In 2017, I finally mustered the courage to bid adieu to my legal job and join my father’s business. I take immense pride to be the first woman in the ‘Coal Supply and Logistics’ business in India.
Living in world that is still orthodox in many ways, the journey of getting into the business space wasn’t easy. It was new and strange for people to accept the fact that a woman can hold her ground in this field, as it is traditionally considered as one which requires masculine strength and abilities.
Coming from law school, I was fortunate to have learned how to tackle these challenges. Through my years at Jindal Global Law School, I came to understand that law does not only educate you about your legal rights but also helps you answer a lot of questions about beliefs that have been ingrained in you. At JGLS, we were encouraged to question the logic behind everything. What really helped me find my footing in the business arena was a sound legal knowledge and drafting skills.
In the initial days, people were very curious about how I was able to cope with all the field work and dealing with supervisors, contractors, government officials and many others who may have never interacted with a woman at the workplace.
As a woman in the 21st century, there are still times when I face gender discrimination, but I have learnt to handle it. Today, I am extremely proud of the fact that I get to take my father’s business legacy ahead, when almost all had doubted my capabilities. I truly believe that a legal training hones the ability to not only understand and challenge people’s viewpoints but also make one’s own voice heard and become a leader in any field.
Before joining the business, I was working as a Legal Analyst in Pune. I found myself at a crossroads with two options: start my own legal venture or to relocate to Bhopal and help my father to expand his business. I still remember my father saying, “There is huge scope in the coal logistics business, but I need a helping hand.” From that day on, I knew what I had to do.
Leaving behind the legal network in Pune and Mumbai wasn’t easy, but I was able to keep up my passion for law as well, as the founder of Lawyers Connect, India’s biggest network of lawyers, CAs & CS. Lawyers Connect has a portal that helps keep professionals updated with corporate law amendments and landmark cases. Along with that, we also do research on case laws or judgments in the area of corporate law as and when required by the professionals. Besides this, I am also the Chief Marketing Officer of HospiBuz and Hospitality Lexis magazine.
I am short of words to express gratitude for all that I was able to achieve through my five years at JGLS. What makes O.P. Jindal Global University the best—and a class apart from other colleges in India—is its global faculty and global ecosystem. I truly believe that no other university in India would have given me the platform and freedom to interact with professors beyond classroom discussions.
It was an incredible experience to learn from the exceptional faculty at JGLS. Prof. Gagan Kwatra, Prof. Manasi Kumar, Prof. James Nedumpara, Prof. Sachin Dhawan and Prof. Sirish Tamvada—these five accomplished experts played a very important role in my college life, and still continue to inspire me. During law school, I worked at the Centre for International Trade and Economics Laws under Prof. Nedumpara and also worked alongside Prof. Gagan Kwatra as a Teaching Assistant for a year.
In the third year of law school, I was very confused about my career. While I was keen to pursue entrepreneurship and business courses, the legal courses were equally interesting. Prof. Kumar was always open to sharing her knowledge and experience about the professional world. I would share with her my passion to be an entrepreneur and she guided me through each and every step on how to make a mark in the field. Eventually, when the time came to join the business, I was very confident about my approach—and it was only possible because of the excellent mentorship at college. I was able to attend an entrepreneurship course at Stanford University with their guidance and support.
As a student, the learning experience at JGU was really unique and empowering. The open interaction in the classrooms and multidisciplinary electives offered by the different schools helped me evolve and grow intellectually. We were always encouraged to participate in electives, and for two semesters, I was permitted to opt for seven electives along with the regular curriculum; I even attended classes on weekends!
Looking back, I feel that the ecosystem of diverse learning and exposure from across the schools at O.P. Jindal Global University has given me the zeal and confidence to work enthusiastically in three very diverse sectors—the journey has just begun and there’s a lot more to look forward to in the road ahead!”