This week, I spoke to Radha Mohan Durbha who is the co-founder and director of Kereses Consulting India Private Ltd, India. She started her business when she was 41 and in looking back, she wished she had started much earlier!
Kereses Consulting India Private Ltd is a HR consulting business based in Bangalore, India started by Radha along with two of her batchmates from their MBA – Ms. Ramani Mabel and Ms. Mercy Christina Solomon, 20 years after graduating from the programme.
As a co-founder for a HR business, Radha is responsible for the planning, budgeting and operations of recruitment and training, and engages with organization to facilitate a connection between potential employers and employees.
The HR domain is a human-intensive business with many players in the fray. Originally, a marketeer and a PR specialist, Radha now is responsible for identifying talent and head-hunting people for companies that reach out to her. In the process of matching potential employees with employers she often has to “sell” the companies and build PR for them.
With more than 19 years of corporate experience in various industries such as financial services, training, and industrial engineering, she gladly admits that she has more freedom now than when she worked in the corporate world.
While she helps employers in India find the right talents to power and run their businesses, she is also in her own way pushing the women’s agenda.
Radha who considers herself a feminist said she would try to inject a gender perspective into the hiring process and open more doors for women in the labour force across India.
The absence of women in the workforce is especially noticeable in the manufacturing sector, she said, so much so that some factories do not have a women’s bathroom on their premises for hiring women was simply not in the equation! She remarked that she would try her best to influence employers to hire women because women are proven to stay longer at jobs, unlike men!
While she may not run a social enterprise, this shows that a woman in business can influence how other women are hired and employed.
Radha loves nothing better than travelling the world and experiencing diverse cultures for herself. She loves to take part in car rallies and travelling with other women.
Radha’s love for adventure was inspired largely by her father. In the 30 years that he worked with the United Nations, handling government censuses and planning surveys for various countries, the family lived in countries like Egypt, Sudan, Lebanon, Syria, Uganda and Iraq.
She said that her father was fluent in 4 dialects of Arabic and built his expertise (in the Middle East and Africa) by opting for assignments in remote and war-torn regions. Despite the adventures, she recalled a few times when the family had to be evacuated out of Uganda, Lebanon and Iraq when the situation in the countries became too dangerous.
It is no wonder then that she learnt to speak so many languages throughout her life – Arabic, Cantonese, English, French, Hindi, Tamil and Telugu. Radha holds a Master’s in Business Administration from Madurai Kamaraj University in addition to a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition & Dietetics from Madras University.
Her biggest influence was Marie Curie who shared her birthday, 7 November and Radha believes that Marie was a scientist who wasn’t given the recognition she deserved! Other key inspirations for her are Mother Teresa, Chimamanda Adichie, Maya Angelou, Anandibai Joshi and Maharani Gayathri Devi.
Once a voracious reader, Radha now is transitioning to listening to audiobooks. She still holds a few books from her early reads as dear to her – To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, The Goal by Eliyahu Goldratt and Catcher in the Rye by J D Salinger are some of her favourite reads. Music-wise, she loves Coldplay, Carlos Santana, Richard Clayderman, ABBA, MLTR and Foreigner.
Unsurprisingly, her favourite quote of all time is ‘Not all those who wander are lost’, a nod to her wanderlust.
In this episode, she talks about:
- The differences between running one’s own business versus working in the corporate world
- What she says to employers who insist that the jobs are meant for men Her zero billings when the pandemic hit India and the world and hiring wasn’t even possible
- That one single quality that differentiates a great recruiter from a good one
- How she has to chase after candidates and ensure they get to the interviews and the prep work she does before they even get to the interview
- Why LinkedIn is a great place for people like her
- What she does when she’s faced with a difficult decision
Connect with her: https://www.linkedin.com/in/radha-mohan-durbha