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From Life Partners To Employers, Axis Bank Chief's 'Unusual' Advice For IIM Students

The top banker, who leads India's third largest private bank, had an "unusual" advice for IIM Ahmedabad students while she spoke on various topics - from choosing a life partner to selecting an employer.
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Shikha Sharma, who joined Axis Bank in 2009, has over three decades of experience in financial sector.
Shikha Sharma, who joined Axis Bank in 2009, has over three decades of experience in financial sector.

Highlights

  1. Axis Bank CEO Shikha Sharma spoke at IIM Ahmedabad convocation last month
  2. Join an organisation that has values that match yours, she said
  3. The choices you make there will define who you become, the banker added
Axis Bank managing director and chief executive officer Shikha Sharma recently addressed students of Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad or IIM-A, her alma mater, at the institution's 52nd annual convocation. The top banker, who leads India's third largest private bank, had an "unusual" advice for IIM Ahmedabad students while she spoke on various topics - from choosing a life partner to selecting an employer. "You want to join an organisation that has values that match yours, that has people you can be yourself with, that gives you the space to be who you have the potential to be as a professional...So choose wisely," said the CEO of Axis Bank, who was chief guest at the event.
Ms Sharma, who joined Axis Bank in 2009, has more than three decades of experience in the financial sector, as per the bank's website.

Here are some quotes from her IIM Ahmedabad address:

You are poised to enter the real world tomorrow. The choices you make there will define who you become.

Today I want to talk to you about those choices. The choice of a life partner is the single most important choice you will make in your life. Much of the joy you derive on the journey of life does hark back to who you choose to share this journey with.

A lot of what I am today are a function of the partner I was lucky to have alongside my journey.

Sanjaya (Sharma) and I, both alumni of IIM-A, are very different people.

But on the most important thing, we are not different at all. We have very similar core values.

If I were to point out the one thing that has made our partnership successful, it's just that: the alignment on core values.

And indulge me for a minute if I sound like a mom here but when you're out there looking for a partner, look beyond their looks, their success, their style

The durability and strength of your relationship is not going to come from your partner's personality. It is going to come from their character.

So remember to look well beneath the surface.

My discussion of partner choice so far seems to have been about life partners but as professionals you will find that they are frequently faced with very similar choices that of organisations or teams.

The principles that make for lasting relationships with your work team or with your organisation aren't terribly different from those that make lasting personal relationships.

The money, the fancy title, the foosball table in the breakroom - they're all very exciting. But in most cases that's not what makes for a fulfilling career.

You want to join an organisation that has values that match yours, that has people you can be yourself with, that gives you the space to be who you have the potential to be as a professional.

These are not things that any firm can tell you in their pre-placement talk.

It's something that you can only find out the hard way, by doing your own research, by looking beneath the surface. So choose wisely.


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