The value of empowerment and speaking your mind

Name: Kejriwal, Nishith

Position: Deputy Manager, Finance

Location: India

 

Philips is a place of empowerment and innovation - a place where ideas are not shrugged off and where people are not looked down upon just because they lack experience. These were some of the reasons I decided, without hesitation, to take on the Phillips' Business Leadership Program.

Taking on a new role

 

I have been with Philips since 2014, starting out as an intern doing a 2-month stint during my MBA studies. I am currently working as a Deputy Manager in Finance, and joined the BLP in May 2015. As part of the Leadership program, my first 6 months allowed me to explore cross-divisional projects and gain business knowledge across domains.

 

My tasks in my current role revolve around three key areas: planning for the company’s financials (such as for the upcoming quarter and year), analysing business performance (identifying successes and key improvements to make), and coming up with the business strategy to improve profitability.

 

Notably, my current team is relatively new in the Indian market. It is a dynamic role that has given me a lot of exposure, and since everything is new - both for me and for Philips in India - it has certainly been a huge learning experience as my team and I are doing many things from scratch.

Being exposed to the way leaders think

 

How did I end up here?

 

My 2014 internship was a vastly different experience from the role I have now. Back then I was assigned to a smaller domain, at one of Philips' factories. There, I had the chance to collaborate with an extensive range of stakeholders, from the people on the ground, to the leaders at the management level. This gave me a feel of Philips’ culture and the range of opportunities in the Philips world.

 

When I first joined the company, I wondered where I fit into the scheme of things. The internship taught me that I could make an impact, and also allowed me to interact closely with leaders and really get comfortable with seeing things from their point of view. It also built my confidence in speaking up and presenting proposals to higher ranking colleagues, a skill which is vital for my role and which I am glad to have developed.

My boss, an inspiration

 

In Philips, there's always someone behind you, not to hold you back, but to help you along the way. My boss is one of these people. He has his own visions, but he takes us along with him on the journey and gets us involved every step of the way. I hope to follow his style when I take on a leadership role in the future.

 

A good example of how he empowered us was in one of my earliest projects, where we, as a finance team, were tasked to help the customer service team in India aggressively improve its profitability. It was a huge task and I had only been in the job for six to seven months! I really appreciated the trust that he placed in me, and it was a great feeling when we succeeded in hitting the goals for 2016. I would consider it the most valuable project I did in the last year.

Developing new ideas, making an impact

 

Being in Philips has allowed me to develop my innovative thinking. We are encouraged to develop and work on our own ideas, and to adapt to changes quickly.

 

I hope to be in a better position in future, where I can influence the company's strategy. It is a realistic goal; I've done so many things in the past few years that I didn't think that I would get to do, so I feel like anything is possible here.

Hard work, confidence and positivity

 

My advice for others is to set your expectations high and never discredit what hard work can bring you. It is not about depending on luck and waiting for others to do you a favour.  Empower yourself as well: always be confident and speak your mind instead of doubting your own opinions.

 

Oh and remember, love your work and keep a positive attitude!