With a post-graduation degree from Science, I did my Master in Business Administration. After college, I found my way into a well-known pharma company as Product and Business Development. This was almost eleven years ago, and today, as I am here at my desk, a full-time Corp Com professional – ensuring my company stays ahead in an ever-changing market and maintains a reliable reputation amongst media, customers, and business partners. The transition was not easy at all!
Changing roles in your job can be challenging and difficult, but not impossible. These changes bring you out of your comfort zone, push you to your limits and test you at every instance. I have myself gone through changes in my professional career, and I am proud that I was able to take these opportunities, which helped me grow and test myself on various grounds.
After getting married, in 2011 I moved to Pune with confidence that I am going to continue my achievements in a pharma company. However, of course, that is easier said than done. I had no idea that my career path would ultimately come down to concerns. After 6 months of real struggle, I managed to get into an automation company with zero knowledge of the industry. However, I figured that the best place to start was from the bottom up.
My immediate boss, who was MD then, helped me a lot to learn about the company, industry, and technology. Initially, it was so awkward to ask questions about what I didn’t know. I somehow forced myself to do it. In 2016, after seven extremely fulfilling years of service (Pharma + Industrial Automation), I made the momentous decision to take a break without knowing what I will be doing next. I started working for one of my close friends – I began to look into his business.
While I was trying to juggle with some alternate options, destiny had some plans for me. Within a year, I got an opportunity to work in the same company for the Corp Com. The journey from pharma development to Analyst to Corp Com wasn’t easy, and sometimes I feel like I wasted time, taking years to find the necessary confidence in my work to be Corp Com professional. No matter how long it took, I am here now and that’s all that really matters.
It’s been two years now, I am handling corporate communication for my company. Meanwhile, I’ve answered hundreds of questions from people about how exactly one goes about doing this role? And my answer to this is always: ‘Perfect Timing, Skills, Hard work, and Luck’.
Being a working woman is like any other gender. What sometimes sets us apart is our roles and circumstances in life. I am a working mother and it brings me a diverse and influential set of experiences that can contribute to a successful team at my workplace. My days are busy, but planning them allows me to multitask. I picture my mind as a desktop, where I can only have so many windows and tabs open at once. I often layer and compartmentalize things I need to do in order of importance or priorities. I try not to take care of more than four things at a time, otherwise, it gets complicated. It’s a constant process of adjustments — a little more here, a little less there.
On a personal level, I believe in gender equality. I am grateful to my father, who has been a role model to me throughout my life and has supported me in my development as a human being. He made me understand the corporate world, which is traditionally considered a male-dominated industry.
The concept of gender equality begins at home, and families are at the front of change. I am thankful for the backing I received from my family and for the people who trusted me in my career till date. All over my life and career, I am lucky enough to have been supported by amazing mentors, both men and women who inspired me to take on new challenges far beyond my imagination. For that, I am eternally grateful. I have an understanding husband and a great team at the workplace.
I have been fortunate enough throughout my career to work with people who value my talent regardless of my gender. Over the last decade, many women have embarked on a pathway of self-realization to benefit our society. Some are famous, some are not, but each has contributed to the world’s progress, whether by promoting peace, human rights, forging ahead in science, or serving on the front lines to save lives and protect health.
The casual stereotypes related to gender, which was common a decade ago, are not being entertained by organizations that are aware of their rights and duties. We have achieved much on the path to gender equality, but we have a long way to go. A woman is always known as a caregiver, for sure. But I feel she is more than a caregiver. Beyond all, she is a human being who has a mind of her own.
I feel that nothing can hold a woman back from achieving what she desires. If you are talented, skilled, then you should put them to good use; otherwise, it gets wasted. Every woman should take time to create a plan to grow her influence at work. Whether your strength is your technical expertise or your communication skills, cultivate the assets and use them to get a seat at the table. Every woman should be courageous, take risks, and have a progressive mindset.
In my earlier days, my father has always been one of my biggest mentors; he introduced the value of hard work. When I joined B&R, Mr. Sivaram taught me the importance of collaboration, which is lifelong learning. For the last two years, I am undergoing a mentorship program within the company and I got an opportunity to learn from my current mentor, which has made a substantial change in my career. When we first began working together, I never imagined I would be able to make as much progress as I have.
My advice to youth who are just starting their career is to work hard and become a master at their work. The more you know, the more powerful you are. It’s good to have in-depth knowledge. Try to be that person usually people count on. If you’re resourceful and let your wisdom speak for itself, the woman thing or any other thing will fall to the wayside. It’s about how much you know and how well you sell it.