The Future of HR: A Result Driven Supervision

The Future of HR: A Result Driven Supervision

Piyush Mehta, Senior Vice President, Human Resources for Genpact shares his perspective on the ‘Future of Work’.  With Technology being an imminent driver of professional growth, Piyush highlights the present effects of technology and his take on “Flexi-hours and Working-From-Home” options. Constant management present does not ensure a sure-shot and rapid increase in knowledge and execution of tasks in the stipulated work timings. The mindset is now “result driven supervision” which is readily welcome by stakeholders and this can be credited to the rapid technological advancement. Genpact recently launched their “Returning Mothers Programme” where women were given options like flexible hours and preference of desired office locations, this ensured successful deployment of 85% mothers.

Digital 2030 will drive efficiency with decreased costs and increased speed. Processes will be much more streamlined to reduce wastage and robots will take over simple routine tasks. This change implies a need for change in Leaders in terms of upskilling and relevance in the future.

Future of Jobs in the Manufacturing Industry:

  • The advent of robots and 3D printing would automate considerable jobs in the manufacturing sector. Therefore, a combination of Technology and Human ambition will help create newer opportunities. Recent examples of this collaboration include the growth of Amazon and Uber in the past 5 years.
  • Software will create massive disruptions in the manufacturing sector. Taking GE as an example, which is at present investing to become an “Industrial Software “Company.
  • SMAC (Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud) will revolutionize the Industry further. The advent of new technology will eliminate “low-skilled” jobs.
  • Jobs will move from “skilled” to “specialized talent” and would require upskilling of current workforce.

Skills of the future:

  • Ability to learn and unlearn
  • The will to constantly re-invent and staying passionately curious

Future of Management:

According to Piyush, the role of management in the future will focus on the following areas:

  • Future belongs to Enabler: The future leader’s primary role would be to enable people to do their best. To be an efficient enabler the leader must be proficient in the following skills:
  • Genuine interest in people’s development
  • Ability to show a shared vision
  • Skill to understand behavior patterns and how to harness them
  • Inclusion: Diversity will come not only in the form of gender/race/country/language but also in the form of personalities. A leader in this situation needs to be inclusive, comfortable with different line of thinking and possess the ability to pick up best ideas and ways of working.
  • Technology: Connecting with people will be imperative for a leader and technology needs to be used as an aid to do that.
  • Learning Agility: Business situations are going to change rapidly, keeping pace with it and responding appropriately even if you miss it sometime will be extremely crucial. Managers need to be more flexible in terms of timings, rotational projects and roles. They should provide regular feedback, map career paths and be output driven.

Managing the future of Diversity: A perspective from Genpact

Employees at Genpact are trained for unconscious bias with participation of over 4500. The organization strives for inclusive leadership, conducts sponsorship programs, sets up diversity councils, track promotion and sets Diversity related goals on recruitment slates.

The data shows that business verticals with more than 10% women in leadership roles grew significantly faster than those with the lesser women on the board.

Genpact has endeavored to create a supportive ecosystem by building policies around maternity benefits and has built infrastructure to support day care for children which has around 196 children covered. Career 2.0 is an initiative to get young moms back to the workforce, with 30 women employed under this initiative. It has targeted growth and development of senior women professionals with 50% of the leadership(VP+) consisting of women .Genpact not only communicates its Diversity and Inclusion belief internally but also engages in external forums and has partnered with Ashoka university to open the Genpact Centre for Women Leadership which aims to advance women and Indian society through path-breaking research and pioneering programs, and by creating ecosystems which advocate breakthrough practices and policies.

40% women have been hired by Genpact in the year 2016. It created diverse candidate slates, interview panes and specialist vendors to facilitate the same. When it comes to external communication they engaged with NASSCOM to facilitate various talks on the D& I context. A CTI (Centre for Talent Innovation) conference was held in NYC which was attended by senior leaders.

Role of HR in the workplace: Vision 2030 for D&I                                    

  • HR should invest time in understanding the millennials and their need to be visionaries
  • Re-tool the skills of their employees in advance, be comfortable with technology and going digital.
  • Less time to be devoted to transactional work and more emphasis on value addition.
  • Internal Changes:
  • There will be a steep decline in the number of employees
  • 70% of the revenue will be from consulting, analytics and digital.
  • Ecosystems built on consortiums, partnerships, alliances.
  • Tap on talent- key takeaway changes will not happen in a day
  • External mega forces:
  • Big data analytics
  • Disruptive technology
  • Managing and Engaging the millennial workforce

Hence the major changes in workforce will include disaggregation of the supply chain and a rising demand for niche skills.

 

Inclusion at Ground Level

Inclusion at Ground Level

In conversation with Rajeev Kher, Founder and CEO – Sara Plast Pvt Ltd

Rajeev Kher3We often think that there is hardly any other way than the usual beaten track of life. Finish your studies, get a well-paid job and work for climbing the proverbial career ladder. Just when we have made peace with that thought, we come across an individual who prompts us to change the way we think. Rajeev Kher, Founder and CEO – Sara Plast Pvt Ltd, is one such individual. An MBA from Symbiosis – Pune, Rajeev didn’t want to pursue expected course of life for he believes every single person can bring about change. The change he wanted to bring about was higher sanitation levels in India.

His company produces and rents out portable toilets and provides maintenance as well.

Rajeev was first introduced to portable toilets during a brief stay in North America as a management intern in 1997-98. He thought it was a great idea to bring back home. It was non-seasonal, scalable and had a social impact, especially for India, where sanitation is one of the biggest challenge faced by more than 80% of the population on a regular basis.

His venture Sara Plast through its brand 3s is driven by a vision to make the basic human right for improved sanitation and health a reality in today’s world. The company strives to supply and service portable restrooms from the most visited to the remotest areas of the country. His vision is to have a world where we can provide dignity to all along with the right to health and sanitation.

It wasn’t like I felt no jitters taking on a relatively new path while others were going the tried and tested way. It was tough! I had no pay check every month and I was working on a mission of providing restroom and restroom services, which was something not too many people had on their wish list. The path chosen was off-beat but the opportunity and the future goals were well defined in my mind. I told myself to persevere, focus and stay on the plan without any deviation,” Rajeev lets us in on his journey.

Talking to Biz Divas on inclusion, a topic very close to his heart, Rajeev says, “Inclusion is essential for a robust ecosystem to function. To me, sanitation is a way of inclusion. Profit is not a bad word and it makes sense to make inclusive models that can sustain and meet the needs of the masses. It is imperative to have a clear focus on the business and social side to reach out and scale. It is the scale that will ideally make businesses inclusive along with a solid vision for the future, pipeline for growth, new initiatives and avenues. As a company we are profitable and believe that this is extremely essential if we are to make this concept work now and in the future.

Don’t expect success to fall into your lap without hard work and common sense. The mantra PDF (Passion, Determination and Focus) is the key!”

No opportunity is devoid of its share of hurdles, of course, and Rajeev agrees that there are numerous hurdles.

The biggest being mindset of people to pay for toilets and cleaning services. This must change with awareness and education. There is a huge market and also room for a lot of players really in this space. We are happy to share our learnings with others,” he says.

Rajeev has had many satisfying moments in business ranging to very touching and emotional ones.  A moment which he really considers a big achievement was when a poor old lady touched his feet as a mark of gratitude because he provided restrooms for her and her adolescent grandchild at a construction site.  Until then they had to go out at odd hours in the night to attend to nature’s call so they were prone to snake bites, dog attacks, lack of privacy and harassment.

Meeting with dignitaries like President Clinton at CGI in New York or Mohmmad Yunus of the Grameen Group were other thrilling moments for Rajeev. Receiving funding from eminent VC funds like Aavishkaar and Responsibility or even creating their own factory and office premises has been exciting for the young dreamer in him.

Rajeev sees Sara Plast as partner with strategic alliances, acquiring companies, expanding into the allied waste management and clean energy generation space over the next 3-5 years.

Being a team player at heart, Rajeev emphasizes on the value of a robust and effective team. “I admire my team and my co-directors Ranjit and Ulka who ensure all these dreams are executed and support me for all my mad ideas!” he signs off.

In Conversation with Manu Rikhye, Executive Vice President and Managing Director, Encore Capital

In Conversation with Manu Rikhye, Executive Vice President and Managing Director, Encore Capital

24eae16He grew the Indian team tenfold from 200 to 2000 employees and his staff now supports the company’s global operational, analytic, and IT needs. Under his leadership, Encore India has been recognized among the Top 50 Companies to Work in India by the Great Place to Work Institute, for three successive years now.

Diversity & Inclusion – we need it

Diversity in the workplace is absolutely crucial in today’s world for an enhanced ability to reach strategic goals and create better organizational outcomes. Else, there is a risk of looking at the world through the lens of limited perspective that robs us of alternate views. Diversity and inclusion are essential at all levels, aspects and quadrants of leadership.

It’s the right thing to do and how!

While having diversity and inclusion within an organization is the right thing to do morally, there is a business imperative associated with it as well. In fact, “right thing to do” in itself is the business imperative. Customers, investors and other stakeholders are increasingly giving more weightage to organizations implementing right processes. Doing the right thing is becoming more relevant than ever, especially in business. There is enough evidence to indicate that women in senior women leadership roles, board room levels or CXO positions give stellar results. Research indicates that having three or more women in the board room enables companies to produce almost 50% more ROE.

Encore on its way to real diversity and inclusion

Focusing on outcomes such as diversity numbers or growth rates of diverse talent is a great way to evaluate the progress the organization has made. However, at Encore, what we want to bring is real change. First and foremost, the focus needs to lie on creating a culture that is sensitive to the cause of diversity and is focused on inclusion. Only a complete understanding of what inclusion means can make the initiative successful. While it is easy to state that 20% of our future leaders be women, what we need to discern is whether these 20% women leaders will be successful?

Be sure of the reason and let everyone know

We have to understand what Inclusion really means. If you want to launch a program that is focused on diverse talent, you first have to connect with each and every member of your organization and help them understand the need. You need to help them be a part of the solution and not be a part of the problem. Only when they are your co-partners in implementation of that program, will your program succeed on a variety of metrics. In the context of gender diversity and inclusion, if every man wants to make women working at Encore successful, it is going to be a lot more helpful than anything Encore as an organization can do to make women successful.

Sensitization programs help

At Encore, early in our Inclusion journey, we took the significant and radical step of showcasing the importance of inclusivity at the workplace. This was done with detailed diagnostics and research including employee focus groups and leadership interviews. Our diversity partners Altavis along with Steps Drama presented these insights to all our employees through interactive theater based workshops. Though nothing has 100% conversion rate but approaching the subject through different mediums enables you to reach out to different audiences. Some would understand data, so you need to make data available to them so that they get the magnitude of the problem. Some would understand through emotional connect. These workshops helped employees attain the “aha!” moment, that no amount of class room training or campaigning would have achieved.

Top leadership commitment is an absolute must for D&I agenda

The culture of an organization is a function of the CEO or leadership. A leader’s shortcomings and strengths manifest as shortcomings and strengths of the organization. More than anybody else, the leader needs to be connected with the value of inclusion.

Success at D&I means enabling choices

Success at diversity & inclusion means giving our employees, both men and women, the power of choice at Encore. Whether they want to have better work life balance, or to be more ambitious in their careers or to take a back seat, we need to be able to provide employees with these choices and options in their careers. We are continually focused on enhancing our policy framework to create enabling and progressive policies and inclusive, flexible benefit programs.

A leader is a leader and leadership skills are the same

Leadership expectations don’t change whether it’s a man, a woman or a person from some religion or caste or creed because leadership in essence is about serving others.Leadership is not about chasing positions and titles; it is about an individual’s ability to inspire others.

Strangely as we have taken D&I as a global initiative, we have realized that things abroad are not much different. The same themes and fears play out everywhere, their degrees may vary according to geographies and awareness levels, fundamental biases still remain. The laws or regulations just scratch the surface of the problem. Till you fully embrace what Inclusion means, it is unlikely to bring about any real change.

Message to women aspiring to be leaders or being a part of harmonious culture

The limit of your potential is set by you. If one feels discriminated, each one of us has the power within us to step up to create an inclusive environment. If the majority isn’t including, can you walk up to them and share your story? By sharing your story you have included them. The burden doesn’t necessarily rest on the rest of the world. You can take charge and create a better environment for yourself and everyone else.

D&I future for Encore and India

Fortunately, there is a growing sensitization and awareness of the need for inclusion in the corporate world. It is emerging from business needs and there will be companies that will create real inclusive culture and become beacons of change. As companies embrace this concept and witness better results, they will be inspired to invest more in it, transforming it into a virtuous cycle that keeps perpetuating itself. Hopefully organizations will also help see the impact of that in the society.

Platforms like Biz Divas have an important part to play

Biz Divas is a great initiative and it helps put into perspective that change cannot be superficial. Biz Divas as a forum is very well positioned to energize and become the catalyst to change and create an ecosystem that will sustain the change

Diversity & Inclusion – Much More Than The Right Thing To Do.

Diversity & Inclusion – Much More Than The Right Thing To Do.

download (1)Alok Ohrie, President & Managing Director, Dell India, has over 25 years of experience in the IT industry across various leadership positions. Prior to joining Dell, Alok led IBM’s Systems and Technology Group in India from January 2010. Alok holds a Bachelor’s degree in Electronics and Communication from the National Institute of Technology (formerly REC), Suratkhal (Karnataka). Alok is an accomplished business leader with proven track record of managing businesses, people and customer relationships. At Dell India, he is an executive sponsor for D&I and Dell Giving Initiatives. Alok is the Chairperson, Dell India D&I Council.

                                                                      In conversation with Dinakshi Arora

  • Why is it important to have women in senior leadership roles?

Having a strong female representation, particularly in senior leadership roles, is a business imperative, responsibility and opportunity. Dell is committed to accelerating the increasingly powerful role that women play in driving global economic growth. Women share a unique approach and insight into managing a business. They constantly demonstrate a better understanding of the importance of people relationships and are committed to their roles. There is a need to visibly demonstrate equal opportunity of employment and career progression.

  • What has been your organization’s focus to promote women in senior leadership roles?

Strong leadership development is part of the missing link for directing women’s career paths upward in many companies. This is not so at Dell, which offers its ‘Women in Leadership’ training to women employees – director-level and upwards. The course provides women leaders with not only executive-level classes to help groom them, but with specific action plans to get them there. Dell has in place many programs and initiatives that focus on promoting women in leadership roles such as Women Powering Business, Women in Search of Excellence (WISE), Women Inspired to Learn & Lead (WILL) and Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network (DWEN). Dell has also partnered with Catalyst – a leading non-profit organization with a mission to expand opportunities for women and business – to foster an inclusive culture within Dell.

“We need to give each other the space to grow, to be ourselves, to  exercise our diversity. We need to give each other space so that we may both give and receive such beautiful things as ideas, openness, dignity, joy, healing, and inclusion.” -Max de Pree

  • Why is it important for men to be involved in ensuring that women have upward mobility?

Dell believes that men play a critical role in creating opportunities for women leaders. Men have the potential of being powerful ambassadors for implementing many diversity and inclusion Diversity & Inclusion MUCH MORE THAN THE RIGHT THING TO DO initiatives, as well as influencing other male peers to support gender initiatives. The involvement of men is crucial to the realisation of the gender-equality movement and any attempt to coalition of support must include men. Dell has been associated with MARC (Men Advocating Real Change), a community currently being incubated by Catalyst, with a mission to expand opportunities for women and business. The program showcases member-generated advice, insights, and best practices to inspire men who wish to expand gender diversity within their organizations. Dell is a member of this community and has 20 senior and emerging Dell leaders engaged in the program, aimed at galvanizing solutions to create lasting benefit for women in IT. We have additional programs like ‘Maximizing Team Performance’ that helps remove unconscious bias that hinders diverse team members from delivering their best.

  • What is success, when it comes to gender inclusion?

Despite the implementation of various government schemes for women, the fact is, with nearly 160 million women in India, the Sixth Economic Census by the Ministry of Statistics and Programe Implementation found that women comprise only 25.56 per cent of the country’s total workforce. Gender equality is not a gender issue. It’s a human issue. While both diversity and inclusion are now increasingly valued as vital characteristics in most companies, neither the acceptance nor the appreciation have equated to an ideal, all inclusive workplace. To be a successful company and a great place to work, businesses must be able to leverage the similarities and differences of all team members, and use it as competitive advantage. Having an environment that positively values individual differences sounds likes successful inclusion.

  • What characteristics do you look for in a prospective leader?

Progressive organizations leverage their leadership and hierarchy to influence and maintain open lines of communication. Leaders must share critical information in a timely and forthright manner. This emanates from a strong sense of equality, where every team member has an innate desire to know the exact direction where the organization is headed. This also comes with a strong sense of trust, where leaders must have enough confidence to be transparent with their team members. The ability of an organization to identify and invest in the right people is critical to build leaders. Dell has pioneered this through talent management; providing support to encourage, nurture, and build the leaders. More importantly, Dell goes to the extent of sponsoring potential leaders.

  • What advice would you give to a woman who aspires to be CEO of a Fortune 500 Organization?

To be at the helm of the most reputed companies globally, women need to overcome any reservation they may have in advocating for themselves. I would say – challenge yourself, take risks, choose growth and development above all else!

SurveyMonkey CEO Dave Goldberg passed away at 47

SurveyMonkey CEO Dave Goldberg passed away at 47

Sharing their memories and celebrating his life there are many people posting online about the passing of Dave Goldberg, husband of Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg.Screen Shot 2015-05-04 at 13.03.30Screen Shot 2015-05-03 at 17.14.11Screen Shot 2015-05-03 at 17.13.22

There’s a reason why almost all the top guns of the online community took to social media to pay a tribute to Dave Goldberg. He is being celebrated for not only the businesses he helped grow but also for the choices he made – both professionally and personally. An equal partner to wife Sheryl in work and at home, here are a few milestones from the life of Dave Goldberg.

  • The son of a law-school professor, Goldberg grew up in Minneapolis and went to Harvard for his under-graduation, but two weeks before he was going to start law school, he realised that he didn’t want it. He felt that the things you decide not to do are sometimes, the most important in your career
  • A huge music lover with a personal collection of 500 CD’s in the early 90’s, instead of law school, he joined Capitol Records in L.A to sell music
  • It was there that he realised that there was a lot of music that was never going to reach the audience and felt that computer was the better way to do it. He started Launch Media with his friend Jimmy Pitaro to discover new music. The company was later acquired by Yahoo in 2001
  • He built the largest music site of the time with 60 million unique users. But with the coming of Google and Yahoo’s decision of not investing in music properties, Goldberg decided to move on
  • It was at Yahoo, where he met his wife Sandberg. When they started dating, Sandberg was based in the Bay Area and Goldberg in L.A. He flipped a coin with his wife to decide which one of them was going to move. Goldberg lost to Sandberg and moved to Bay Area and commuted to L.A for work for a time
  • Goldberg considered -Spotify, Pandora and Beats Music as extensions of what he’d already achieved at Launch Media
  • After Yahoo, even though he knew he wanted to start a business, he didn’t have any ideas
  • He was introduced to SurveyMonkey through a venture capital where he has helped the business grow remarkably from 12 employees to about 500. Survey Monkey creates 90 million completed surveys a month in 60 languages and has 25 million customers
  • SurveyMonkey was valued at close to $2 billion around late 2014

Another noteworthy tribute to Goldberg comes from Adam Lashinsky, a writer for Fortune magazine and a friend of Goldberg. He posted on Fortune.com, saying, “Let’s cut straight to the chase about what everyone said about Dave Goldberg: Had he not been married to one of the most famous personalities in Silicon Valley, he would have been known first as one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the Valley.

‘I’ve known Goldberg for years, and being known as Sheryl Sandberg’s husband never bothered him in the least.’

Lashinsky concluded by saying: ‘You just don’t meet many people who are talented, successful, bright, kind, humble, and universally admired and liked… Words can’t begin to describe how much Dave Goldberg will be missed.’

Sheryl Sandberg and Dave Goldberg

Sheryl Sandberg and Dave Goldberg. Source: news.com.au

Sheryl Sandberg best described her marriage in her bestseller book – Lean In. Sandberg who has been an advocate for equality between women and men described the importance of her marriage. She said a ‘lack of spousal support’ can damage a woman’s career, saying: ‘My career and marriage are inextricably intertwined’. She also referred to the father of her two children as ‘a true partner’.

Besides, Goldberg earlier this year wrote on Facebook that he was ‘really proud’ of his wife for ‘leading the fight for equality’. He wrote: Equality is not only the right thing to do but it also brings a lot of benefits at home and at work. I am really very lucky to have such an incredible partner in my life.

We at Biz Divas salute the life and journey of such an admirable man. Dave Goldberg was a true representative of gender equality. It is something we try to achieve in everything we do and everyone we work with. Our heart goes out to the family and friends of the wonderful man who championed the true spirit of equality.

Sources:uk.businessinsider.com

twitter.com

wsj.com

dailymail.co.uk

fortune.com

 

 

Google India’s Communication Head Shares Her Success Mantras

Google India’s Communication Head Shares Her Success Mantras

By Preeti Lamba10636053_10152415819207903_3401989475685172115_n (2)

Passion, courage and honesty could sum-up her life’s journey but there’s a lot more to Paroma Roy Chowdhury, Director & Country Head, Corporate Communications & Public Affairs at Google India. Here she shares her inspiring story.

From being a journalist to handling communications for corporate giants, have things turned out as per plan?

My career has been very serendipitous. I definitely wanted to be a journalist from the start. To get my first job I just walked into the Business Standard office in Kolkata and spoke with the editor. He then assigned me a task – to write a report on some event. When I presented it to him, he gave me the job of a sub-editor. Even though all my answers to his questions like: can you read a balance-sheet or do you have any knowledge of business?,were in the negative; I feel I got the job because I had the courage to approach him directly. It’s possible he liked my attitude.

Many jobs with newspapers and corporates have followed since then and each has contributed to making me who I am. From The Economic Times, Business Today to GE Capital and then to Airtel and eventually Google. It’s been quite a ride and a great learning. For Google I had 12 interviews before I joined the company but it’s turned out to be the best call I’ve made so far. Google was one fifth it’s current size when we started. We have grown a lot in the past seven years.

I’ve always followed my instincts and it has paid off. I try to be very passionate about everything I do. Someday, I might just go back to writing again.

What are the pros and cons of handling such an important position?

I am a very positive person, I don’t exactly believe in cons. I mostly view them as difficulties in my path and believe in finding a solution for it.

The way I see it, there are many pro’s. One gets to enjoy the limelight. There’s a lot of interesting stuff I get to do and with my work I get to make an impact, which is most rewarding in a job. For instance, I took the initiative for us (Google) to start supporting the Jaipur Literary Festival. The support garnered us immense visibility and our communications teams in other countries now want to emulate the exercise.

I’m a trusted adviser to the MD and that’s a huge advantage. I believe that in order to reach this position, one has to ensure that there’s a seat at the table for you. Passion is the key to deliver excellence and a position must add value.

What has been the biggest success so far?

I always think the biggest success is still ahead of me. I try to live life to the full. Even though my life is skewed towards work, it is the way I prefer it.

Then there are successes on the personal front. A 23-year-old son who I am best friends with. A marriage of 25 years that has been a huge support. I feel my parenting has been a success when I see my son is respectful of women and has good values. I have a great set of friends – old and new.

What is the the biggest challenge you have faced in this journey?

Work-life balance can be challenging. It was difficult when my son was still young and I had to stay away for long periods, for work. It’s challenging when the work environment is not positive. But I believe in weathering the challenges and bouncing back. Once an editor told me that the biggest attribute you can have in a career is – resilience. You will have challenges, bad reviews, bad years, bad increments and even bad bosses but the ability to bounce back will make you better than the rest.

I always feel the best is yet to come and try to look ahead towards it.

What advice would you offer to women starting out their careers today?

  • Be really passionate and authentic about what you do
  • Do what you want to do and not what your husband or parents or anyone else wants from you
  • It’s important to take risks otherwise you’ll never realise your true potential
  • Comfort zones are death. Nothing grows there
  • Have integrity and be honest
  • Make choices carefully and invest in a good support structure- friends/family/health. Structure helps maintain a balance esp. when going gets tough
  • Have interests outside of work. They complete you as a person
  • If there’s something that’s bothering you, let it go. I feel women have a tendency to hold-on while men usually let go more easily. We like to dwell into matters of no significance. It’s sometimes really important to let go.

What is that one change you wish you could see in India or Indians?

There’s been a change but women could do with a lot more support from their environment. Sometimes, women themselves are not supportive of women. Competitive marriages where men have issues with women succeeding should change. Indian men need to be more mature, women are evolving faster and men need to catch up and that’s true for men around the world. Corporates need to be more supportive as well.

If you could offer any advice to Paroma of 10 years ago, what would you say? Anything you wish you’d done differently? 

Personally, I only wish I had more time with my parents. I lost them very early. I wish they were around to see me succeed.

Which is your favourite book and why?

There’re so many. But poetry is something I go back to, to unwind. I find poetry by Tagore very soulful.

Then there’s Rumi, Neruda, Vikram Seth and Maya Angelou amongst many others. I like to read a lot. I can read anything under the sun.

Paroma Roy Chowdhury with Rajan Anandan, MD, Google India

Paroma Roy Chowdhury with Rajan Anandan, MD, Google India

Who is your inspiration? Why?

I’ve been very fortunate to work with some really good corporate leaders. They all inspire me. Rajan Anandan, Managing Director of Google India is one of the best business stakeholders that I’ve worked with and learnt a great deal from. Our earlier Chief Business Officer, Nikesh Arora is inspiring. He has a great ability to push the envelope.

Google as we understand is very flexible and employee friendly, anything you wish other business houses could emulate?

The flexibility and democratic environment that Google offers is outstanding. We have a very fearless structure. It is a very egalitarian working environment where everyone works on the floor and there are no offices. There are only meeting rooms.