Our third guest in the #SettleForMore series, powered by TAS is Gouri PV, who is a Keralite, but throughout her formative years has traveled the country and the world. A diverse personality, Gouri has done her engineering, worked with the Tata Group, and then joined IIM Calcutta for an MBA. Having worked with the Tata Group before, it was always her first choice to get into the world of the Tatas again, but this time as a manager. And so she did. We spoke to Gouri to trace her journey of #SettleForMore. Here are the excerpts:
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- You completed your civil engineering in the year 2014 and were part of the Tata group as an Assistant Systems Engineer in TCS. What made you opt for an MBA from here?
I was not sure whether I wanted an MBA right after my undergraduate degree or some experience on my shoulder. But, I was sure that I wanted a postgraduate degree. As I went along, I realized that in India, 2-year experience is considered a sweet spot in the corporate world to join a post-graduate program. And thus an MBA.
- Being part of the Tata group, what are some of the values that you believe in and how has it worked out for you so far?
The fact that I was working with the Tata group before I went for an MBA made me realize that I am drawn to a certain work culture that the group has. The impact of the work that takes place at Tata at various levels interested me. I wanted to also have a lot of exposure and variety at the workplace. And no company could possibly be wider than the Tata group and provide me the same.
- What are some of the qualities that you think set you apart and make you settle for more?
I feel the quality that I bring to the table is ‘constant development in what I am doing’. I am a believer in taking on new challenges and no new system can put me off. This comes from my background of constantly shifting from one place to another, adapting to new changes, and performing to my fullest potential. Hence, I bring in a lot of perspectives and new thoughts to the company that I work in. So that openness and collaboration with different functions makes me extremely adaptable. And I feel that is what #SettleForMore is.
- Tell us about your experience of handling the Tata Trust project? Looking back how would you rate your experience of the TAS program?
The Tata Trust stint for all TASOs is the most humbling and interesting experience. I have never been exposed to a very rural, agricultural setup. In my Tata Trust project, I was posted in one of the villages of Gujarat to find out ways to increase the income and output of the cotton farmers there. It evolved me as a person and it made me feel satisfied thinking whatever work I had put in will help the farmers.
- From IIM Calcutta to getting through to TAS and now working as a TASO, how has life changed for Gouri?
If you ask my friends, they would say - completely. Looking back, during my IIM Calcutta days, I had very little information about the management world. Through my stints at TAS, I learned the nuances of business. Now that I am part of Tata CliQ, I have learned a lot about e-commerce, technology, startup ecosystem, etc. The last 1.5 years with Tata CliQ have completely changed my life as a lot of things were being done for the first time in my department. People were looking up to me to find answers and I had to find my ways to make them feel confident about the things they were doing. So it really pushed me to find a new me as it was challenging as well as extremely rewarding.
- What are your future plans within the Tata Group and how do you plan on settling for more?
At the beginning of my B-school, I had no idea where I wanted to see myself. But after 1 year with TAS, I realized one thing for sure that Marketing is where I want to be and grow. My focus in the next 5 years is to acquire all that marketing has to offer. Within Tata CliQ and the Tata Group, I want to explore more opportunities in the marketing domain. And in the future I probably see myself heading the marketing division of one of the Tata companies.