Vineeta Kumar

Vineeta Kumar

Vice President & Global Head - Banking

Boston, United States

From Programming to Leading, From the Other Side of the World

My career, my choice

I started out as a programmer, but quickly realized life behind a computer wasn’t for me. I wanted to be in front of people, so I moved into a customer service division fielding calls from customers. I was verbally beaten up on every call, but I learned a lot about how to manage people who were really mad at you and how to get them to a point where they start believing that we were doing the right things and that their problems would be solved. It was excellent grounding and taught me upselling and cross-selling. Later on, I realized if I wanted to expand my career, an MBA would be the right route to prepare for roles on the other side of the world. Since then, I’ve moved across countries, roles, and companies, which helped me learn a lot about global cultures, as well as the cultures in companies. It taught me about how to grow my career, how to step outside my comfort zone, how to fit in and how to succeed.

Being a female leader

As more women come into the workforce and take on leadership roles, we see the kind of success female leaders can achieve. That’s led to a better understanding of what leadership really looks like and how it can be more equitable and wholesome. For a long time, the corporate world has been led by men and the perception of what leadership means was viewed through that lens. In my opinion, two key qualities of being a leader are A) listening- with genuine interest and B) asking the right questions. Leadership and sales skills go hand-in-hand. It’s ultimately about listening to your team and to your customers, asking the right questions, understanding what’s really going on, what drives them, their aspirations, and truly understanding the problems you are trying to solve.

Never giving up

One thing I’ve learned through my experiences is to not always give in to limitations. I look at what’s possible beyond the limitations. I’ve always been persistent in what I want to achieve and never gave up, which is why I got the nickname Limitless ! Another thing you learn in sales is to think on your feet and think fast. I’ve seen all kinds of tough situations in my career- complex deals and negotiations, unhappy customers where we’ve had to get people on the ground fast. In these situations, understanding what’s really going on is important in order to resolve and rebuild relationships. Sometimes just knowing where you are and acknowledging it allows you to rebuild relationships.

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