Here’s why you should follow your instinct to achieve success! I was ready to start my day at BHIVE Workspace S6 with the steamy cup of coffee when I met Prajakta Karande , the only employee working out of Bangalore for Hunt and Badge Consulting. Hunt & Badge is a tech recruiting firm founded by Pichumani Durairaj, a former Amazonian, who has more than a decade of rich experience in recruitment. They have their offices at Chennai, Bangalore and Pune. Recruiting is their passion!
Tell us about your professional journey, the trip that started from your college days to being a working mom.
I graduated from SGGSIET as Instrumentation Engineer with big dreams in my eyes, of working with some of the biggest organisations. The picture at the time I graduated was different, opportunities were less and there were many restrictions for women employees, particularly for those jobs which required working in big plants and posed some health hazards too. I was working on control software and thus made my mind switch fully to the software industry. I completed my Diploma in Advance Computing from CDAC and then went to earn a Master’s degree in Computer Science from Boston University.
By then I had the experience of working as a software engineer, programmer and product developer, only to realize that technical jobs are very demanding in all terms and contexts. I took a career break to spend time with my kids and ponder on finding my passion. Now, I am working as a Growth and Business Manager for Hunt and Badge Consulting. I find this profession the right match for me as my job nurtures me and provides me with the opportunity to talk to people and talk about people. Being from the software industry provides me with an edge over others as I can understand the jargon better and thus, come out with expected results in lesser time.
You are surrounded by young entrepreneurs at BHIVE, what will you offer as a hiring tip to them?
I understand the fact that startups initiate their voyage in the business world with very less resources at their hand. I would like to tell them to set clear requirements and not to go for the fictional idea of hiring all in one candidate.
You are the only employee of your company working from Bangalore. What motivates you to work every day?
I must say it is BHIVE – the coworking space and the well-connected community. I never feel alone as I am always surrounded by an energetic bunch of people striving to make it big. Mostly, I like to talk about technology and attend events. Every time my neighbour at the workplace works for his next release I do ensure that I review their product and provide them with my honest views on the product. Also, while working from BHIVE, I have never felt the need of worrying about an electricity bill or about an AC which is not working.I am fond of startups and the lively ambience that envelops me at my workplace, and the urge of learning and explore something new every day makes me come and work and start my mornings.
Being a homemaker, mom and professional woman surely demands a lot. What are the non-work habits that help you with your work-life balance?
I was a sports person since my school days and was one among the few girls who practised martial arts like Taekwondo. I follow a very disciplined fitness regime and practice MMA every morning before I leave my home for the office.
Talking about being a working mom, how difficult do you find managing your kids?
Frankly, it was very difficult initially. I took a career break and ensured that I remain with my little ones when they needed me. But now my kids are grown up, they are old enough to take care of their day-to-day activities with minimal attention, or what I can say is with less interference (laughs). I have matched my working hours with their school hours. Also, I would like to mention that my elder one – my daughter understands the situation and encourages me to work.
Let’s throwback to when you were 15 years old and assume you have 5 minutes to communicate any lessons. What would you advise 15-year-old self?
I was trying each and everything that came my way and was not sure of that one thing that I should stick to. I would advise 15-year-old Prajakta to find her passion and religiously work on it. Today we see these bunch of young digital media enthusiasts, who have leveraged the power of social media and are making millions. The lesson I have learnt from them is that there is no wrong time but only the right time! Start, the very moment you stop being afraid of consequences, the very moment you stop waiting for anyone to help you and start following your inner self.
Aptly said. Prajakta what advice would you have for aspiring entrepreneurs in general, and women entrepreneurs specifically?
According to my point of view, women are capable of achieving everything even if they juggle the different worlds of being a homemaker, of being a mother and of being a professional at work. It is never late, age is never a bar to beginning your path to success. What matters is pursuing your dreams and being passionate about your work.
We at BHIVE love to read and would like to know about the book you are reading now, would you recommend it to others?
Currently, I am reading Family Wisdom by Robin Sharma. It is a sequel to The Monk who Sold his Ferrari. It mentions the challenges a working woman faces and how to tackle them. I recommend reading the book and pondering over the lessons to create balance in family life and career.