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Komal Khandelwal

Senior Technical Manager

Procter and Gamble

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No stereotypes can bound you. You are born to do what you like.

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WHAT DO YOU DO?

I am a Technical readiness leader in FMCG company named Procter and Gamble. I manage innovations from feasibility till execution in Europe region. This include managing a multifunctional team to deliver successful initiatives in the market.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS FIELD?

First, the field chose me. But then as I became experienced I could decide which role in that industry will be most suited to my strengths. I joined as an engineer but soon got promoted to Technical readiness leader. A major part of my role is communication and collaboration. My current role provides a perfect opportunity to demonstrate these qualities. This is the single most important reason I enjoy my work.

HOW DO/DID YOU TACKLE OBSTACLES?

My journey was indeed challenging. I was born and brought in India in a lower middle class family. I was academically good since childhood and wanted to pursue science. My family had financial challenges to provide us basic needs like food, clothes etc. Education was really the last priority to invest. Additionally, being a girl does not come easy in India especially when it comes to education. In these challenging circumstances, my mother decided to take a stand. She made a promise to herself that her girls will have proper education no matter what. My mother learned to sew and started her sewing business. She was my role model growing up and she still is. Once I got the moral and needed financial support from my mother, i decided to go full fledged on hardwork. Along the way I learned what matters and adapted myself to grow faster. I am a strong believer of "Smart work", following pareto principle.

I believe in making things happen for me. I control my life through my actions. I decided to come to Germany for my masters and ended doing double masters. This was not particularly easy as half of my family was strongly against this decision. But I was strong and firm on my decision. I came to Germany and made my own life here. Therefore, any obstacle does not seem to be as a barrier but really an opportunity to take appropriate action.

WHAT DO YOU LOOK AT & THINK, "I WISH YOUNGER ME WOULD HAVE KNOWN THIS WAS POSSIBLE?"

I wish younger me would have known that multitasking is possible. I wish I had known that how important exploring potential is.

WHY DO YOU LOVE WORKING IN STEM?

I love working in STEM because it gives me a feeling that I am actively contributing to the world. It is so powerful that it gives you a sense of being. My eyes sparkles when I see the product on shelf that I was working for. And most of it, it gives me confidence that women can do everything.

BEST ADVICE FOR NEXT GENERATION?

Don't let anything stop you! No stereotypes can bound you. You are born to do what you like. Just gather some courage and go for it.

INSPIRATION

Every problem creates an opportunity to shine.

 

My mother inspires me the most. It is beacuse of her dream that I am here. They say it takes a generation to make a tangible change. My mother did bring that change to the family. She made education possible for girls in the family where traditionally girls are suppossed to get married and serve their husbands. She decided to break the stereotype and encourged me to go against the flow. She not only broke the stereotype but also worked hard to earn enough pay for my education. I graduated from a very prestige university in India. She motivated me and my sister to be independent, more importantly financially independent. She always belived that women's independence will come from education and financial independence. I am lucky to have her in my life to inspire me and I try to do the same for other girls/women around the world.