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A Woman with Two MBAs : 9 Questions with Lakshmi Pratury

Featured as one of Forbes Asia's '100 Most Powerful Women' in 2010, Lakshmi Pratury is certainly a force to be reckoned with.
BY Gayatri Verma |   08-02-2013
Lakshmi Pratury speaks at the OG’13 Conference in New Delhi
Lakshmi Pratury brought the TED conferences to India in 2009, and in December 2010, she curated and hosted the first INK Talks, in association with TED. Her career has spanned working in a variety of fields from venture capital to nonprofit organizations - and she was featured in Forbes Asia’s ‘100 Most Powerful Women’ list in 2010. Pratury holds a BA Degree in Mathematics from Nizam College, Hyderabad, India. She attended IIT, Mumbai, and has an MBA from the Bajaj Institute, India, earning a second MBA from Portland State University, with a minor in theater arts. 


Pratury sat down with braingainmag at Salwan Media’s OG’13 Conference, and gave us an insight into why her “study abroad” experience was a memorable one.
 
1.        What made you want to leave India for studies?

I was always the problem child. I always asked too many questions. So I really felt a need to go somewhere where asking questions and speaking up could be appreciated, where I could be appreciated.

2.        Most memorable (good or bad) experience while studying abroad?

Freedom of thought. For the first time I was studying a subject that I loved in a system that allowed me to perform to my actual potential. Being good at what I was pursuing was such a game changer for me. I greatly enjoyed the freedom to experiment and also learnt how to play golf and study literature. Age was also not a barrier to learning or starting something new. I ran my first marathon at the age of 30.

3.        What do you remember packing to take with you that was particularly useful?

My family photographs and letters from my father. They were tactile and something that I could reach out and hold when feeling particularly homesick. 

4.        How did you land up in your particular career?

Every choice I’ve made has always been so completely unplanned. My strategy has been to find a person that is doing something that I really like and try to emulate them. It’s made for a very interesting journey.

5.        Tips for a young student leaving India for studies, for the first time?

Take your traditions with you and move into the future. You must always both learn from other cultures and teach other cultures about your own. Kids should never stick to people from their own part of the world or backgrounds. Exposure is important.

6.        Things about India you miss when abroad?

The people.
 
7.        Things about India you DON’T miss when abroad?

The parochialism and nepotism.

8.        What do you do for fun/downtime?

I watch movies and enjoy unwinding vegging out in front of the TV. ‘Homeland’ is a current favourite.

9.        What would you put in Orwell’s Room 101 given a chance?

Judging people by their wealth.


 

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