Fuelled by learning

10 September, 2019

An avid reader, a writer, and a movie buff, Rutuja shares insights about her journey at Jaya Shree Textiles. Hailing from a small town, she believes that being grateful is a catalyst for happiness, and continues to shine in ABG

Here's Rutuja Mane in conversation with Debangshu Chakraborty from Jaya Shree Textiles. Read on.

Debangshu (DC): Tell us how your journey in the textiles industry began.

Rutuja (RM): Since I was interested in science, I wanted to pursue engineering after completing my graduation. I am from Solapur, a city famous for its home textile products and mills, so textile was a matter of pride. When I scored well in the entrance test and secured admission for BTech, Textile Technology in VJTI, Mumbai, one of the most reputed colleges in Maharashtra, I was ecstatic.

DC: Did you get placed from campus for Jaya Shree Textiles (JST)?

RM: Yes, it was a campus placement! But I must admit, I hadn't heard of JST in those days. One was familiar with Raymond, Arvind, and Reliance etc. I was drawn to JST because of the ABG brand. There is nobody unaware of the Aditya Birla Group. And for me, being a part of such a big corporation was reason enough to give the interview.

Rutuja Mane, Jaya Shree Textile

DC: What was the first role given to you?

RM: I was excited to join JST. My first role was in the SQC department of Linen Spinning Plant II. During our college days, we hardly learnt about linen since most of the curriculum revolved around cotton, wool and man-made fibres. So, when I stepped into the shop floor, I was awestruck. I tried to learn as much as possible about sourcing, properties of linen and its exclusivity regarding operations, testing methods, etc. The world of linen fascinated me, no end.

DC: Was SQC your first choice?

RM: I never had any preference. My goal was to be self-reliant and learn whatever came my way. I did not evaluate my career then; I wanted to learn on the job and then decide what would be a good fit for me. Now, when I look back, I am thankful for the way my career has unfolded.

DC: When did you first feel the need for change?

RM: From the mid-second year, I felt stagnation was setting in. The work I was performing was getting monotonous, and I was losing the excitement to work in ABG. Then, I decided to pursue a full-time MBA by quitting my job. Having made the decision, I approached HR to understand the process to apply for an education loan. Subsequently, I was informed about the role of Technical Assistant to the Unit Head. I was asked if I wished to explore it. Today, I am glad I chose to stay.

DC: What happened after that?

RM: I appeared for the interview with the President and got selected. The job was intimidating at first, but I think I adapted quickly. There was so much more to learn! Since then, I have been exposed to a myriad of vital work for the organisation, and get to learn from one of the best minds in the industry. It has been an enriching experience. My abilities were stretched, and I am happy there are no defined work boundaries. I get to work with various cross-functional teams, and the possibilities are endless.

DC: Tell us something about winning the Emerging Professional Award from our Chairman, Mr. Kumar Mangalam Birla.

RM: When I found out I was shortlisted for the award, I had butterflies in my stomach. I felt happy that the seniors had seen potential in me. The sheer possibility of receiving the award from the Chairman put me on cloud nine. At the gala dinner, I had a chat with the Chairman. Mr. Birla is so down-to-earth. He asked me about the situation in JST after the strike, the quality of the fabric, etc. He was so interested to know about JST even in that brief interaction! I met several amazing people; there were over 70 nominees for the Emerging Professional alone. That evening was no less than the IIFA Awards in terms grandeur. I was so nervous. When my name was announced, I was dazed for a second. All the efforts, work, guidance from my seniors at JST and family support made it possible. It was one of the most amazing days of my life.

However, I realised that expectations from me had increased manifold. I have a huge responsibility of living up to the confidence shown by the management. I believe learning shouldn't stop as there's always something to learn. With that in mind, I strive to reach my full potential and do my best.

Interviewed by Debangshu Chakraborty from Human Resources Team of Jaya Shree Textiles, Rishra.