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Shweta Jhajharia: Inspiring excellence in business ■ Rupanjana Dutta & Romil Patel multi-award winning business coach, Shweta Jhajharia started her career with one of the world's largest fastmoving consumer goods companies and was part of the senior management team in eight years. . Currently a Partner and Principal Coach with ActionCOACH, Shweta's achievements include some of the coveted awards for 'Number 1 Coach in Europe', 'EMEA SalesCOACH' & 'World's Fastest Growing Coaching Business' out of more than 1400 coaches globally. She has consistently been London Coach of the Year since 2009. ActionCOACH is a business coaching and training company which helps business owners achieve their maximum potential, through building their expertise in sales, marketing, business development, business management, and team building. Originally from a rural family background in Rajasthan, north-west India, Shweta's father was the first in his family to break the generations-old tradition of being a subsistence farmer- a form of farming whereby enough food is grown to feed the farmer and their family, leaving little to no surplus for trade. “My father was the first to break away through education and progressed to senior management positions in one of the largest metal companies in the world,” she said. This afforded her the opportunity to study in some of India's finest learning institutions including the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore (IIM). Working with Unilever, Shweta built up a wealth of knowledge and experience in marketing, sales and business development and she describes her position as Global Marketing Knowledge Manager as “one of the best white collar marketing management jobs anywhere in the world.” However despite of her raging success, Shweta was looking for something more fulfilling than a job.“ After spending 8 years building a career with Unilever, I was looking for something more fulfilling than being a cog in a large organisation. This is where my husband, who himself was in a white collared job, encouraged me to give

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Shweta Jhajharia

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Asian Voice & Gujarat Samachar - 2013

running my own business a shot, especially since business coaching is an upcoming and growing profession. We also had an option to buy a franchise, so it was not completely getting in at the deep end. My parents were quite resistant at first - they felt I had worked so hard to build a successful career and I would be giving it all up. Finally, more for their sake than mine, I accepted an offer from Unilever to not resign but take a sabbatical and come back to join the company after 6 to 9 months. Needless to say, once my business picked up, there was no looking back for me and for my parents. For Shweta, a clear strategy and strong relationship is the key to striking a healthy work-life balance. She says: “A lot depends on having a good and understanding partner. Everyone needs to think deeply and define what their goals are and what will make them happy – in the short run and in the long run. “My first question to myself is always How do I get a successful career AND a happy family? There is no reason it should be one without the other.” Shweta's success is underlined by a trophy cabinet that is bursting with numerous awards. There is one award which stands out to her above all the others. “I think that the most important one has been my 'Global Best Client Results' award,” she said. Her clients have achieved phenomenal and consistent growth over the last four years despite the crippling recession that hit Europe, “One of the things I enjoy about what I do is that success can be measured and is not woolly at all. Being able to objectively make a difference to the bottom line of the businesses I work with, and so much so that their combined improvement in results is the best across companies being coached by more than a 1400 coaches across the world – that gives me immense happiness,” she added. Summing up the satisfaction in inspiring someone to excel in whatever they do, Shweta confessed, “Interestingly, each award my son gets, be it for Sports or for Academics, gives me more fulfilment than all my awards put together.”

BAW 15th July 2013  

British Asian Women - Breaking Boundaries

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