My Realty journey is full of exuberance, thrill, and adventure. Join me in my levitating train, as we proudly celebrate India’s 75th Independence Day!
Reminiscing about the day I stepped out of the Convocation at YWCA with my Gold medal in Marketing, Advertising, and PR, nostalgia envelopes me. As I walked towards Janpath and stopped at the traffic signal at NDMC HQ, I looked in awe at the bewitching piece of Realty coming up next to Jantar Mantar.
Such a captivating, symmetrical and mesmerizing sight in the center of the Capital, of our proud Independent nation. It continues to fascinate my eyes even today; eyes that were accustomed to North Campus and colonial Army Cantonments.
My brain and heart synchronized that moment magically at Parliament Street. I was determined to work in this building in New Delhi in times to come and market the most important and capital-intensive of products to valuable buyers. My dream was to assist buyers to fulfill their fondest of dreams.
In those days, we resided in an official residence at 38, Canning Lane, which was just a short walk to Search House Consultants, Arunachal Building, and before long I was on board my professional bullet train. Celebrations were routine at Wenger’s with Chocolate Eclairs and Milk Shakes, in times when calories and cholesterol were alien terms even for Miranda House girls.
As a young sari-clad Sales officer, in India’s most progressive Realty Co, I made sure I worked the hardest, learned the most, and spoke fearlessly. The focus was on duties, rather than rights, at work or in life.
The organization grew as a result of excellent teamwork and effectiveness of command, and I progressed too. Passion and perseverance pushed my physical, emotional and intellectual limits in an environment that valued talent, intellect, and commitment. The genuine workplace friendships of those days of our DU girls lunch club are strong to date. With encouragement from these ‘ Panthera Indica’, I realized my talent in mimicry. Stand-up comedy wasn’t a vocation then or I would have made a fortune.
Years flew by and I was Sales Head in my twenties, Senior VP and subsequently CE in my thirties, and Executive Director in my early forties. Job rotation, role enhancement, starting new verticals, achieving sales targets, building relationships, Pan India CRM, innovative marketing ideas to kill competition, I was possessed and obsessed.
Vertical growth needs horizontal spread, along with administrative and leadership skills to keep pace with the times, not to mention business acumen. The opportunity to work in top Realty MNCs at the CXO level opened my mind to international best practices. This was an important part of my learning trajectory.
Along with my job, I focused on self-development too. I did my Masters in Management, Literature, and Education. This was followed by a Doctorate in Real Estate Marketing.
During the prolonged pandemic, it was enlightening to attend MIT’s Executive program on Digital Marketing and Social Media Analytics. As my efforts got noticed, prestigious awards, media coverage, Tedx, and Seeding STEM Cambridge talks followed. Harvard in their projects on ‘How Star Women Succeed’ and ‘Managing Your Own Human Potential’ reached out for views and opinions.
To keep the spark alive it’s important to recharge your battery. A Sangeet Prabhakar in Classical Vocal Music, winner of personality pageant crowns, guitar lessons, seasonal Garba / Bhangra, and fitness training provided the refreshing break from monotony. These I hold dear till date. During long flights, writing became a good pastime.
My work and the quintessential Indian helicopter mom attitude didn’t leave me with too much time to socialize, but I made a conscious effort to attend family celebrations and industry events even if it was for a very short time. I genuinely cared and that was my only way to show. However, to keep one’s self-respect intact, a woman needn’t do anything at all that causes discomfort. Good physical, mental and financial health are very important in life. Incidentally, most speed breakers can be crossed over, only if this triangle is sacrosanct. Always it’s your talent and work that launches you into the orbit and no business house can ignore stellar performances. Likewise, extended family and friends also respect and support you for your efforts and achievements.
A vegetarian by choice so a bad host to most dosts I guess. I like to raise the bar, but prefer not to go near one. I shake hands only if I feel like it. I attend all events but spend 10-60 minutes depending on my comfort level. I don’t play golf because I am waiting for it to be renamed. I try to respond to all calls with utmost honesty and punctuality but avoid odd hours. With this attitude, I was lucky to reach the preset altitudes. They are right when they say love what you do and you will never be tired.
‘ Spread your wings ‘.
Standing in 2021, as I look back at 1991, before looking around and ahead at 2022, I realize nothing has changed as far as gender equality or top position neutrality is concerned. I am determined and committed towards making a conscious effort to mentor, guide, assist and motivate women through various forums and platforms. If my experiences can serve as a torchlight through their rough paths, I will derive tremendous satisfaction.
Nothing is easy. Family commitments, health issues, politics at work, critics with or without reason, are all a part of the package, but it’s important to stay grounded and travel without baggage, expectation, or external motivation.
Elevate to the highest office befitting your capability without getting distracted. Language cannot express the feelings of holding offices of Executive Director-S&M at DLF, Chief Executive Emaarmgf, Senior Director – International Business Development Damac, and Senior Executive Director -S&M at Experion Developers. Today, I am super excited to be chosen as Founder President-Elect of Naredco Mahi, under the aegis of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, which is the women’s wing dedicated to tackling real estate industry issues.
For your fingertips – 5 Es!
1. Education and experience combine to form a lethal concoction for excellence.
2. Ethics earn respect, faith, and trust.
3. Energy can be sensed from a distance. A healthy mind and body demands that you forgive and forget pain quickly. Remember the good in all and appreciate if appropriate. This has to be consciously cultivated.
4. Engineering a mentality of decisions based on analytical ability and innovative ideas does the magic.
5. Extend your network, mind, knowledge, and learn to share prosperity.
Synchronicity and intuition are armors which one must respect.
Each dawn is beautiful. Go singing and whistling into your workplace.