GoVote - Flying towards the vision of social betterment
As citizens of one of the largest democracies in the world, we have the power to choose our leaders through voting. That said, voter turn-outs in India have remained less than impressive.
We, the team “Flying Bhatopa” (our personal initiative) took this social issue and added our own passionate spin to it. We, Bhavana Verma and Tonu Sojatia, along with our friend, participated in the Times Women’s Drive 2019 to raise awareness about voting. Always passionate about driving, we took to the roads from Mumbai to Goa, touching multiple constituencies, public places where we interacted with people and educated them about their right and responsibility to secure the future of the country through voting.
This is our second year in a row taking on a good cause! Last year, we took on the same drive to pay tribute to late actor Sridevi, and spread awareness about increased cases of rape and demands for stronger punishment for the rapists as Sridevi did through her movie Mom.
While the drive this year has already garnered tremendous appreciation, we feel that if we could successfully motivate even a handful of people to vote, we consider the drive a success. This is our joSHful story.
The accidental artist
Theatre has always been my passion. Based out of Hyderabad, soon I found myself re-igniting an old passion. This happened almost a decade back during a casual theatrical experience, when I managed to effortlessly transform a character on stage. I was surprised at the level of comfort I felt on the stage, under the lights. The experience was truly magical; I was re-born as an artist, albeit accidentally. Slowly and steadily, I began my journey towards the theatre world. I got better with every role and was rewarded with stronger acting roles, fully booked shows and fame.
So far, I have performed in about 20 plays. I was recognised as the best actor by the famed film actor, Om Puri, in a theatre competition. One of my landmark roles has been a 55 minute solo show, essaying the life of Mah Laqa Chanda, the 18th century Urdu poet, courtesan, warrior, power broker and philanthropist who became the first female poet to publish a collection of poems. Interestingly, I did not know Urdu when I landed the role. I believe it was my willingness to master my craft that I learned the language in four months, and managed to deliver a flawless performance that not only honored Mah Laqa, but also brought tears to the eyes of historians and poets who came to watch my performance. This, till date, is one of my biggest achievements, and also the most treasured moment for me.
I think everyone should have a passion that makes them feel alive. Life is always going to be a juggling act but when we feel strongly about something, we find a way to make time for it. With a supportive family, an enthusiastic team and the jOSH to push boundaries, I am determined to have it all and on my own terms.
Standing out as a female Sarangi player is no mean feat!
Music does uplift the soul, heal and inspire! Born in a family of musicians, I am one of the leading Sarangi player in India. Inspired by my father, Pt. Kishore Banerjee, a brilliant Tabla player, I took up Sarangi at the age of eight when my father urged me to take up the instrument as a challenge to prove that women are no less. But it was under the guidance of my mother that I started learning the instrument for the first time.
Apart from being an “A” grade Sarangi player at All India Radio (AIR) Delhi, I am also a Sangeet Prabhakar from Prayag Sangeet Samiti (Prayagraj), a recipient of scholarship in Sarangi from Ministry of HRD, Govt. of India and an empanelled artist of Indian Council for Culture Relation, Govt. of India (ICCR). My most prominent concerts include a solo performance at Hyderabad House with Prime Minister Narendra Modi as audience, at Surajkund International Crafts Mela, and Ajanta Ellora Festival, among others.
Performing at concerts did not come easily — organisers would either feature sons of popular musicians or ask me to perform without a fee. It was my struggle and hard work over the years that helped things fall in place. I draw inspiration from the late Sarangi maestro Ustad Sultan Khan. I strongly believe that music is not restricted by language barriers and has the power to heal, express and shape personalities.
I try and balance best of both worlds as a CA and a Sarangi player by making little sacrifices in life and credit my jOSH and strong support of my team for being able to do so!
jOSH means ownership, self-motivation and work ethics. When I was assigned to work on an important project, I took that extra mile to prove my mettle. I coordinated with team members to ensure that our deliverables moved within timelines and client expectations are met.
The project helped me in enriching my own managerial skills and imparting me with lenses to approach projects from a 360 degree point of view. When faced with challenge, I like to visualise the outcome and draws strength from it to push the envelope - a practice I suggest to all my colleagues.
For me, my team, my mentor and the workplace is what makes me jOSHful at work.
I was part of a very dynamic project that required utmost commitment on constant basis. The commitment and ability to go above and beyond won me the super employee award. I credit my growth to following the Firm's values of going beyond the call of duty and stopping at nothing but brilliance.
Throughout the course of each of my projects, I managed timelines well and exceeded client expectations, each time. For me, being #jOSHful at work is about being a team player and managing time effectively.
"Executing tasks independently is important, but it is just as important to seek help and support wherever required". I believe that taking ownership of the task and knowledge-sharing are the key traits of a #jOSHful individual. I was entrusted the responsibility of managing multiple projects and deliveries in parallel - a feat that had me multi-tasking and stretching to work well beyond office hours. With a clear focus on delivery, I finished all my assignments with 100 percent dedication.
The biggest benefit to the client was getting the required deliverable with desired quality very much on time, giving consultants and the client enough window for discussion on critical points before finalisation. We also tried educating the clients on technicalities of the project which, in turn, enabled them to take informed and better decisions.
The phrase “There are no failures – just experiences and your reactions to them” keeps me going even during hardships. I made my own share of mistakes, yet I took ownership even in such cases and actively took corrective steps to avoid future recurrence.
This is my #jOSH story and am proud of it.
#jOSH means different things to different people. For me, it means team work and time management. Apart from performing exceptionally well as part of the delivery team of my client, the client was extremely satisfied with the work done and also appreciated quality of work and structured approach at multiple occasions.
All this was not without its share of challenges. I spent a number of late working hours to churn out quality deliverables which eventually taught me how to manage time better, work under pressure and also improved relationship amongst team members and the client. The #jOSH to relentlessly pursue and keep pushing my boundaries led to another successful work opportunity with the client.
Now, I am on a learning journey and is enjoying every bit of it. To me, it’s about being jOSHFUL with each passing day.
My #jOSH lies in my attitude of not letting things go without giving it a try!
Our engagement with the client required us to be very much on the go and we impressed them with our dedication, innovative ideas, good quality deliverables and quick thinking. I used my previous experience in the sector to drive excellence at every step.
Exemplifying the spirit of jOSH, our team work got us through days of hard work and we received appreciation from the client for our efforts by providing us with more work opportunities.
I believe a 'Can Do' attitude and a practical approach to solving challenges are the two qualities that make a jOSHful individual.
I believe in going above and beyond my designation and giving my best to clients. I also believe in taking complete ownership of my work and infusing innovation in all I do.
I realised that clients do not want just consultants. They want partners who can match them step by step and contribute to their success.
Mostly, we see that our role in projects is based on designations but I went beyond my title and I think that made all the difference. I worked on three different deals in 2018, each with its own set of complexities. I worked through midnight calls, early morning deliverables, weekdays and weekends - powering myself with #KPMGjOSH.
In #KPMGIndia’s #Joshful environment, we aim to go beyond expectations to take ownership for the success of our projects. Excellence, then, becomes a habit.
The struggle of balancing career and passion is not easy.
With my grandfather and father having served in defence, I have always been passionate about shooting. I faced several roadblocks in my passion for shooting but I managed to sail through each of them and came out a winner. I never let the #josh in me die down.
Since most of us spend a great deal of our lives at work, it inevitably plays a key role in shaping our levels of happiness. Currently ranked #12 on the national circuit of shooters, balancing a national level career and senior role at work was not easy. I used to train over weekends and spend my evenings with family
As they say, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going”. With support from my family and my work-place, I won a gold medal in the 34th Delhi state shooting championship. I was also awarded a bronze at the 14th South East Asia shooting championship.
When someone asks me, How is the jOSH? I always say, it is high!