#ShareTheSpotlight: Marriott International's Khushnooma Kapadia on empathy and challenges of starting from the bottom

Khushnooma Kapadia, Vice President of Marketing at Marriott International shares the spotlight with her executive assistant Sumita V Kamble.

By  Storyboard18Mar 20, 2024 1:53 PM
#ShareTheSpotlight: Marriott International's Khushnooma Kapadia on empathy and challenges of starting from the bottom
Khushnooma Kapadia, Vice President of Marketing at Marriott International

Life is always unpredictable and throws many challenges, it’s never a linear process. I too have faced a fair share of challenges in my life both professionally and personally. Such as navigating through the recession when my job's relevance was questioned during a financially tight period, leading to an existential crisis. Similarly, managing through the pandemic was incredibly tough with no guidebook on managing confusion, health concerns, and maintaining professional stability while being relied upon for support.

Not just professionally, during the pandemic it was also about domestic responsibilities while taking care of children who were homeschooling, which came with its own set of challenges and adjustments, given it was a first for them and us parents as well. It was a complex process of crisis management. Despite these challenges, I'm proud to have persevered, drawing strength from my upbringing and personal resilience, never giving up in the face of adversity.

As a leader, I pride myself on my ability to empathize deeply with those I lead. Climbing the ladder of success, it's easy to forget the challenges of starting from the bottom, but I strive to maintain that perspective. My leadership style is a blend of expecting high performance while also being kind and compassionate.

This balance has developed over time, influenced by my spiritual practices and the mentorship of remarkable individuals like Rajeev Menon is the President, Asia Pacific Excluding China (APEC) of Marriott International, Inc., has been a shining example of compassionate leadership, showing kindness and respect to everyone in the hierarchy even in the most challenging times. I've also had the opportunity to learn from Neeraj Govil, Senior Vice President of Operations for Asia Pacific excluding China at Marriott International. He has taught me the importance of balancing business management with people management, emphasizing a laser-focused approach on financials while ensuring the respect and dignity of individuals are upheld. He has a knack for mobilizing a team of strong personalities, all while maintaining a high level of professionalism.

Learning from these mentors has been a significant professional achievement, shaping me into the leader I am today. No number of awards or recognition can compare to the invaluable lessons I've learned from their leadership.

So, I'll tell you who inspires me in my current ecosystem of operation. It’s my executive assistant Sumita V Kamble. It's truly inspiring to hear about the strength and resilience she embodies. Despite facing incredibly challenging circumstances at home with her child's health, who has been detected with a brain tumour, undergone surgery, and had a long road to recovery over the next six months. My assistant still comes to work every day with tranquillity, a smile, and a congenial attitude, handling her professional responsibilities with maturity and professionalism. It's clear that she embodies the epitome of a complete woman, balancing emotional strength, resilience, and professionalism in a way that is truly admirable. Her ability to navigate such complex emotions and challenges while excelling in her role is commendable. She deserves to be celebrated and admired not just on one day, but every day for her remarkable strength and character.

Note to readers: Storyboard18's Share The Spotlight aims to highlight inspirational stories of women who continue breaking barriers and setting the precedent for other women marketers, entrepreneurs and communication specialists.

The initiative aims to kick off a movement where people from across these communities step up and share their spotlight with other women.

Share The Spotlight calls on us all to come out and share words of praise and encouragement for each other, appreciating and acknowledging the contributions of so many people who make businesses, brands and workplaces better. Learn and understand how to face challenges and seize opportunities while bringing along others on the path to progress.

This is just the beginning of a long journey to spotlight individuals who are empowering others and bringing change and growth for all. Together we rise.

First Published on Mar 20, 2024 1:53 PM

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