I’m a person who believes in experience and happiness. As a little girl, I always wanted to be a teacher. I loved speaking and noticed people appreciating me for the way I communicate. Like many other aspiring Indian girls, my natural route of life also took over my ambitions. To fulfil my dad’s dreams I was trained to be a software expert. To start winning bread for my family, I started working in the Medical Transcription industry – this is a common Indian story in that what you are trained for is often not where you end up working!
Something that turned out very different in my life was starting to work at 15. I studied all along in correspondence and kept working full time. However, there was a voice inside me that constantly prompted and said, “This is not what I wanted to do or feel like doing.” This voice helped me stay in touch with my passion for teaching. Though I had different job roles for the first six years of my career, I continued pursuing activities that built experiences in my life. For the last eight years, my life has been what I wanted it to be. Today, I’m a successful coach, facilitator, and leadership skills trainer. My aim in life is to change and keep changing for the better. I follow this anywhere and everywhere I go. I like to take people along the change and make people focus on the ‘what’ aspect of the change.
Tell us about any current projects you are working on
I have worked very passionately towards the betterment of society. I led many initiatives while at Deloitte and at Novartis I’m now focussing on what we can do as human beings to progress the world we live in, intellectually, personally, and spiritually. While it is important to take pride in what we become in life, it is important to also be what we are and take time to pay it forward!
What has been your biggest challenge in achieving your success?
Challenges were multiple – but I’ve been lucky to have mentors around me to help me see them differently. I strongly believe what does not kill you only makes you stronger. My dad, a lot of senior leaders at Deloitte, my husband and now my daughter have been my greatest sources of inspiration. They made me realise that life isn’t as small as succumbing to a challenge. I’m a believer and follower of my Guru Sai Baba and from him I also learnt patience and persistence.
Today I can say I was lucky to see it all and of course there is much more to experience – financial challenges, night shifts, health problems, career breaks due to marriage and childbirth, managers that sucked, difficult customers, dissatisfaction as a mother, and much more. But none of these situations are permanent. These situations taught me change and I learnt to move on. There are times in life that tested my strength but these are also the times that made me stronger.
What has been your greatest achievement personally?
I thought it was representing my country in Sri Lanka for an International public speaking contest and winning a trophy there. I then thought it was winning the All Stars Award at Deloitte which recognised me as one of their top three employees among 15,000 others. It then seemed like multiple large-scale seminars and industry talks I did at a young age and made an impact on students and practicing HR professionals.
But no, the greatest achievement for me I think is the balance. Being able to be 100% at work when required and 100% at home when required, trusting my near and dear ones for responsibilities and leaving the rest to my Sai, spending uninterrupted quality time with my family once in a while, focusing on my spiritual progress, understanding what matters in life and what passes!
If you weren’t doing what you do now, what would you be doing?
I would be on a TV Channel running an educational show. I plan to start one of my own later in life.
Who has been your biggest inspiration?
My dad, my grandparents, my husband and my daughter – I don’t know what life could have been without them!
What does the future hold for you?
What the future holds for me depends on how I want to pave it. I can see tremendous prospects, happiness, satisfaction and experience. I’m looking forward to every bit of it because it’s about learning any ways – I do well, I learn. I don’t do well, I learn. And that’s what matters!
About Archana Kodi
I’m a Learning and Development professional who is passionate about organisational and people development and I like to pursue challenges in all of these areas. I began my career working with small start-up companies in the medical transcription industry. In the last 10 years of my career I worked with organisations like Deloitte, Mylan and now Novartis in the areas of HR and Learning. I live in Hyderabad with my darlings Praveen (husband) and Aanya (daughter). I love performing arts and find time and energy to pursue them occasionally.
Follow me on LinkedIN Archana Kumar
This article was provided by WeAreTheCity Hyderbad committee lead, Anju Arora.