Posted: 30 May 2024 6 min. read

From Airforce to Salesforce: The ‘force’ stayed on

Recovering from setback to her dreams, Tutu Kumari redefined her career path

Due to serious medical complications, Tutu Kumari had to be discharged from her service in the Indian Airforce (IAF). However, with support from her loved ones and her resilient attitude, she restarted her career as a Salesforce Data Consultant. Battling odds along the way, she obtained multiple certifications and continues to grow in her domain. As a working mother now, hers is a story that portrays sheer determination and strength; how she continues to thrive is a story that is best told by her.


When the going gets tough…

January 2020: I stood tall with other cadets at the prestigious Indian Air Force Academy at Dundigal-Hyderabad, destined to be an officer in the Aeronautical Engineering Department of IAF. In the following two months, I underwent extensive training that involved rigorous study and strenuous physical drills, all with just 2-3 hours of sleep for recovery. But this was all part of the aspiration: the honor to serve my country and the privilege to carry the baton forward with my family’s roots in the armed forces. 

But fate had other plans. On March 8, 2020, I was hospitalized for bilateral pelvic fracture and meniscus tear in my left knee. Despite ten months of bed rest, my recovery remained elusive. Compounding my challenges, I developed vitiligo due to the mental stress during recovery. Unfortunately, it was a permanent disability for both ortho and skin, leading to a recommended discharge from the services on medical grounds. Both physically and mentally unwell, I struggled with low confidence, exacerbated by the noticeable vitiligo patches on my face and neck. Limping whenever I attempted to walk, I felt lost, as my lifelong goal of wearing the uniform and serving my country was abruptly cut short.

The wind beneath my wings

My father's unwavering support has been a constant source of motivation throughout my journey. He wrote letters to me during my time at the Academy since the use of cell phones was not permitted.  In one of his letters, he had written, “A human without legs can climb a mountain, Tutu; you still have a leg! It is not the end of life. A human’s success is not measured by how high they climb but by how high they bounce when they hit the ground.” He then asked me, “what’s next?”

Harnessing inner strength

With a prior work experience before joining the IAF, I initiated applications to organizations in Information Technology sector right from my hospital bed. Adhering to the belief that 'Even the darkest night will end, and the sun will rise,' I persevered through exams, certifications, and interviews, obtaining four offer letters from major organizations by the end of November 2020, all with a common joining month of December 2020. Since I had not received my release from the Air Force Headquarters until Dec 2020, some of the offers were rescinded. Deloitte accommodated my request and postponed my joining date to February 2021, aligning with my eventual release from the IAF.

Deloitte’s inclusive and supportive environment

On February 8, 2021, I joined Deloitte as a Salesforce Data Consultant. I was jubilant! Throughout my struggle, I had never yielded to setbacks—the resilience instilled by the armed forces training had set me on a path towards a new challenge and I felt eager to take it on. It only boosted my confidence further when the leadership at Deloitte understood my health complications and supported my unique needs throughout my learning phase. Today, I hold five certifications in Salesforce and two in Dell Boomi, determined to keep learning and exceling in the field.

Cut to April 2022, I married an army officer and a year later we were blessed with a baby boy.
At different stages of my tenure, Deloitte’s leadership has been accommodative and empathetic towards my concerns and provided me the flexibility I needed. Today, I find myself reaching new heights, testament to the remarkable opportunities and support provided by Deloitte.

Embracing the future with gratitude and dedication

From Airforce to Salesforce, the ‘force’ within me continued to thrive. But I am certain that my success is a collective result of my resilience, self-motivation, my father’s and family’s encouragement, the guidance of leaders at Deloitte, and the unwavering support of my teammates.

Being part of this incredible organization for the past three years has been a source of joy. I am committed to giving my best to further enhance the purpose of Deloitte, which consistently values its people.



The views expressed here are of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of her current, former, or future employers or any organization with which she is associated.