Mentoring the Gen Y to gear up for Life’s Challenges

Ivy Saldanha, Head- Human Resources – The Tata Power Company Limited

Ivy Saldanha is a Human Resource professional and currently associated with Tata Power Limited, Strategic Engineering Division as GM and Head HR. She has spent the past 26 years as an HR generalist. She enjoys being with people and helping them to achieve their goal.   I have always loved HR and thrived on the excitement of meeting new people and networking.

She holds a degree in LLB from Bangalore University and a Masters in Human Resources from Christ College, Bangalore. She has earned several Industry honors including “40 MOST TALENTED HR LEADERS IN INDIA”, Women Super Achiever Award, 50 Most innovative Tech Leaders in India by Time Ascent and recently was recognized as Women Icon of the year by Femina . She is currently serving as the Board Member in Kanara Entrepreneurs in the capacity of Director Mentoring.

Passionate about meeting people and interacting with them, she also loves to socialize and remain intact with all her contacts all the time. An avid member of community groups, professional associations, she loves to support the needy.  Excited about mentoring the Gen Y so that they grow up as responsible citizen of tomorrow, Ivy also spends time in social and community development projects . That’s her drive to join industry associations and non- profit organization where she gets an opportunity to work on special projects which will benefit the society at large.

Ivy shares some more insights from her journey with team ABT in this interview.

Who is your biggest inspiration and why?
My Dad is my Hero and my role model. He taught me lessons to never give up in life and to be confident and courageous.  He supported me to grow up in a disciplined environment with positive thinking.  At the very young age, I was independent and I love the challenge of starting at zero every day and seeing how much I can accomplish. My father inspired me a lot. He managed to get all situations with will power and taught me the lessons of sincerity and hard work also his punctuality inspired me lot. When I think of my late father — and I often do — I picture him as a disciplined gentlemen with wise smile on his face. All I can describe about him is that he was a truly contented man.

What have been some of your failures, and what have you learned from them?
I think I would have made more than one memorable mistake in my career and life. Actually my career is like a roller coaster with many ups and downs. Failure is a necessary experience if you want to be successful eventually. I have viewed all my mistakes with the right perspective and have learnt out of it. Some of the example I can talk about are in my early career, I never gave 100% commitment to my learning and I quickly realized that to grow in any career, commitment and confidence is the key and slowly built on to it.

The greatest lesson I learned was that mistakes will not end your career. If you are nimble and willing to listen to constructive criticism you can excel by learning and evolving. In my experience as corporate executive, there have been times, especially early on, when I encountered issues that appeared to be insurmountable. But when you fail, something strange happens. You begin to redefine your priorities in life. You reorder the things that matter to you. You look inwards, forcing an inventory of your hopes and your dreams. And you come to realize the things that matter the most to you. Each time I failed I committed to dream big and that is what I am today. From that I developed a new set of skills, which led me grow in my career and expertise. With a lot of persistence and a willingness to be flexible, I was able to overcome obstacles and prove that somebody can rely on my expertise.

Could you recall any proud moment in your life? Tell us more.
In my view, the proudest moments in my life are the moments when I was the humblest, especially when I experience our true humanitarian traits of compassion and empathy towards others.  Nothing brings more joy than experiencing the sincere and honest expression of a compassionate heart.  When a human being is in touch with their humanity, it brings them happiness.  And we co- exist so that we can be happy. My proud moments are when people accept me and respect what I am today. The one proud moment in my life is when I could complete my masters and LLB, consistently two professional degrees, when my daughters where just 3 and 8 years old. That was the toughest and challenging decision I ever made to get into higher education along with family (personal) and with professional responsibility.

Along with this my pride and joy of my life is my loving family. Without them, I would be lost in this world. They mean everything to me and more. With my husband being extremely supportive and my two daughters being my shining stars. I am proud they both have grown into beautiful, caring young women.

Women are the called the better halves. What does it mean to you?
Technically we may be living in 2017, and we may have progressed in every aspect of life but sadly when it comes to gender equality, we are still lacking way behind. Starting from unequal pay at work, to societal pressure, “because you’re a woman” as an excuse is not how things should be.  I don’t think women are the better halves. We are not the better halves or worst halves. Definitely not the weaker halves, we won’t settle for less, all we want is our half, our half of the space, Our half of the take, Our half of the give, Our half of the strength, Our half of the opportunity for education, Our half of the share, Our half of the decisions in the decision making, Women have been denied their half for far too long let us unite for the equal half.

In simple terms, the world actually belongs to everyone irrespective of their gender.  Both men and women are equal no one above the other.   Women have been marginalized for way too long now from wage inequality to girls being killed in the womb, it’s time to put an end to this division and we are all united by half instead of being divided by it.

Where do you see yourself in future?
My goal right now is to grow in my expertise and take on new challenges over time.  But most importantly, I want to work for an organization where I can build a career. “I am driven to be the best at what I do and I want to work somewhere where I’ll have opportunities to develop my skills, take up interesting projects, and work with people I can really learn from. Some of the most innovative thinkers in the industry work in my organization and that’s a big reason why I would love to build a career here.”  Along with this I invest my time in mentoring youth and development of young talent to give them holistic development to become good citizens of India and to contribute at large to the society.