“The only child of self-made parents, I enjoyed my childhood in their intimate company, which made me more mature than my age as a child. Ever since I was in school, I have used my ability to lead and influence people to achieve results. I have naturally led teams in various projects and events, organised stress management workshops in my society and efficiently raised disaster relief for various calamities. I campaigned at grassroots level to increase voter turnout in Chandigarh ahead of the 2014 General Elections. My vision is to do some prescriptive research surrounding HR practices, to be people’s own HR, who helps them be a better version of themselves, making them contribute their best to business growth.”
Name an instance where you wanted something and went out of your comfort zone to achieve it OR Tell us the biggest risk you have taken so far in your life.
“While I was pursuing my articleship during Chartered Accountancy, we had a huge pile of tax audits to be cleared within a stringent deadline. With some staff members in the office new to the procedures, my principal entrusted me with the responsibility of ensuring that they are well-trained and of coordinating the timely completion of deliverables. I started with a training session for the whole staff, which was very well received and also appreciated by the bosses. Thereafter, I constantly monitored the team to know their strengths and changed the work strategy to leverage the same. Each team member started working on those areas which they could most effectively and efficiently undertake, and the whole chain of synergies led to timely signing of the reports. Everyday, I would keep a constant check on the status of each client and rigorously follow up with the clients whose responses were awaited. Executed successfully, it was quite a roller-coaster that pushed my limits but at the end, it put my management skills to test and left behind lots of lessons.”
When was the last time someone relied on you? OR What did you do which was purely for someone else - a truly selfless act.
“While I was working with Deloitte, I volunteered to lead an annual CSR project for the firm's Impact Day. The project I chose was to assist an NGO Ved Vignan Maha Vidya Peeth operating from the outskirts of Bengaluru, in carrying out permaculture activities. Permaculture is the conscious and innovative maintenance of agricultural systems which have the sustainability of natural ecosystems. Our purpose was to do manual labour for permaculture activities for the community people residing in the NGO premises. I had really tight work deadlines that week but this was something I really wanted to execute. I went to each of my colleagues in the office and sold my idea to them to mobilise their support for this project. Fortunately, I received a huge response, and what was even more humbling was that my project saw participation from Senior Managers, amongst all, and also one of the top leaders. Excited as I was, I made sure I communicated to the team how sacrosanct this project was, and to ensure people turned out in huge numbers and on time. The event operations were managed smoothly, we also planted a number of trees in addition, and came back renewed.”
Tell us about a time when you disagreed with an opinion/idea/decision. What did you do about it?
“Some disagreements are disguised blessings. They may put you down, grill you hard, but definitely make you evaluate your resolve, and strengthen it.
Even during and post qualifying Chartered Accountancy, I harboured a keen interest in Human Resource Management. I launched my career with the dream job of a majority of CAs, and the future seemed bright. But my curiosity to explore Human Resources rather increased every single day at work. Working with audit clients at different locations, I would constantly observe myself and people around, think about Organisational Behaviour issues, and how Human Resources as a practice has infinite potential to boost an organisation's earning capacity and reputation. There was a time when thoughts surrounding it used to occupy my mind so much that I decided to plunge into Human Resources as a profession, for which I would plan to have a degree in that domain. Whosoever I consulted regarding further studies, could hardly digest this thought.
Even one of my PI preparation panelists said that I am committing professional suicide since my degree in Chartered Accountancy would be best respected if I were to supplement it with an MBA in Finance. HR was something no one had thought of doing post getting the hard earned tag of a Chartered Accountant. But I had this assurance that because of my interactions as an auditor, I understood how businesses function, which is the primary requirement to be a good HR. Also, my comfort with numbers and financial statements would be an added advantage. As they say, there's an inner navigator inside each of us, which knows what is right. My gut feeling was screaming out loud that this is now or never. The dilemma of making an unconventional shift in my career path wasn't letting me sleep, but the disagreements I encountered along the path tested my resolve, and it all boiled down to one epiphany, when I finally struck the gavel and decided to write CAT. Knowing that I'd hardly get time to prepare along with a demanding job, I kept aside my fears and there was no looking back!”
What is the one thing you can claim to have some level of expertise or depth of knowledge in - it could be anything - a subject, a sport, a hobby, a venture, an initiative which has led you to do deep work in that field?
“I am passionate about singing. Back in my school, we used to get trained in Hindustani Classical music, which deepened my interest in Ragas. I started playing Harmonium when I was seven, and also like to relax in my free time with my flute and harmonica.”
If 10 Million Dollars (approximately INR 75 Crores) is given to you to use it any way you deem fit what would you do with this corpus?
“I would invest it throughout my life to get greater returns and finally donate it all, primarily for the cause of girl child education.”
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