location : Mumbai
Deepa has been a stalwart performer with us since she joined us in November 2012. It’s our privilege to have Deepa on board. With a family of four, son & daughter, she works on a flexi time basis and has been one of our star performer among all our planners. We recently had a conversation to find out what’s her secret behind her success.
Tell us about yourself.
I started my career with Blue Dart as a Service Executive in 1999. After that, I was in retail banking for 10 years, working with Citibank in Hyderabad as a Service Manager. I took a career break for one-and-a-half years to raise a family. During that interval I realized that a gainful way of using the sabbatical would be to take up an education programme. So I pursued a Certification in Financial Planning course from the Financial Planning Standards Board (FPSB), in which I still have to complete the Taxation module.
I joined Principal Retirement Advisors in November 2012. On joining, I set myself a benchmark of completing the mandatory CPFA and AMFI certification within 10 days of starting (though we’re given a 45 day time-frame). Having done that, I acquired my first client within 20 days of joining. I am now advising 17 clients.
How do you relate to your experience in the banking profession with being a Principal Retirement Planner?
I would say my banking experience has helped me better understand the terminology in financial services. Having worked for 10 years in banking in various capacities, mostly in customer interface roles, I understand the incredible responsibility a fiduciary role brings. Most of all, my experience working with a multinational Bank taught me the essentials of professionalism, inter-personal interaction and conflict management.
How do you go about your job? Tell us the secret of your success.
I go about my job by really being myself. I really can’t pretend or act to be of benefit to clients. I think candidness is really important. I get into their shoes and think of what would really benefit them. It is this proactive advisory that makes a difference. And I can see it in the way they think of me – as someone who is really thinking about them and genuinely concerned about their well-being.
One thing you like the most about being a Principal Retirement Planner.
The thing that best suits me about being a Principal Retirement Planner is that I get to exercise the freedom to schedule my work the way I want. I stay on the outskirts of the city and with a regular job would be worried about the travel time and kids back home.
Having a family, I realize the value of flexibility as I want to choose how I want to work and the routine that I am comfortable with. I think the corporate world is pretty starved of such working models. As working mothers, if women have their concerns taken care of, they demonstrate loyalty and go out of their way to perform. it is no match for the mental satisfaction.
“What are the organizational support you received at Principal”.
Principal has a worked as a great support system.
1) In terms of guidance.
2) In terms of preparation of a top quality financial report.
3) In terms of assistance on queries and clarifications thru advisory assist team.
4) Lastly with a work space and resources provided at office.
Most importantly, the guidance I received from my Regional Director (RD) has transformed me into the person I am today. In terms of penetrating a highly competitive market and making a name for myself by encouraging me identify my own skills and use them at the right time and the right place, wouldn't have been possible if I were working anywhere else. So I owe a lot to this organization.
One prime principle of your life and one person you look up to.
I believe in honesty and compassion. I think if you are honest and compassionate, people can see you are genuine and appreciate engaging with you. The one person I look upto would definitely be my husband. Extremely professional, organized and committed, he always gives his best as a successful sales professional.
Tell us about your family
We are a family of four. We have a daughter Harini, who is 10 years old, and a 6-year-old son Siddharth. We spend quality time by talking about the day’s events, watching movies or visiting amusement parks. We also like spending time at our small little farm at the outskirts just to give kids a pollution free environment.
Principal Retirement Advisors – We are the first dedicated Retirement Solutions Specialist in India. We plan for client’s retirement through a goal based approach for various life stages. We are part of the one of the leading financial services organization in the world - The Principal Financial Group® (PFG). PFG is the largest 401 (k) provider in the US with operations in 18 countries. PFG has over 19.4 million customers & 14,790 employees worldwide.