Saturday, March 27, 2010

How did Sridevi Raghavan catch the success train?

On the 8th of March CBS celebrated women’s day with Sridevi Raghavan, a young entrepreneur, the co-founder and CEO of Amelio Chid Care who shared with us her inspiring life story of how she got to where she is today. Sridevi came across as a young, confident woman who was highly knowledgeable. Her effortless way of addressing an audience was truly commendable. What she spoke was very relevant to our current situation. With the placement seasons going-on in full swing and all of us looking at different career options, Sridevi’s session was timed so perfect that it blew our minds.

Often we all face situations where we find it difficult to convince others of the dreams that we have. And it is even more difficult to make others see things from our perspective. Sridevi too faced a similar situation when after few years of marriage she decided to pursue her MBA, and not just any MBA… but an MBA from Harvard. Although her family and friends did not react too positively to this, she went on to pursue her dream. She went on to explain how important the MBA was to her and why she decided to do what she did. She says “you cannot expect anyone to empathize with you 100% not even your parents, lover, your partner why... not even your pet. But what you can do is ask for their support.” How very true! The knowledge that you have the support of the people that you love is so comforting and with this support we get the strength to face even the worst of our nightmares.

It’s very natural that we dream big and many a times land up bursting the bubble. So many questions come to our…how? when ? where? We immediately start planning things and we get unnecessarily worked up about the execution that we fail to convince ourselves about it. And it was at this point Sridevi’s husband told her not to get bogged down by all the unknowns and to start taking things as it comes. And today Sridevi says “if you have a dream... pursue it. Don’t worry about how you are going to do it… Plans keep changing but dreams do not. So be a dreamer.” Those were some powerful words of wisdom.

Sridevi’s experience at Harvard was truly an eye opener for many of us. Never again are we going to frown at our professors for giving us another HSB case to crack…not after we heard how it happens at Harvard. Some important take aways from her time at Harvard were

• Listen to your gut feel. It is important to give as much importance to intuition as we give to logically finding “The Right thing to do”

• Fear of making a mistake. One has to get over the fear of looking foolish. In the context of a Business school, Sridevi encouraged us to look at the school as a place where we can sound our ideas and experiment with our thoughts. Once out of B School, in a real time scenario one does not have the luxury to keep experimenting. A B-School gives you the right platform, support and guidance to share your thoughts. So one should make the best use of it.

Sridevi gave us first hand information on how to make our first move into the corporate world. Her speech gave us a feel as to what to expect in the real world. It left us with the feeling that each one of us could also achieve something by tapping the hidden potential in us. The pointers she left behind were those that no books teach you. A truly inspiring speech!

Contributed by Varsha Vasudevan, Marketing & Communications Varsity, CBS Batch-4 (2009-10)

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