Akta Sehgal Malhotra: Excellence In Academics – Exemplary Academic Leader Of 2021
RNTalks: Good morning Akta Sehgal Ji. It’s great to be chatting with you here. Could you start by telling us a bit about yourself?
Akta Sehgal: I am the founder and mentor of Manas Wealth- A financial distribution and training firm, Vanyas Craft – Handmade cards, Motherhood Club, Kid-do-mentoring, and MCube.
I also hold an honorary position as Chief Marketing & Finance Officer for Unnati, Complete Branding Coordinator for Soul and Smile International Virtual Academy and Financial Mentor for Shiksha Samaroh an initiative to educate kids from a humble background.
I am also a registered Educator with the academy for her subject – Kiddomentoring on Money Matters. I have been a financial mentor for over 20 years of experience in the field of financial services and have dealt with corporate, individuals, and children.
RNTalks: You are doing so much in life. You must be having some code of conduct and some passions in your life. Can you share it with us?
Akta Sehgal: I believe in three E’s -Educate Empower and Enlighten and Three P’s- Passion Perseverance and Panache. I am extremely passionate about imparting financial awareness to one and all.
An avid blogger, a keen learner with a never say never attitude, I have been pursuing my passion for creating an environment of learning across the spectrum.
Recently I hosted 1st Wonder Mom Felicitation and felicitated 81 Mothers across the globe for the unconditional support they extend in shaping the future under the Banner Motherhood club.
I also host Three Talk Shows – Motherhood Club Talk Show, Kiddomentoring Talk Show, and Learning Initiative Mcube – Money Mentoring and Motivation. I have worked with some prominent names during my corporate stint.
RNTalks: How do you communicate financial awareness through other social media handles?
Akta Sehgal: I started my career with a regional brokerage house Tower Capital and securities Pvt. ltd in Mumbai and has worked with HDFC Bank, Citi Smith Barney, Barclays. I run three dedicated financial mentoring programs called…
- Wo- Mentoring on Money Matters
- Fin-Mentoring on Money Matters
- Kiddo-Mentoring on Money Matters
So far, I have trained more than 5000 women, 1500 men, and 100 students across age groups through the offline mode and countless through the weekly virtual sessions that I conduct.
I write simple and easy-to-understand blogs on financial matters to create awareness. In addition to all of this, I have a series of radio episodes in collaboration with Salaam Namaste a community Radio channel based in Noida Ghaziabad to create financial awareness.
RNTalks: Akta Ji I have heard that you are a poet as well as a writer. Can you tell us something about that aspect also?
Akta Sehgal: I have 6 Anthologies of English and Hindi Poem and has received many awards for my poetry at the local and national level.
RNTalks: What are your hobbies that de-stress you and what do you like to do when you’re not on job?
Akta Sehgal: I love to dance, write poetry, paint, make handmade cards, and host talk shows.
RNTalks: Was there ever a time you messed up and felt like you’d failed? How did you bounce back?
Akta Sehgal: Yes, who doesn’t fail, everyone does. I am no different. In the year 2007, I moved from Mumbai to Delhi due to personal reasons, I had never worked in Delhi, by the time I could build a client base the world was engulfed by the financial crisis.
Being a part of the financial industry, was a huge setback. There were few clients. It felt miserable as for the first time I wasn’t meeting my targets.
All I did was introspect, went back to the basis, and gave affirmations, I stood tall and started building my base and celebrating small successes myself and was self-motivated to achieve all that I wanted to. When we fail, the most important is to accept, rest and bounce back.
RNTalks: What are your views on risk-taking? Have you taken risks in life? How did you learn to embrace risk-taking?
Akta Sehgal: I am a financial mentor and I believe in being risk-aware rather than risk-averse. I quit my high-paying job to start my own work, failed in the first attempt, and re-started to achieve all that I have and still learning. Risk is inevitable, there are no returns without Risk.
RNTalks: Tell me about a recent business/professional setback, if any. How did you recover?
Akta Sehgal: None as every failure is a set up to learn and advance forward.
RNTalks: Think back to five years ago. Did you envision your career as it is today? What are the changes that you can see?
Yes and no. Yes from a financial mentor’s point of view and no as a social activist, kids’ mentor, and a Talk Show host. It was a distant dream and now a reality.
I am more enriched with relationships and knowledge and have become a brand that’s associated with Educate empower and enlighten and someone who is driven by 3 P’s Passion, Panache, and Perseverance.
RNTalks: Was there ever a role you applied for and landed, but weren’t 100% qualified to do? How did you proceed from there?
Akta Sehgal: A trainer. I was once told my personality is too aggressive for a trainer, today I have trained countless people across age groups. What worked for me was my audience connection and experiential training.
RNTalks: What do you wish you had known before taking your first responsible role?
Akta Sehgal: More practical knowledge in B school than bookish irrelevant subjects.
RNTalks: Which leadership skills were the most difficult to develop?
Akta Sehgal: To say no, when you had today no. As a leader you can’t always accept or be a people’s person. At times one had to say no for the betterment of all. This was tough, but now I have learnt it and can be firm about it too.
RNTalks: Somewhere at some point in our lives, everyone encounters a difficult boss. Can you tell me about a time when you had a difficult boss? How did you handle the situation?
Akta Sehgal: I was lucky with all my bosses, never faced such a situation. However now that I am my own Boss, I face it regularly and I love being in that difficult situation, as my current Boss keeps me active and brings the best out of me.
RNTalks: What’s the most important leadership lesson you’ve learned and how has it proven invaluable and helped you grow?
Akta Sehgal: Empathy and Delegation. Both are key to development. Delegate with trust and empathize with your mind and heart and your team and you will always grow.
RNTalks: How did you develop the skill of speaking so engagingly in front of groups?
Akta Sehgal: I was a born orator, have been actively involved in debates and public speaking from my childhood, being an army officer daughter was exposed to a different set of people every three years, this helped tremendously.
RNTalks: Are you considering a career transition? What are some other areas that might be a good fit for you?
Akta Sehgal: I already have, from a financial mentor to now also a talk show host, kids’ mentor, social activist, and a curator of handmade cards. The feedback I receive is that I am a natural.
RNTalks: One of the greatest gifts you can give yourself is the gift of self-awareness, meaning the ability to see yourself as others view you. How do you think others perceive you?
Akta Sehgal: Others perceive me as a focussed, disciplined, and multi-faceted human being who believes in her values and never minces words. Someone who believes in calling a spade is a spade.
RNTalks: Is there a skill you’re currently working to enhance, such as project management, long-term strategic planning, delegating, or public speaking?
Akta Sehgal: Writing skills, as I am an avid blogger and write poetry too.
RNTalks: As a mentor what do you think are the 3 main areas for improvement in today’s education system?
Akta Sehgal: 1. Experiential learning 2. Focus toward non-scholastic 3. Preparing for the future, schools only teach they don’t mentor us or coach us hence we still follow the root method.
RNTalks: From your point of view, what should be the role of technology in the process of education?
Akta Sehgal: To provide experiential learning and bridging the cross-border gaps in the Education system.
RNTalks: What do you think should be the main goal of a school principal/education?
Akta Sehgal: Mentor the Teachers and students, don’t just be a disciplinarian but be a hands-on guide. Give guidance, coach students, and prepare them for the real world.
RNTalks: If you should characterize a great school principal/mentor with three words, which words would you choose?
Akta Sehgal: Visionary, Realistic, and empathetic.
RNTalks: Do you think that the school principal should teach? If they should, why?
Akta Sehgal: Yes, they should provide the guidance to be ready for the real world.
RNTalks: From your point of view, what should be the relationship between a mentor/principal and the students?
Akta Sehgal: Relationship of 1 Trust 2. Empathy 3. Friendship 4. Confidante.
RNTalks: As a principal, how would you go about building a relationship of trust and collaboration with staff, parents, and students?
Akta Sehgal: By being one amongst them, sharing real examples leading by example and walk the talk and talk the talk.
RNTalks: What experiences have you had in working with RTE/low-income and “at-risk” students? What strategies do you use when working with them to give them an even platform of growth like other privileged students?
Akta Sehgal: I have developed a platform called Kiddomentoring, it gives a level playing field for all kids with no discrimination and equal opportunities to one and all to learn showcase, and grow.
RNTalks: Do you have any role models in your life?
Akta Sehgal: Every kid I engage with is a role model. I believe in two ways mentoring which these kids offer.
RNTalks: Please accept our heartiest congratulations on receiving the RSRA: Excellence In Academics Award at RNTalks Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan Awards under the category of Exemplary Academic Leader of 2021. How do you feel about it?
Akta Sehgal: It was a wonderful experience being recognized for what I do.
RNTalks: Any special message or any suggestions you would like to share with your visitors/fans which you think would help them evolve as an individual?
Akta Sehgal: Follow the 3E’s and 3 P’s with 3 C’s – Communication, Consistency, and Commitment.
RNTalks: WOW, that’s awesome! Akta Ji, on behalf of RNTalks, I wish you all the best for your future in mentoring.
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