Kashmiri Pandit diaries

In conversation with Swati Koul 👩🏽‍🎓

Our first feature in our series #Wansaekoori is Swati Koul. Swati moved to Delhi in 1988 with her family where she completed her schooling from Vasant Valley and later moved to Texas to pursue engineering. Swati started her career as a Software Engineer and has always been heavily invested in giving back to society.

Swati works as a Client Delivery & Operations Associate Manager at Accenture, a Global Management Consulting and Professional services firm and works out of Austin, Texas, USA. She is a Software Engineer by profession and graduated from Texas A&M University in 2007.

She lives up to the spirit of being a Global citizen and leads many socio-economic projects in the US as well as in India. As part of pro-bono consulting, she consulted a sports management firm as well as an upcoming family business within Green Energy Solutions by revising their strategy & operations for better profitability & creating global networks for them with organizations as IP500.

While having a conversation with her, we asked her the following questions:

Q. If you lived in Kashmir today, what would be your calling?

If I lived in Kashmir today, I would be an entrepreneur. Kashmir is full of great orchards and clean supply of fresh water but we aren’t making the most of them. I’d harness these assets and employee our locals & develop their skills in using these resources in benefiting them & the State wholesomely.

Q. What comes to your mind when you hear the word “Kashmir”?

Home. And I don’t get this warm & fuzzy feeling anywhere else! I had temporarily moved from Texas to Delhi from 2015 – to early 2018 for Accenture business & within those 2.5 years, I travelled to Kashmir over 2 dozen times visiting Srinagar, Phlegm, Gulmarg, Yusmarg etc. My State has my heart and irrespective of what the news tells me, they will not fear me out of being a constant in my own valley. I do have plans to buy a home their soon & start a small business in the near future.

Q. Whats the piece of advice you would like to give to budding women professionals to keep moving forward?

I’d say pay attention to yourself, understand your strengths & play into them. Have a clear vision of where you are going with short term goals defined leading into that bigger picture, and GO ALL OUT!

Don’t let failures change your goal, but allow them to define your path better. Allow risks to be a part of your growth, especially for women, as we are taught to stay within norms. Challenge yourself, speak your mind, stand-up to you’re beliefs and don’t argue aimlessly.

I haven’t allowed anyone to take away from my opportunities based on gender, nor have I chosen/defined my path based on gender, and this brings me to a level playing field globally. Be true to what you want to do, make sure you have a compelling reason to do it and make it happen. Stay bold & smile through your path.

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