26 February, 2007


Sapient’s senior VP Amy Shah finds Wall Street, with its gruelling hours, a tough challenge for women
Ishani Duttagupta

THERE arn’t too many women VPs in the consulting world. And for Amy Shah, senior VP of Sapient in North America, this is one of the challenges that she faces professionally. “I have two young children and packed travel schedules around the world - leaving them behind - can be very tough. The consulting companies do not yet have too many women in senior leadership roles and hence are only starting to recognise special needs such as limiting travel for mothers with young children,” she feels. Of course, the fact that her husband too is part of Sapient’s leadership team and helps her to balance her professional and family roles, helps a lot. And as career manager for groups of 10-15 employees across Sapient, Ms Shah finds herself often dealing with similar HR issues which often don’t have much to do with compensation packages. “As mentor and role model, I find people coming to me with problems similar to the ones that I have faced at different stages in my career - of balancing family commitments with the job,” she says. Even at Wall Street - where Ms Shah had her previous stint with Dun & Bradstreet - after an MBA in finance from New York University’s Stern School of Business - she finds the trading floor largely maledominated and women having difficulties with gruelling work hours.

“While there are a large number of younger women working at Wall Street as analysts and junior traders, there are far less of them in senior positions. In fact, I find more women doing well on the retail side of financial services such as banks,” she says. Ms Shah, whose parents immigrated to the US in the 60s, was born and bred in the Mid-West America and feels that the second generation of Indian Americans are far more comfortable with their ethnic identity today, than before. “My parents’ generation were coming to terms with their American-ness, while my children will be far more comfortable as global citizens. I feel they would be comfortable living and working anywhere in the world,” she says. She herself chose to relocate to NYC because of its multicultural feel. “Starting up Sapient’s financial services business proved to be a great challenge too,” says Ms Shah who is currently responsible for Sapient’s business in New York and Chicago with a focus on the financial services sector. “Besides NYC, I’ve worked in the West Coast and Toronto. And now as part of Sapient’s strategic leadership team I feel that leadership is more about results rather than gender, race or geography. While we are three women on the top team, 30% of Sapient’s workforce globally are women,” says Ms Shah, who joined the consultancy firm way back in 1996. As for India, while her clients bring her here on work, she would love to travel more often on vacation with her family and teach her kids Gujarati.

Source:- The Economic Times ,Global Indian Takeover ..

Using the space this time to release my frustration

Some people think that they are free to say anything. True, we are a democratic country and we have freedom of speech. But, then the worst is that these people feel that they can give opinions on any one and anything, that too in public, making fun of others or criticizing others. While doing so they commit violence (“Ahimsa”). This is violence, as they are having fun at the cost of hurting others’ feelings. If the opposite person does not respond back in the same sense, he/she feels that the opposite person is incompetent and is worth contempt. But a sensible opposite may actually does not want to respond to his/her crude comments at times and come down to his/her mean levels. He/she may remain silent and tolerate his/her comments when actually he/she really feeling bad. Well feeling bad and being emotional is not at all a bad thing. But then the silent tolerater should in due course of time learn how to respond to his/her comments in his/her own silent ways. The rule here is don’t keep in your grievances for longer time in your mind and heart. Find a correct time as soon as possible and clarify the matters. “Happy u are “, “Nice is the world around u”.

21 February, 2007

Positive thinking is part of the brain



BEN Shahar, a happiness guru at Harvard whose “positive psychology” classes are being flocked to in the hundreds these days, seems to have an unnecessarily negative take on the media. “Most of the media,” he says in a Times News Network interview earlier this week, “focuses on what goes wrong: it reports extensively on Enron or Martha Stewart, or some fraud. But it doesn’t focus on the billions of honest transactions that take place everyday. And over time we begin to think that the negative is the norm, and that the exception is the good. So our minds get trained to focus on what is going wrong.”
He was replying to the interviewer’s question which said she had read somewhere that evolution had geared the human brain with a tendency towards negative thinking and, if so, could we condition it to think positively?
Firstly, a responsible media does not focus only on what goes wrong, rather it focuses on what is not commonplace, unoriginal or flat. The reason is because that’s what “news” means — new information of any kind; new things — events, occurrences or tidings. Fortunately or unfortunately, such things are not self-judgemental and, therefore, can be either positive or negative in their scope. Before 1991, for instance, the media quite regularly highlighted India’s economic shortcomings, since that was a given reality in those days. Today with the bread and butter business boom taking off like a rocket, the media consistently underscores the optimistic picture. In fact the Sunday Times top story on the day of Mr Shahar’s lament was ‘200 m phones and growing’.
Secondly, and more to the point, the human brain is definitely not geared with a tendency towards negative thinking. If anything, in evolutionary terms it would at most be blindly neutral in its development, favouring perhaps only that which could be beneficial to the body. Even after the rise of societies and civilisation, along with the emergence of the higher mental faculties of emotion, reasoning, judgement and the like, the tendency of the mind has been to move consistently towards the more affirmative and upbeat aspects of its world. And ultimately, with the growth of religiosity and the emergence of a maturing moral dimension, it has differentiated between good and evil and, historically, overwhelmingly chosen the former. The very fact that Shahar’s course for creating more positivity in our lives is breaking so many popularity records, speaks volumes about this.
source:- The Economic Times, CO S M I C U P LI N K

15 February, 2007


How further will it go .....in short while u will see a new post...if i am successful in one paper I am working on at present.

05 February, 2007

Be enthusiastic, always ride the learning curve

WHAT WOULD a seasoned high-flying executive mom advise her 20-year-old daughter who is about to enter the workforce. Hema Ravichanderis special because she is not just a mom of a 20-year-old. She is also a seasoned HR consultant, with 22 years of experience who, at one point of time handled/shaped careers of thousands of young executives as Infosys HR head. At present, she is a consultant with the HR consultancy firm Mercer and also advises firms and CEOs on managing human capital. How should you handle your career in these heady, uncertain times? What are the golden rules? Here’s what Ravichander would advise her daughter. Read on: My Daughter, This is a special moment. You stand on the threshold of your career ready to set sail on a new and wonderful journey. An apt time for me to share with you some thoughts which I hope will provide you with a strong compass on the high seas of life. Looking back on my life, I believe one of the nicest things said to me is what my college principal once wrote in a book she gifted me — “Thank you, Hema, for your enthusiasm!” Enthusiasm, the first ingredient in the making of worthwhile outcomes, gives purpose and direction to any project. It is the ability to be positive, the desire to examine and assess the worth of the project in hand and once the worthiness has passed muster, to go ahead and get things done with a smile! Cultivate it. Remember, it is not just the situation, but your reaction towards it that will stand you in good stead. Be a student always. Too many of us stop studying the day we take up a job. It is so easy to get frozen on the learning curve. To stay relevant in this competitive world one should be au courant with the latest advances in one’s field. Else you will lose that important trait of career resilience critical to keep you ‘resumeable’ through life. So, when you take up a job, do keep aside time, whatever the pressures of the day, to read, assimilate and deploy new learning. Be performance-oriented . Fortune favours the persistent. Your hallowed educational institution provided you with the knowledge but it is your responsibility to develop the right skills and attitude. Focus on meeting deadlines, ensuring that any work you complete is of the highest quality. Too many careers waste away for lack of focus on execution excellence. A successful career takes nurturing!Instant results happen only in video games. Don’t ever lose heart if your hard work does not reap immediate dividends. Jumping jobs is not a silver bullet to rewards. Focus on the learning valueadd from your job, in these initial years. Get varied experiences, and gain depth where appropriate. Specifically, avoid falling into the easy trap of becoming a generalist without at least an area or two of specialisation in your chosen field. “No man is an island.” The circles of our lives constantly meet the circles of others. The influence we have on them and they on us dictate our lives. Choose your mentors with care and work with them diligently to get a true picture of yourself and to improve yourself as a person and a professional. To treat others the way we would want them to treat us, with fairness and compassion, is easier said than done. In one’s official capacity one would often have to take decisions which people may resent, generating anger. The Affiliation Motive, the need to be popular and be loved, is a universal human trait. Be true to yourself and work towards what is right, mindful that it should stand public scrutiny should the need arise. This is what will earn you trust and respect. Give back to society. Choose an area you are passionate about and give it your time and mindshare. It is our responsibility. And what’s more, it will complete you as an individual. Choose your life partner wisely. One who will support you in your career choices and will look at both your careers as an integrated one. Many a promising career derails without this synergy. Above all, develop a sense of humour. Many a battle is won if you look at things through the lens of laughter. Remember, life is an easel waiting for you to paint on. Go strongly into the sunrise, my child.

Source of this article is The Economic Times dated 05/02/07

Information Inundation

This is the age of Information Inundation. If you are searching for one particular thing on google then you might get carried away by other information and get diverted from your actual search. Hence try to filter out which is useless. It requires quite a good amount of discretion to disallow yourself, rather reffrain yourself from viewing the junk information. Time is money and you have one life to live. Utilize those in judicious manner and add value to yourself and grow everyday. Try to spend your time qualitatively. Focus yourseld to the objectives and scrap the unrequired.