My father served in the Indian Army and I grew up in North India (mostly cantonment towns where my father was posted), before my family moved to Chennai where I completed my schooling and higher education. I excelled in academics being in the top three of my class; otherwise, my years at school and college were uneventful. Looking back, I sometimes regret that I was a nerd and did not dabble in sports or cultural events.
My corporate career which spanned over 25 years took me to different cities and companies in diverse industries and exposed me to several roles including leadership positions in Finance and General management.
My last corporate stint was with Verizon, where I was recruited to establish their technology hub in India. I grew their operation from 0 to 6000 people across different cities, in a period of 12 years. At Verizon we were facing challenges related to change management within the company, and my management team and I were offered Executive Coaching. As it was my first experience working with a coach, I did not have a clear picture of what to expect. I hoped my Coach would help address specific issues at work. Little did I know that these sessions would take a different turn, and soon I found myself leaving Verizon to pursue my passion!
After 25 years in the corporate world, I took the courage to move out and start over my second innings as an entrepreneur – largely due to the coaching I received from Venkat, my Executive Coach turned mentor. Over the years, I had considered quitting corporate life more than once, but this time there was no looking back as I consciously decided not to have a Plan B.
The sessions with my Coach turned broader than just guiding me to navigate my immediate challenges. They provided me with a lot of clarity in terms of what I wanted to do in the future, what would be more fulfilling, and what would make me happy. My Coach stretched my thinking by asking powerful questions which I never truly asked myself.
I was battling with the question, ‘What next?’
He helped me realise that I was not following my purpose and that I needed to take the course corrective steps now – wanting to do something vis-à-vis actually doing it ( “bridging the knowing – doing gap”, as he put it ).