Group Executive Vice President and Head Branch Banking,Ratnakar Bank
The Journey: Early Days to How I Got Here
I was born in a middle class Andhra family of four children in Mumbai. My mother been a housewife and my dad was working with a pharmaceutical company and presently has retired. I attribute my success entirely to my upbringing, where all of us siblings were treated at par and were given an unequivocal right to speak our mind leading to freewheeling discussions, where no topic was considered a taboo. My early ambition was limited to getting married, settling down and raising a family. But all that changed after I enrolled myself for my M.A. course and started interacting with a bunch of talented and ambitious peers; they changed my outlook completely and I decided to turn all my energies to focus towards work. At the age of 21 I started work with a telemarketing company and then there has been no looking back. While working, I also pursued my MMM from Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies, where I met my husband Jasmeet Singh Gandhi, . We have been married for 18 years and have two beautiful daughters Ishita (16 years) and Khushi (10 years) both studying at the Singapore International School in Mumbai. Insight of My Company and the Role I Play in it I presently work for Ratnakar bank Limited. It’s a 68 year old bank and I am part of the core team. The Bank is undergoing transformation into a modern day bank. I joined the Bank as part of the core team and I am the Group Executive Vice President and Head Branch Banking and distribution.I am responsible for driving the key numbers through the branches of the Bank. I am also responsible for expansion of the branch network. Decisions That Mattered The first important career decision I made was when I moved into ICICI bank at a lower salary and designation in 1999 from Grindlays Bank (a MNC Bank) when ICICI was setting up its Retail Assets in Mumbai. My second important career decision I made was to move out of American Express Bank in 2010 to move to Ratnakar Bank ,becoming part of a great transformation story and perform a role as a changemaker. I have made many of my career choices to fulfill my need for transformation and thereby grown on a personal level along with developing the organization My Vision as a Leader Leadership is a challenge; and needs someone who can rise upto a challenge and lead a team from the front . While this may sound like theory, the reality is I have been tried and tested in situations and job roles which were tough and challenging and have succeeded purely by determination and the following the below mentioned mantras .
. Do not compete with your subordinates . Nurture Talent and create bench strength early • Be a team player • Play to your strengths and work towards getting team players who complement you on your development areas. Resolving Challenges Faced as a Women The only challenge sometimes is the existence of a high Emotional Quotient (EQ) which can sometimes work as a disadvantag Work - life Balance I do not believe in work life balance. This is the time to work and then you manage your life better. Work gives me happiness and I’m a total workaholic. I draw immense happiness in spending time with my husband, daughters and their friends. This concept of Work-Life Balance has been fairly elusive to me. It’s impossible to maintain it for 6 days but works well on the seventh day of the week. I follow that ritual.Having a great partner and fantastic parents makes a lot of difference in one’s able to pursue our career and also stay focused on the home front. I am blessed with both. Starting Over from Scratch, What I Would Like to do Differently I wouldn’t want any major changes in my life, except that I would have pursued a fulltime MBA which in my experience would have given me a huge competitive advantage in starting at a managerial level early in my career and help to build a network. Since in today’s day and age networking is a key demonstrator of successful people in shaping their career. Women Leaders: Driving Force for Powering Business There are some key attributes of a woman that helps in driving powering business. I have attempted to articulate it below: • Nurturing, thus mentoring • Emotional Quotient • Fair in dealings • Multi taskers • Disciplinarian (a learning from your kids) My Learning Along the Way • Never fear Authority • Calling a Spade a spade even at the cost of it being a career limiting move. • Honesty and Integrity • Passion in whatever I do be it communicating with employees or even cooking Two Years Down the Line On the professional front - As an entrepreneur running my own distribution company for multi products.
On the social front- Setting up an old people’s home and simultaneously supporting social causes for women.
On the personal front - rearing my grandkids and watching both my daughters turn into beautiful young women pursuing their dreams. An Accomplishment You are Most Proud of I never compromised on my personal goals to achieve my professional goals. I am a mother of two beautiful daughters and a wife of a very supportive husband. It’s the beauty and secret of my happiness. Advice/Suggestions • In a long career span, some years are going to be bad, just accept it. • Take on more, never believe that you cannot do something better than men. • Do not compromise on personal goals to meet professional goals. • Have a mentor. . Search for the right partner - who believes your dreams are his dreams as well • Shamelessly ask for help from friends; family; neighbors when you need it. • FOLLOW YOUR HEART AS MUCH AS YOU FOLLOW YOUR HEAD.