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Life at Deloitte
Aneesh Dhairyawan, Co-Founder, Authenticook
What was your role in Deloitte and what keeps you busy these days?
I was part of the Human Capital Consulting team and joined as a Senior Consultant. I was part of the Deloitte fraternity for five years and moved on as a senior manager. I then started Authenticook, which is an online platform that connects travelers with local home-chefs over unique, authentic food experiences. We like to call ourselves the ‘Airbnb of Food’.
What is the one incident at Deloitte that shaped you as a professional?
I joined Deloitte after working for two and a half years with another consulting firm. The first thing that immediately hit me was scope and size of assignments. They were bigger, multinational, and suddenly it seemed like I was connected with HR practitioners from all over the world. It is here that I honed my skills around client delivery, and presenting in front of senior leadership. My partner used to give us opportunities to lead assignments. This built my faith in the fact that we could manage assignments, and clients of any size or nature.
When Deloitte Leadership Labs first came to India for HR Heads, I had the golden opportunity of being the Lab Manager. Getting to see senior leaders in the industry, my reporting partner, and Mr. S.V. Nathan (Chief Talent Officer) from close quarters was an amazing experience. Just getting to know how they think, how the best minds work, and how they approach the situation, is unmatched learning.
Are there any incidents from your early days in the profession that bring a smile to your face?
Early on in my career, I had the opportunity to present to Venkat Sir (N. Venkatram) about some of the clients that we were working with. At that point, I was a novice and didn’t know whom I was presenting to. I was beaming with confidence and spoke at length about the work we were doing. It was only later that I realised his seniority. Recounting that incident still brings a smile to my face.
We were in charge of managing the Asia Pacific Human Capital Meet in 2015, which was being held at Hyderabad. The senior leadership of the Consulting practice were all scheduled to attend. There are three such conferences held every year, one each in Asia, Europe, and the Americas. I am proud to say that the conference turned out so good that the next region was hesitant to host it, apprehensive that theirs would always be compared to the one in Asia, and that it would be quite a task to match-up to what we did, let alone surpass it.
If you were to go back in time, what advice would you give yourself at age 18?
I would tell myself to travel more, meet as many people as possible, across the world. Speak to them, because they all have their stories.