Creating excellence through knowledge, commitment & ambition

Arvina Purkayastha — Co Founder, SkillTree Knowledge Consortium

As the Co-Founder at SkillTree Knowledge Consortium ( and Chief Executive Officer at WorkPlace Excellence Institute, a research & recognition entity commissioned by SkillTree Knowledge Consortium., Arvina brings leadership experience in communication, media strategy and primary research in the area of employee branding, employee relation.

Since the inception of SkillTree, she co-founded Great Place to Study, the international higher education certification firm of SkillTree Knowledge engaged into affiliating, collaborating and exchanging knowledge & resources around the world. She has been key instrument on designing growth strategy and operation. She was involved in the expansion, communication planning and global launch of Great Place to Study Research Institute. Under her aegis, WorkPlace Excellence Institute have  been launched with  various initiative, including first ever television series on great work culture in collaboration with CNBC TV18, leadership programmes and continuing education for working professionals.

Prior to SkillTree Knowledge Consortium, Arvina was heading the corporate communication in an executive education start-up based out of New Delhi.  A philanthropist, avid reader and traveller with a huge interest in fashion. Arvina is one of those rare people who combine exceptional professionalism with warmth & humility. She is a perfect example of, as they say, ‘turning lemons into lemonade’.

Her passion is first and foremost to create, discover new and more profitable ways to listen creatively to the need and insights that emerge into business ideas which can generate good number in annual revenue. At SkillTree, Arvina is involved in a high-quality research and convening power to help generate innovative, practical solutions to today’s challenges.

High point in career

“SkillTree primarily serves Education industry but I always wanted to do something different along. My highest point would probably be a recent one when I individually created another entity called Workplace Excellence Institute. The job market here is completely opposite and we have completely new stakeholders to cater to, but I love how I successfully met the challenges and accomplished my goal, ofcourse with the support of a team. To start with, I have finally conceptualized the first ever television series under the entity that talks about the excellent and unique workplace practices of 30 best organizations on CNBC TV18 followed by many more initiatives and product coming along under the same umbrella.

 Anyone can talk about how great they are or what they are going to do to change the world, but actually executing it is a completely different story. As the old saying goes: action speaks louder than words.”

Most challenging assignment so far

“Every assignment has different challenges. Some are people-issues and some are technical. But what makes you happy is something that you did had a big impact and had an aggressive set of needs attached combined with a feeling that you had really enjoyed the process. Challenging projects allows you to connect to a higher purpose in your career.

If I have to mention one, I would say the most challenging assignment was creating audit & survey process for Global League Institute certification by Great Place to Study Research Institute.  It included study of best practices in higher education from developed economy and creates strategy and process for emerging economy like India followed by introducing student satisfaction survey based rating wasn’t easy. There was no such practice that existed in India.”

Greatest inspiration

“My greatest inspiration and mentor would be my father followed by my business partner who have helped and influenced my career. From a young age, my father instilled in me a sense of responsibility and inspired me to lead by example. His aspirations and ambitions encouraged me, even as a child, not just to achieve my goals but also to become a leader in what I do and a responsible citizen. He had a contagious love for his work as a super cop even when times were tough.

My business partner who is the founder of SkillTree Knowledge Consortium focuses on the importance of not giving up on your dreams and following your heart down the path to self-fulfilment. He has got me from the phase where I never decided to be an entrepreneur to a point where I could no longer not be an entrepreneur Sure, it takes a certain type of individual and certain set of circumstances, but suddenly you have this sense of unwavering commitment and the belief that you can succeed.”

Most important milestone in life

“I have been supporting and helping my partner who is the founder of the company towards his vision since the beginning. Three years back, after my completion of master in business, his story and growth contributed to ultimately shaping my vision. Today, I can confidently say that I have reached this point in my entrepreneurial pursuit by not just thinking or dreaming about it but by doing it.

So my that one milestone would be the start of my career, to decide to walk towards the path of entrepreneurship, deliver value and do it successfully. I haven’t planned out my life and I think that’s the secret of my little success. I believe that if you plan your life completely you’re not letting your mind think about other things going on around you. I trust there are two sources of knowledge — mostly from people we meet and experience we have followed by the books we read.”

Women are the better halves. What does it mean?

“We all know what it means to be someone’s other half. Whether you’re the other half or the better half, the math’s remaining the same. You’re still just 50 percent of the whole even when the survey says “Women handle stress better, better with finance, better at multitasking, have sharper memory and better at communicating etc etc.

In a society that celebrates ambition, I’m not quite sure how being just half a person became so socially acceptable? If only we were to use our ambition towards the notion of success, money, career, or sports and apply it to love as well! Why must we settle for being just one half, or having just half a partner. I don’t want to attract any half – I want to attract another whole.

We consistently score over men in trustworthiness, diligence, thoroughness, studiousness, loyalty, honesty, human relations, better judgment helped by intuition, sharper reflexes in handling issues and superior skills in management.

Women add value to any task assigned to them with their own special, personal, emotional and functional attributes and are more goal-driven. So there is no reason to still think that women are just a half!”

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