Post her MBA, I began my stint with Aditya Birla Group as a full-time employee under the Aditya Birla Leadership Program (LEAP). During the first year, the LEAP program took me through three different stints within Aditya Birla Group. From prospecting for new clients and business partners for Aditya Birla Payments Bank, to looking for opportunities for better policy revisions at Pantaloons & supporting the team for new product/business development in textiles space, the journey of first year with the LEAP program took me through a lot of diverse business scenarios, thought processes and ways of working.
IIFT Kolkata: What are your key takeaways from the LEAP program, and how did it assist you in the building of a leader?
Ms Vaidya: Many elements of the LEAP program assisted me to evolve in my professional journey, most crucial among them being the opportunity it presented before her to explore businesses – the well-established textiles business to the new, emerging business of Aditya Birla Payments Bank. It also enabled me to don several hats in different roles in different domains. The guidance and mentorship support given by senior leaders in the organization was an invaluable part of the development journey for me. I found the LEAP assignments suitably rewarding and challenging enough for the grooming of young leaders.
Presently, I'm gaining valuable learning experience through managing front-end sales and operations for Louis Philippe stores. I believe that this hands-on experience will enable my well-rounded development as a leader and enable myself to more meaningfully handle roles related to planning and strategy in your future career.
IIFT Kolkata: Tell us about the culture at the Aditya Birla group, and how does it vary across different industries within the group?
Ms Vaidya: The culture across all the firms at Aditya Birla Group is quite supportive, non-stringent and diverse with a flat organizational structure which according to me plays a crucial role in the development of any young leader.
IIFT Kolkata: What advice would you give to LEAP aspirants?
Ms Vaidya: My advice to future LEAP candidates is to learn intently from industry veterans to both learn and contribute meaningfully making most of each opportunity coming your way.
We would like to thank Ms Tejashree Vaidya for enlightening the students of our Institute on the culture of Aditya Birla Group, LEAP and sharing invaluable career advice with budding aspirants at a very critical juncture of their careers.