Hello VOX Readers, how are you? I hope all is well with everyone during these strange times. Last week, I caught up with Bhooshan Thakar. Did you see his #LifeAtVeritas interview? Today I’d like to introduce my latest employee interview, which is with Leucadia Milly Sandeep, Director – India HR and Business Partner based in our Pune, India office. During this interview, Milly shares insights into what it's like being an HR professional in the IT sector, she provides some great advice for first jobbers and insights into working at Veritas. Read Milly’s interview below.
Zoe: Welcome Milly, thank you for agreeing to participate in the #LifeAtVeritas blog series. What made you choose a career in IT?
Milly: Looking back at my career journey I can still see the erstwhile office of Veritas Pune in a building called Symphony, a landmark which I looked at with envy, for the people working in it. As I passed through, I used to glance back over my shoulder and wonder as to when I would join an IT company like Veritas.
I worked for an outdoor management company and had the opportunity to do a behavioural workshop for managers at Veritas and I found their sense of pride contagious. I took up the cue and was fortunate to join Veritas, a dream to be a part of the IT industry.
Zoe: Can you share a summary of a day in the life of an HR Professional?
Milly: HR plays a pivotal role for the employees in the organisation. Challenges and change management is the name of the game. We deal with various aspects of human life – be it behavioural, social, physical, or emotional. Connecting with employees and enabling them to deliver their best for themselves and the business requirements, in short, is what we do. It is a persevering role.
Zoe: What career advice would you give to those trying to secure their first IT role?
Milly: Be open and have a mindset of continuous learning. The field of IT is changing at a very fast pace, with newer technologies shifting paradigms – be it Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning, Robotic Process Automation or RPA, Edge Computing, Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality, Cybersecurity or Blockchain and Internet of Things (IoT). As Thomas L. Friedman mentions, change is the only constant. Adaptability and constant learning are always the best skills one must acquire. For example, if you have a degree in computer science, you may or may not land a job in that exact sub-stream. Be open to exploring other avenues of IT and navigate through to reach your ultimate goal.
Zoe: In your opinion what leadership traits make a good leader? And what’s your leadership style?
Milly: In my opinion, a leader should be a good listener and continuously coach their team, holding them accountable while empowering them. A leader should be result-oriented. In today’s dynamic world action and results are very important, and as a leader, one needs to get the team to deliver on time, with quality, while still showing empathy.
I am a go-getter and love to drive results. I try to be patient and coach my team. I try to be an empathetic leader, not just bothering about results, but also ensuring that I view my team as humans before employees. I try my best to be a role model through my actions.
Zoe: Milly, to some extent we have been influenced in our personal and work lives by others. Who are your role models and influencers?
Milly: My role model has always been one of my managers who led me when I first started my journey in HR. He taught me to be a good human being and at the same time, to drive results – give your 100%. He was very empathetic, very perceptive, and rarely judgemental, all qualities I aspire to.
Zoe: How do you define success? And how do you build successful teams across your region?
Milly: Success, to me, is a journey, and at every stage, one needs to enjoy the journey, while achieving the goals set for yourself. In my team, my motive is always to enjoy and celebrate the successes and accomplishments, while continuing to pursue the goal. Another important aspect of success is recognising all team members equally. As an India HR Leader, I need to focus on, not just my team which includes the HR business partners, but also the Centres of Excellence (COEs) that support the business and ensuring all of us drive business results. Success can only be attained by collaborative efforts from all.
Zoe: What motivates you? And how do you motivate remote teams across India? Especially in these uncertain times.
Milly: What motivates me is challenging work and the positive impact that we have on the organisation. When I started working with teams remotely, I realised that recognising their efforts and ensuring that we stay connected helped motivate them. Another important thing is having fun while working. We need to take time for ourselves. We need to create an environment where we can talk about our challenges and struggles freely. It is important to understand and support each other, respect everyone for their uniqueness, and for every experience to be considered a learning experience.
Zoe: Milly, why should people choose to work at Veritas?
Milly: I have two words for you – culture and innovation. The culture here is great! It empowers people. There’s a smooth blend of work and fun at work. We have various resource groups that work towards giving back to society and making a difference to people around you. People take pride in being a part of Veritas. All of this is of course over and above the fact that we are innovative with our products and with how we deal with our biggest assets – our people.
Zoe: Do you take advantage of the five volunteering days Veritas offers each of its employees?
Milly: Yes, I do. I actively encourage my team and all employees based in India to take advantage of this opportunity, it is a great way to give back to the community.
Some of the causes that I have volunteered for include old age homes, specially-abled children, and underprivileged school children.
Zoe: Milly, what do you like to do in your free time?
Milly: I love to sing and listen to music. I love to cook and plan to start a restaurant one day. I am passionate about gardening and love to tend to my terrace garden. I am an outdoor person and love activities like trekking, rappelling, white-water rafting, things I used to do often before the lockdown. As I mentioned, I also feel giving back to society is important and I help specially-abled kids in association with Tara Ashram (SOFOSH), a non-governmental organisation (NGO).
Zoe: Finally, what technology can’t you live without?
Milly: Let’s face it, the most basic of technologies today is the Internet. We are addicted to the Internet, whether it is for work or leisure. The Internet has turned the vast expanse of the Earth into a global village. So, I think, without having much of a choice, the internet is something we cannot do without.
That's a nice interview, Milly! Really informative and great insights from an HR perspective. If you enjoyed this Life at Veritas blog post with Milly Sandeep, then do stay tuned as there will be more interview-style posts from other people at Veritas. And if this has inspired you to join our team, then check out our job vacancies on LinkedIn and apply here.
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