Podcast: Driving intelligent automation with Six Sigma




"You have to have patience to see the results in the six sigma methodology. And you need to be very sure about your business benefits, case and goals." – Ashima Kanwar

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Photo by Harish Marnad/Shutterstock

Ashima Kanwar, a member of one of the world's largest financial services institutes, joins us for this week's PEX Network podcast. Her upbringing instilled in her a very solid work ethic which has ensured that both she and her employers over the years have focused on the fact that she’s dedicated and accountable.

Early in her career, Ashima attended school at the sme time as holding down a full time job. She took up a focus on six sigma while working for GE - which is of course a great place to do just that.

Based on her drive to see the job done, she earned a black belt role without having the black belt. But she’s now a master black belt and applying her knwoeldge and skills to intelligent automation.

Listen in:

Full transcript

Seth Adler:         This episode is supported by the Process Excellence Network. PEX Network is a global community for process professionals, business leaders and executives who want to improve their businesses through process and operational excellence. With the global membership of 130,000 plus and a burgeoning global portfolio of live events, webinars and networking opportunities, PEX Network provides access to experienced process professionals and industry inside our insight. Go to PEX Network.com to find out more.

 

This episode is also supported by Process Excellence Europe, establish a customer centric culture of continuous improvement to drive change, innovation and sustainability for the modern customer, October 22nd through the 24th 2018 at the Postillion Convention Center, Amsterdam. Customers are evolving faster than your business and showing no signs of slowing down, join your Process Excellence peers and adapt to a hyper competitive landscape or risk losing your market share. Go to Performance Excellence Europe.com to register now.

 

Ashima Khanduja joins us to share that based on her upbringing, she has a very solid work ethic, which has ensured that both she and her employers over the years have focused on the fact that she's dedicated and accountable. She was going to school and had a full-time job concurrently early in her career. She took up a focus on Six Sigma while working for GE, which is of course a great place to do just that and again, based on her work ethic, she had a Black Belt role without having a Black Belt. She's now a Master Black Belt, which she's now applying to intelligent automation.

 

Welcome to PEX Network, on B2BiQ, I'm your host Seth Adler. Download episodes on PEX Network.com or through our app on iTunes within the iTunes podcast app in Google Play or wherever you currently get your podcasts.

 

Ashima Khanduja, how are you?

 

Ahima:                 I'm good, exhausted a bit, but overall quite good.

 

Seth Adler:         You know we're at this conference, you came from, what was it? How long was your commute?

 

Ahima:                 I started at quarter past six and I got the fastest train.

 

Seth Adler:         Could you start in the car, like you didn't start, start, this is only where we're starting.

 

Ahima:                 Yeah.

 

Seth Adler:         You had to wake up and all of this before that. Yeah.

 

Ahima:                 Of course, that is much prior and I started at quarter past eight when I knew I would get the fastest train to the Victoria. That's like the shortest time duration that I could have got in. I'm very tired, I was troubled about tomorrow, I hope I get, my schedule is quite nice for tomorrow too.

 

Seth Adler:         Yeah. You'll get here.

 

Ahima:                 Yes. I am.

 

Seth Adler:         You have to go back.

 

Ahima:                 I have to, I have to lead the round table.

 

Seth Adler:         Of course. You have to go back, because you have your little ...

 

Ahima:                 Yes, I have to go back.

 

Seth Adler:         Your little son.

 

Ahima:                 Yeah. That is true.

 

[00:03:00]

Seth Adler:         What is the funniest thing that he's ever said to you that you remember? I'm putting you on the spot.

 

Ahima:                 Yeah, no problem. He every day tells me something funny. He's like, "You look like you have mustache on your lips."

 

Seth Adler:         Really?

 

Ahima:                 Yeah, he did say that one.

 

Seth Adler:         Interesting.

 

Ahima:                 It is. He's becoming really naughty, yes.

 

Seth Adler:         This is not, he's going to have problems this child.

 

Ahima:                 I think so, yeah, he's said some very notorious things these days he's been doing.

 

Seth Adler:         Indeed.

 

Ahima:                 Yes.

 

Seth Adler:         Where are you from?

 

Ahima:                 I'm from India.

 

Seth Adler:         Where?

 

[00:03:30]

Ahima:                 India, New Delhi, the capital of India.

 

Seth Adler:         Okay, of course.

 

Ahima:                 Been born and brought up there and yeah.

 

Seth Adler:         Yeah, so you're a city girl?

 

Ahima:                 Yes.

 

Seth Adler:         Is that fair to say?

 

Ahima:                 It is very much fair to say.

 

Seth Adler:         Okay.

 

Ahima:                 Yes.

 

Seth Adler:         Give folks a sense of what it's like to be a little kid in New Delhi.

 

[00:04:00]

Ahima:                 New Delhi is like a great place. It's a capital of India and people really love to be part of New Delhi, because it's some great institute, it's a great place to be in and it's a very fun, loving place. Yeah.

 

Seth Adler:         Fun, loving, how do you mean?

 

Ahima:                 By fun loving I mean, people are quite modern in their thought process and they're quite warm, very affectionate. Anybody who comes there would feel like they're in their own country. People are very, very loving.

 

Seth Adler:         As a little kid, you would have felt safe I would imagine?

 

[00:04:30]

Ahima:                 See, things are changing now. Now these days there is so much going on with respect to safety et cetera, but that's everywhere, but yes, I would say, yeah, you have to be a little bit more conscious about how you need to be doing things, the time et cetera. Yes, it's good, yeah.

 

Seth Adler:         It was good when you were a kid and it's changing now?

 

Ahima:                 Yeah, it's changing.

 

Seth Adler:         As it is everywhere?

 

Ahima:                 It is everywhere, that's true.

 

[00:05:00]

Seth Adler:         Agreed.

 

Ahima:                 As it is everywhere. Yes.

 

Seth Adler:         Totally.

 

Ahima:                 Yeah.

 

Seth Adler:         What were your parents doing when you were a kid?

 

Ahima:                 When I was a kid?

 

Seth Adler:         Yeah.

 

Ahima:

  

[00:05:30]            My mom, she's been a teacher, so she's been teaching in schools or if not in a school then she's been privately giving tuition to students. Looking at her, we've always been like I have my three siblings. One younger sister and brother, the twins, and I have an elder sister too, so we've been very academically strong, because that's how we had seen her struggling from the very old childhood days that I could remember. My dad he's been into several businesses actually, one after the other.

 

Seth Adler:         Mr. Entrepreneur?

 

Ahima:                 Mr. Entrepreneur and you know how businesses are, things didn't workout for him.

 

Seth Adler:         Sure.

 

[00:06:00]

Ahima:                 He failed, he succeeded, and then there were a lot of, he went into depression and things like alcohol and things like that. Yeah, we've seen, I've seen my mother struggle a lot and therefore that really helped us to understand how life is. I and my siblings we've been working, we've been very independent from when we were in school. Like I said, she was giving tuition, so we should help her. We had a very tough time, but because of which I think we're very successful in whatever we are doing, including me and my siblings.

 

Seth Adler:         I wonder, you have empirical understanding of how difficult it is to be an entrepreneur.

 

Ahima:                 Yes.

 

Seth Adler:         I know that you've basically spent your time in big institutions.

 

Ahima:                 Yeah.

 

Seth Adler:         Your siblings the same or are any of them entrepreneurs?

 

Ahima:                 See, my sis, my elder one, she works in Dlloyd and she is, all of them are professionals, but her husband is an entrepreneur. Yeah, all of us have been into professional board, but you know, you never know one day. I mean I love to be entrepreneur, so you never know. I mean I have some plans and I'll see how it works out, but yeah.

 

Seth Adler:         All right, so we'll come back to that, hopefully we will see what that business might be down the line.

 

Ahima:                 Yeah.

 

Seth Adler:         Your mother instilled the importance of education.

 

Ahima:                 Very much.

 

Seth Adler:         At a young age.

 

[00:07:30]

Ahima:                

Yes, values, education, and the importance of a lot of things, which I think in today's world, like I see my kid. I mean everything they get in the platter, so I sometimes worry whether they're really feeling the importance of how much we work hard to get it.

 

Seth Adler:         What do you mean?

 

Ahima:                 By this what I mean is, see, when we were children then for very little things we had to struggle. For us, like a pizza was a big deal. I mean a very, very small example I'm giving.

 

[00:08:00]

Seth Adler:         No, it's a huge example. If a pizza was a big deal, it's the example.

 

Ahima:                 Yeah, and now when I see our kids be ourselves, we have everything that a child needs to be happy. What I was trying to say is that, sometimes I worry whether they would really understand how much their parents, like how much his parents really worked to be able to live a luxurious life, which we missed actually.

 

[00:08:30]

Seth Adler:         You almost benefited by having it tough in essence?

 

Ahima:                 Yeah. Sometimes we didn't even have it.

 

Seth Adler:         Yeah.

 

Ahima:                 We always wanted, but we couldn't have it, because of some constraints that we had.

 

Seth Adler:         The answer was no?

 

Ahima:                 Yeah.

 

Seth Adler:         At sometimes.

 

Ahima:                 Yeah, no, at sometimes. No, definitely, yes.

 

Seth Adler:         It was, I heard you say that your son has everything that a kid could need. You didn't use the word want, and I wonder how cognitive that was.

 

[00:09:00]

Ahima:                 Need or want, I mean yeah. Both of, I would say want. I didn't think about it, so yeah. He has ...

 

Seth Adler:         Yeah. Well I mean you grew up having what you needed as opposed to what you wanted.

 

Ahima:                 Yeah.

 

Seth Adler:         There's a huge difference, right?

 

Ahima:                 Exactly, yeah, no you're right. Now when I, you're saying I could see that maybe I've chosen the right word, yeah.

 

Seth Adler:         Okay, fair enough. Primary school and high school, secondary school, did you go to college? Of course, you did, right?

 

Ahima:                 Yes, I did.

 

Seth Adler:         Okay, and where did you go?

 

[00:09:30]

Ahima:                 My studies have all been in India, so I graduated from India. I did my post graduation.

 

Seth Adler:         With what degree?

 

Ahima:                 Yeah, I did my physics honors, now don't ask me what I did, because what I'm doing in my professional world, it's completely different.

 

Seth Adler:         What was the masters then if not physics?

 

Ahima:                 If you'll know that, you'll be very surprised. I did it in bio informatics.

 

Seth Adler:         Oh my goodness.

 

Ahima:    That's a very amazing topic and really like how automations these days, I think from academics perspective that's like, something that people really look forward to be in, because it's very, very new. Yeah, I did that and then somehow I started my work career very early as I said, because of a few constraints and I wanted as well. Then when you start earning, and I was doing very well, from the time I started my work career, I think, some people are very dedicated and accountable and there is that fire in the belly, someone like that kind of a person.

 

Seth Adler:         Sure.

 

[00:10:30]

Ahima:                 Yeah. When I started my career, I think I kept doing well. Within a year I moved up, within another year and a half. I have the shortest journey in my career from how I kept getting bigger roles and kept promoting. That was the time when I joined GECAS. It was GE, which became GECAS and then Genpact. I was doing very well in my academics too, but then when you start earning money and when you're getting very good money, and when you're also doing very well in your career, then that's the point when you think, "Should I really go back and start from the scratch, when I'm already in a managerial position?"

 

Seth Adler:         Right.

 

Ahima:                 Right.

 

Seth Adler:         You were studying almost at night it sounds like. You had a day job.

 

Ahima:                 Yeah, it was very tough.

 

Seth Adler:         You did too well at your day job?

 

Ahima:                 Exactly. You wouldn't believe this. It is very hard for people to believe this. I was working in GECAS and I used to choose my work hours, like I used to work on weekends and the other three days, because it's a five, you have to work five days and then so that I could manage my two days very well. The rest of the days, I used to work night hours. The reason why I joined GECAS is because from my college, I used to come to my work directly and then do evening hours. Then get back home by two-ish in the morning, and then be ready for my next day to college.

 

[00:12:00]

Seth Adler:         Education was first ...

 

Ahima:                 Very, very important.

 

Seth Adler:         Education was first, so then this was almost a part-time job that you made a full-time job and then they kept on promoting you?

 

Ahima:                 It was a full-time. I did a full-time job. It was never a part-time for me.

 

Seth Adler:         Sister high five here.

 

Ahima:                 I used to manage my hours, so it was always a full-time.

 

Seth Adler:         This is amazing.

 

Ahima:                 It is amazing. When I think about it, I feel so very proud of myself…

 

Seth Adler:         Of course.

 

Ahima:

[00:12:30]            ... of how I used to do it. When I think about it, I truly think I don't know how I managed it. The good thing about it was that I managed both very well. I mean in my college people used to be really surprised at how I'm doing and I'm doing so very well. I used to be on the top in my college too. I'm thinking of those days and that gives a smile to my face definitely.

 

Seth Adler:         You have pride now, which is nice.

 

Ahima:                 Which is nice.

 

Seth Adler:         At the time what I'm feeling is that there was no other way. In other words you in your mind had to do that that way.

 

[00:13:00]

Ahima:                

Yeah. I had to do it, but see, I mean I could have, I think if there was anything else they could have dropped their studies, because you're doing well, you're getting money, you're very well professionally settled. I could have dropped my studies as well, but I wanted to do it. Not that I had to do it I think. I always wanted to achieve my personal goals as well in my life, and I think for me, I've always ensured that my work life balance has been, is good. I do ensure.

 

[00:13:30]            Now you can imagine I'm going back to riding. I want to really see them, even if it is like for hour and then I know he'll go back to his bed at nine.

 

Seth Adler:         When you say work life balance, I don't think it's what other people think when they say work life balance. What you're talking about is using all 24 hours.

 

Ahima:                 Yeah, that time, see, at that time it wasn't ...

 

Seth Adler:         I mean tonight when you go back to the kid, it's the same thing, right?

 

[00:14:00]

Ahima:                 It's the same thing yes. It's just that see, I want to see my family.

 

Seth Adler:         Of course.

 

Ahima:                 Yes.

 

Seth Adler:         All right, when did you stumble into, you say you had jobs and you got promoted, promoted, promoted.

 

Ahima:                 Yes.

 

Seth Adler:         When did you stumble into Process?

 

Ahima:                 Excellence?

 

Seth Adler:         Yeah.

 

Ahima:                 Yeah sure. I think GE has been the first ones among Toyotas to get into Process Excellence and Black Belt Six Sigma kind of roles. While I was working in GECAS and I worked for like three to four years in operations, and I think GECAS is a very, very great organization, wherein they really like to develop their people and give them flexibility in terms of their jobs that they want to select. I didn't have any experience in a Six Sigma kind of role, except for the operations where I would have done few project excellence kind of projects, but not really a typical Black Belt role.

 

I think GECAS was really good enough and I was doing very well in my work, so they knew that I had that in me, that I would be able to do it. It was a very sort of kind of a role at that time. Six Sigma Lean and I'm talking about 10 years ago when it was so very in drag. These days it has dropped down because nobody has patience to deal with Six Sigma's results and all, so I will not talk about it, but yeah. I manage to get into the Six Sigma Black Belt role through interviews and they knew that I would, I may not have the skill right now, but I had the will and people learn it right? They get those skills if they want to really do the job.

 

Then I learned it. I went through trainings and GE did all that for me. Then I did really well in my Black Belt Six Sigma role. I think I spent another two years with GECAS, Genpact at that time. Then I wanted a change, I thought it is a long time that I've spent in Genpact. Then there was a role offer that I got from Bharti Airtel, which I said is another Asian leading telecommunications. It was the same role, so that's where I never looked back, from Process Excellence kind of roles.

 

Seth Adler:         I think I heard you say, that you had a Black Belt role without having a Black Belt.

 

Ahima:                 Yes.

 

Seth Adler:         What?

 

[00:16:30]

Ahima:                 Yes I did, because I said I didn't have the skill when I got into the role, but I learned it. I did my training.

 

Seth Adler:         How long did it take you to achieve?

 

Ahima:                 You wouldn't then believe if I tell you I'm a Master Black Belt as well.

 

Seth Adler:         Yeah, right. No, I believe it, of course I do. How long did it take for you to achieve this?

 

Ahima:                 For me to achieve to this, I'll tell you then. When I got my Black Belt role, then of course I got the trainings and I had to train people to be in the role, right, so I need to know my subject so well. I think it didn't take me time, because then you're on the role. When you have to train people or mentor them on the projects, I mean you have to be the subject matter expert. I think my journey started, then I learned it and I picked up projects. It went really well, it was quite smooth.

 

I had challenges, I wouldn't say that, that was the, in Genpact I did have the challenge if you know being in a position to mentor people's Green Belt projects. I think I overcome those challenges and things went smooth. I spent now the two years and then Six Sigma Black Belt role was offered to me from Airtel.

 

Seth Adler:         Let me ask you this, you say that you overcame some challenges. I would imagine that Mr. or Miss Black Belt, excuse me Mr. or Miss Green Belt or any other kind of belt walks in and Ashima doesn't have a belt, but she's training me on what I'm supposed to be doing. How did you manage that experience? How did you manage that relationship? The office politics must have been nearly impossible.

 

Ahima:                 Yeah. No, it was tough, that was the tough phase of my life when I joined the Six Sigma role, but I've had so many challenges. I knew I could do it, I had that belief in me.

 

Seth Adler:         You doing something, that's the easy part. What I'm talking about is now we're talking with other people within the company who are almost reporting to you, at least you're signing off on there. How did you manage that?

 

Ahima:                 Yeah. As I said, I did a lot of studying ground, studying on the project and studying the methodologies myself, talking to my mentors, my leaders. They were very helpful and that's the reason why they offered me a role, because they knew I could do it. That really helped me.

 

Seth Adler:         You just kept it on work basically?

 

Ahima:                 I kept it on, I really studied the methodology. I took trainings and while I was back home, I used to only study a lot of things on my own just so that I could train people on the subject. Then I used to also take up challenges like let me go and give a session on say some Lean, on Six Sigma. I started with the executives and then it started giving the similar session to tiers, so things like that. That's how I gained confidence and ...

 

[00:19:30]

Seth Adler:         It also became impossible to not listen to you, because you of course knew exactly what you were talking about.

 

Ahima:                 Yeah. No, that is right. I knew what I was talking about, and the other thing is that, when I was in operations, I had done a Green Belt project, so not that I wasn't familiar with the methodology and the Six Sigma at all, I was and that time I was mentored from Black Belt. Then I took over Black Belt, so I knew the foundation. I knew how it worked, but I had never let it from that side of the business.

 

Seth Adler:         When you say you're a Master Black Belt, but folks aren't doing it at the same rate that they were doing it, however, we of course depend on continuous improvement. We depend on Six Sigma practices at least in some way. What are the keys? As a master Black Belt, what are the keys for Process Excellence?

 

Ahima:                 See the keys for Process Excellence is one, you have to have patients to see the results, because Six Sigma is a very methodology oriented approach. One, you have to have patience and second you should be able to very sure about what benefits it is going to give. See if I know that in my six months of timeframe I'm going to deliver X, Y, Z results, then is that good enough for me to wait for six months and get that benefit? Then yes.

 

I need to be very, very sure about my goal, my business case, how strong it is. Of course, I have to have a sponsor, the governance. All these things are very key. If my sponsor is with me and it, my project is aligned with the corporate strategy, so therefore my sponsor would be willing to do it. I think these are the very key things, which we keep in mind whenever we do a project. If there is this project that I'm doing and the leadership has their own goals, it doesn't align with their strategy, I wouldn't get any sponsor, the champions right in there.

 

Seth Adler:         Stop there?

 

Ahima:                 Stop there exactly or talk to them. Therefore, when I was in Airtel I used to work on the strategy projects, so the leadership had their strategies. Our projects or we used to align our projects with what their strategies are. Okay, they want to achieve this much million dollars or they want to go ahead and make their post paid revenues, so how could I make a project happen, which is in alignment with that strategy?

 

They would support me. I would tell them, okay, if I achieve this many millions of revenue, so why would he not work with me? They would, right?

 

Seth Adler:         This is that.

 

Ahima:                 Yeah.

 

Seth Adler:         What does a Master Black Belt know that a Black Belt does not know?

 

Ahima:                 It's just a belt and it's just that in Master Black Belt there are more complicated tools that a Black Belt may not be aware of or may not use it. As a master Black Belt, you use a little more complex tools like a DOE design of engineering, which is very complex. They would be just more exposed and they would have more knowledge on the advanced Six Sigma tools, is what I would say. From a role perspective, they'll be, in a better position, stronger position.

 

Seth Adler:         Do you understand why there's at least some sort of a sunset in Six Sigma practice?

 

Ahima:                 I can relate to why there is a sunset and the reason is that, see, everybody as I said, if we're all very impatient right, the organizations have been impatient. Everybody doesn't understand the very complex tools like I said, DOE or annual, the complex charts. They want, everybody wants their life simpler now. They want to see, okay, a tabular format, very simple charts, visual.

 

Seth Adler:         Give me a dashboard Ashima, right?

 

Ahima:                 Yeah, exactly. They wouldn't want to see right now, and not even me. If now somebody would come up to me, I'm being very honest, that this is annual, this is the status stick, this is a six month data, and nobody wants to even look at historical data of last, of course for few things yes. I may not want to see those complex charts, and people may not understand it as well, even if a Six Sigma Black Belts and Master Black Belt will try to tell them, they may not understand it very well, so they're like, "Okay, go on."

 

I think therefore that is dipped down like the importance of a Six Sigma has kind of gone down a bit, but there are more advanced techniques, like automation is what is now come up. I think I'm quite fortunate to be part of such a thing when it is very much in, yeah.

 

Seth Adler:         How do you bring your Master Black Belt mentality to automation.

 

Ahima:                 Yeah, so from a Master, like from my previous experience, I think I'm very structured in my approach. I think I'm a very successful project lead, project manager. What I have learned is, how do we identify, how we initiate to how we close, that's very important. Even after we close, you need to sustain, you need to maintain as a process.

 

I think this is what I have learned only from my previous experience, right, my Black Belt, my Master Black Belt projects, which I would have done or led those roles. I think I'm very structured and I know my job. I think I'm very successful. If I'm given a task, it will be done and it will be successful. I'm known for that.

 

Seth Adler:         I really don't know you very well. We met today. I am sure if you were given a task, it will be done. I know this.

 

Ahima:                 Thank you. Thanks.

 

Seth Adler:         I see this as fact.

 

Ahima:                 Thank you.

 

Seth Adler:         I've got three final questions for you.

 

Ahima:                 Sure.

 

Seth Adler:         I'll tell you what they are, and then I'll ask you them in order.

 

Ahima:                 Okay.

 

Seth Adler:         What has most surprised you at work along the way? What has most surprised you in life? Then on the sound track of your life, one track, one song that's got to be on there, but first things first, what's most surprised you at work?

 

Ahima:                 What most surprised me at work, I think, I mean see, the geography, I've worked in India and then I worked in here.

 

Seth Adler:         In England.

 

Ahima:                 In England, so what surprises me here is that, people, right, like that fire in the belly I would say is missing.

 

Seth Adler:         For some?

 

Ahima:                 For some.

 

Seth Adler:         Are you saying for many?

 

Ahima:                 For many I would say.

 

Seth Adler:         Right.

 

Ahima:                 In terms of driving the results is, I would say is not that very strong, but what is good is the planning. I think people are so planned, which is amazing, which really helps. When I came here what surprised me was, that we should be doing it, it is possible, let's do that. We plan it well, but the timeline et cetera it sometimes gets me by surprise as to we can do things quickly.

 

Seth Adler:         We can do this more.

 

Ahima:                 Very quickly, why are we taking time? That is, I was like, oh no, why? This is something we could have done earlier, so that's ...

 

Seth Adler:         I'm someone that I feel that I have the fire in the belly as you say. I also admittedly had it much easier than you from what I have heard and what I know about my own background. I think some of your fire in the belly is attributable to the tough times that you have.

 

Ahima:                 Maybe yes, yeah.

 

Seth Adler:         Some of it is not. I wonder, do you have a sense of where that comes from?

 

Ahima:                 I think from ...

 

Seth Adler:         So as to understand why it's not in others.

 

Ahima:                 Yeah, no sure. I get what you're saying. I think it's been always that I want to be at the top I think. This is how I always think, that I need to be amongst the top, I can't see myself to be honest anywhere else.

 

Seth Adler:         Right.

 

Ahima:                 I think that's what drives me.

 

Seth Adler:         Where does that come from I guess?

 

Ahima:                 I think this is how I am from like childhood. I have always been standing first in my class all the time. If I wouldn't it would hurt me emotionally. I think therefore it's coming from there. Even at work like I said, I want to be, I'm very self driven right, I'm like nobody needs to tell me or ask me. I would get work done and people say, "You're a task master." The 'you'll get it done' type, so yeah. I think it's from my personal experience.

 

Seth Adler:         It's just in there.

 

Ahima:                 It's in there really, yeah.

 

Seth Adler:         Mine is a little bit more later on set if you will. I certainly was not at the front of the class, I certainly was not first in the class, but somewhere along the way, I figured out that I do need to be first, I do need to be best. At least in my own mind and then let me try to figure out how to ...

 

Ahima:                 No sure, absolutely. Like I remember my mom, I used to tell my mom, "Can't you please help me with it?" She would never help me, because she knows she'll figure it out, she'll do it. She used to give me very less attention as compared to my other siblings. Today also I tell her that, "This is what you did to me," but she says, "You would do it," I knew that she had that confidence in me.

 

Seth Adler:         Right, exactly.

 

Ahima:                 I think it's self driven. I'm thinking about where it is coming from, and I can't really think about it. Yeah.

 

Seth Adler:         I can see your mother turning away from you as your head is in the book and saying, "She'll figure it out. Ashima knows what she's doing. It's fine, she doesn't need my help."

 

Ahima:                 Yeah, so that's how it's been, which I feel bad, no, but it's fine. I think I'm fine. Yeah.

 

Seth Adler:         It's perfect, what are you talking, she did the right thing.

 

Ahima:                 She did the right thing.

 

Seth Adler:         Look where you are come on.

 

Ahima:                 She gave attention to who required it.

 

Seth Adler:         Exactly. This is a little bit of Process Excellence right there.

 

Ahima:                 Yes.

 

Seth Adler:         What's most surprised you in life?

 

Ahima:                 In life, I, what surprised me is that, I always wanted to do love marriage and couldn't ... It was a love come arrange, but very short time that I spent or met my husband.

 

Seth Adler:         An arranged marriage, you got married very quickly?

 

Ahima:                 Yeah. It was like a few times that we met, and I always thought that it wouldn't be the case with me. It's working well, so it's fine, but yeah, that's what surprised me, because I always wanted to really be in that phase and now I may say I should have been. That's when you get so much importance in your life when you're not married and you're a girlfriend or a fiance.

 

Seth Adler:         Oh I see. This piece of life?

 

Ahima:                 Yeah. I was very clear that this is how I will be going into, but it didn't happen. I really got married very early.

 

Seth Adler:         Well so then here, I've spent too long in that phase. How about that? The combination of us is the perfect amount. You know what I'm saying?

 

Ahima:                 Yeah. Okay.

 

Seth Adler:         There you go, because I think I've got a couple of years on you if I'm looking at you correctly.

 

Ahima:                 Yes.

 

Seth Adler:         On the sound track of your life Ashima?

 

Ahima:                 Sound track of my life? I really love, but you wouldn't know of any Indians.

 

Seth Adler:         How would you know? Maybe I know. Maybe you're going to say Lata Mangeshkar, which I always give as an example.

 

Ahima:                 Okay.

 

Seth Adler:         Of Indian music.

 

Ahima:                 Yeah, okay. Cool. There's this song, how should I, should I sing it in this [crosstalk 00:31:38]?

 

Seth Adler:         Sure, please of course.

 

Ahima:                 Okay, so it's like [music], that's it.

 

Seth Adler:         That's beautiful.

 

Ahima:                 Yeah, thank you.

 

Seth Adler:         Who is the artist to, is it standard or is it an artist?

 

Ahima:                 It's an Indian singer, and I believe it's Kishor Kumar, yeah, and I love singing the song.

 

Seth Adler:         That's it.

 

Ahima:                 I love it, yeah.

 

Seth Adler:         I feel like you might sing to your son?

 

Ahima:                 No, it's not for a son. It's like it's a romantic song.

 

Seth Adler:         I see, do you sing it to your husband then?

 

Ahima:                 Yeah, I sing it to him, yeah. It's like between a girlfriend and a boyfriend. It's about they're saying that it's about the two of us, it's a story for two of us.

 

Seth Adler:         That's very nice.

 

Ahima:                 Yeah.

 

Seth Adler:         There's one thing that you just did, and I should know this, but I do not know it. The movement with your head. which is neither a nod or a shake. It is a little bit of both. It's almost a ...

 

Ahima:                 Oh is it?

 

Seth Adler:         Like a some sort of a wiggle.

 

Ahima:                 Okay.

 

Seth Adler:         Do you know what I'm talking about?

 

Ahima:                 I did it after the song?

 

Seth Adler:         Many Indian people do it. It's when ...

 

Ahima:                 Oh which is not a yes, not a no, yeah, I've heard it.

 

Seth Adler:         What is this?

 

Ahima:                 I wouldn't know. When you said I didn't know I do it as well, but yeah people say that it's, sometimes it comes across, it's not a yes or it's not a no, so what do they understand out of it.

 

Seth Adler:         Yeah.

 

Ahima:                 I think what I did, I can't relate to, did I do like this something? I don't know.

 

Seth Adler:         No, just very faintly.

 

Ahima:                 Oh okay.

 

Seth Adler:         I wonder what that is understood in the culture.

 

Ahima:                 Maybe I was, I think it was just after the song that I sung.

 

Seth Adler:         Yeah, just ...

 

Ahima:                 I was just ...

 

Seth Adler:         Maybe you were just settling down.

 

Ahima:                 Yeah.

 

Seth Adler:         Maybe I was looking for it.

 

Ahima:                 I just got shy and maybe I just did it like that.

 

Seth Adler:         Fair enough.

 

Ahima:                 Yeah.

 

Seth Adler:         What does that mean, that ...?

 

Ahima:                 What it means really unsure I would say.

 

Seth Adler:         Unsure?

 

Ahima:                 Yeah.

 

Seth Adler:         It is, it is unsure, so we should take it for what that means.

 

Ahima:                 Yeah.

 

Seth Adler:         Fair enough. Ashima, I cannot wait. Do you think that you will go back to what your studies were for this potential entrepreneurship, maybe a little bit further down the line?

 

Ahima:                 No, I can't study anymore.

 

Seth Adler:         No. That's in the past.

 

Ahima:                 Yeah, I can't study anymore.

 

Seth Adler:         No, what I'm saying is, you have the tools, but you would need to study more.

 

Ahima:                 Yeah.

 

Seth Adler:         I see.

 

Ahima:                 In order to do something in that field, because I left it like many years ago, so no, I don't want to.

 

Seth Adler:         No?

 

Ahima:                 I'm doing very well now with what's happening in my life.

 

Seth Adler:         Wait, we'll see, right?

 

Ahima:                 Yes.

 

Seth Adler:         Ashima this has been a pleasure.

 

Ahima:                 Yeah, same here.

 

Seth Adler:         Continue on and do the tasks that you were given, I know you will.

 

Ahima:                 Thank you very much.

 

Seth Adler:         Of course.

 

Ahima:                 Thank you, it was lovely speaking with you.

 

Seth Adler:         There you have Ashima Khanduja, you have to have patience to see the results in the Six Sigma methodology. I need you to be very sure about your business benefits case and goals. Very much appreciate Ashima's time, very much appreciate your time, stay tuned.