Kiahra A Punjabi: An inspiration who guides “how to become a decision maker”
Most of us, whether we are leaders, managers, teachers, students or professionals, get ourselves engaged in jobs to fulfill our physical needs. We don’t care to dig into area of our interests and god gifted skills that may enable us to perform our best and make significant contribution to the society. Our prime focus on search for high paying jobs not only results in poor career choices but also influences our day to day lives destructively. We doubt our capabilities; end up with poor performance at workplace; live an unhappy and frustrated life; and our bewildered mind pushes us to seek numerous ways to find peace. At that point in our lives, we need somebody to guide us through the right path that leads to success. Kiahra A Punjabi, a life strategist, shines as a ray of hope for such people among us and motivates us to discover ourselves; delve deep into our interests and skills; and let them decide our career objectives.
Kiahra is a Bangalore based learning strategist, who cofounded Sankalp Academy with her husband Amit Punjabi in 2007 to empower and enable people so that they can produce progressive results in every area of life by helping them to realize their potential and nurturing it. The academy conducts a wide range of training and coaching programs and conferences that aid people in strategizing their life using the cutting edge science of Neuro Linguistic Programming & People Skills and Experiential Learning.
Kiahra got acquainted to the world of facilitation, training and coaching in 2006 while she was pursuing her education. There she observed how bleak and confused people feel about their ambitions and how they work towards its achievement. She tried and started analyzing various attitudes that aided them in self-actualization. Speaking about what stimulated her ideas to set up the academy, Kiahra says, “I realized the value this world of facilitation can add to any individual’s growth. I understood that having the right mindset with the right tools, resources and skills could ensure people achieve the success they have always longed for. After being involved in a few sessions & workshops and bringing visible transformation in people by facilitating conversations, I just knew that this is what I wanted to keep doing. It was then that I decided to start Sankalp Academy with Amit.”
Kiahra knew that the journey of their entrepreneurship would be very challenging initially. She and her husband prepared themselves for all kinds of challenges as they were well aware of the fact that success achieved in initial stage would create the road to academy’s long lasting prosperity. They assumed their roles to start its working. While her husband decided to be the face of the organization to potential clients, Kiahra chose to be the pillar behind to set a strong foundation for it. As she puts it, “Anyone can support a cause or the growth of an organization purely out of excitement but knowing what is the right kind of support and generating it could be very challenging. So this was my dream as a business lady; pure focus on generating and adding value to my work and provide the right kind of support that will help an organization to survive and grow effectively.
As she apprehended, Kiahra failed in some of her initiatives at the beginning but she realized while walking through this journey that failures pave the way for success and growth. These failures taught her to consult a mentor before executing a plan and not to go judgmental beforehand about consequences of circumstances whether positive or negative. She says, “I have learned that sharing thoughts and plans with experts and mentors gives me a clear picture of what to expect and how to take things forward and also while I’m still excited to achieve more it keeps me grounded and certain.”
Kiahra’s willingness to create an environment in the organization that is conducive to effortless and natural achievement of success motivates her to learn, add more value to her work and generate ideas for development. Apart from being a businesswoman, she is also a mother and needs to find some time for her child. So, she usually works ten hours a day. But, her mind keeps thinking about finding ways to improve the working of Sankalp. Moreover, being a professional has a productive impact on her personal life. Kiahra says, “The best thing about this industry is that I get to meet a lot of great people who have achieved great things in life both personally and professionally even with the odds completely against them. Knowing and working with these great people has always inspired me to be a better and stronger person every day.”
After taking the academy to the international platform, Kiahra and Amit now look forward to collaborate globally. They believe collaborating with people across borders will bring in varied perspectives to learning and help us do even better.
The CEO Magazine in conversation with Kiahra A Punjabi, Learning Strategist & Cofounder of Sankalp Academy
TCM: What is the best decision you’ve ever made?
Kiahra: Becoming a mother is the best decision I’ve ever made. Personally there are many reasons for me to feel this way but this has been the best decision for me professionally as well. My experiences and learning as a mother have motivated and helped me to design my best program “Build the Home Team”.
TCM: Who has been your greatest inspiration?
Kiahra: My husband, Amit Punjabi has been my greatest inspiration. He is the one who introduced me to this great industry and the person who drove the passion to start this valuable venture.
TCM: Whom do you attribute your success to?
Kiahra: I attribute our success to our family. Through our journey, we have met and mentored a lot of young people whose biggest challenge has been to get their families on the same page and to get the support they need to follow their dreams. In my case, my family gave me all the freedom and support I needed to be who I am today.
TCM: What do you think is the biggest challenge to female leadership?
Kiahra: The biggest challenge is that it grabs more attention, which also increases pressure. I believe that both men and women get equal recognition for their works when they achieve a certain position. However, what puts more pressure on female leadership is the notion of this world being male dominated and how do we plan to go forward. The challenge could be taken both positively or negatively. What I have learned is that pressure always creates opportunity and success is the result of utilizing opportunities.