Dipti Divekar

Connecting Beyond Boundaries

When life took Dipti on a crazy journey, she just went with the flow. That’s what shaped her into the powerhouse she is today.

When life took me on a crazy journey I just went with the flow. That’s how I have reached to where I am now, currently anchored in India. Faced with major lifestyle changes it has been a great experience coming out the other side stronger and richer. There was certainly a plan for me, it just took me fifteen years of experience to realise it.

Born and brought up in London, U.K. in a huge, close-knit Indian family, following the footsteps of everyone around me and with the future kind of planned out, it all completely changed with just one decision - taking the opportunity to study in the U.S.A. as part of my degree. Nowadays it’s not a big deal but in those days sending a girl alone to a different country was unheard of, at least in my community. This is how the ball started rolling, meeting my future husband in the U.S.A., getting married, foregoing my graduate contract with a large multinational company in the U.K., moving to Latvia and Estonia in the Baltic States located between Scandinavia and Russia through my husband’s work (we didn’t even know these countries existed then) and then on to India.

Looking back I realise many things about me as a person - making the most of every situation (apart from when we didn’t have electricity for three months), and generally just getting on with it. At the time everyone I knew or met would say the same thing - how can you live in these countries after living in London? It’s only now that I see what they meant. No family, very few friends, unable to pursue my own career like I would have had in London, and nothing much to do - in those early days in Latvia there was no English TV and hardly any recreational activities apart from outdoor snow activities in absolutely crazy minus temperatures. Grocery shopping was arranged for once a week with all the expatriate ladies bouncing to the open market in a Russian mini-van with red curtains. My highlight of the week was playing scrabble, it’s very tough to beat me at scrabble now.

But life was good, we brought up our daughter in Estonia for whom I had all the time in the world, I had no real pressure to work and so I managed various part-time work to keep me occupied. We enjoyed an easy-going time but due to lifestyle differences we knew we could never stay there forever. And so a hasty decision was made to move to India to be near my in-laws. If you’d asked me to move to India even ten years ago I would have just laughed. But by the end of our fourteen year stay in Latvia and Estonia we were pretty desperate to get out and if India was the best option then that was fine.

After everything we had been through, the one niggling thing that remained with me was that I could not maintain a career path. My siblings and cousins in London steamed full speed ahead with senior positions and their own companies and when I reached India I knew I had a second chance. Our daughter was already ten years old and I started to see new opportunities with extra time on my hands in a new country. One of my first general observations was that people here are so hard-working and intelligent when it comes to technical knowledge and job skills. But the moment they need to present, project, negotiate and influence, either in their professional or personal lives, their confidence levels did not match. And that is when, after all these years, something clicked inside me and I started on this journey of getting certified and on to coaching and mentoring in communication, behavioural competencies and professional dressing. How to speak with clarity and confidence so that others understand and respect what say. How to handle relationships with different, and even difficult, types of people. And how to dress well so that you create the best impression and send out the correct visual message in all situations.

I myself have changed considerably as a person through all of these processes and it is the most rewarding feeling to now be the director of my own company, Perceptions 360, and be able to help young aspirants to ace their job interviews, empower professionals to get that much desired promotion or change in career path, enable senior management to bag that lucrative business deal, enhance leadership and teamwork in all relationships, and alleviate the insecurities that go with cultural differences for business travellers. It has been a wonderful experience to be profiled in magazines like Femina and national newspapers like Times of India and being invited to be a part of the core organising team for TEDx, Pune for speaker curation and coaching.

Everything happens for a reason. If I was told to move to India straight from London all those years ago it would never have happened. It took years of different experiences giving me a truly global perspective to encourage me to follow this path and, most importantly, be happy and appreciative of everything here. And if I can help others along the way, then it has certainly all been worth it.


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