CA­REER SAVVY

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.

Savvy - - Contents -

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.

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