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Vedika Bhandarkar is the MD in India of Water.org, an organization that empowers families with access to safe water and sanitation through affordable financing. Water.org pioneers innovative, community-driven and market based initiatives to achieve the above objective. It is a global organization that operates on on the belief that access to safe water can turn problems into potential: unlocking education, economic prosperity and improved health. It has impacted 6 Million lives till date over the last 25 years.

Vedika is an alumnus of IIM Ahmedabad and spent several years in the Financial Services sector across ICICI Ltd and ICICI Securities, JP Morgan (headed Investment Banking for them) and Credit Suisse (Vice Chairman and Managing Director based in India). In addition to her current role in Water. org, she is a Non Executive Director in 6 Boards today. 

In this podcast conversation, she shares her perspectives on Investment Banking as a career, her thoughts on transitioning companies at a senior level, transitioning from the “For profit” world to the world of Social Impact, moving from an Executive Role to an NED role and her insights into how women should think about their navigating their careers. This conversation was published around July 2017. 

Water.org - Introduction and how you can contribute

Vedika talks about the criticality of solving for water and sanitation at the bottom of the pyramid. She talks about how Water.org is using a multi-pronged approach to tackle this problem. She discusses how access to water is a mission-critical need for all individuals at the bottom of the pyramid to lead a productive life with dignity.

Early childhood wiring

A lot of who we are often gets baked in our early years. It is often a function of the context we grow up in and the family culture. Vedika talks about how her home environment played a key role in shaping some of the behaviours which have helped her in the journey till date.

Investment Banking as a career and key transitions

Vedika discusses her perspectives on Investment Banking as a career and how B-School students should think about the option. On a related note, she talks about the wrong reasons for which people often end up joining Banking. She also lays out the key inflection points in the journey.

Women and careers

Vedika talks about her initial days at ICICI which has been a breeding ground for several women leaders in India. She also shares her perspectives on how women should think about building their careers and the common misconceptions there-in.

Effective Leadership transitions across companies

Leaders during transitions often feel like trapeze artists as they go from one to another. It is the role of the hiring manager and the transitioning leader to think this through. Vedika shares her perspectives in the context of some of her transitions at a leadership level.

Executive to NED transition

Vedika is a Non-Executive Director on 6 Boards today. She talks about the transition from being an effective executive to being an NED. She talks about the significant shift often required in style for successful leaders to be effective in a Board context.

Women and Board roles

Vedika talks about how women should think about approaching Board roles. Clearly there is an opportunity for more women to get onto Boards but there is a need for women to be thoughtful and considered about this to be in consideration for these roles when they come up.

Transitioning to the Social Impact world

"How do I bring greater meaning in my life" is a question that people start grappling with as they approach mid-life and beyond. However, people struggle with making this happen. Vedika discusses her transition from heading Credit Suisse in India to Water.Org

In Summary - Playing to Potential

In the world with growing complexity in terms of emerging business models and career paths, how does one play to potential. Vedika shares her perspectives on how one could play to potential.

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