Meet The SHEROES: Anita Kakar Sharma, Vice-president, LLOYD Group
Anita Kakar Sharma, a fellow of the Institute of Company Secretaries of India and an alumnus of the prestigious Delhi University, has been associated with LLOYD group as company secretary cum vice president. She has been instrumental in leading investor’s relations in India and overseas, corporate finance, treasury, compliance and initiatives under corporate social responsibility (CSR) for the group. Edited excerpts from an e-interview:
Did you think that the work you do now was to become your calling?
Actually, I strongly believe in the “Karma” theory. I did not perceive as to what I am doing will bring me fame, I only believed in working backwards and deriving results expected out of my deliverables, considering it to be ‘thankless’… as people say, success and fame just followed.
There were instances when people drifted away from the challenges that were evident. I kept my cool and remained consistent, picking up new skills and evolving, and those challenges for others, have been accomplished and are achievements for me.
What was your childhood ambition, and how did you share it with family and friends?
I had a secret, growing up. While other girls would dream of being an actress, singer, dreamed of a perfect wedding with prince charming, I wanted to do something different, which would bring me fame and recognition. I always dreamt of “standing out” of the crowd and making my parents proud of me. The ambition evolved with the passage of time and eventually, my dream evolved into being an investment banker.
Was your formal education targeted towards what you hoped to be? Did you become what you 'studied' to be, or did you change course and chart a different path?
I did become what I studied for; it’s just that I did not limit myself to the role I was interviewed and selected for. I believe in adapting myself to the changes in the workplace, expanding my horizons of knowledge, being constantly on the move to adopt news skills, and being innovative and participative. Therefore, I got versatile exposure and I took that in my stride.
How and when did you choose your career? What were the hurdles you had to cross?
I actually had business acumen since my childhood, and I always aspired of contributing to the system. So when I starting reading about commerce and economics, I could relate it to myself; therefore I had an inclination towards business from the beginning itself. The only hurdle that I faced was to gather myself again and go for it, despite initial failures.
What do you see changing for women professionals in India now?
Since the last two decades, the situation of professional woman has changed dramatically. Women have expanded their career aspirations. They are no longer confined to traditional female fields such as teaching or nursing. We have seen the integration of women into previously male dominated fields such as accounting, medicine, law etc.
Not only this, even the governing law for the Indian Corporates i.e. Companies Act, 2013 enhanced the role of women in corporate world. The world has always been diseased with caste system, gender bias and economical differences. The Companies Act made provisions for gender equality by making it necessary for certain companies to have at least 1 woman director on its board. Gender bias has been the problem not only in India, but even in developed countries such as USA, UK, etc. So, yes, there’s much scope for us to change. It’s time we give our female counterparts equal opportunities for betterment of humanity.
What inspires you to strive for more, and what is your long-term goal?
I strive to be the best I can--if you participate in a charity, then don’t just donate; spend time with those who need it most. Internal motivation is the key because if you are not pushing yourself, who will? Also, embrace change: Most fear it, but it is a beautiful thing.
With great risk come greater rewards, and a chance to make a difference.
collated by Karuna John