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‘I aim to make my startup a unicorn business’

Arantxa Kinha, who completed her MBA from ASM in 2020, reveals why she has chosen to work at a corporate company before taking the plunge

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An alumna of Apeejay School of Management (ASM), Arantxa Kinha is working as a Senior Learning and Development specialist at Livpure Private Limited. After completing MBA, she also launched her own startup and plans to turn it into a big venture someday. In an interview, Kinha talks about the role of the ASM professors in her journey, plans for her startup, and more. Edited excerpts:

You did your MBA in HR at ASM between 2018-2020. Tell us about your experience.

My overall experience at Apeejay School of Management was fantastic! One of the reasons was that I got ample opportunities to showcase my talent. I discovered my interest in emceeing–I was the MC for almost every cultural event happening at college during my time there. It was my teacher Ishita ma’am who identified my talent and encouraged me. She gave me my first opportunity for emceeing and thereafter began my journey of building self-confidence. Simultaneously, I participated in inter-college competitions. I was Ms Fresher, Ms Synergy, and more. I was the Vice President of the Rotaract Club, and the Head of the HR Club and Alumni Cell.

Throughout my time at ASM, the faculty members were very supportive. Coming to placements, they guided me right from the beginning and helped me prepare for job interviews. In fact, they are there to help me even now.

Would you say the college prepared you well for the industry?

All that I learned in college is what I am using right now in my day-to-day professional work. The concepts which I was taught turned out to be really helpful.

Tell us about your professional journey after completing MBA.

I got placed at Gartner from the college campus. But the offer was revoked due to Covid. I came up with my own startup called HRBite, for which my professors like Ishita Ma’am, Shweta Ma’am , Parul Ma’am and others motivated and guided me. Later I worked with Tech Mahindra as a Business Coordinator-HR. Now, I am working with Livpure.

Are you still working on your startup?

The progress is slow since most of my time is devoted to my current job. However, the platform is still active. Five years down the line, I would want to work full-fledged on my startup. I aim to make it a unicorn business. But to achieve those goals, I need to gain more experience in my domain and that is exactly what I am doing now.

What does your current role as a Learning and Development professional involve?

The parent company SAR Group has 26 businesses. In my current profile, I am into creating content, elements handling, and the learning and development of the entire business. The company incorporated the learning and development department about a year ago so in a way I am working from scratch. My work involves creating a learning culture within the organisation.

Is it a slight shift from what we understand HR to be?

From recruitment to the employee exit, salary disbursement or planning festive events (laughs) are things that we commonly associate the HR job with. My role is also part of HR but having said that, HR professionals are different from learning and development professionals because the latter work on the holistic development of the employee rather than compensation.

Any message for students of ASM?

I would advise MBA students to not be laid back but take the initiative instead at each step. If you can take the initiative, then Apeejay is the best platform to enhance skills and become great leaders.

Disha Roy Choudhury is a Senior Correspondent at Apeejay Newsroom. She has worked as a journalist at different media organisations. She is also passionate about music and has participated in reality shows.

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