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A shining light

ANZ Agile Coach, Anu Ravi.

Rising at 5am, before the bustling city of Bangalore is in full swing, Anu begins each day cooking for her family, and at times, for those in need. Anu doesn’t need to wake each morning to cook; but she does as it is something she loves. 


Anu says, “prioritising is very important and this does not mean neglecting your family to take care of your career or vice versa. At different points in time (maybe within a day itself), different things become important”.


Dedication, drive and ability to prioritise what’s important has allowed the ANZ Agile Coach to shine both personally and professionally.


Life lessons


Anu has faced some challenging, dark times - living in a war zone, health issues and the heartbreaking loss of her infant son.  


However she exudes an admirable resilience and wisdom.


“On reflection, I have learnt my lessons at every stage of my life while facing the biggest challenges. I have paused, reflected and recognised how to become a better person.”


The Kargil war had reached its peak when Anu got married to Ravi.


Ravi was an officer in the Indian Air Force and Anu chose to follow her soul mate, she was one of the only few women who were located in the operational unit where 'all the surface to Air missiles were fully loaded' ready to be launched.


“Every boot sound, signal or siren brought a feeling of agony,” she says.


Anu believes the experience taught her to be internally strong and shaped her to become a hostess, event manager, crisis manager and counsellor.. all rolled into one.


“Most importantly, I have learnt to take life in my stride.” 


Anu receiving her Diversity and Inclusion award at the Her Rising Awards.


Anu could have taken a call to give up her career as she had many things working against her - long travel times, frequent moving due to her husband’s job, taking care of her daughter and in-laws, health issues and family commitments.


Drawing inspiration and motivation from her working parents, who taught her that in life, she could get most of the things she wanted by working hard, playing to her abilities and never regreting past decisions, Anu made the decision to pursue her career which has now spanned more than 20 years, 12 different roles and managing multi-million dollar projects across various geographies.


“I never imagined I would work for so many years let alone hold so many positions.” Anu says.


Maintaining the key to success is about the choices you make and keeping many options open, Anu says being empowered to take up whatever opportunities come along, instead of waiting for an ideal time helps.


“I try to keep as many options open as possible. I have always thought, irrespective of the job, I should do my best today as you never know what’s in store for tomorrow,” she says.


A nod to her impressive drive and ambition, Anu was recently named winner of “Leadership Agility”, Excellence in Agility Awards, by World Agility Forum and “Diversity and Inclusion”, HerRising Awards by JobsForHer.


JobsForHer is India’s largest online portal for women, working to enable women to start, restart and rise in their careers by providing them a platform of access to jobs, reskilling, mentors, community and inspiration. It recognises not just the women who are returning to the workplace, but every woman, regardless of her years in the workforce, for their commitment and drive.


Women in the workforce


Anu is a shining light for women across the world, especially in India.


More than three out of four women over the age of 15 in India are neither working nor seeking work. According to The World Bank data, India’s female Labour Force Participation Rate (LFPR) the share of working-age women who report either being employed, or being available for work fell to a historic low of 23.3 per cent in 2017-18.


Anu believes India has a way to go in terms of equalising gender representation in the workforce.


According to Anu women need encouragement, exposure and confidence to move up the ladder. And more organisations need to support women, by identifying talent for  leadership roles, having mentors and sponsors available who can guide and support them and having more inclusive and flexible workplaces.


“The most important thing, I like about my current role at ANZ is that I can help, motivate and grow people thereby helping the organisation provide values/outcomes to our customers,” Anu says.


Michelle Nebbs, ANZ's Head of Talent and Culture for Bengaluru, says Anu is one example of many amazing women at ANZ who live the values and provide great role models for other women [and men] on how to thrive at work, especially in the fast paced world of Technology. 


“The particular thing about Anu that stands out, is the total positivity and grace with which she brings her energy and drive to the organisation. Her mindset is infectious, and as a coach, we could hope for nothing better”.

Anu lighting a lamp during the Dasara festival.

Festival of lights


As millions of people around the world begin Diwali celebrations, symbolising the spiritual "victory of light over darkness, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance”, we celebrate people such as Anu, a true living example of those things.


Personally for Anu, the festival is about reinforcing a couple of things:


  • Getting rid of negative thoughts and limiting beliefs. Bring in the light/torch of knowledge and believe in yourself, and;
  • Everything happens for the good. If there are problems, there are solutions as well. Time is a big healer.


“I enjoy each and every moment and do things for myself and not for the sake of others”.

Anu concludes, “I believe, life is a marathon and not a sprint and hence there are times when you have to take two steps back only to take four steps forward over a period of time”.



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