Rajani Nuggehalli: Empowering human connections with empathy

Written by Sandeep Aavuti  •  Employee Stories  •  26 July 2022

Rajani Nuggehalli

Rajani is a strategic leader who manages RPO across all service lines for a global client at Resource Solutions. As a Client Services Director, she enjoys a hands-on approach, a fitting style given the breadth of stakeholders she manages daily. Read on, as she shares more about her career odyssey, and how she’s gone about breaking down barriers, both operational and culturally.

What is your role in Resource Solutions, and what does a normal day look like?

A typical day revolves around multiple stakeholder conversations on service delivery, operational efficiency and problem solving with the client and internal teams. No two days of mine are the same, but they centre around managing partnerships, each with several stakeholders, so that things continue to run as effectively and efficiently as possible.

Tell us more about your career journey before Resource Solutions.

I’ve spent over 18 years in staffing, managing RPO and MSP functions. Prior to Resource Solutions, I was a Director of Operations, managing golden clients for another recruitment firm across India and ASEAN. I also spent some time in-house, handling client-side responsibilities during my stint at Microsoft. All these roles allowed me to jump in and get work sorted, a place where I’m in my element!

Was it always part of your career plan to become a leader?

I did have natural aspiration to be a leader. Through my college days, I’ve always wanted to enable and empower people to grow and mobilise. Some ways I sought to inculcate the right team values include open communication and showing empathy, and this continues to hold true in my work today.

Over the years, have you encountered any barriers to your success as a leader, and how did you overcome them?

It is no secret that female leaders are treated differently from their male counterparts. I have swum with the tides and against them, carving out just my own niche has helped me come out stronger.

So, whatever anybody says or does, it is essential to assume positive intent. This has helped me change my approach to the problem.

Throughout your career, who were your biggest inspirations?

I have drawn my inspirations from several sources, each with a different facet I strive to emulate. These include Swami Vivekananda, whose calm, spiritual personality earned him plaudits as a spiritual leader and Indra Nooyi, former Chairperson and CEO of PepsiCo, who hails from the region and is lauded for her vision, courage, and leadership qualities.

How far do you think the workforce has come in welcoming women in leadership?

The workforce has made progress in the last decade, but we have a long way to go when it comes to breaking the glass ceiling – across occupations and professions.

Despite significant promotion of diversity and initiatives, an increasing number of qualified & trained women, are still largely underrepresented in the decision-making process in all sectors.

Women’s lack of visibility in the workplace can play a role in their lower rates of engagement. The time is right to get it right!

What do you think organisations can do better to instil a more gender-equitable balance of leadership at the top?

Inclusivity is the key, in every sense of the word. Inclusive leaders consider different perspectives and ideologies, collaborate more effectively. Extending this culture to every level of an organisation, ensuring that all are aware of the benefits of equity, thus allowing women to become the best they can be.

Additionally, incorporating policies that don’t just make women feel welcome at the workplace but also give them a seat at the leadership table and removing any persistent obstacles to reaching full parity for women in general at all leadership levels.

What advice would you have for a woman in the workforce looking to rise into leadership someday?

The key is to believe in yourself, learn from everyone at the table, and demonstrate your capabilities.

It doesn’t matter if its women or a man in a leadership chair, all that matters is that the person is an able leader! From an industry perspective, excellent service requires excellent adaptability. Be comfortable with changing directions and taking in experiences from all sides – you never know when you next life lesson will appear, which makes the journey all the more interesting!

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