Lakshmi S Nayak: The Legal Lady with US giant
From the everyday consumer to scientists in the laboratory, we all rely on accurate information to make critical decisions. The USA-based Waters Corporation is the world’s leading specialty measurement company focused on improving human health and well-being through the application of high-value analytical technologies and industry leading scientific expertise.
“Our decisions and actions are guided by two simple words – Deliver Benefit. Our founder, Jim Waters, coined these words to encapsulate the idea that we should positively impact our customers, employees, shareholders and society at every opportunity”, says Lakshmi S Nayak, Assistant General Manager – Legal, India Organization.
Driven by that ethos for over sixty years, Waters has continually pioneered chromatography, mass spectrometry and thermal analysis innovations. Whether it’s discovering new pharmaceuticals, assuring the safety of the world’s food and water supplies, or ensuring the integrity of a chemical entity in production, it is constantly working with its 40,000+ customers to change the world.
With a global workforce of approximately 7,200 employees, Waters operates in 35 countries, including 15 manufacturing facilities and with products available in more than 100 countries. The diverse organization is well-positioned to Deliver Benefit through innovations that enhance human health and well-being. The History of Jim Waters and Waters Corporation dates back to 1958 and since then the company has been expanding its roots to various countries.
As far as India is concerned, the company is headed by Mr. Anil Kumar. T with capable industry experts in the Management Team and Lakshmi S Nayak is one of them. She is one of the top minds in strategic game plan in terms of Legal & Compliance for organization in building future of the organization. She is working to coach people into being capable of doing things on their own. Moreover, she helps to identify risks and mitigate to protect interest of the company and play a key role of Legal Strategic Business Partner.
In a candid chat with Lakshmi S Nayak, we got to know more about her modus operandi and her working ethos. Here are the excerpts:
Business View: How do you ensure to keep bringing the best out of you?
Lakshmi S Nayak: I always compete with self to become better than what I was yesterday. As the saying goes “If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.
At Waters India Private Limited (Waters), the company believes in “Deliver Benefit” to its Customers, Stakeholders, Employees and Society. To this end Values matter a lot. As rightly stated by Waters’ founder Jim Waters – “in effect, you change the world”, that said, Values is thekey for success of the company.
Business View: What are some of the challenges that women leaders face today?
Lakshmi S Nayak: I found this data showing that India ranks fifth position in having women on leadership roles securing 20% in 2018. Globally, data shows that in 2019 – 29% of senior management roles are held by and 87% of global business have at least one women in the senior management role in 2019.
The biggest challenge female leaders face today is being treated equally, be it setting up lowest expectation, building network when most of the people in the room are men. The other challenge is speaking up – most of the women leaders fear being rejected when they voice out their opinions, but one must be confident and speak up when they are sitting at the table.”
Business View: How do you make a work-life balance and maintain your efficiency?
Lakshmi S Nayak: My family is very supportive and equally crazy while having fun. Making household routine easy with a good support system at home will give a breather in your discharging life responsibilities. For a working woman it’s not only 9 hours job in hand but her 2nd shift starts once reach home. I practice keeping weekdays very simple and with an option of work from home made balancing work and life easy.”
Business View: How do you deal with challenges? What are your strategies to cope up with obstacles in corporate world?
Lakshmi S Nayak: I see challenges as an opportunity, every challenge is an opportunity for the one who dare to crack it. As the saying goes challenges are opportunities in disguise. Self-confidence and self-motivation is what encourages me when I see challenges. When you face challenges, sit back, calm your mind and see through the challenge, you will find a way out.
There will be challenges be it gender bias, parity, equal pay, but never lose heart, walk with confidence, raise your head and smash your goal. Even the Corporates are moving towards diversity both in workforce and the leadership team, so there will be ample of opportunities. Never lose your confidence, be vocal and have an attitude of everything is possible. Give it a shot, lady you are the boss.
Business View: How do you see the prospects for women leadership?
Lakshmi S Nayak: Women are leading. In my field I can talk about my super boss Ms. Keeley Aleman, who is a woman leading 22 lawyers across globe. Women are leading their way and trying to achieve parity in number with their male members, which is an ongoing journey. Women in my field are breaking the barrier of diversity and climbing up the ladder and leading way to another women to climb up. They have taken of the roles of Judges, C-Suite positions making their brand No. 1 and in effecting changing the world.
Business View: Would you like to tell us about some of the figures who helped you in your journey?
Lakshmi S Nayak: I must not forget to thank few men who really played a key role in my journey so far, a big thank you my husband Suresh, my friends, my mentors from Bosch and the list is exhaustive when it comes to Waters, without these people around it would have been difficult. These are the key people who believed that I can do much more than what I believed I could do.
Business View: Thanks for your time!
Lakshmi S Nayak: Thanks a lot!