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Q&A with Snehal Shah

Updated: Jul 21, 2023

Exclusive Trusted Magazine Q&A with Snehal Shah,

How would you describe your career path?

My career path can be best explained as a roller coaster ride. I am a keen learner and always love to explore new dimensions and this keeps me motivating. I am an M.S graduate in organic chemistry from National institute of pharmaceutical education and research India. My dream was to be a researcher but life had other plans for me. I have started my journey as a Technical professional development practitioner in the very renowned company Pfizer. Where I learnt perspectives of the pharma manufacturing industry. I was a Production compliance officer then shifted to a site quality remediation program. I was trained on different aspects of newly emerging technologies and able to set up new processes from scratch. This was my foundation. Currently I am registered Project manager and completed my PMP with all above target. I am currently aiming to achieve evolution in the FMCG and Pharmaceutical sector by helping them get each process tracked and completed on time.

What was your most challenging experience and it has changed your mindset

My most challenging experience was working on the production floor being a single woman employee and new joined. I used to think I could manage myself in the worst scenario without any help. But when I joined it was very difficult to survive in male-dominant environment. Self-doubt, no confidence and no respect almost made me leave my job. After a few days of struggling, interacting with all levels of people, I started receiving support from all over. I started acknowledging the problems of floor people who work under pressure in sterile manufacturing areas. I understood the working processes and their limitations. Learning from each individual spending time to recognize their work. Eventually I was a leader to them and their voices, putting my all strength to support. This whole experience taught me that nothing is impossible, you just have to learn the new skills, give time for adjustments and life will go on, people will change, you just have to understand them and do your best. However, with the help of my seniors too I managed to stand in given circumstances and give my best shot.

When you get surprised by unusual or uncertain context, what do you think?

They say "Change is the only constant" and I have learned in a very difficult way. For a better approach I feel everyone should perform self-retrospective practice, learn from mistakes and experiences in the past. This would help to understand the situation and do whatever is best for that time. I was very stubborn about changes in processes and practices, never used to accept unusual things. I remember I was very stubborn from childhood about changes and new things. Being a strict and disciplined person, I was very narrow minded. However, as I said my career path is a roller coaster and I went through many changes. Experiences from my first company shut down, Corona lockdowns and settling into a different country made me realize life has many surprises to give and you have to accept it in any way. So why not face it calmly, wisely and with a smiling face. So, whenever any unusual, uncertain context comes in I always sit aside and think without panicking, trying to give my best shot to accept and move forward.

What’s the key success factor for a female entrepreneur in cross cultural context based on your experience?

In any culture the most important part is to understand people and their perspective. Communication is the key to success. It makes everything easy. So always lookout for what actually another person is trying to tell you, be a good listener. Understand their values and where they are coming from. Do not react but respond to situations. And being a female entrepreneur, always remember to have self-confidence and let go of a few things to keep you calm. Remember not to lose your own identity in the whole process. Do your work in the most honest and humble way. Let your work speak more than your words. Throughout my career I always tried different things and worked with one of the most talented individuals. Sometimes opinions match, sometimes they don't. We have to keep an ethical and optimistic approach towards each opinion. Stand by yourself, communicate your perspective loud and clear.

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