Komal was a driven careerwoman, however when motherhood beckoned she decided to step on the brakes for a bit. When she decided to come back, she found her confidence on shaky ground and was unsure on the kind of opportunities she should pursue. Tata group’s SCIP programme aided her return to the workforce by matching her with an opportunity that suited her skillsets and needs, and helped her carve out a thriving career once more.
I had always considered the world my oyster, especially when it came to my career. I was sure that if I went “on a career break” it would not break my confidence in the least.
But life has a funny way of giving you a reality check. This happened to me when I became a mother before I turned 30, trading my six-month study break for the full-time job of being a mom for two years.
I enjoyed the journey thoroughly. I cried and cribbed but I was still happy that I took time off. While on my break, I studied Drug Regulatory and IPR from NMIMS, did a stint at a creative ad agency with friends and wrote blogs, all the while learning to be a mom to my child.
I always knew I’d return to my career, so I kept in touch with former colleagues and tried to keep abreast of new trends to stay relevant to my industry.
But when the time came, I was unsure of myself – would I be able to deliver the demands of a corporate job?
That’s when a friend working at TCS mentioned the Tata group’s SCIP programme. It is for women who are looking to restart their corporate careers after a break. Till then, I had never heard of such a thing!
I started visiting the SCIP website almost every day, along with my regular job hunt. One day, I discovered that my skills matched a job opening at Tata's Customer Centricity team and applied on the SCIP website.
A week later, I received a call from HR to come in for an interview. I didn’t know about Bombay House and the prestige associated with it then. But like anyone who enters the iconic building and smells the fresh flowers is filled with excitement and dreams, I was, too.
The SCIP journey has been immensely gratifying. During my one-year tenure, I was always pulled into key decision-making processes and appreciated for my energy and dedication. I felt safe. I had the opportunity to interact with multiple senior leaders from the marketing and customer service community across group companies right from the start and that has been a great learning and networking experience for me.
After a year, I had two options: to continue with the same team or transition into a business role at another Tata company. I chose to remain with the same team. In my mind, if I wanted to make a mark, I was in the right place with the right people.
And I kept finding myself in the right place, time and again. In 2022, I got selected for a Tata group leadership program, Blue Mint, conducted in collaboration with TMTC and London Business School.
The pandemic, a difficult time for most of us, also taught me to value my relationship with the Tata group. There was a point when I wanted to give up and take a break again. A senior leader suggested I list out 10 essential things I need and then check the box for the ones I have. If my score is 7/10, then I had nothing to worry, he said.
My score was 9! He is my guiding mentor till date. And recently, when a TAS intern on our team insisted that I be made part of her TAS review presentation as she had trained under me and looked upon me as a mentor, I felt so proud – from being mentored to becoming a mentor – I felt I had come such a long way!
After spending four fulfilling years at the group centre, I am now moving to another Tata company and will rely upon the skills I learned along the way. I will give my best, I am sure.
If you are reading this story, remember this is not a fairy tale.
There will be extreme moments of weakness,
There will be setbacks and let-downs,
There will be irritation and frustration,
There will be people who will make your break a big deal,
There will be many, many such moments…
Do not give up. Keep networking and talking to people. Do not be hesitant about building a connection and smartly placing yourself as a suitable candidate.