In a tête-á-tête, Avani Davda, Director, Godrej Nature’s Basket, shows Amber Dias how she’s leading from the front to redefine India’s finest food experience.
Avani Davda of Godrej Nature’s Basket on tackling challenges and moving forward
Over a journey of 15 years, the dynamic Avani Davda has worked in various areas of business strategy, marketing, sales and business development. Her career started out with the Tata Group as a recruit with the group’s flagship leadership program Tata Administrative Services. Following which she did a stint with The Indian Hotels Company Ltd (Taj Hotels) and worked in the office of Director, Tata Sons.
Now at Godrej Nature’s Basket, she is leading from the front and is in the process of taking a much-loved brand to the next level. We catch up with her to learn her secrets to helping a brand reach its peak and beyond…
Excerpts from the interview... How do you overcome challenges on a daily basis? Challenges are a part and parcel of one’s life, be it at work or a personal level. I have been fortunate that people took bets on me and allowed me to take on leadership roles at such a young age. Being offered good, challenging assignments helped me build character and not having a regular trajectory sets me aside as a young manager.
Our current focus at Godrej Nature’s Basket is our five-year transformation strategy Refresh 2020. Each day is challenging and exciting. Challenges
“While it is imperative to excel at work, one should also aim at leading a more meaningful life.”
come up on a regular basis; it is my value system and at the core, being human and humble, that helps me immensely.
What are your strengths? How to they contribute to helping a business move forward? I believe my strength lies in developing a business strategy and the ability to execute with a sharp focus on business sustainability – focusing on growth and profitability.
Also, certain principles that I have always believed in are discipline and transparency, which have worked in the success of the business.
What are your success mantras? I’ve always found that there is no short-cut to success. Yes, a nurturing environment is a must, but growth always has to be performance-driven. I’m fairly tough on myself and on the people around me. I’m honest, open, disciplined and uncompromising.
How do you strike a balance between your personal and professional life? Striking a balance isn’t that hard if one knows how to prioritize things and effectively manage time. It is critical to understand that there is a life that extends beyond work. My weekends are for my son Param and husband Vishal. I cherish being a mom and wife. These are facets of who I am.
I always find the time to attend my son’s PTA meetings and other cultural activities. I love reading and have inculcated the same habit in him. My husband and I bond over music and theatre. I ensure that I take a weeklong vacation each year.
What advice would you give young women who would like to follow a similar career path? It is important to see life from a larger perspective. While it is imperative to excel at work, one should also aim at leading a more meaningful life. That sense of balance is what makes our life meaningful. Leading with values also is key to me as it defines my work life.