Putting the building blocks in place

Sonya Hooja — Co-Founder, Imarticus

Sonya Hooja is the Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer at Imarticus  (http://imarticus.org/), a leading professional finance and analytics firm. At Imarticus, she works extensively on business strategy overseeing the implementation of various products. She has launched placement and knowledge based programs and developed and managed training design and curriculum to match the industry requirements.

Prior to Imarticus, she worked for over a decade at Accenture (Management Consulting), Goldman Sachs and the erstwhile Lehman Brothers. She has worked across US, Singapore and India and her primary roles comprised of strategy development and project management across diverse industries such as financial services, education, tourism public sector and pharmaceuticals. She has also conducted workshops with the Prime Minister’s Office in Singapore, to teach key consulting, problem solving and project management skills, which could be applied in their advisory capacities.

A Bachelors in Economics from Rutgers University, USA and an MBA from INSEAD, Sonya is also a painter by hobby and has exhibited at a few exhibitions across US and India.

High point in career

“Undoubtedly, Imarticus Learning! I cofounded this company in 2011. To say that the last four years have been the most path-changing, interesting and rewarding years of my life is an understatement. The firm has grown from 200 students in the first year to over 10,000 today! And also with 150 employees working across various divisions.  As for the high point- I believe I still have to reach it”. 

Most challenging assignment so far

At the cost of being repetitive, it is again Imarticus Learning.  Each day brings a brand new challenge.  We have grown at an amazing rate and each center, each initiative comes with its own challenges. Establishing a company in an Indian environment with no previous experience is no mean achievement.”

Greatest inspiration

“I don’t particularly have a single role model or hero. I have been surrounded by people who are achievers in their own right. My older brother for instance, is someone I look up to. I admire his sense of focus, discipline and far sightedness.  He believes that success is becoming better than the day before, every day. Working with him closely, I have come to believe in that too.” 

Most important milestone in life

“My decision to return to India! After being educated and having worked in the US, UK and Singapore, returning to India was a major turning point in my life.  It was a much-debated move on by family and friends but I am happy I made the decision. My subsequent involvement with the education domain has a certain feel good factor about it. We help students realize their goals and when they come back to us with their success stories – it makes it all worth it.”

Women are the better halves. What does it mean?

“Although it would be nice to believe that we are the better halves, I don’t entirely agree with the statement. Women have certainly come a long way but so have the men in their mind- sets and attitudes.  I believe that for any relationship to really sustain and grow- it has to be a joint venture.  I have been very fortunate in that department, having a supporting husband and family.”