Life at Deloitte
Career journey: Charu Ratnu
Charting new career paths
Eleven years ago, Charu Ratnu made a choice to explore uncharted territory and make a career change. That choice has now led her to lead research on human capital topics. As a manager with the Human Capital offering portfolio under Consulting, Charu helps Deloitte’s clients solve problems through research-backed insights and solutions. Outside of work, Charu dons various hats—that of a mother, a wife, and a daughter, and she is an aspiring chef, singer, and fitness enthusiast.
What were some of the factors that led you to pursue your career at Deloitte?
When I applied for an opportunity with Deloitte 11 years ago, I was into creative writing and had a radio job. I was looking to shift gears in my career and try something different. That’s when fate brought me to Hyderabad, and I got to know about an open role at Deloitte. The scope of work interested me, and I took the leap.
In your own words, how would you describe Deloitte’s distinctive culture?
One of the key aspects of Deloitte’s culture is its focus on its people’s development and their well-being. In the conversations I have with my colleagues, I hear personal stories of how their leaders and the organization supported them during a challenging time, and how they championed my colleagues when they were pursuing their aspirations. I find this very inspiring and unique about Deloitte.
What stands out for you as the greatest benefit of working at Deloitte?
Two things stand out for me—career opportunities and well-being support.
Deloitte is committed to nurturing its talent, giving its professionals opportunities to grow in the areas that they are interested in. I have experienced this in the form of continuous support from the leaders, networking and learning opportunities, holistic well-being support, different career options through internal transfers/mobility, and the exciting work I do here. These have helped me move toward both personal and professional growth, one step at a time.
On the personal front, I am a caregiver to my five-year-old son, elderly parents, and a family member with a disability; whenever I faced challenging times, I have received support from my team and leaders.
Tell us about your career path at Deloitte (How long have you worked for Deloitte, how has your career evolved?)
When I began my career 12 years ago, I thought I had it all figured out—I was going to pursue a career in radio. Little did I know that bigger opportunities were waiting to come my way. Joining Deloitte in 2011 was that opportunity—it changed my entire career trajectory. Having a master’s degree in industrial/organizational (I/O) psychology, a post-graduate diploma in journalism, and a background in creative communications gave me a chance to be a part of Public Relations team. Then one thing led to another, I started my journey as an analyst. As I gained experience, I explored ways in which I could grow my career within the organization. Now, I am leading research projects for the Human Capital offering at US-India offices.
The team of researchers that I lead, help Deloitte clients solve problems through research-backed insights and solutions—the insights offered to these clients in turn enables them to hone their capability to make human capital decisions. The energy that the team brings to our day-to-day work and interactions continues to amaze me and fuel my passion for putting my best foot forward for our people, the clients, and the community. Surrounded by such a team culture, I am driven to “pay it forward” and support all aspiring professionals in their personal and professional goals.
What is one of the most memorable moments in your career at Deloitte so far?
My most cherished moment was when I switched from the Enabling Areas to Consulting (Human Capital offering), joining the Insights2Action team in 2014 via the internal talent mobility program. In the Insights2Action team, it was a talent-led research role, and I was initially hesitant about applying. My husband encouraged me to put in my efforts and reminded me that my background in I/O psychology could help me get that role and it worked! I got through, and it was one of the best decisions of my life.
List your proudest professional and personal achievements.
Well, there are two achievements that I would like to highlight.
A major professional accomplishment has been being a part of building and leading the team at the US-India offices for Insights2Action Consulting (Human Capital offering). The team members are smart and sharp, and bring a lot of value to Deloitte’s clients.
On the personal front, I am proud of learning the ukulele by myself during the lockdown. It was a conscious step I took for my well-being by channelizing my energy into new learnings during the pandemic. I now give musical performances on various platforms.
How do you describe what you do at Deloitte to friends and family?
I tell them that I carry out research to cut the noise and bring some of the signals for leaders and decision-makers to focus on, as they make important Human Capital decisions. I bring in insights and influence changes that we see in organizations. It is very interesting work!
What has been the most interesting or surprising about working for Deloitte?
Deloitte is such a huge organization and yet we are all connected so well. The opportunities and encouragement around tapping into a wide network of peers, specialists, and leaders is fascinating!
Who are you outside of Deloitte? (Hobbies, passions, interests)
Outside of Deloitte, I am a person with various roles that I enjoy hatting, ranging from being a loving mother, a wife, and a daughter. I am also an aspiring chef, a singer, and a fitness enthusiast.
What is one thing that people might be surprised to learn about you?
While I come across as an extrovert, who is always asking questions and speaking up, I am mostly an introvert, who has gradually built this muscle of being an extrovert, when needed.
What is one piece of advice you would give to someone interested in joining Deloitte?
I have several points to share from my experiences:
- Always be ready and willing to learn.
- Be comfortable with operating in ambiguity and uncertainty.
- Be grateful and willing to share your learnings with others.
- Remember to raise your hand to ask for help.
- And lastly, never stop believing in yourself and never shy away from taking up new challenges—you never know where the road will take you, or maybe you end up realizing that you can chart out the path yourself while defining your own destination.
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