CHENNAI: Akhila Rajeshwar is the Executive Director of The Indus Enterprises Chennai. She won the Best Executive Director award given by her company in 2016 and 2018. She is a Marshall Goldsmith Stakeholder Centred Coach, and believes in ideation through delivery, a mantra she tries to impart on the budding entrepreneurs whom she mentors.
What is your favourite part of the job?
Working in such an organisation gives me the opportunity to meet lots of people in different sectors. I learn a lot from them, and I can connect the dots and introduce aspiring entrepreneurs with others and I always try to understand what their business involves. I learn a lot about sectors that I am not a part of, and that gives
What is the difference between you at home vs you at work?
I try not to take my work back home, and if I have to stay back and finish it, I’d rather do that than lug my laptop home with me. That way, I’m very driven and a real people’s person. Things at home are more laidback. We all read a lot. We spend a lot of time together, speaking about all sorts of things, and we go to events together.
Tell us about your family.
I am a mother of two, and both have grown up and left me. Empty nest syndrome is a real issue. My daughter is in the same field as me, and we have long conversations together. My son studies abroad. We have a very active WhatsApp family group that keeps us close.
Can you tell us about your passion for music?
I learned Carnatic music for many years. For several reasons — work, or other interests — I gave up music. Sometimes I feel I should start it again, and I would love to go back. My favourite artist is Sanjay Subrahmanyan. The moment he gets on stage, you can see he is dedicated, involved
What can you tell us about your love for history?
You can learn a lot from our past, and I began studying history and architecture. I quickly realised that so much of Tamil history is tied to Tamil literature, so I began learning Tamil as well. We speak of democracy now, but in those days, you can see a form of a government, control of water bodies, and more that is documented.
One thing I found from my research was about the Big Temple in Tanjore. During Raja Raja Cholan’s rule, there was a Ganesha idol there. What the people wanted to do was to give 150 bananas to the deity. Instead of donating the money, the king told the temple management to fund the four merchants guilds and the interest was paid in the form of the bananas for the deity. In this way, he also promoted entrepreneurship. I take these lessons and try to apply them in work, and I try to find the similarities between their operations and mine.