Stories @ HGS: Thilakavathi R

On 20th July 2000, I made the decision to accept an offer from Hinduja Global Solutions (HGS) to support my family and dropped out of ICWAI course. It was an amazing experience to be part of the pilot batch (23 members) for an international project, and that too the company’s first client.

The first few years were all going good. My performance was recognized by the team and I was even sent onsite to the US in October, 2003 for the transition of a big project. With time and experience, my role changed from managing operations to quality assurance. Here, I initiated various automations related to managing process quality for a big US client and received ‘Leadership Excellence Award for 2008’ from our global CEO. My career was flying high and I was all set to achieve all my dreams.

My marriage in June, 2009 gave a twist to my story. I had never imagined that work-life balance would be such a challenge post marriage. My focus changed from my career to managing a new family, especially once my child was born. I also realized that my maternity leave had impacted my appraisals for two consecutive years. For whatever reasons, my reporting manager had evaluated my performance against one year instead of considering only the period I worked.

I strongly believe that maternity leave should never be seen as a career break since a majority of working women have to go through this phase.

One fine day, I realized that in my anxiousness to make my family happy, I had lost focus on my career growth. To me, work had always been my passion. In order to revive and get back on track with my career, I decided that I must first upgrade my skills. I identified key areas of learning for myself, and in the next couple of years, I successfully completed M.Com, PGDBA (specialization in Finance), Six Sigma Black Belt training and also the ISO Lead Auditor certifications for various standards. To improve on my public speaking skills, I joined and played various roles in HGS’ Toastmasters Club.

Mentors play a very vital role in our career path; I would like to mention two mentors who have helped me to recognize my potential. First is Mr. Vishwanath R Rao, whose passion for coaching and his commitment in each session by citing real life examples, helped me to groom myself as a good facilitator for various training programs in HGS. I met my second mentor in a leadership training program; his knowledge and leadership skills inspired all of us. A colleague who reported to him spoke very highly about him as he had guided her to complete her ICWAI successfully. I then aspired to work under his leadership. My dream came true soon when I got an opportunity to work as a project manager with this inspirational leader, Mr. Srinivasan SD.

I am grateful to HGS for giving me various opportunities to explore my capabilities in different roles ranging from a Subject Matter Expert to a Trainer to a Quality Manager and Compliance Officer. I strongly believe that I am on the right track and will remain positive in chasing my dream to excel in everything I do.

To conclude, I would like to quote that, just as life has ups and downs, our careers too have ups and downs. We should dare to dream big and chase our dreams till we succeed! As rightly said, success is a journey and not a destiny!

This article was originally published by Lean In India as part of their Restart Her Career Stories: