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Inspirational women: Marita Maier | Head of French and German Business Centres in India, EY

imageTell us about yourself

I have been working at EY for 30 years now, including 14 years as a Partner in our Transaction Advisory Services business. Currently, I am running both French and German Business Centres (FBC and GBC) in India which are dedicated to supporting clients starting or expanding business in India in the various fields of the EY services offerings such as audit, tax and advisory services. In the past, I was also in senior management roles including COO and People Leader within our EMEIA area.

Tell us about any current projects you are working on

Within EY India, I am currently working on developing both FBC and GBC’s presence in the Indian market. One objective is to increase visibility in the Indian market and this is where we focus onmarketing and communication activities (such as the first Diwali event we organized for our clients in October 2014) and the development of insightful thought leadership. Another important objective is to develop our client base and to enhance our business relations with French and Germanheadquartered companies having operations in India.

What has been your biggest challenge in achieving your success?

The biggest challenge I faced during my entire career was to reconcile a stressful and time-consuming work while taking care of my 2 young children. In Europe, women usually do not benefitfrom any family or maid support, and balancing both personal and professional lives is always an issue. I still sometimes wonder how I have actually managed to cope with everything without going crazy.

What has been your greatest achievement personally?

What I am very proud of, and consider as one of my greatest personal achievements, is to haveworked and lived in 5 different countries throughout my entire career: Germany, France, Canada, USand now India. This allowed me to grow as a person and in particular develop intercultural knowledge and what I call a global mind set and emotional sensitivity which are absolutely key to overtake culture gaps and to be able to adapt smoothly. And needless to say that in the current business environment where diversity and inclusiveness are key for business successes such an experience is even more precious.

If you weren’t doing what you do now, what would you be doing?

If I was not working for EY, I think I would work in the tourism industry where I could enjoy what I am the most passionate about: photography and travelling.

Who has been your biggest inspiration?

When I started as a consultant at EY some of the partners were absolute role models for me, in particular as I admired and respected them for their leadership and management style. However, Idon’t think I would single any one of them out as they all contributed to my personal development and career at different points in time.

What does the future hold for you?

Without hesitation, I would say staying in India to get to know the country and people better and to develop the business!

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