Ashwini Dandekar… The Nucleus of our Executive Office

“Being an Executive Assistant to the MD means knowing her thoroughly. Just by looking at the person, you need to gauge their thoughts. You need to keep putting yourselves in their shoes.”

Back in 2004, Ashwini walked into Metropolis for a job that required her to assist the home visit team. Metropolis has been doing home visits since the 80s but it was streamlined much later. Ashwini realised that this was not her cup of tea. Metropolis is always seeking talented people and we know one when we see one. Ashwini was called for an interview again and she soon joined Dr. Nilesh Shah as the Executive Assistant.

Not being from a science background, Ashwini had her doubts about working in the healthcare sector. Prior to joining Metropolis, she had done short stints in MNCs and the steel industry. Her initial days at Metropolis were packed with multiple meetings and calls, with her reporting to the now Group Scientific Head, Dr Nilesh Shah.

Within a year, Ameera Shah, the MD of Metropolis, recognised her talent and asked Ashwini to handle her work. Ameera says, “Ashwini is a quick learner and actions upon the assigned tasks quickly, she is able to think from my perspective and that makes my work a lot easier.”

Today, Ashwini heads our Executive Offices and is the force that keeps the office running, day in and day out. From setting up a board meeting to lining up investor meetings and scheduling the travel arrangements of the key management, she does it all.

We ask her to recount special memories from her journey and she narrates a very sweet incident. During an internal meeting, Ameera remarked that “It would be difficult for me to live without Ashwini. She understands me, knows everything that I need, goes a step beyond always”.

It was a mark of trust for Ashwini. She felt grateful that her boss felt like that about her. She tells us “Being an Executive Assistant to the MD means knowing her thoroughly. Just by looking at the person, you need to gauge their thoughts. You need to keep putting yourselves in their shoes.”

Well, Ashwini is extremely good at that because between the years 2004 to 2007, she handled the offices of Dr. Sushil Shah, Ms. Ameera Shah and Dr. Nilesh Shah. She tells us that the period was challenging and life-changing. Working alongside 3 efficient mentors strengthened her core. “Such possibilities do not exist in all companies. At Metropolis, there is no monotony. Tomorrow is a new day, something new to do and learn”.

We ask her about work-life balance and she adds that her boss helped her to achieve it. Ameera told Ashwini that it’s not possible to do everything. She advised Ashwini to invest her energy in things and stuff that will give joy and satisfaction. This helped her streamline the personal and professional life, thereby giving more joy and energy to perform the job.

Being there 24x7x365
Ask her what keeps her going at Metropolis and she is quick to reply, “Ameera is an inspiring leader and a strong woman. I have seen her build Metropolis. She has spent long hours with the sales and the marketing team and aligned their vision. She even set up the clinical trial section and has spent a lot of time on the field. Simultaneously, she was forging partnerships and sealing deals. It continues to be one mesmerizing journey. She lives Metropolis 24x7x365 and my job is to assist her on the tasks, align her schedule and ease the heavy pressure.

She also tells us that her own personality has changed a lot. From being a peripheral thinker, today her thoughts are deep and her actions speak louder. We ask her if she has ever felt done and she says “I have never thought of quitting. I tremble at the thought of ever having to say that I am done.” In the year 2010, Ashwini had attended a function in Metropolis organised for felicitating employees who had completed 25 years of service. The function inspired Ashwini for playing a long innings at Metropolis. An innings filled with grit, determination, confidence and happiness.

According to Ashwini, the work culture of Metropolis is very transparent and encouraging. Ashwini says and we quote, “Metropolis treats employees like its family members”. Her message to the current crop of employees at Metropolis is to give their 100%. She affirmatively says, “Give 100% to your work and you are bound to achieve success”.

Ashwini states that Metropolis acted as a catalyst to bring about the awareness in regards to diagnostics. Today, irrespective of the social stratification, Metropolis caters to everyone. Over the years, it has evolved into a global healthcare brand. She says Metropolis is an organisation with a brain. Always evolving and thinking about the society at large.

Such dedication and passion are not easy to come by and we salute the spirit of Metropolitans like Ashwini who keep the fire going.