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How I Work: Bidisha Ghosh, COO

· How I Work

There is no one way to work. Everyone works differently. Some people procrastinate and binge, others delegate and thrive. But there is one common trait among all great workers - they just get it done.

Over the course of the next few weeks, we're going to spend some time with the executive team here at CAIRS, and explore their work habits, their productivity hacks and who/what inspires them the most.

Up first is Bidisha Ghosh, COO of CAIRS Solutions.

Up first is Bidisha Ghosh, our Director of Operations.

First of all, tell us a little about your background and how you got to where you are today. 

I got my post-graduate degree in Econometrics and Statistics, and later received a post-graduate certificate in system analysis. My first professional role was looking after the import and export functions of an organization. Since then I have I’ve worked in various positions for several multi-national organizations. Software development management was one such role and that is when I met Mark [Livings, now CEO of CAIRS].

One obvious commonality among all the jobs I’ve had was that my main goal was always to make the organization commercially sustainable. In my current role, it is important to understand where our users are coming from, to help them and give them end-to-end support. I do think that my past experiences have helped me with that - not just in understanding how we can work efficiently, but also in understanding how we can best fill in a gap for our clients and help them succeed.

Take us through an average workday for you. 

I am based out of the UK and everyone I work with is either based in India or US. So my day starts early, with a lot of interactions with our development teams in India and ends with a lot of interaction with our teams and clients in the States.

Given my role where I need to understand the issues, pain points and requirements of our clients in the States and pass them on in a more technology-friendly way to our team. Being in the UK is a great advantage, as it has a decent timezone overlap with both India and US. The only downside is that I never get to work actual UK hours!

What is your workspace setup like? Do you have a picture? It’s okay if it’s a little messy!

I am one of those types who even likes to keep her pens in proper descending order in the pen holder. I normally get a stare from my husband when he catches me doing that. In short, I do like to be organized. It’s not an easy thing to strive for amidst growing to-do lists and changing priorities of work, as one can imagine. Nevertheless, I try!

I work from home and have a personal office with an office desk and a sofa, which I prefer using when I have to put my thinking hat on. On my desk, I have a Minion toy (laugh)– which I’m quite fond of actually - and Alexa keeps me entertained with some music occasionally. I also like to keep a picture of my Mum at my desk. She passed away five years back. It is true, as you mature with time, you realize how much your parents have silently done for you, and for me, it helps to think my Mum is still battling it out for me, from wherever she is!

What is your best time-saving hack? Or just life hack, in general?

I believe that anything that shifts my focus from work for a prolonged time is a good hack. That could be a good sleep or cooking a dish for my family or planning on how to start some exercise. Such breaks are like hard-booting a computer. When I am back to my work, I can just sense the higher efficiency. Higher efficiency always saves time!

Who are the people on your team who help you get things done? How do you rely on them?

Success in my role is heavily dependent upon a multitude of teams and individuals. Most leadership roles in the world are such. Luckily, everyone I work with is very versatile in their respective areas of work. So reliance and trust, obviously with the right amount of vigilance from my end, ensure that our deliverables, as a whole, are aligned with what we set out to do as a team.

How do you keep track of all your tasks? How do you optimize your time each day?

It's generally a combination of to-do lists, scratch pads and reminders.

How do you recharge outside of work?

Being with my family and friends helps me recharge. Additionally, television, movies, and music are part of my support system. I also donate time during weekends supporting our community in various initiatives for the young and the old.

Are you working on any side projects right now? Do you have any other passions that you pursue outside of work? 

I do try finding time to acquire new skills, especially in the space of leadership. Recently I completed Management Essentials from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). I also love planning and visiting small fisherman villages in the UK.

What are you currently reading? (Or listening to? If you’re into podcasts)

I like listening to TED talks. One of my favorite being “How to make stress your friend by Kelly McGonigal.”

Recently, I read “Who is a Better Leader - Tough Woman or Sensitive Man?” by Lee, J.

I am also reading “The Butterfly Effect” written by my high school buddy, Rajat Chaudhuri.

What is the best single piece of advice someone has ever given you and why? 

I would go with Thomas Edison’s quote – “There is no substitute for hard work.” It helps me keep going.

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