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Storyboard18 - To Her, With Love: HUL's Priya Nair on how her mother inspired her to go back to school

Nair, who is executive director, Beauty and Personal Care (BPC) for Hindustan Unilever, and Executive VP - BPC, Unilever South Asia, says "learning agility" is critical in management—something she learnt from her mother

Published: Mar 2, 2022 04:23:27 PM IST
Updated: Mar 2, 2022 04:29:49 PM IST

Storyboard18 - To Her, With Love: HUL's Priya Nair on how her mother inspired her to go back to schoolPriya Nair, Executive Director, Beauty and Personal Care (BPC) for Hindustan Unilever, and Executive VP - BPC, Unilever South Asia

My strongest female role model has been my mother. Of course, every child feels that their mother is the best mom ever. My true inspiration comes from what I have learnt from her.

At 77, she is a practising doctor who runs a clinic in the back alleys of Mumbai, serving underprivileged patients with meagre charges. It’s from her that I have learnt the power of purpose, to keep yourself going at all costs. She has, like many doctors during the pandemic, continued to serve her patients selflessly. She did contract Covid-19 but fortunately recovered well.

I have learnt that in corporate life if you are fortunate enough to discover your purpose, which I have in my work, you will have the strength to manage all volatility and uncertainty. I have learnt that it is the power of the inner compass that gives you conviction, energy, and optimism.

The second lesson I have learnt is to keep learning. I have watched my mother attend numerous seminars and forums, constantly reading and keeping abreast of all the advancements in her field and taking notes for herself—all while being a septuagenarian. This learning agility is critical in management, as we see the world change at an increasing speed. Constant learning, not just on the job but also learning from peers and industry, is critical for sharpening your skills and for personal development.

Inspired by this, and after 25 years of work experience, I took on a Harvard Executive Leadership Program and went back to school. I continue to take pride in the lessons I have learnt from my mother.

I have had the privilege to have a strong female role model at home and the result has been two successful daughters my mother has raised. My sister is a well-respected surgical oncologist with the Tata Hospital. Soon, my mother will be a successful grandmother with my daughter, who will be off to university shortly.

We need more women who raise their daughters strong!

‘To her, with love’ is a Storyboard18 special series where women in leadership tell us about the women who inspired them and led the way. A shout-out to her

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