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#RiseToLead - Farida Desai

In this edition of our #RiseToLead series - where we showcase our leaders at Mahindra who have risen to the occasion, we're honoured to feature Farida Desai, Group Cos, Corporate Centre M&A. She's known to make the right moves by doing whatever it takes and has always made us proud with her excellence.

“My Journey to Rise is still on the upward trend! It’s been over 24 years in the legal profession, and a good chunk of it with leading law firms - and to date an in-house role with the Mahindra Group!

Having been an advocate with law firms for a greater part of my work life, to switch and come in-house in 2012 was a challenge. One of the hardest decisions to make, but after over 10 years with the Mahindra Group, I would like to say, one of the best decisions too!

I’ve had my share of scepticism and unfair comments, but I kept using them as building blocks to climb up and surpass them. My induction on more than 4 group level committees is not because I am a feminist or troublemaker but because the organisation has that much faith in my capabilities and integrity.

I succeed because I am hard working, diligent, honest and don’t back down from what I think is right. My most challenging assignment to date in Mahindra was being made part of Project Project Moon – CIE acquisition of Mahindra Systech entities in 2012 the moment I joined. It has been the largest deal in Mahindra to date and was the most complex deal I have ever been a part of.

Handling conflict is part and parcel of every lawyer’s role and the best way to deal with conflict is to face it head on and address it with all the logic and practicality one can muster, but still keeping it within legal realms.

I don’t believe in giving advice, but if I had to share my take to emerging leaders, it would be to believe in oneself and blaze your own path irrespective of the opposition.

I am a great believer in the phrase, “With Great power comes great responsibility”, and I will continue to strive for that.”