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Chandni Kapadia: Successful Entrepreneurs are Risk Takers
GLS University is promoted by the Gujarat Law Society which laid its foundation in the year 1927 where visionaries like Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Shri Ganesh Mavlankar and Sheth Shri Kasturbhai Lalbhai set lofty standards of such excellence in education at the society. Beginning from a single law college in 1927, which was nurtured, among others, by Shri I.M. Nanavati, the Gujarat Law Society has been in the field of education for nine decades. Since the last five years of its establishment, the University has been successfully imparting quality education in multi-disciplinary courses and offers innovative diplomas, undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in various disciplines like Design, Information Technology, Business Administration, Management, Research, Computer Applications, Commerce, Law & Research. With a holistic education model, GLS University strives to provide an innovative learning platform to create leaders of tomorrow. In conversation with Business View, Chandni Kapadia, COO, GLS University, talks about her career journey.
Chandni Kapadia, the COO of GLS University, started her career in 1993 at JC Penny, USA while studying merchandising at Fashion Institute of Technology, New York. She, later on, went to pursue her Master in Business Administration from London School of Economics. She has built and established brands during her career till date and has provided the impetus to strategic planning. She is working as the Chief Executive for the past 7 years of Gujarat Law Society and holds a law degree with 11 gold medals. Her journey from fashion to education is really inspiring and proves the saying that “There is nothing you can’t do if you set your mind on it. Anything is possible”.
Talking about her career journey, she says that she always loved taking risks. At the age of 16, she went abroad to study design. She went abroad during a time when even the thought of being in an unknown country all alone was unimaginable to many. She started small as Assistant Merchandiser and worked her way up to Country Head, Business Head, and Asia Pacific Head of many luxury brands. “Hard work and commitment towards work, my team, and my companies have helped me reach where I am today,” says Chandni.
Qualities of a Leader
As a leader, she says that selecting the right people for the right job is necessary and inevitable as people can make or break an organization. According to her, every leader should be a mentor who is empathetic and foresightful – be able to plan for the foreseeable future at least for the next 10 years. He or she must guide and plan in such that the organization survives and grows even without the person’s presence. A leader should be alert to potential difficulties, always striving to foresee consequences, ready to use reasoning and fact-finding to resolve difficulties, and team-building skills to work together towards a collective goal which is ultimately the goal of the organization.
She believes that every leader needs motivation and continuous learning. She attends advanced seminars and conferences to keep updated with industry specific skills. She learns from her own experiences – good or bad and continuously challenges her comfort zones to grow as a better person and a leader. Her mantra is that love and respect is the universal language.
“When you are a leader it is inevitable that you face numerous challenges every day. The best way to grow as a leader is to have external support. I have a very supportive mentor, Shri Sudhir Nanavati sir, a renowned senior advocate and also the President of GLS University, who has always been my guiding light. A father figure to me, he has always encouraged me to become a better version of myself by guiding me through important decisions, keeping me grounded in difficult times. Most importantly he has helped me learn faster from my successes and failures,” she says.
Talking about challenges faced by female leaders, she says that we have come a long way since the year 1993 but it is still a man’s world. Women still have to fight for equal pay and equal rights. However, there are men who value a woman’s vies and give them wings to fly higher, even higher than them. “My own mentor and boss, Sudhir sir has supported me always and has ensured that every female employee in our organization gets a safe and comfortable environment to work in and be limitless. If we have more men like him in every organization, I am sure there would no limits to a woman’s success,” she asserts.
Creative Thinking for Business Success
GLS University has always encouraged freedom of thought for its employees. “Our Institution heads and top management regularly take part in expert panel discussions, seminars, and conferences. We send our institution heads abroad to attend numerous conferences, for their participation in global forums and put their ideas across for better decision making. We encourage our people to speak their mind and think out of the box and encourage strong bonding within themselves which helps in their interpersonal relationships, keeps them in a vibrant and warm atmosphere at work which in turn churns out brilliant ideas and innovative thinking,” explains Chandni.
Only based on the core values of an organization, the vision is determined and the mission is accomplished. GLS University has a vision of creating values through economic, social, and environmental developments and fostering a culture wherein original ideas are generated through a focus on innovation, inquiry, scholarship, creativity, and research which will in turn help develop leaderships that are capable, compassionate, conscious and committed to the common good. And to achieve this vision their mission is to provide the best quality education with a responsibility towards its students, staff, alumni, and all other stakeholders.
Education Makes a Difference in the World
Education is an important part of a successful individual’s life. People like Malala Yousafzai, the youth have started advocating the need of being educated. Education brings about the bread and butter for any individual. Young girls have started being vocal about their educative rights. Teachers are more dedicated and the use of technology has made e-learning teaching more convenient for each student. This pandemic has proved that education is without boundaries and a student does not require four walls to seek knowledge.
Chandni concludes by saying that students today should never give up on their dreams. Work hard and your luck will follow and there will be guaranteed results. Also, during this pandemic, when the whole world has changed, keep positivity within yourself and even while at home do something productive and last but not least be kind to humans and animals alike.