What was high school like for you? How did it contribute to your personality/ the person you are right now?
I studied for 12 years in a Jesuit institution. Throughout those 12 years, there was an aura of discipline maintained, and examples were set for one to be on their best behaviour at all given times. It also laid emphasis on all round activities. As a result, I find that now, I can engage myself in a multitude of activities throughout the day and probably appreciate the world and life in a better manner.
If money was no object, what would you do all day?
Cook, eat and read. Everybody in my family loves to cook and eat, and my parents have always surrounded me with enough books that I have developed a habit of reading.
What advice would you give to a 5-year-younger you?
To watch a lot less television and read a lot more books.
How do you think women are better equipped to deal with problems as compared to men?
I think women and men are equally equipped to deal with problems. There may be different methods followed by men and women but in an objective situation, either of them would do equally well.
Many IIMs and other b-schools award extra points for being a woman. What is your take on that? Do you propagate the concept OR Have you faced any backlash for the same?
We always thought of this as a disputed point until recently when one of the visiting professors explained the phenomenon to us. Women and men display their fortes in different abilities. It is found that men may have better analytical abilities while women may have better interpersonal and writing skills. Since the CAT score tests your analytical abilities, WAT was introduced in an attempt to neutralise this disparity. It still needs some trials and errors to fine-tune the process to equality, but the existing mechanism in the process needs the extra point for being a woman.
Name one incident that you encountered where someone told you, you couldn’t do something because you’re a woman.
Those are plenty in number. From doing field work as a part of the project, holding positions of responsibility, carrying luggage, or even while going out with friends. The expectation from us today is still to be a fragile person who is supposed to behave in a certain way.
If you are out on a date, do you prefer to pay yourself? If you insisted that you want to pay for yourself, how did the other person react?
In a relationship, I would offer to pay on dates alternately. On a first date, however, I would insist on splitting the bill. Every time, my date has declined the offer initially, but it’s almost always eventually accepted. I don’t understand why the one person should be responsible for paying every time.