Chitra Singla is an Associate Professor, Strategy at IIM Ahmedabad (IIMA). She also provides training and consulting services for the family business and startups to help them grow and solve their problems. She chairs ‘Young Entrepreneurs Programme’ at IIMA. She has received many awards and honours such as the Philip Thomas Memorial Case Award, Madan Mohanka Award for Research in International Business, Most Promising Research Award' at Strategic Management Society Conference, India Chapter, and Best Paper Award for research work on Family Businesses at Academy of Management Conference, USA.
What is your favourite word?
We can do it — that is my favourite phrase. To put it in a word, I would say “proactive”. We are usually trapped in a problem-oriented attitude and continue to complain. Progress begins when we shift our perspective, take a solutionoriented approach, and trust that we can do it. It doesn't matter how quickly or slowly we make progress as long as we keep moving. This approach allows us to grow—both personally and professionally
What was the moment in your life that made you Blossom into the person you are today?
A series of realisations led me to where I am today. Born and raised in a small rural town in Punjab, my world was limited. Particularly, lack of fluency in English due to my schooling in Hindi medium acted as a hurdle in initial years of higher studies. When I joined my master's program at IIT Kanpur, I realized that my hard work and my desire to excel had brought me so far that the language wasn't much of a barrier. I became more aware of my strengths and academic interests. This did increase my self-confidence. Post this, I completed my Ph.D. in Strategy from IIM Bangalore. During PhD, I realised that I am very curious about the problems and growth journey of family businesses and startups in India. Today I am in IIMA, chairing the Centre of Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE.CO). Looking back, I can say confidently that no obstacle is a roadblock to your success if you choose to believe in yourself and be persistent in your efforts.
What would you want the young boys & girls to learn from your journey?
Go with the flow. And when you face a problem, take a solution-oriented approach. Being from the Strategy and Entrepreneurship domain, I can vouch that, problems are usually not very big, and solutions are usually not very complex. Success follows when you focus on the solutions.