Women have the unique ability to connect the dots: Rajita Singh, HR Head, Broadridge Financial Services

By Varsha Adusumilli|6th Feb 2014
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Rajita Singh has transformed herself from a carefree young girl to becoming the Head of HR and Marketing Communications at Broadridge Financial Services. What experiences shaped this transition? We find out in this interesting chat with her.


rajita

Finding a support in her mother

Rajita Singh was born in a traditional business family in Hyderabad. Her parents are from Delhi. However, her family moved to Hyderabad for business. “I am a proud Hyderabadi. I went to school here. I have been here all my life,” says Rajita, adding, “My parents had a love marriage. The only condition that my mother’s parents had was that my parents should shift to Delhi after the wedding. But soon after that, my paternal grandfather wanted to expand his business in Hyderabad. My mother did her Msc in Endocrinology and it was a big deal because in her family girls are expected to get married by the age of 16 and by the age of 18 they have kids. Thus when I was born, my mother was very clear that no matter what, her daughter would have a career. I was sent to the best schools. It was never about only studies. I was into a lot of extra-curricular activities. Both my sister and I are trained Bharatanatyam dancers. I am also into racing. I have been a state champion for two years in a row. I am still into track racing. My mother has been the greatest inspiration in my life.” Rajita’s younger sister Ishita is a well-known fashion designer in Hyderabad.

Not being able to do medicine was a major setback

Rajita’s biggest desire since childhood was to become a doctor. Even though she cracked both medicine and engineering entrance exams, she could not pursue one of these because she was not allowed to go out of Hyderabad at the age of 16. Rajita says, “I ended up doing BCom instead. It was tough initially. But I come from a very traditional family. There was a lot of pressure on my mother on how we were brought up. However, I stayed back and supported my mother. I am so glad I did that.”

First job & turning point

Rajita took up her first job in 2000 as a recruiter at Broadridge Financial Services. It’s now her 13th year in the organization. Rajita says, “It has been an interesting journey so far. When I first joined the company, it was just about financial independence and watching movies with friends and grabbing the free goodies. 2002-2003 was when the turning point came. I attended a conference where I met with a lot of seniors with two-three decades of experience. They were all sharing their experiences. I asked a leader how she had made it. There was only one thing she told me, ‘first you complete 20 years and then come back to me. I don’t think it is easy.’ I took that as a challenge. Since then I have a goal, and that is to be talked about for my work all over India. From then on, my strategy changed a little bit. I started learning everything about every function in HR. I started doing everything from recruiting to operations then moved on to talent management and then compensation management. I did a whole range of functions before I made a transition as Head of HR at Broadridge.”

What leads to success?

Rajita attributes a large part of her success to her family and their support. “I have worked very hard. There were days when I worked for 20 hours at a stretch. I also attribute a lot of my success to mentors and senior leaders within the company who constantly guided me. Support from my family, mentors and my own hard work led me to where I am. I did a lot of networking to understand how things can be done better. Because I did not have any experience few years back, networking helped me a lot. I also did a lot of certifications and kept myself up to date. I constantly worked on identifying better ways to do things. I have a knack for understanding people. I know what will work and what won’t. I have honed that skill over the years.

What makes a good HR professional?

HR is like the spine of a company. Good HR professionals need to comprehend and articulate the company vision very clearly and foresee the company needs. You can’t be reactive all the time. Today, with the advent of technology the way HR is packaged and delivered has changed, but all the basics remain the same.

Last word to all women

“Women have the unique ability to connect the dots and read beyond the obvious. We need to leverage this skill set,” she says.

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