Exhibition Showcase talks to Kiran Sethi, better half of Ravinder Sethi

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ES – What is your role in RE Rogers India? When & how did you start your career here and how has the journey been?
Kiran – This actually happened by default. I’m a textile designer by profession. We started the business in 1986. At that time I had just delivered our younger daughter and was taking a break from my career . As I was already a Director on paper, I decided to get actively involved almost immediately. I didn’t know anything about this business – so had to learn from the very basic. I started with filing papers, sending telexes etc. but got more and more involved very fast – sat for the customs exams, slowly learning the ropes till I became a full time working Director . I looked after invoicing and payments in accounts along with some administrative work. Those were early times, but now R.E. Rogers has its name shining in the Indian and global exhibition industry . Thus luckily , I’m now able to work half day (smiles).

ES – It is said that behind every successful man, there is a woman. Can we assume that you are that silent, invisible force that keeps Mr. Sethi on the move, committed to serve the industry and grow RE Rogers simultaneously?
Kiran – Professionally I’ve always wanted to remain in the back ground , and be the solid support for my husband and for the company’s achievements. At least , I would like to believe I’m achieving this , but you need to check with him..!!

ES – Mr. Sethi is a very busy man and a very frequent traveler! What is it that keeps him going, so energetic and passionate always?
Kiran – He has a passion for exhibitions – He breathes exhibitions and it’s in his blood . He is diehard patriot at heart , it’s very satisfying and rewarding for him.

ES – Being a leader in the exhibition logistics, how do you help Mr. Sethi cope up with all the collective stress?
Kiran – Since we are in the same line and work together it is easy to share what’s going on at work and in the office. The sharing helps the stress levels to come down. But sometimes it can work the wrong way , as it is taken for granted that your partner will understand the tension, and the stress level as you are aware of the situation.

ES – What are your future plans?
Kiran – The future is to grow and touch new heights . In my opinion- Sky is the limit !

ES – What does a normal working day in your life look like? Please take us through the course of your day from the time your wake up till the time you retire to bed. How do you balance work – life?
Kiran – My day starts very early at 3 a.m , when I go to Gurdwara Bangla Sahib . I’m back home at 5:30 a.m. Call our kids and touch base with them (as they are both overseas) . Take a nap as it is still fairly early.

ES – Do you feel it is good and works for you, that both husband & wife work together in this industry? What pros & cons does it have?
Kiran – It is a great feeling to work together and support each other. However, working together has its pros and corns. As I stated above , it does help to share the stress, but at times some of those issues create gaps which can create tension , which gets carried from office to home.

ES – What tips would you like to give to the women in this industry?
Kiran – The event industry has a great working environment and is very challenging. One gets to meet people from all walks of life and it broadens ones horizon and views on different aspects of life and professionalism. This is something that gets into your blood – you begin to think and live exhibitions. But one has to be careful it doesn’t take over your life . It’s important to keep the correct balance.

ES – What 3 things one should do in order to achieve success in this industry?
Kiran – The three most important things as far as I’m concerned are : Dignity of labour, ethics and followed by honest hard work.

ES – Who has been the inspiration in your life?
Kiran – My inspiration is Mother Teresa and her works . I like doing social work in many forms , but hope to get further involved to do something more for humanity.

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