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Kshitija Gupte
Kshitija Gupte

Kshitija Gupte

Forensic Technology Services

Pricewaterhouse Coopers

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Initiative to develop a country
We carry a piece of our country wherever we go and whatever part of the world we choose to live in. It is important to be mindful of this fact and be proud of it at the same time. Like all other countries we might have our set of short-comings but what matters is how we look at our success and growth. India today has gone a long way from the India most of us grew up in and it will only get better in terms of growth in opportunities and more global recognition to its people in various domains like medicine, engineering, architecture, music, art, etc. We as professionals working in a global environment and travelling around the world should live by example. We should put our global connections to better use by spreading our culture and heritage and focusing and emphasizing on India's strengths to put it in a more positive light on the world map.
Important decision
Getting professional education can definitely be expensive and needs to be a well thought out process if you want to make the most of your time and money achieving it. Also, being a woman, priorities keep changing at every point in your personal and professional life and decision-making is one constant that helps work towards keeping those priorities well-aligned. I emphasize decision-making here mostly because, you will definitely get all the support you need from family, friends and employers, but only if you are 'decisive' enough to know what you most aspire for and stand-by it under all circumstances. My decisions have mostly been influenced by the various stages of my personal and professional life. There were times when my professional world took a backseat to make sure my personal world met its requirements and then there were times when it was the other way round. But what really helped to stay focused in all this, was to make the most of the task at hand. It is that simple.
Influenced by
Strong and successful women have always been a source of constant motivation and influence starting with my grandmother, my mother amongst many others who I had an opportunity to meet with and interact in-person or maybe read about. My grandmother who got married when she was 18 was a working mother of 3 in an extended family of 17 children growing under the same roof, talk about work-life balance! I remember my mother, also a working mother of 2, talking about her work-related stories and expeditions at the dinner table and my dad listening with such great interest.The one thing I found in common in these women was the fact that they made the most of the task at hand and whether it was work or family it was always personal and close to their heart. I read an apolitical biography of Indira Gandhi (Indira) and I realized that the most powerful woman in the country was also an adorable daughter, a doting mother, a loving wife and as emotionally vulnerable in her person as any of us!
Brief description about me
I am a Forensic Technology Consultant for Pricewaterhouse Coopers, currently living in San Francisco. I have spent a good part of my growing up years schooling in Mumbai. I have been working in the Information Technology domain from past 9 years and have travelled a good amount from parts of India to the East Coast and Midwest all the way to the West Coast where I stepped into the Consulting domain.
Degree that I recommend
Yes, having a professional degree goes a long way. With the changing times I recommend that continuous learning should be a way of life. There is no one degree or one certification that will make you shine high. Consistent learning and skill-development could lead to consistent progress and that is my idea of a successful career. Knowledge and skills help far more than what a degree or a certification can achieve alone. But that said I would still go ahead and say, if you have the money and resources, investing them in a good professional degree/ course will definitely give you good returns. Having a good Undergrad and/or Masters experience can teach you a lot about life and learning.
Important lesson learned
Being an overtly spontaneous person myself and a wee bit rebellious which has definitely worked in my benefit in many areas I think one of the lessons I learnt in life was that learning from other people's mistakes could many times save you a lot of time and effort rather than trying to make them yourself all over again. I could write a book on "Lessons learnt in Life" but to sum it all up in one line I would say, as long as you know what you are doing and take full responsibility for your decisions the world can definitely be your oyster. Even if you are slightly unsure about what you are doing but still take full responsibility of your decisions..you are fine! The world can still be your oyster.
My family background
My father is a Businessman in the Engineering domain. My mother having worked in a Bank for 25 years has taken voluntary retirement. My sister is an independent image consultant in Mumbai. She lives close to my parents in Mumbai with her husband - Deputy General Manager, Mahindra - and her fourteen year old who studies in St.Mary's Convent.
My role model
I don't really have a role model, but as I mentioned earlier a lot of strong and successful women have been a source of my inspiration. My dad has been a very strong influence in my life and a strong support-system in every decision I made mostly because of his respect and faith in women and their capabilities that are so very often undermined.
Ensuring success
Continuous learning is a way of life. It kind of works well for me that way since I like to have a more dynamic life-style where the only constant is change. While this might not work for everyone, having some dynamic in parts of your life can go a long way. I always have an eye out for new and growing technologies in my domain and mixing that with my interest to meet and learn from new people and new mind-sets makes the learning and adapting to change process even more interesting. I also like to build skills around areas that are not directly related to my profession like singing, creative writing, etc. just so that I know how to keep myself entertained and inspired by keeping my creative juices flowing.
Qualities needed to become a successful leader
The most essential aspect of being a leader is to have immense faith in oneself and one's capabilities. It is only when you lead by example will you actually lead because what you do speaks lengths about you rather than what you have to say. To have an open-mind and a willingness to adapt to the changing times is also an essential aspect. Last but not the least it is as important to trust the capabilities of your work-force as you trust your own, success is a two-way street.
My strongest skill
It is difficult to speak for myself about this but I will base this answer off of the feedback I received from my co-workers. I think I have a good hold on spoken and written communications which is a very big must-have especially in the service industry. Trying to reach out and understand your clients is the biggest problem-solver in itself.
My achievements
I am proud of my roots, my family and my country, though they cannot be counted as my achievements really. Talking about the things that are important to me on this forum feels like an achievement in itself.
Thoughts on Education system of our country
Schools play an integral role in inculcating important values at early stages of growth that set strong foundations which essentially pave the way in every aspect of your growth, in terms of the way you think, the way you perceive the world, things that inspire you, etc. With the changing times and the ever-increasing competitions I think schools should be perceived more as life sculpting institutions that can focus on the over-all growth rather than seeing them as mere academic institutions. Also, I cannot emphasize enough on professional guidance counselors for every school who can provide guidance from an individual growth standpoint since every child is unique in his own way. This can help teachers to focus on other academic areas. I think you will know your true potential and interest areas only if you have exposure to all possibilities out there. There can be a lot more to the professional world which cannot be covered entirely in academics and could use additional resources.
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