Ascend Guest Lecture Series | Radhika Tomar, Head of Human Resources | Dyson India

IIFT was honoured to host Ms. Radhika Tomar, Head of Human Resources, Dyson India. The session started on a different perspective, when Radhika told us that she wouldn’t be following conventional topics, but would share her insights on “Un-managing your career” on the hope that what has worked for her, would work for at least few.

She shared us how she was the only one in her who wasn’t from a defence or a medical background, yet managed to forge her own path.  She shared an important advice to a fruitful career through the anecdote of long jump. The importance part of long jump to cover the distance is the run up before the jump. One would end up building your lower body strength in that run up. Think of five years in one’s career as the run up. That is what is going to define, how fast, how big and how great one’s career is going to be.  Think about what skills one would want in the resume. Go into those markets that are not ventured by others and excel in them.  That is the long run jump which one should aim for.  She also insisted the lucky number three which worked for her.

3 is the ideal number of years one should stay in a role. She shared that if one looks at a role in year one, one has to consider what is the learning obtained, what is the history, who are the people involved and majority of what one learns is from people around. Year 2 is when one would understand the systems working and give one’s inputs to the role. In year 3 one would master the system.  That’s when one should pave way for a new challenge.  It was a pattern that set her up a success knowingly or unknowingly, she jokes.

Here are some key points shared in “Un-Managing your Career”

  • Raise your hand for as many experiences you can.

It gives you a perspective. It sets you up for new opportunities and new network.

  • Be the master in one topic.

Be good at one thing, where you are the only good one in that topic. Do the research in that topic, attend the conferences, and plug into the community and practise, practise, practise to be good.

  • Your career is 3D object, not a line

In reality careers don’t work like linear equations because the pyramid goes on getting narrow in the end. Think of the career as a 3 dimensional axes where the axes are Additional skill sets, Generalist Vs Expert, Geopgraphy.

  • Provide Insight not Opinion.

Opinion is something you have intuitively. If you know your data and use it well, the person sitting on the other end will agree. One can’t dispute with data. Present a data based insights, not opinion.


  • Build Network, even if it doesn’t come naturally to you

The power of a network is something which can’t be disputed. It opens up opportunities which one is not aware of in the first place.

  • Don’t underestimate the importance of managing stakeholders.

One should never underestimate the importance of managing every stakeholder in any project, for we might never how one could remove various blockades.

  • The important decision you take in your professional career is whom you choose as your partner.

Choosing a worthy and understanding partner is of utmost importance in one’s career and personal life. They would be your support pillars during course of time, throughout the journey of life.

In the end, the session ended with various personal anecdotes from her life where she applied the insights gained from “Un-managing your career”.

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