Avanti Parulekar

Avanti Parulekar On Becoming An Empathetic & Courageous HR

In our next HR speaks story, Avanti Parulekar shares how HR helped her become more empathetic & courageous. Here’s her story, as shared by her:

I have always been brisk with people facing projects and initiatives since school and college. A natural, I thrive on people interactions. So after majoring in Marketing in graduation (because HR was not an option), I started my MBA the same year. As a fresher, I wanted to experience HR and get on the field. That’s why I not only did a summer internship with Accenture but also a winter internship with Meru Cabs (leader in transport and logistics in 2010).

After these two internships, my biggest takeaway was that: HR is not only for people who want to help others but for those who are creative, analytical and have a strong moral compass.

My HR journey has definitely made me a better person. I think one’s first job and first boss play a very vital role in one’s career. I have spent close to five years in my first job with Star TV working in L&D, Employee Engagement and Business Partner roles. Bhavana Samel, was my first boss and she mentors me even today. The foundation of a great life and thriving career was laid in the very first job.

In these 9 years, I have definitely become more empathetic and more importantly courageous. The personal journey I went through in HR also led me to actively pursue farming along with HR.

Human emotions are complex, tech is evolving and for me learning will be a continuous process. Last year, when I participated in Future HR Leader Certification’ program by Jombay, I went through a series of assignments master classes and projects with tight deadlines. And being in the HR Top 40Under40 Future Leader was a cherry on the cake and a reason to celebrate in the otherwise gloomy 2020.

As I continue to grow in my career, this year giving back is definitely a priority.

I have been associated with Lean In Women @ Work, where we are aiming to increase women’s representation in the workforce and enabling them to propel forward in their careers. The pandemic and subsequent lockdown, resulted in a lot of women dropping out of the workforce. I believe women can support each other and rise together. We at Lean In women @ work strive for the same.

This is not HR related but doing something for women in Agriculture is also a priority for me. In our nation, there are limited women who are involved in Agriculture because traditionally lands are passed on to sons and not the daughters. Women toil in the farms but the owners are the men. I am working with Women’s Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry for Maharashtra Agriculture Council to disrupt this traditional practice.

My life’s mantra is ‘Go with the flow, but keep the reins in your hand; and do not hesitate to break the flow when you don’t vibe with it’.

With gratitude in my heart and this mantra, I shall continue to do great work for the community and also learn and grow through the entire process.

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