We are glad to introduce Major Vandana Sharma who has undoubtedly reached the acme of her career not only as a woman leader but also is an ex-military officer with the Indian Army. Major Vandana is very well-known for her leadership qualities and at this point in time she has had twenty years of diverse experience across multiple sectors. Her contributions include many value chain projects and people initiatives across organizations like Indian Army, Wipro Ltd, GMR Group, TNT, Teamlease and Myntra. She is currently the Chief People Officer at HolidayIQ. Major Vandana has also recently won the “Women Icons” award in Singapore organised by Business Excellence & Research Group Pte Ltd and supported by Nanyang Technological University of Singapore. She is one of the only 11 Indian women among 25 Asian ladies who won this award for dedicating their lives to social work. Earlier this month, on the occasion of International Women’s Day, Major Vandana also won the“Women of Substance” award by SRL Diagnostics for her contributions towards women empowerment and instilling the belief that women can achieve what they want despite the odds.
Major Vandana, a well accomplished woman in two career paths sets an example for all of us to achieve our goals. Her tenure as a military officer for a decade is an inspiration for young girls keen in pursuing a career in the Armed Forces. Major Vandana has broken several stereotypes around women in uniform. She has demonstrated skillful combat leadership in war and peace missions for India, establishing commendable contributions in a male dominated profession. Her contribution to the Kargil War of 1999 have been recorded and commended in the Military History of Army Ordinance Corps.
And on the other side, she narrates a tale of how profound and paragon a professional Major Vandana is in the Corporate World. Here, she seamlessly integrated to lead operations roles as well as transformational people practices across IT, infrastructure, Logistics, education, retail, India e-commerce and M-commerce companies over the last one decade. Here, with us, she gladly narrates and shares her learnings on entrepreneurial leadership, creativity, innovation and her odyssey with young start up enthusiasts and the future leaders of India Inc.
Major Vandana has led key entrepreneurial projects in each organisation she has worked with. Some of the key assignments have been working with IT Giant Wipro where she was instrumental in identifying hiring gaps to be able to hire top tech talent across Wipro and preventing fraudulent resumes and fake candidates from getting hired. Setting up new recruitment guidelines was core. Also, collaborating with other IT Giants like Infosys and TCS ensured the fake candidates do not get hired by any IT companies and hence establishing a very cohesive eco system for quality top talent in Indian IT sector.
To add another feather to her cap, she has had an experience of working with Myntra Designs Pvt Ltd where she headed the human resources function for the Supply Chain department. Here, she established a mammoth organisation that snowballed from 200 odd employees in 2 cities to about 7000 in a span of 2 years. . This was exceptionally challenging and exciting since there were no systems in place and almost everything was driven manually. The speed of change was enormous as well as the hiring and settling of talent seemed to be a herculean task. Major Vandana was majorly involved in cultivating effective communication, healthy fitness level, and developing a great sense of aesthetics which was integral to a fashion apparel organisation.
Major Vandana led leadership and management development portfolios for GMR which is India’s largest Infrastructure companies and has built the capital city Delhi’s International Airport which is one of the best in the world. Working towards effective leadership and building alignment in a high growth diverse organisation was an exceptional project.
The sheer diversity of roles and her undaunted spirit demonstrated by taking up first time/high risk projects across industries has helped shape her personality as a brilliant Human Resource leader. Major Vandana leads from the front and is admired by her female and male counterparts equally. Women and young college students across Indian Business schools and colleges, draw high inspiration from her to stay fearless and achieve more by having conviction in their dreams and working towards them.
Major Vandana mentors a lot of young Indian start up founders on building effective organisations and driving a more productive environment and culture within constraint environments. She also attends various women forums as a speaker to inspire and motivate more women to live Independent and empowered lives across the country.
Not to forget, Major Vandana maintains a work life balance amidst all her achievements. She arduously pursues her penchant for travel, fashion, marathon running, trekking, writing, cooking and most importantly is happy being a mother to two boys aged 12 and 16.
Major Vandana has travelled across Australia, Europe and South East Asia as a solo woman traveller and has strengthened her network across various nationalities. She constantly inspires young women to travel solo to discover themselves, gain confidence and achieve a lot, as we live only once and once is enough if we do it right!
A happy and empowered soul with a well-balanced work and family life, Major Vandana is raring to go and achieve a lot more day by day in times to come. Her mission in life is to ensure a stronger India that values women contribution in society and break all gender based stereotypes.