SURGE-Women Alumni Meet

  • Shilpa Jain, Batch-2005

    Shilpa Jain, Batch-2005

    Director, Development Logistics Pvt. Ltd.

    From Challenges to Success - Adapting the Right Mindset

    Globalization is breaking down the barriers that limited business by cultures, geography, and gender. The rise of female-leadership is making a global change as women are finally able to win significant achievements in each & every field of expertise. Despite the challenges we face as women, it's about maintaining the balance between professional and personal life backed by the choices we make.

    An entrepreneurial journey is never easy for an Indian woman. In this article, I am sharing my journey & views on the challenges that we face while pursuing a professional career.

    Challenges for Indian Women Entrepreneurs - What do they Feel Like?

    As women, especially in India, we are taught to 'feel guilty' for everything. It is inculcated in us since we start learning life's reality. If we choose to become a homemaker, we have to feel guilty for not supporting the family financially. If we work as a professional, we are guilty of not spending enough time with the family. This is how we Indian girls are brought up.

    From a global perspective, women are better educated and hold more jobs worldwide. Most of the rising SMEs are driven by women leaders. But in India, this ideology is still under its early stage. People often call women professionals - "She can never become a good homemaker." Even if both the husband & wife are working, it's always the wife's primary duty to handle certain responsibilities.

    And when someone says that a woman has to do sacrifices, I somehow don't agree to it. The external barriers are nothing as compare to what's already inculcated in us. We already know that these things will create obstacles in our path. It's all about the choices that we make.

    One should learn to live with their choices. Respect what you've decided. Nobody else is going to do that for you. It's never about sacrificing or suffering. It's about standing by your decisions that you've chosen to follow. Life without a purpose is like a journey without any destination. One should never stop putting efforts for her purpose.

    If you transform your mindset with such perspective, the challenges themselves become the key to unlock success that you dreamt of. I like this fact. It's been almost a decade that I am into entrepreneurship. I've been following the same perspective. And in reality, it has helped me to stay faithful to my work, my family as well as my purpose behind entrepreneurship.

    My Entrepreneurial Journey So Far

    The First Step towards Professionalism

    Born and brought up in a Delhi-based business family, entrepreneurship was something inherited. During my education, I was entangled in choosing a CA career or becoming a management professional. Finally, I ended up completing my MBA in Insurance around 2007 and went ahead taking a job.

    It was indeed a solid experience to understand the Insurance Industry while working in ICICI Prudential. Later, I switched to Genpact where I used to keep myself busy with economic research & statistics to obtain pricing factors. The Data shared by the lawyers from the U.S. gave me a level-up insight into the Finance Industry.

    Where it all started

    I shifted to Shimla after my marriage in 2009. The abundance of bamboo across Himachal Pradesh drove me towards the business of manufacturing handicrafts in 2010. Having a partner in Dharamshala who handled the production, I was working towards finding markets for our products.

    Our fledgling venture started to flounder from the beginning. We were finding it too hard to find the right artisans in Himachal as the youth were more interested in working on computers. The bamboo handicrafts manufactured in North-East India were cheaper and more finished. Investments were required for buying new tools & machinery which my savings didn't allow. The struggle became a crisis when my partner left the business suddenly.

    It was 2011. Even my husband left his job and decided to do an IT-Startup in Dharamshala. We both were struggling through our savings which was merely helping us to manage our livelihood. I had to wind up the handicraft production unit.

    Struggling with the Complexities

    While my husband was juggling with his IT start-up, I took the matters into my own hands to fulfill the family's expenses. I decided to work in a nearby MBA College where I was involved with the institution's administration. After working there for more than 2 years, I had to leave the job as I was expecting my first child.

    When my child was around 4 months old, I decided to work again. But this time, it wasn't any job. My husband's IT firm started getting opportunities and it was the right time for me to intervene. Together we were able to acquire an outsourced chat process which paved a new way for our IT firm to become more than just a start-up.

    Forming a team with just one person, I used to work in night shifts. Leveraging all of my expertise at the ground-zero level, I managed to handle the chats and simultaneously train the freshers. I used to be with kids in the daytime while at night, my husband took care of them.

    We found happiness amid this struggle while observing crucial ups and downs in our organization's bottom-line. Many job aspirants started coming to us. We were well aware of the lack of opportunities in Himachal Pradesh. That's where our business discovered a purpose-driven objective where it wasn't only about profits.

    Identifying the Sources of Business Growth

    While the chat process (BPO) became fruitful for our IT firm, we were also getting small projects to fuel up the revenues. It was the time for our business to reach the next level. Growth seemed imminent but the purpose of creating livelihood opportunities for the people around here became more important to us.

    While running an IT firm here, we realized that Internet service in the region was not good. So we decided to setup our own Internet Service. We acquired a local ISP, called Vayudoot and decided to build it as a social venture which would eventually provide Internet services in remote mountain regions where no other telecom operator would go.

    Through Vayudoot, we are able to impact more than 5000 lives every day. Our broadband and free wifi services are used by businesses like - hotels & restaurants, banks, educational institutions, SMEs, etc. On the other hand, we provide internet at subsidized rates across inaccessible and remote villages of Himachal Pradesh which includes schools, panchayats, common service centre & clinics.

    The Next Step for Business Expansion

    Meanwhile, we continued to expand our portfolio of IT services, bringing in services like digital marketing and DevOps. Our organization has built competence in providing bespoke digital solutions to our clients. It includes SEO, Content Marketing, Website Development & Design, Mobile App Development, Social Media Marketing, and Digital Transformation Solutions.

    Utilizing the digital advantage, we are growing exponentially by fulfilling our overseas clients' demands as well as for our internal brands' growth. Our focus is moved towards 'niche marketing' where we want to cater to a specific industry segment. This is helping us to gain more trustful relationships within our global network.

    Vital Voices Grow Fellowship - The Turning Point

    It was one of the greatest moments in my life when my application got selected for Vital Voices Grow Fellowship. An organization offering female entrepreneur mentorship for more than two decades, Vital Voices (VV) is paving a new way for women business leaders. The fellowship event in Dublin, Ireland, brought 39 female SME owners under one roof.

    None of us were experts. Didn't matter what color or which country we were from, we all had the same challenges. The mentorship taught us a plethora of business tactics. It gave an in-depth understanding of managing cash flows & regulatory frameworks. It helped me to undergo a high-value business consultancy & mutual thought exchange with female CEOs. I also managed to convert some of that networking into business opportunities.

    The Fellowship helped a lot in developing our personal life. They taught us how to perfectly synchronize the balance between work and family by adapting the right mindset. For example - instead of feeling guilty for leaving the children at home, we should be glad that they're learning to live without us. Only then they'll become independent. When I came back from Ireland, I realized that my children have bonded with their grandparents very well. This wasn't possible in my presence. There was a work-life gap which is now filled by both the sides.

    The Journey Ahead

    As an entrepreneur, we reach a certain level where we have to follow a particular pattern. It's not about being at the top. We are actually stuck around a long plateau where the key is to figure out a right path to follow. Therefore, I am looking forward to sustainable business growth instead of hustling around to bring a big burst of growth that we can't manage.

    Even the infrastructure in Himachal Pradesh isn't supportive to expand to such an extent. Thus, we are creating partnerships with agencies across multiple countries. Our key focus is to become an enterprise that's headquartered in Himachal Pradesh and has networks across the globe. This will enable our purpose to create better livelihood opportunities for the people of Himachal Pradesh.

  • Mandeep Arora , Batch-2010

    Mandeep Arora , Batch-2010

    Head - Brand Solutions, Blackstone Centre

     

    Women in Leadership: Success & Challenges

    I stand tall on my own feet today as a senior associate consult-ant for a big Private Equity giant in their Real Estate Finance Asia Pacific team. Also leading the Professional Women's Network of our organization, I have come a long way and feel that I am now closer to the dream I had when I had just started my career back then in the June of 2010.

    I had always wanted to be a self-sufficient corporate woman from my school days. I remember how I would always imagine myself dressed up in a formal attire sitting in a luxurious cabin OIof a posh office space looking down from that tightly sealed glass window of my corner office gazing at the hustle and bustle of the city, but little did I know back then about the struggles that came along with it.

    It was in the year 2007 when I had decided to appear for CAT and go for a Masters in Business Administration. It took me a lot of effort to convince my parents about how it would be a fruitful investment for me to enroll in MBA which would take me to new heights. This was my first struggle as a woman.

    After a lot of convincing, my father finally agreed to me appear-ing for CAT exam and I started preparing for MBA but this was on condition that I would have to give it just one shot and the college had to be in the near vicinity of the city, I believe this gave him confidence to keep a check on my whereabouts while I was out.

    I agreed to both his conditions and hence BIMTECH was on my priority list from the start it being the best in the Delhi/NCR re-gion. CAT exam went well and so did my graduation exams, I had applied for 2 more colleges in the Delhi/NCR region but I was counting on my luck now to get into BIMTECH owing to the leg-acy of 20 years then, state of the art infrastructure and place-ment records of this prestigious institute. I was eventually se-lected in the PGDM - International Business course. This has been my first professional win and still holds a special place in my heart.

    On my first day at BIMTECH it felt as if I was wearing rose glass-es, although those rose glasses almost shattered during the first 3 months of my stay. It was a rigorous tenure, classes after clas-ses, assignments clashing with tests, presentations after presen-tations and on top of it fun cultural events which required en-thusiastic participation, too much was happening and it had got the better of me.

    I was surprised to see how everyone around me was managing everything so well but I felt incapable of handling so much, I thought It wasn't good enough, I called my father and told him that I wanted to come back, and there he was with his first em-powerment lesson to me - “All of them are sailing in the same boat, build yourself up. This is the only time to get yourself ready for bigger challenges”. He told me that I had his back at all times provided I gave it a tough fight. I felt charged up with his words of wisdom and started afresh with a new energy. It was only towards the end of the course at BIMTECH that I realized how far I had come in those 2 years in terms of task manage-ment, personality development and managing relationships bet-ter.

    The least talked about and the most distinguishing feature of BIMTECH was definitely the selection of students from all cor-ners of the country. The different cultural events as well as the opportunity to work on international projects had accustomed me to the wide demographics. This helped me become a good person and importantly become a proud Indian as I had learnt my lesson on International and cultural best practices, versatility and adaptability in a unique natural way and that too by staying close to the Indian ethos. This had made me realize how we all were special, different, yet the same and also had prepared me to be aware of what to expect out of the gates of the college.

    Selected out of an odd 100 people through a finance placement event, I had joined an organisation at the entry level. Welcomed with a fancy 2 days induction there, I had been allotted a work-station amongst hundreds of people doing similar number crunching job. Honestly, from here my dream of the corner of-fice actually looked farther than I thought. I was just a small part of the entire scheme of things. Being caught up in the middle of apathetic mentors who would not train me properly and would be strict with my daily performance rating, it had taken me long-er than others to fully grasp the whole process, however It didn't stop me from whistle blowing, I had gone ahead and raised the issue with the manager that it was through the peri-odic ratings I was learning the process which was unfair and the mentors did not seem interested in my growth. This attempt of mine was to no avail.

    Each day in that office, I would worry about making mistakes working on humungous data which had zilch possibility of being dealt with 100% accuracy under really tight daily targets. There would always be 2-3 people justifying why there was a minor er-ror in the data they had submitted. It would be the respective managers' routine to catch hold of people and let them justify their mistakes. This whole scenario was taxing.

    During this time I had a close friend with whom I discussed my professional life and I remember how he used to send me Ralph Marston's daily motivators on a regular basis to help me survive the office pressure. It would work on some days and it wouldn't on the other days. There was no motivation for me to go to of-fice each day. I remember every time I would meet a friend I would ask them how their jobs made them feel? I was confused whether it was me or was the office life supposed to be this stressful?

    In the middle of all this I had started receiving messages from some random guy in the office who initially started off saying he wanted to learn my work process from me, his messages soon converted into romantic, comedy, corny messages. I tried to turn him away by being nonchalant, responsive, unfriendly and silent but nothing seemed to work. One fine day a colleague came up to me telling me how a guy was secretly clicking pic-tures of me. It was at that very moment, I decided to lodge a formal written complaint against him quoting the series of inci-dents. This was the first time I decided to not let me being a lady taken advantage of. It was after I had complained about that guy with the HR lead that I realized I had done something big, be-cause the news of my email to the HR manager had spread like wild fire. It seemed like it was a first of its kind formal complaint in that company, what I had done was really straight forward and simple but it looked like I had done something courageous.

    People's reactions had scared me, everyone was talking about the complaint in elevators, private meetings, lunch table.

    I felt nervous of being attacked or assaulted outside office prem-ises. This was my second struggle as a woman.

    Thanks to the protective policies of professional companies which taught me the lesson of overcoming all kinds of fear by raising your concerns and communicating freely. I was asked by the HR manager about what action I wanted them to take, I had simply said “he should stop stalking me, I don't want anything else”. Within 2-3 months I heard it through grapevine that guy had left the company. I still don't know whether it was voluntary or forced, but anyhow, it was a big relief.

    There were more struggles to follow, soon within days the daily motivators stopped working, and I realized that me getting bet-ter at my job wasn't really recognized. I could clearly see some women taking an unfair advantage of getting close to the leads and getting their ratings altered. It was heart breaking to see women being treated like entertainment packages. I instinctive-ly knew it was worth giving a try to another organization or an-other work profile.

    Luckily the next one turned up soon with almost double the sal-ary and similar benefits. To my surprise this time I had a wonder-ful manager, who would appreciate me and his team on simple things like drafting a well-structured email, he would randomly throw me in to host training sessions for new hires without even a 10 minutes notice, he wanted me to grow, he took out time to understand my concerns and what would keep me happier, he would nominate me for awards, would point out genuine mis-takes and leave no opportunity to empower me as an individual. Not only that he maintained a tracker of errors and on a regular basis he used to evaluate the kind of errors his team were mak-ing and what was the best possible way of avoiding them vis-a-vis my previous managers who would harass people for making mistakes.

    That time I didn't know that 1.5 years and an engagement ring later I would actually leave the company and an esteemed Assis-tant Vice President designation for a temptation of getting an of-fice closer to my new house. This was my third struggle as a woman which I overcame by embracing the change and looking forward to marrying the guy, yes he was the same guy, who used to send me Ralph Marston's daily motivators.

    Fortunately enough I was offered a wonderful opportunity by a brand I really looked forward to, the role was a team first meri-tocracy wherein I had to be the flag bearer of a totally new set up and set up things from the scratch, I thought this was the best time for me to showcase my skills. I was promised a role which involved communication with stakeholders, working multi dimensionally on accounting, finance and analytics, preparing decks, travelling internationally to meet people and give ideas to better structure the whole process.

    This new job did not have any daily targets, it was a wider role, like how I wanted it to be. I took the offer and now years later, in this role, I am again preparing the stage for myself, I may be closer to the corner office than before.

    My best learnings have been my past fears, only now I know how to overcome them. Like they say “If things go your way, you're lucky but if they don't you're luckier”. This holds definite-ly true for me because my struggles have shaped my personality. From being a docile and a quiet girl I have now evolved into an interactive and responsible lady and I am in a position to lead young ladies with similar concerns that I used to have in the past.

    My motivation while doing my tough job with a smile is my dream of the corner office and the fact that being busy makes me stress free and happier that I am indeed adding so much val-ue each day.

    The real struggles of women in corporate are that inspite of their being laws in favour of gender equality, there is a perception that women are natural home makers and that is their primary job. There are laws promoting gender equality but in practice we would always see hiring managers being skeptical of hiring a more deserving pregnant woman than a less deserving man. We have lucrative maternity policies in India, but can we say that we as professionals are ready to give a 6 month break and promise a work-life balance to the women workforce without compromis-ing their performance feedback? The Answer is No.

    There is a lack of belief in women leaders overall and only wom-en leaders can change that.

    An ideal woman leader for me is the one who looks at males and females as equal and rewards performance over prejudice, she yearns to maintain a work life balance for all. An ideal woman leader ensures healthy competition, fair practices, promotes pay parity and a cohesive work culture for both the genders.

    Our husbands and fathers have come a long way for their wives and daughters, but it would only be truly empowering if they treat women as equal partners rather than the sole support sys-tem to take care of their family.

    We are blessed to be in the 21st century. This century is for women especially in India. There is a lot of change happening around us. We need not only here to embrace the change but to bring it about. Our boys and our men are evolving, we, need to lead this change and free men from the shackles of their age old perspective of women.

    In my professional journey till now strong communication has been my biggest strength and I advise the students as well to not hesitate to work hard and challenge the status quo if the need be and let nothing stop them from chasing their dreams.

  • Garima Chhabra, Batch-2009

    Garima Chhabra, Batch-2009

    Assistant Manager, Hindustan Corporation Ltd

    Join the Club, Join the Dance

    A fear for others became a passion for me and with everything I faced, I jumped in with no doubts but sheer belief that whatever down there is all what I was waiting for.

    It was my first experience for deep sea diving. I took lessons, worked hard and came all along to another part of the world to pursue what I wanted. And here I was, ready for what I was waiting for. My first 60 feet deep sea dive. My heart was pounding with disbelief, fear, happiness and curiosity of exploring the world beneath the surface of the sea. I kept descending down, while my will and dreams were soaring high. My ears started to hurt, and I instantly equalized them. And there I was, floating in front of the most beautiful sight of my life. I was in another world, much unlike what I left 60 feet above.

    Hi, I am Garima Chhabra, currently working with Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) in the capacity of Assistant Manager, Organization Development and what I shared above was one of the most beautiful moment of my life. I am a level -1 certified Scuba Diver, a Photographer and love to do what I wish for irrespective of what people or the society think I should be doing. I am a dreamer and a rebel, I am independent and daring, I am what I think I can be!

    My journey started from a small town called Udaipur in Rajasthan. It was 1985, when I was born and the first question of the society (the society I knew & lived) was very common – is it a BOY or a girl. And against their expectations, I was born, a girl. The first support I got was from my Mother and her words were “Thanks, God! I wanted a girl child.”

    I grew up in a family of four – me, my Father, my Mother and a younger Sister. The value system that held me high are courage & endurance, imbibed from my mother, and kindness & gratitude imbibed from my father.

    In my teens, I came across a beautiful poem which later became the motto of my life.

    “Take a Risk, Take a Chance Join the Club, Join the Dance Learn to Fly, Learn to Sore, Strive for Joy, Strive for More Be Brave, Just Do, Be Brave, Be You!”

    I, thus, define my journey in these five lines

    Take a Risk, Take a Chance

    A small-town girl with big ambitions, dreams in eyes and determination at heart, I always wanted to pursue higher studies from a good college to achieve my aspirations, yet for many reasons, I couldn’t. I was good at school and remember one remark I constantly got in all my report cards, ‘A hardworking and perseverant child, sincere in her efforts’. And trust me that’s the thing which kept me away from disheartening after watching my classmates and friends going out for better studies and experiences.

    I did my B.Com. in 2007 from Udaipur and made sure that the three years of graduation were so eventful, that by end of my graduation, I have enough answers to give in future on what I did. I took tuitions to support my studies, did IT courses, became an Insurance Sales Agent with Bajaj Allianz and tried my hands in BPO industry. I made sure, I extract every possible opportunity out of nothing.

    And as they say nothing can be same always, so was my journey. As I was learning to fly, I got a major setback. My parents met with a serious accident and suddenly I had to shift my focus to them. Had to run the house for a few days worrying about the finances. The time I spent in the hospital taking care of my Parents and the next few months, taught me something very important – responsibility and realities of life.

    Things were seamless after some time and my graduation was towards completion. Now what next? I wanted to appear for CAT and pursue MBA. However, my father was not in resonance with my idea of leaving the hometown to pursue higher studies. Adding to it, I was offered a role in BPO with a pay package enough to knock my thoughts of pursuing higher studies. The choice was to remain in the comfort zone, stay at Udaipur and start earning. I could have done this with utmost ease and comfort.

    However, that was not me and neither that was my place. I wanted to pursue my wish to come out of my comfort zone and see the world outside. I went on to bell the CAT and mostly studied in public libraries and public places as studying at home would annoy my Father further. It was difficult to say when the day started and when it came to end and was jam-packed with tuitions, CAT coaching, college, and all the extra-curricular activities I had in my basket.

    As they say, if you really want something then nobody can take it away from you. I scored decently well in my entrance exams and fared well in the interviews. BIMTECH was one of my top choices and I appeared for its interview. The action packed three years of graduation came to rescue and I had a lot to talk about in the interview.

    Now, the biggest challenge. I was standing in front of the door of my dream and couldn’t enter. I had no backup or funding for my education. With no support from Father, I had to find a way out as I knew I couldn’t stop after coming this close. I gathered courage again and lead myself for it. I still remember the figure “five lakhs and ninety-five thousand” I had to pay for the course. (That raised eye brows of my family then). Since I knew encouragement from seniors was less, I took my admission letter with me and a belief in myself and walked out, knocking doors of each and every bank in town for an education loan. Thanks to God, he gave me good friends and allies in life who have supported me. That time, was no less a battle, I can say having a respite. I was accompanied by few of my friends during my rounds at bank. I got all types of reactions and responses from banks. Few were amused and few were just not interested. As they say, determination does pay and I got the loan approved from one of the banks.

    And that’s how I came to BIMTech. My Parents came to drop me at the college and all their inhibitions fizzled away when they saw what I had earned out of my own hard-work and perseverance. As they were departing from the college, my Mother told me just one thing, “You are an independent and a strong girl. Be brave, be adventurous, take risks. Don’t look back now. Work your way out for a better future.”

    Join the Club, Join the Dance

    The two years of BIMTech were full of learning and grilling myself and that’s where my projectile was set to work, to prove myself and to learn.

    I chose HR & Marketing as my specializations in PGDM. The schedules were tight and our beloved teachers made sure they grilled us enough to make us learn and work hard. Still, apart from the regular courses, I tried myself in each every extra-curricular I could think of. Event Management was an interest so I was part of the committee for many other events in college as well industry level. Was involved in organizing the annual cultural fests (Pratibha it was, that time). I still remember the Chak-De themed HR Meet organized by us, the first ever of the kind in BIMTech.

    I made friends and networks. I learnt important lessons of team work, working in dynamic scenarios, planning, conceptualizing and implementing ideas, conflict resolution, negotiation & leadership. Completed my summer internship from Nerolac Paints. Apart from this, with association of my seniors and professors, I worked on a few short term projects and events with companies like Power Finance Corporation, One97 Communications (now PayTM) and WoW Factors. The intention was doing something over and above the regular schedule to add value to my self.

    Many of my friends and colleagues always suggested not to waste time in these projects and activities and focus on my scores. And again I had different plans and aims. I kept learning through practical projects and kept sharpening my professional skills. During college days only, I developed keen interest in two major fields of HR management – Psychometrics and Public Speaking. I took an independent research project with one of the Senior Professors at BIMTech to develop a psychometric test for recruitment of new employees. Since this was apart from my regular studies, it required a lot of extra time,efforts and in-depth study. This project couldn’t be completed, however, the learnings remained forever.

    By end of the two years at BIMTech, I was ready for the new phase of my life. I was ready to face the challenges of the professional world as my aim was to prove myself and pursue what I was dreaming since childhood. BIMTech gave a good platform to develop myself and I was much more prepared & confident after the completion of studies.

    Learn to fly, Learn to Sore,

    Next landing of my journey was in the role of HR-Analyst at Pitney Bowes Software India in Noida. I joined Pitney Bowes in March 2009 and handled end to end Performance Management, Compensation Designing and Management, HR Audits, Job Studies, Retention Management and SAP. I was leading a small team handling the above processes. I also got company sponsored certification training in SAP in 2010 and a few others on Compensation from Mercer and Employee Engagement from People Matters.

    Owing to my performance, in two years, I received a hike of almost 170 %, promotions and Thumbs Up Award for exceptional performance in HR. Nonetheless as I told you, life is a bumpy ride and I got one bump in 2010 when I lost my Father to a sudden demise. I again shifted my focus on my family to support them, to hold them. I gathered myself, my Mother and my sister and worked ourselves out of the shock to move forward. It took a while and I was again back on track. Yet another lesson learnt from life was to enjoy the moment here and now. Life is too short to hold grudges and too uncertain, so it has to be lived today!

    During my tenure in Pitney Bowes, we use to have a lot of pizza parties with friends and colleagues. And it was a sake of cost of two pizzas, a friend made me to fill form for HPCL and one other PSE’s (Public Sector Enterprise) HR recruitments (the admission form was equivalent to the cost of a pizza). I appeared for HPCL exam but the exam date of the other company coincided with an important function of one of my close friends. I decided to skip the one exam and appeared for HPCL only. I was shortlisted in the written exam amongst the lacs of aspirants from all over India, and further in the interview round as well. In that year, there were only 11 HR candidates who got selected in HPCL team and I was one of them.

    HPCL opened a door for me which lead to both, a place away from my comfort zone and challenges to perform and prove what I have. I was like a small fish in a big pond!

    I got my first posting at Lucknow in a team handling a large employee group of UP, Bihar & Uttarakhand and trust me working in that profile at Lucknow was a cultural shock both in personal and professional life. It took a while to merge into the culture and I tried my best to sail through with the help of seniors, colleagues and the determination to do whatever I face. Being a girl in new city with no acquaintances was a challenge, to adjust and to ignore the staring eyes. I remember a purse snatching event, where I lost all money, and keys to my house and owing to circumstances had to stay at a friend’s place for three days. It was also the first time ever I saw a police station! Yes, there were ups and downs in both professional and personal fronts, but I stayed put. There were times where the thoughts of running back to Mother or Noida in the comfort zone of the known, came across and I decided not get affected and keep flying.

    After Lucknow, I moved to Jaipur as HR Business Partner to HPCL employees in Rajasthan. The work area broadened and so was my role. This new position demanded a lot of travelling. It was almost 12-15 days of travel every month in extreme weather, to remotest locations. Not to forget the stomach aches, food poisoning, UTIs that came along. Soon this work requirement became a hobby. I developed a flare for travelling and enjoyed it to the fullest, thus covering every nook and corner of Rajasthan.

    Meanwhile to connect to my aspiration of becoming an orator/trainer and enhance my knowledge on psychometric assessments, I took a trainer and assessor certification in the psychometric tool called MBTI (Myers Briggs Type Indicator) and worked on my public speaking skills. I hosted many events in HPCL and still continue. I represented HPCL to events in Industry levels also. I got involved with designing few All India projects, developed SOPs to processes, dealt with Statutory Authorities, organized many employee engagement initiatives and more. 2014 came with a lot of other glories as well. I qualified for the Semi-Final round of the esteemed Young HR Icon Award by NHRD and was amongst the Top 25 in the Semi Final round. I also won the HR Case Study Competition by AIMA in 2014 where my Case Study was selected in All India Top 10 and later published.

    But again, destiny always has a very different plans for you. The same time, 2014 was the year when my Mother was diagnosed with a rare and fatal disease, which had no cure. My life suddenly turned upside down where I had to suddenly take up the role of head of the family. I tried to do the best we could to sort my family life. Got my house renovated. Winded my Mother’s business and brought her to stay with me for a good medical attention. From being a healthy and independent lady to being dependent and bedridden, me and my sister stood by her. Her fight for life continued for three years which was one of the most trying and difficult years of my life. Through her pain, my Mother was brave and continued to fight. Her courage had a lasting effect on me as I learnt how to smile even in misery. In 2017, the last support of the family, and the first one who believed that her girl child would cherish, was gone, and on the other hand, leaving me with a burning desire to fly high and high and never give up. I collected myself again and restored my belief in myself.

    In 2016, I got married and moved to Delhi in HPCL, North Zone team. My husband was very supportive while I was juggling between family and the new role. In work front, the area of operation was much bigger where I was in HR team catering to four Northern States of India covering an employee strength of more than 800 employees. Apart from the regular role of an HR Business Partner, I designed some culture building initiatives, designed and headed the launch of an All India training for Stakeholders. With a flair to create something unique, I directed and conceptualized Confluence – which is a unique HR Networking platform for young HR fraternity of PSEs and private companies, to come together and discuss their best practices. This initiative was one of its kind in HPCL and was very well appreciated both, within and outside my organization. Towards my interest for psychometrics, I got certified in another tool Firo – B.

    Strive for Joy, Strive for More

    Till 2016 I paved my way to become an all-rounder HR professional and continued my work towards development of my skills. Yet I didn’t want to stop at this. I wanted more, I wanted something else too. I took my hobbies to next level for I wanted myself to be known for being more than an HR. I picked up learning Photography, Yoga and Scuba Diving.

    I have an Instagram Page #Travel_My_Way where I showcase my work in photography. The work got noticed and appreciated and I have more than 13500 followers on the page and have won accolades like Runner up award at India Arch Dialogue for cityscapes photography.

    I continue my flair to travel with an average of two trips per month to different places. Travel not only rejuvenates me; it gives wings to my thoughts, makes me meet new people, learn new perspectives and with photography I capture all the moments and places.

    Yoga is another interest I started following in my free time. I am also learning meditation these days.

    Since last few years, I was eyeing on this personal goal to get certified in atleast one adventure sports. Had got mocked by a few friends on this goal for a girl should be certified in cooking and housekeeping. In 2016, I heard my heart’s call and pursued scuba diving. I was scared of water but for my goal, I overcame my fear and became a Level I certified deep sea scuba diver. Till date I have logged 15 national and international deep sea dives at places around Goa and Borneo (Malaysia). In August, I am going to pursue another personal goal of mine- Scuba diving with Whales and attain Level II certification from Sri Lanka.

    In 2017, I also joined IIM-Lucknow to further sharpen my skills in management and to learn more. I pursued this course along with my work and hobbies. Had made it a point not to stop learning. Besides, revisiting college was nostalgic and thrilling.

    In 2018, I moved from the Business Partner role handling zonal level operations to Organization Development role handling All India HR R&D projects. Currently I am operating from Delhi. This profile has given me a broader perspective to bring in change and I am able to apply my experience in field gathered by working with different employees from different parts of the country and departments, to designing relevant HR initiatives. I am involved in projects like Job Re-designing, Talent Management using Psychometrics, Industry HR Networking, HR Analytics and many more. These projects include leading and collaborating with diverse teams, working across India. Being in the heart of HR affairs, this role brings all the challenges of managing teams, meeting deadlines and every day is a new lesson.

    Be Brave, Just Do! Be Brave Be You!

    Maktoob - “Its Written”. A word I read from the book – The Alchemist when I was 15 and turned out to influence my life and my thoughts. It gave me immense strength during all my setbacks and trials. This one word, reminds me that all good and bad times will end and have taught me not to be too happy or too sad for anything.

    My experiences have made me learn the hard way, nevertheless, in the process I learnt to live life to the fullest. To me, leadership is not just leading a team of individuals but also winning on oneself and circumstances. Life taught me not to lose who you are. To be brave, to take risks and even if you fail, have the courage to take responsibility of your mistakes. Because that what makes you a complete person!

    While you are reading this article, I will be on another journey pursuing what I love most irrespective of what my conditions or situations are. And there my journey continues…

  • Richa Mehta, Batch-2010

    Richa Mehta, Batch-2010

    Owner, RM Vogue

    Sky is the limit!!

    Richa Mehta is a woman of substance who wears many hats. An Entrepreneur, A Model, Influencer and Workaholic, aiming and focussing to stride in all the fields by rigorous hard work and follow-her-passion attitude. After being a topper in graduation college and pursuing MBA in finance from BIMTECH, worked for few years in leading audit firm, Ernst and young. Always had passion of dressing up and hobby of modelling for shoots, started with personal clothing brand by the name of RM Vogue.

    She is a young entrepreneur who owns a unique brand by the name of ‘RM Vogue’ and celebrity magazine ‘Fashion Lifestyle’.

    She has modelled under different labels,
    Brand Ambassador of Cosmopolitan India,
    Top 100 Faces of Asthetics Internationally,
    Advisor on board for Dream NGO,
    Star of India awardee, Amongst Top 100 women achiever's 2018,
    National Excellence awardee by Image seeming grooming academy, Show Stopper for ARS Glamorous India, Asthetics International Excellence Awardee, Show Stopper for India's Next Super Model, Wonder Women Entrepreneur Awardee, Invited as Chief guest, jury member, special guest in lot of events and many more....

    Getting National Women Achiever’s Excellence Award this August, she has been acknowledged and appreciated for bringing change in society by generating employment for people to earn from home by simply just renting out their dresses from their wardrobe.

    She is a influencer who has stride, felicitated and awarded in many fields.

    She always believes in ‘Never say never!’. There might be many hurdles, ups and downs and with start-up lot of downs , but always follow what you believed in while starting and getting to this path and make the world prove wrong . More than the world, prove yourself wrong when you think you cannot do it. Because You can and you will make a difference!!

    She would like to thank her family and the entire faculty of BIMTECH who supports her and encourages her in all aspects of life. This is the core strength and makes her keep-going.

    Sky is the limit!!

  • Koyalgeet Kaur, Batch- 1996

    Koyalgeet Kaur, Batch- 1996

    CEO, Arrow head Consulting Inc.

    The person you are, today: your strength and fear that have contributed towards your success. When and why did you choose BIMTECH?

    The person I am today is and always have been - valuing life, relationships and joy. My strength is that i work in a determined manner and that is why it helped me to overcome many such uncertain times.

    How did BIMTECH support you to carve the trajectory of your professional life?

    Bimtech's best contribution has been 'Do it yourself' which means always supporting the entrepreneur in me to go for the best of the things.

    An account of your professional journey.

    Bimtech.
    Joined CII and Manager - Im Exp.
    Joined Direct selling association and grew to be the Asia Head.
    Managing Director - Jafra Cosmetics
    Co founder - Arrowhead Consulting.

    Your struggles and your success.

    Struggle - with red tapism and politics at office and balancing family with work. Success all because of faith in lord to guide me.

    Would it have been easier had you been a male?

    Yes. :) Probably but not sure.

    What motivates you to keep doing the tough job with a smile?

    Faith in lord. and support from family and friends.

    What are the struggles of women in the corporate world? Are women really empowered in today's era?

    No. Women struggle with competitiveness and unfair attitude.

    Whether the personal life/relationships have acted as a pillar of support system or hindrances to achieve success in your career.

    Yes. Certainly.

    What advice would you give to current students who aspire to follow a similar career path?

    They must take all lessons properly.

    What is your motto in life?

    Be wise and follow the balance in life.

    What skills and abilities, according to you, an ideal woman-leader should possess.

    Balance, knowledge, skill in handling humans.

  • Megha Bhargava, Batch-2006

    Megha Bhargava, Batch-2006

    Pearl Academy, Consultant & Visiting faculty

    Women in Leadership: Success & Challenges - A Corporate Journey

    MY STORY

    A girl child takes birth in a world of challenges ..challenge for her survival, education, service and marriage to name a few. It is a long journey for her to prove herself at every step from birth to death. But it is a great solace that now a woman is coming out gradually from the shadow and protection of parents, family & husband to join the corporate world instead of doing the labelling work of teaching.

    Rewind 13 years of my life, I was hugely affected by a dilemma called career dilemma which is nothing new and I can say most of you today and especially children, who go through this is, where there are multiple school of thoughts to counter with -

    1. Your parents expectations
    vs
    2. Your own expectations

    Coming from the family of civil servants and academicians and from a small town like Ajmer, my options were also feudal and limited that is to follow my parents path, and I did exactly that. Making two brave but failed attempts to become an IAS, only to realize, that carrying family legacy was not my forte and it was time to break the shackles and move on to the new level of dilemma! What now? ??

    After required introspection, career counselling and not to forget peer help, I finally found my direction and BIMTECH happened. Landing into BIMTECH was a completely new experience for me and I realized after coming here that this is what I want to do and this is what I CAN DO BEST !! The course PGDRMM -05-06 not only helped me in realizing my dreams and aspirations but also did every bit to shape them.

    I was the part of the 2nd batch of the Retail course which was dynamic and full of different personalities with a zeal to achieve something. We as a batch also take proud onus of getting big and multiple companies to BIMTECH for final placements.

    Important was not that I got through the course, but going through it was, because I was sailing in different waters! I had to study Accounts, Stats which I had never studied ever before as I came from different subject lines, like geography and political science and hence it required a bit more effort for me as compared to my batchmates to get pass the curriculum. I made great friends and I can call them friends for life who helped me get through all academic hurdles in BIMTECH and one year (Which is now a two year program) passed like it was yesterday!

    MY FIRST JOB

    I got placed with Madura Garments, Bangalore in 2006 as Management Trainee in Buying & Merchandising team.

    Getting through a big banner like MG, was a stepping stone of my career, but it came with quite a few initial hiccups. The then B&M team of MG was dominated by Niftians, while I was the only Non Niftian. Despite the observed benefits of getting placed with a big company and an equivalent package as Niftians, along came high expectations to deliver.

    To name a few I had to know product detailing, types of fabric, number crunching & planning, financials and initial days nightmare "EXCEL".

    At our times MS EXCEL wasn't taught in BIMTECH. It was a Retail Merchandising course which did not focus only on Apparel or a certain specific category. Unlike NIFT it had a wide spectrum which was a plus point but since I got placed in an Apparel company, these were the basics I had to know, henceforth with the help of my colleagues and subordinates I mastered it.

    I also had a dual reporting (both Women), which always sandwiched me between conflicting reasonings of my bosses. Being a sportsperson, the one thing I firmly believed and believe is to "NEVER GIVE UP" and that helped me uplift my morale. The fear of being asked to leave changed into learning and loving my work.

    I worked from the scratch and got my basics right. To prioritize work and do multitask. Like you can't choose parents, you can't choose your boss. But you can build a relationship with him/her with effective communication on what makes you comfortable and uncomfortable.

    I spent time in Factory and Warehouse to learn various aspects of my job, understood the nitty gritty of how the local people worked and in return they started knowing me. " Investing in relationships, having friends you can turn to", can also make a crucial difference. Over a period of time, this started reaping its benefits and gave me a very big edge from others.

    The first year in Madura was tough but as I laid a good foundation for myself, the coming 2 years became quite easy.

    I built my skill set, got recognized for my work, bagged great increments, got promoted.

    I also managed a great Work Life balance as I was an active participant in MG Olympics - A forum for employees to participate and win across many sports - Badminton, TT, Athletics etc. Out of the 3 years spent in Madura I bagged Sports Woman Award for 2 years consecutively.

    LIKE IT OR KNOT

    In every woman's life there comes a phase when marriage is on the cards. It brought me back to Delhi from Bangalore and I joined Sports Station India Pvt. Ltd. A master franchise of brands like Nike and Levis in India.

    From a brand to a Franchisee format, working with SSIPL was a great learning experience.

    My team of Levis was dominated by Men and I was the only female. At every point I had to prove that women were no less and for the first time I felt that men assume themselves as a super brain with a super body. This superior mentality gives them an upper hand over the other half which are few in numbers. Their so called superiority sometimes does not allow to coordinate or cooperate efficiently with women which are equally or may be more qualified and experienced as normally women are considered as inferior brain with no firm decision making, no capacity to handle complex issues, difficult for trusting, which is absolutely NOT true.

    With time I got my team right. Divided the work smartly among the team members. Trained them to work and deliver within the stipulated time. As a team we worked as an extended family, broke old records and made many new records. Tasted and cherished the success we achieved. Sometimes work hours would be demanding wrt timelines, priorities, chasing targets and requires dedication and willpower Each one of us had a sense of ownership and accountability.

    With increase in competition among inside and outside, keeps women force under constant pressure which sometimes deprives her from her family and societal responsibilities & accountabilities. At her workplace a woman does a single role in the given capacity while at her home front, she plays multiple roles at the same time.

    Personally for me the drastic changes took place when my daughter was born. I had a nuclear family but my husband was the pillar of my strength. We did have a 24*7 house help who was trained enough to take care of the regular household chores.

    But as you grow to senior position, the business environment becomes frenetic, I was caught up with the workplace stress. Long working hours, unrealistic deadlines, lack of systems and processes and even lack of managerial support led difficulties to manage the workload, seniors expectations and expectations of my child and home.

    This was the time when I thought that my child required quantitative and qualitative time and post contributing 10 years to corporate life, I decided to take a sabbatical.

    For the past 1.5 years I am teaching Retail curriculum as a visiting faculty in various B-Schools. Pearl Academy, JIMS, YMCA to name a few. Have also taken Guest lectures at IIT, Delhi and BIMTECH.

    As a person I am a self-motivator and a team player. Corporate life has given me recognition, made me stronger and confident in what am pursuing today.

    It is important to work as it gives a woman a sense of independence at the same time it should be a personal choice. I don't say being a woman is difficult in corporate in fact it is equally difficult even for men to sustain. But yes managing the house, family, child and work becomes a daunting task. One has to have a support system, train family members even training to children is important so that they indirectly help you. One has to also make conscious choices in lifestyle to optimize health.

    Frequent introspection are needed about changes needed in work and life style. Proper time management is of the essence, and one needs to act upon it accordingly.

  • Priyanka Kaushik, Batch-2009

    Priyanka Kaushik, Batch-2009

    Senior Mnager (HR), BLS international

    Be a Women Of 'Choice'

    Women in corporate are the women of 'Choice'. Choice which they make at nascent stage of their career i.e. whether to be the master of the race or be in the rat race of submissive corporate representative with diluted identity. My corporate journey has been definitely a matter of these peculiar CHOICES I made or I would say the choices with which I went in full throttle in my life which has shaped my career and gave me a vision: To be experimental

    Hailing from a small town Meerut, I did my bachelors in computer applications, my subject combination during my graduation days was principles of management, I discovered my inclination towards subjects of management. The lessons which caught my interest were Henry Fayol, and then quiet common in those days an MBA was a necessity, and it is then in my last leg of academic life, BIMTECH happened. Birla institute of management technology was then budding into guru Kul of shaping corporate professionals or professionals with a difference. I pursued my MBA in HR and during those two magical years I matured from a student to a responsible yet fun-loving management learner who is still to be thrown to fire.

    In college being an active part of placement cell a winter project came from TATA POWERS for our batch, fortunately or unfortunately nobody accepted that offer when the email landed in their inbox as no remuneration was promised and I being weird with the choices accepted it and took my scooty on one wintery morning and reached Noida sector 62 TATA POWER office.

    So before I tell you my story what happened in Noida sector 62, let me tell you a bit about the project, the project was to formulate a learning and development plan for eastern region of Tata Power. I knew those were the big shoes to fill, but yes as I said I CHOSE it. I met Mr. Kunj Bihari then assistant manager of training & development HR, before he could say anything I said I am ready to do this project. He asked me couple of routine questions in the emphasis was on one particular question i.e you need to come daily? and YES was my instant answer.

    What triggered me to do that project was a simple push that I can't sit idle and something is better than nothing. When I completed that project I was asked to present my project, when I entered the room on 27th March, 2009 I saw Lt. Dr. Bhaga Singh, VP, HR Tata Powers was sitting in the room for my presentation. Exactly one week after the presentation, I got a pre placement offer from Tata Powers and posting was Jamshedpur. And the real corporate journey started where a vast ocean of opportunities was ready for me to take the plunge.

    I joined Tata's and worked on Industrial Relations, trainings & development, working closely with senior leadership I understood the nuances of working in a plant office as it gave me detailed practical insight on labour relations. Working for a year with Tata's unfortunately due to some health issues I had to leave TATA.

    I came back to Noida to Jamshedpur with no back up option in hand. While searching for Job, I got a call from small Cogent-e- services an outsourcing solution company in telecom. I was hired as an Assistant manager where I was asked to work on aggressive expansion plans which was increasing headcount from 400 to 6000 people. It was hell lot of challenging as people grew and setting up new offices, planning inductions & trainings simultaneously ensuring that current business operations doesn't get affected. The basic tension which was maintained to curtail on hiring cost. Four years in that organization has made me a professional who can take strong decisions, implement them and I have felt like almost a superwoman who could do something for the people in need of employment as cogent was mass hiring then and like we grew as a family where I made a choice as an HR Professional to keep the engagement & involvement factor at the core of a recruitment & retention strategy in order to sustain the model of recruitment and expand aggressively in other geographies.

    After four years I started feeling stagnation where I felt there was nothing much to do and my profile had reached saturation, and again the search for job started. I got a call from NEC Technologies India Pvt. ltd. NEC is a Japanese MNC with serving technological solutions and providing smart city solutions for orchestrating a brighter world by leveraging technologies AI, OSS , Big data analytics etc. I joined NEC as associate manager and I must say I had time of my worklife in that organization. NEC has a huge team of HR professional, with a headcount of 28 people team, they want to upgrade their HR with the pace company was growing.Complete automation of all the HR processes, and no one in the team of 28 was ready to take the assignment. I grabbed it: and lead the complete project as a project manager, where I get lot of appreciations & given my career a strong shift.
    It was 24*7 project where I don't remember if I have missed touching any HR process Area This experience is the master stroke of my career, and I started picking up projects And take a move to Maruti Joint Venture Company Bharat Seats saying bid adieu to NEC.
    My Appetite for challenges was growing

    Maruti Joint Venture and manufacturing was never easy for females to work on. Again the project given to me was on organization Development and automation. I enjoyed this project and delivered 100% as per the expectations of the organization. Learning TPM, lean processes, project management, and productivity with a strong role HR can play in business arrears was an amazing learning. The project ended gracefully and it's a superb organization to work for. The biggest challenge if I talk about was to make the tenured people learn new process reluctance to change and causal approach, but it can me effectively managed by a communication plan and trainings.

    Experience and patience is the key for any change. Change management isn't easy but it can be made easy. I complete the project and got an opportunity for an HR transformation work

    BlS International is into visa processing space, the company has presence in 62 countries and headquarters are in Delhi. The core team work centrally with 8 time zones & the thought-provoking work given to me is complete the HR transformation of the complete organization, it will include setting up the HR processes for all the countries writing SOP, and cascading it to different countries operation, I studied in the industry this work is usually given to a person with 12 years of experience, but if I have taken it 3 years before, am expecting wonders, with 3 years ahead challenge, it ongoing and 4 months passed, different time zones still remains the biggest challenge

    Being from an affluent family, I would say working for extra hours, grilling yourself for extra miles does pay in long run. In every activity you do, a woman in corporate need to be tenacious enough to make a choice no matter it proves to be a wrong one, it's in our hands to make it right in every aspect with our sheer integrity, sincerity and yes very importantly upfront attitude to say no to assignments which has very little or no value addition to you as a professional.

  • Hansveen Kaur,Batch- 2004

    Hansveen Kaur,Batch- 2004

    Head of Brand Solutions, Momspresso

    On Managing Work-Life Balance

     

    • Head of Brand Solutions at Momspresso, India's largest content platform for mothers.
    • I've spent over 11 fantastic years in the field of Brand & Marketing across corporate and start-up.
    • I enjoy blogging and have written various articles in my personal and professional space.
    • I love to travel and try to visit a new country every year. A foodie at heart, trying out the international cuisines gives me a kick!
    • I've forayed into amateur stand-up comedy since last two years which, coupled with my educational background in marketing, has helped me make friends from all walks of life (the analysts, the artists and the creative guys).
    • My family is my priority and I want to fulfil all their dreams and desires!

    On Being A Woman Leader

    • I try to bring some significant differentiation to what I could deliver, over and above what the role required.
    • Performing well and gaining the trust of the management and clients alike is a must for me - I spend a lot of time thinking about what is going well on projects and what can be better.
    • I am passionate about my team. I strongly believe I am as good as the people I hire and lead. I am not afraid to recruit people who are smarter than me and I create an environment that promotes diversity of thoughts and embraces collective wisdom to achieve the impossible. Understanding what makes people work well together, what motivates them to give their best every day and how I can develop more meaningful connections each day.
    • Focus is key - we are all stretched and sometimes we need to ruthlessly prioritize.

    On Advice For Aspiring Women Leaders

    According to Harvard Business Review (HBR), when an organisation's executives are at least 30% female, it leads to 15% gains in profitability and can be an advantage to recruiting and retention. As an industry, we can do more to push the culture of mentorship forward to support the younger generation of upcoming women leaders. On specific advice for aspiring women leaders,

    • Women find it difficult to follow their career trajectory, especially as our priorities change after motherhood. It's imperative to take a conscious call to list down your priorities, keep work very much on the priority table, and give it your best shot.
    • Expanding roles & responsibilities should be clearly aligned with success metrics to keep up with expectations.
    • Stay very focused on the personal growth you want to achieve and what you want to get out of each career journey.
    • And finally, put in every effort to deliver to the best of your ability - it doesn't mean being a perfectionist at everything but doing a great job on the few things that matter.

    On Managing Work-Life Balance

    • When I became a mother, I needed to be highly disciplined in all parts of my life to ensure I could balance work and motherhood. This does involve being able to work on very tight schedules, but if this is organised; it is possible to flourish in career.
    • Never shy away from asking for help. Behind every successful working woman is a supportive family, colleagues, relatives and friends.
    • Setting up the priorities at work helps focussing on the important things and doing them perfectly.
    • Spending clutter free time with kids, family and friends or going for a vacation helps me create a balance and makes me feel refreshed and rejuvenated to come back to work.

  • Richa Bhatnagar, Batch-1996

    Richa Bhatnagar, Batch-1996

    General Manager (Marketing), Purearth Infrastructure ltd.

    Friends,

    I am Richa Bhatnagar, an alumni of the Prestigious BIMTECH from the 1994-96 PGDBM batch.At the outset, I would like to express that I'm experiencing mixed feelings of happiness and nostalgia to come here and talk about my Alma mater and my corporate journey henceforth.

    I'm extremely proud of being an alumni of BIMTECH and also very impressed by the efforts of the subsequent batch students,faculty members, managers and other staff members to have brought all of us together even after so many years.

    I'm thankful to the team of BIMTECH to have given me a chance to re -kindle my old memories and stand here in front of you narrating a few of them.

    Though the full time batch of PGDBM started only one batch prior to ours,the Placement Cell , then headed by Dr.D.N.Pandey and his team left no stone unturned to bring the best of companies to our campus for placements.

    I was selected by the Usha (India) group through the campus but later due to some confusion it didn't materialize and after completing my PGDBM course, I was on my own looking for job offers.

    My first job was with Cipla, the pharmaceutical giant. As it was my first experience of selecting the job, I took a decision in haste and quit the job in one month only.

    Subsequently, in the year 1997 , I joined Ansals, the real estate group as an Assistant Manager and worked there for about 4 years.In between this time period, I got married and and my son was born.I planned to quit my job at Ansals and started working as a freelance trainer with ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company training the managers on Sales and products.I also had a short stint as a branch training manager with Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance group.

    Later in the year 2006,I joined Purearth Infrastructure Ltd, a Singapore based Real estate company and continued there as the General Manager, heading the marketing of Commercial projects in Delhi. I worked in this capacity for 10 years.Now I'm on a sabbatical for the last one and a half years and thoroughly enjoying this break.

    Having studied in BIMTECH for 2 years was enough to groom and prepare myself to be ready to face the corporate challenges in the most subtle way.

    Yes, there are challenges, politics and other issues which may sometime bog you down but if you have the conviction of completing a task with full dedication, no one can change the direction of your goal.

    As a woman I never saw myself being treated inferior to my fellow male colleagues, rather it was on the contrary..I was always praised for my honesty, hard work and dedication in my jobs.

    I am extremely fortunate that I always had and still have the full fledged support of my husband in every step I take, be it a forward step or a backward .

    The only bottle neck I faced in my career was that at one point of time as a mother I had to make a choice of bringing up my children giving them quantitative and qualitative time which was difficult with a high pressure job.

    We were fortunate to have been taught by honorable Late Dr.C.B.Gupta, a young man of 82 years who was the then director of BIMTECH. Dr.Gupta used to teach us Management Accounting. For me having graduated in the science stream, this was an altogether new subject. We were all so scared of Dr.Gupta that having an eye contact with him was a Herculean task for us because anytime any one of us would be called on the blackboard to explain the concept of Profit and Loss account, LIFO, FIFO and so on .You would be amused to know that even at the post graduation level, he used to scold us and lock us in the classroom as punishment.But now we realise the importance of his words and actions.

    There are many such incidents I would love to share with you all as I go down the memory lane.I would only like to say that we were lucky to have been in the hands of Dr C.B.Gupta, Prof.Vidyaratna, Prof.Gururani and Dr.D.N.Pandey to name a few.These were not only great teachers but also human beings par excellence.

    Last but not least, I would like to congratulate all the present students of BIMTECH for being a part of such an esteemed institution.We are proud to be a BIMTECH 'ian and three cheers to Women Power.

  • Dr. Monica Gupta, Batch- 1995

    Dr. Monica Gupta, Batch- 1995

    Director Academics, Sunstone Eduversity

    I can and I will

    This is a story of a simple Delhi girl, bearing low self-esteem and as unfocussed as can be. The only thing in her favors was that she was inherently determined.

    Born into to a typical conservative Baniya family, although in Delhi, I was educated for the sake of education and better marriage prospects rather than to build a career. In line with this thought, I was married to an engineer in Ghaziabad right after completion of my PGDBM to lead a life of oblivion as any other from my tribe.

    When I was asked to write about my life and achievements, I was baffled, I wondered, what could be about me that could inspire anyone. I am a regular common human being grappling with life’s challenges as they come, be it in professional or personal life.

    As I have to do the honors, so here it goes. I think I will share my anecdotal learning’s, principles, beliefs; I have stood by in thick and thin, which I believe have made me what I am today.

    1. Opportunity can strike anywhere, anytime and in any form

    Meeting a school senior on the footsteps of Kamla Nehru College, DU changed the course of my life. In the final year of Economics honors she suggested that I take admission at BIMTECH. Now, with BIMTECH call letter and admission to Delhi School of Economics, in hand, the decision was a no brainer. I did not want to become a teacher, so PGDM it was.

    2. God helps those who help themselves

    Married off to Ghaziabad, in the final year of PGDM, there was no scene of any career whatsoever. A chance Rotary club meeting with a trustee of IMS Ghaziabad got me a chance to prove my candidature for BBA faculty. On the day of the demo session, the two teachers from DU who came to teach two sections simultaneously, cancelled at the last moment. I had to take a combined class of 100 students seated in a room capacity of 70. Looking at me, the students immediately understood that I was a rookie. One section had already done the topic I had prepared. From where I amassed the confidence to face them, I am not sure till date. Most likely the multitude of presentations we unwillingly delivered at BIMTECH, came to my rescue. Needless to say, the students enjoyed the class. Same day, I got my appointment letter to set off on the journey for a career in Academics. I grabbed it with both hands and was promoted to be the Chairperson within 3 years of joining.

    3. Believe in yourself

    On requesting an opportunity to teach PGDM, I was given one section to teach, with the other section being taught by a popular, senior most faculty. There were many naysayers. Rumors floated that students from my class were not attending and going to the other section to learn. I believed in myself and knew I had to prove my salt. Slowly, students from the other section started approaching me after class for help in understanding the management application of concepts. There was no looking back from then on. Full credits to the BIMTECH pedagogy; I taught, the way I had been taught.

    4. You think it’s over, but it isn’t.

    Birth of two children within a year and a half of each other made up my mind to quit, and I almost did. Out of the blue, a visiting assignment at IILM, Greater Noida, through a former colleague, put me back in action. This was closely followed by a full time offer from IMT Ghaziabad. Never give up, there is always hope at the end of the tunnel.

    5. Allow your boss to exploit you.

    Yes. That’s what my father advised, once he reconciled with the fact that I would be professionally engaged. Allow your boss to pile you up with lots of work. Never shirk, take on more and more responsibilities. The more you do, the more you learn, and the more valuable to the organization you become. My reporting authority was Prof. (Col.) P S Bajaj, at IMT, Ghaziabad. He asked me to prepare a newsletter, to be distributed during the upcoming convocation, with just 10 days to go. It was to be a first, in every respect. It had to be conceived, designed, written, proof read and printed within this period. His words were, ‘I know it is not possible, but you can do it’. I did it, off course with help from colleagues and vendors.

    6. When going gets tough, the tough gets going

    Six years into my career, IMT Ghaziabad was a fantastic opportunity. I got access to world class resources, top notch mentors, and senior colleagues to look up to and learn from. I used to teach Managerial Economics and Macro Economics. A senior faculty teaching Business Communication resigned. The dean told me, “Monica, you have good Communication Skills, you teach, Business Communication”. I was caught off guard. He said, “We will sponsor you for training with British Council”. Also, the subject will be postponed by a trimester so that you can prepare. Left with little choice, I took up the challenge. I immersed myself completely in the subject. I came out with flying colors; a feedback of 4.65 on a scale of 5. From now on, Business communication became my strength, in fact, the understanding of the subject made me a better Economics teacher too.

    7. Never forget your Alma Mater

    So far so good, further growth was possible, only after completing Ph.D., specifically in Management. Here, my Alma Mater came to my rescue again. BIMTECH had recently started the Ph.D program in Management. I was effortlessly enrolled with Agra University, with BIMTECH being my research center, under the guidance of Dr. Shri Prakash Sir and watchful eye of Dr. Chaturvedi Sir. This became a turning point for my career as not only did I acquire the Academic qualification, but also, my whole thought process and perspective got revamped. I used to view things in micro perspective, now I was able to visualize macro ecosystems. The rigorous efforts that we were made to put, brought in the real taste of deep research and an enquiring mind. We were exposed to best in class faculty, guest sessions of National and International speakers. Being part of this elite group has been an honor. Everyone from my batch is in senior management position, today.

    8. Never be deterred by the rules

    Armed with a Ph.D. in Management and ability to successfully teach Business Communication, I move on to FORE School of Management, as Associate Professor. Here, I started contributing actively in Management Development Programs. Later, I designed and delivered independent MDP’s.

    On being offered a full Professorship closer home with ABES IT Group of Institutions, I decided to switch gear. Here, I got to team up with my husband, who had left an international assignment with British American Tobacco, to set up this institution from scratch. Within a year I grew to be Group Dean for all programs; B.Tech., MBA, MCA, PGDM, with total active strength of 2000 students.

    The University launched the Ph.D. program, for which affiliated institutions could apply, for becoming their research centers. We had to present our case in front of a panel of 6 Vice Chancellors of top notch Universities. We knew that we did not meet most of the eligibility conditions. We presented our strengths and what we bring to the table as an agile young technologically savvy, infrastructurally resplendent Institution. To everyone’s surprise we were granted the Research Center.

    At ABES IT, we incubated two companies, which are now profitable and have independent offices in Noida; Editsoft Digital and Edisoft Solutions. Each employs about 50 engineers on full time or free-lance roles.

    9. Reinvent yourself

    My career progression took me to Sunstone Learning an online MBA for working professionals with 3-5 years of experience, primarily in IT and Communication space. The complete team, at Sunstone, except me, was with corporate background, headed by Mr. Rajul Garg, Cofounder of Global Logic, a 10,000-employee strong company with offices in 67 countries. As they say, you are defined by the company you keep. Just by their presence and inadvertent discussions, which I overheard, I learnt a completely different craft. The craft of digital communication and reach. Thanks to them, I am the most read MBA marketing faculty on Qoura. I have two you tube channels, one “Career Quick fixes” answers key questions related to interviews and career queries. The other, more of a hobby, is a healthy Cooking channel, it has already crossed more than 40,000 views. I have developed a course on Corporate Communication which is centered on Digital Image Management and presence. I have a blog, Decoding Society, which is reasonably read. Working with them, I was able to reinvent myself with changing times and remain relevant in today’s context.

    10. Be a giver

    In a review meeting at Spice Head office, an idea to start campus aggregation was floated. On further deliberation, it was decided to do something for the financially weak, academically average and network deprived graduates, who constitute about 70-80% of graduating youth. We did not desire to be a charitable Institution. As they say, if you want to feed a person for life, teach him to fish, rather than give him fish to eat. Pay after placement PGDM was launched under this philosophy. With both the children well placed and on a defined trajectory. My husband and I cofounded Sunstone Eduversity, offering affordable Management Education to the last strata of the society. The students’ parents are drivers, daily wagers, security guards and the likes. This is our endeavor to give back to society, what we have received in abundance.

    Be a selfless giver, and believe me if you will, the Universe will give you back in boundless measures. People will come up from unknown and unthinkable quarters to support you in difficult times. You will sail through and always come up, head held high. In retrospect, you will feel, that what happened, happened for good.

    11. Iron hand in a velvet glove.

    Academic administration involves, unique situations. Be completely approachable, not gullible. Go out of the way to support students and colleagues. Be accommodating. However, if someone is taking the system and your flexibility for a ride, make an example, that all will remember, for times to come.

     

    12. Did I face any difficulty because I was a female?

    I don't think so. I don't think, I ever got treated differently, for being a woman. Not at all. As far as, sexual overtures are concerned, no domain is untouched. It takes all sorts of people to make the world. If majority are good, there are some who are evil. First of all, your own behavior will dissuade any attempt. Be tough, cut short any overtures in the bud. It is the weak, who get targeted the most. Make it explicit, subtly, that you will not tolerate. That should be enough.

    BIMTECH has been underpinning my career from the very beginning, not only the confidence, the thought process, the opportunities but also, the abundant networking, accolades, recognition, awards, have come my way. To top it all, My Ph.D. degree was awarded by none other than Ex-President Dr. Abdul Kalam, an unforgettable and most cherished moment of my life.

    I will be forever thankful to my faculty, my Alma Mater to have always stood by me, and interspersed my career with the fragrance of their presence at different junctures.

    Henry Ford had said, 'If you think, you can. If you think, you can't. You are right.'

    I would like to end by saying, I believe, I can, and I will.

    9818185777 | monica.gupta@sunstone.in | http//www.sunstonecampus.com | Skype: monicagupta1011 | 42/A, Knowledge Park III, Greater Noida, U.P.

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