Title: Director, Training Delivery
Location: Bengaluru, India
Preferred Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
For Sargam, escaping “corporate life” at a bank meant finding a work/life balance, falling in love with volunteering, and seeing her first cat spaceship. #MakeLifeLessBoring
How have you grown since joining Groupon in 2017?
I joined Groupon as a Senior Operations Manager for the Customer Support function within the India SSC, and then switched my role in February 2020 to be a part of the Global Learning & Development (GLD) team to manage the Training Delivery function. This year in September I was promoted to a Director - Training Delivery, with the Sales Training & Enablement (INTL) added on to my portfolio along with GSO. I have been extremely lucky to have worked with some great leaders who have not only identified my aspirations, but helped me hone and nurture them. It's not just a role that I have grown in, but in skill and all aspects related to being an effective leader for the people I work with.
What do you love about your job?
I strongly believe that Groupon has a transparent work culture, with a strong focus on alignment between personal and company values. There is enough autonomy for employees to try new ideas, learn from each other, work collaboratively and set themselves and the organization up for success.
In my current job, the main purpose & focus of my team is to help the business, and individuals within the business to perform better. Our responsibility to the learner does not end when the training is over; it ends when an individual achieves a targeted level of performance. And the satisfaction achieved at the end of each successful training session, is unlike any other. We, in training delivery, are a highly engaged group of individuals who seek newness in what we do everyday, to bring the best out in each other.
How are you staying connected with your team as we’re all working remote?
Believe it or not, I actually joined the training team at the onset of Covid so my interaction with the group has been 100% remote, and I can’t wait to see them next year hopefully!
The new normal with us all working remotely, has had its set of challenges, especially within the training function. Almost overnight we had to change our strategy and methodologies, and create a structure for operating in a most efficient manner within the team as well as outside.
Myself and my team have realised the importance of constant & strong communication in the post Covid months, and that helped to ensure that tasks are completed by the right people, at the right time, and to the required standard. I also strongly feel that non-task interactions are necessary as well as they allow for healthy peer relationships to nurture and thrive, and so we participate in & celebrate virtual events as frequently as we can!
What was your first job?
I worked with GENPACT (known as GECIS in the old days), as a Collections Executive for in store credit cards for retail clients. This was for early stage collections, and must I say this was definitely not my cup of tea as I totally disliked calling up consumers and demanding they pay back. No wonder I switched to working as a customer support executive soon after!
Favorite pre-Covid activity you can’t wait to get back to?
Going for long drives, regularly catching up with friends over meals or coffee! We are getting back to normal but one has to be extremely cautious now.
What piece of career advice would you give candidates looking to join Groupon?
This place instills and nurtures ownership. No better place to join especially when you kickstart your professional journey!
Who inspires you?
I’ve been inspired by many leaders in my professional life. However, I owe my ability to lead (and stay strong!) to my parents, both of whom have been great teachers to me. The amount of resilience they have displayed all their lives is something I always look up to.
What do your parents think you do?
My mom is thankful that I work at a place that allows me to have sane working hours, maintain a healthy work-life integration, and is not like my earlier jobs that had no clear start and end times! She is happy not knowing the details of my work.
What was your first impression of Groupon as an employer?
“This place sure is fancy!” I had worked in conventional organizations in financial services before, so, this liveliness, exuberance, and lots of color, was definitely a welcomed change.
Describe the proudest moment you’ve had at Groupon.
As a Volunteer Lead, the proudest moment I had was when Groupon announced our India Shared Service Center (SSC) teams were the winners of the coveted Volunteer-A-Thon Award for 2019! Two solid months of generating interest from charities, speaking to 100+ people, and planning all the events, were finally brought to fruition. Not to mention, our teams were awarded the grand prize of choosing which charities Groupon would provide a donation for!
What interests you outside of work?
I am really passionate about dogs, coffee, baking, and books (in that order)!
If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be and why?
- A pastry chef at a Michelin star restaurant (and hopefully never come back from it).
- A position in the FBI (C’mon now, don’t say that you haven’t thought about it ever)!
What’s your favorite local business?
Third Wave Coffee Roasters in Bangalore – they just get everything right about coffee!
Rapid Fire Questions
Gardening - learning to grow & nurture plants!
Work from home - I can do so much more in the time that I would otherwise spend on commuting!
A visit to the Scottish highlands. I am just mesmerized by the blissful seclusion amid lochs and mountains!
Book anyday. Many favorites, and one among them is the five volume series by Dr. Brian Weiss, an established author, psychiatrist and hypnotherapist specializing in past life regression. The series lays focus on the coincidences, the synchronicities, and the deja vu experiences in our lives.
"The capacity to learn is a gift, the ability to learn is a skill, and the willingness to learn is a choice." - Brian Herbert
Third Wave coffee roasters [in Bangalore], they just get everything right about coffee!
The Rain, Travelers, Planet Earth.
You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do.