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Designing her destiny

It’s been nearly six years since Vrushali Shirsat-Patil joined Mahindra Susten as a graphic designer with the Brand and Marketing team, but she still remembers her first day clearly. “I was so nervous and was not comfortable communicating with others due to my hearing impairment,” she recalls.

However, Shirsat has come a long way since then. Never one to give up, she went on to learn speech therapy, which was transformative. She explains, “My biggest challenge was that I couldn’t communicate with the people with whom I worked. So, I took up speech therapy and began communicating with my parents and friends. This gave me the courage and built up my confidence, which has helped me a lot at work.”

Shirsat was born in Kudal, a town in Maharashtra’s Sindhudurg district. She has been hearing impaired since birth, but she credits her parents’ unwavering support for all her success. “My mom and dad have taught me lot of things since my childhood, and they have supported me throughout my career,” she says.

Shirsat went on to study fine arts at a college in Sawantwadi, Maharashtra. “After a lot of hard work, I got a job at Mahindra in Mumbai. Abhay Tilwankar, Renfred D’souza, Mona Riana and all my teammates helped me a lot,” she points out.

It is also these colleagues who are responsible for Shirsat having her Rise moment. “My seniors encouraged me to make a presentation, and I did it for the first time in my life! I didn’t expect that everyone would like it, so that was a memorable moment,” she says.

However, she isn’t ready to rest on her laurels and is confident that she will be able to design her future with the aid of her support systems –her family and her work family.