Growing and developing as a leader:
I believe it’s imperative for everyone today to stay connected with industry trends and developments in order to understand the change in dynamics around us and constantly evolve as an individual and a professional. I personally invest time in reading and listening to relevant content; it allows me to stay abreast with industry trends. I also ensure that I set dedicated time each month networking through forums like Nasscom, LinkedIn sessions etc. These opportunities have helped me a lot, it has allowed me to align and match my thinking with how others in the same or different ecosystem are thinking and at the same time broaden or even get aware of perspectives that I wasn't even thinking or considering.
Evolution of the finance industry and its future:
Two decades ago when I started my career, there were limited options one had as an individual. The financial services were limited to banking, insurance, cards & funds. Today, the list of alternatives is long for the customer, for them the choice ranges from a traditional to a bespoke product. The last decade has witnessed the age of digitalization with Internet, mobile, cashless, enhanced security/ Crypto options being offered. I personally feel this trend will continue where we as customers will see more sophisticated products being offered to us aided with technology. There will be more focus on data security, whereas suppliers will see more and more midsize organizations or start-ups challenging corporate setups.
Setbacks and learning experiences:
Early in my career, in one of the initiatives that I was part of was not hugely successful for the organization. But there was an immense learning for all of us associated with it. I learnt quite early that it was not about arguing on how we failed and more importantly not seeing it as something terrible or to be avoided. In fact embracing it helped, it allowed me to challenge shortcomings more pragmatically, I could now identify and focus on my blind spot and move forward with more preparation and diligence. Seeing failures with open mind and celebrating them came in handy for me and something that I have allowed myself and my team to experience.
Advice for individuals to revitalize their career in the growing market:
In my view, the trick is to work on your Career Agility. It is important for you to-
•Be able to recognize your strengths and keep finding ways to hone them while keeping a parallel focus on finding opportunities to work on your improvement areas.
•Be flexible to make adjustments to your respective career plans, don't get too rigid about only moving vertically in hierarchy.
•Have more active network of colleagues, mentors and solicit feedback about yourself.
•Invest in self- reading, learn a new skill
Professional experience as case studies for generation z:
Understanding and meeting customer demands and expectations is an obvious outcome that an organization/ function/ team signs up for, but is one of the toughest to achieve. It needs a lot of thinking and more importantly concentrated efforts across the organization. A simple solution delivered by my team in my earlier organization was about analyzing why were the customers calling us, and the usage of mobile technology and text capability allowed us to close the loop with them. This helped reduce the traffic in customer service but more importantly allowed the customers to get hold of their information much faster and at their own convenience.
In my view, when an opportunity or challenge is looked by a diverse group, it throws up many possibilities and perspectives. Gen Z through a cohort is different from others, but we should welcome their thoughts. There are lots of brands out there who have understood how important this cohort as customers is as brand influences and who else but generation Z could give you better insights on what they expect from a product or service? So I would recommend Generation Z to market their ability and help shape and define how they as customers would want to experience a product, service or solution.
Mentors in life:
I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to my mentor Mr. Vinod Venkateswaran who was my previous boss. He ensured that he was always around me and my team for any guidance. He was approachable and at the same time made sure that he was constantly guiding us and nudging us to find the way forward and not stand still. I always try to use his guidance whenever there are trying circumstances or roadblocks. It was an invaluable learning lesson that is so pragmatic and useful in personal and work life that taking steps (even if they are slow steps versus standing still) brings you closer to your goals.