THE SANGUINE LUMINARY: SUCHITRA MAURYA
Nupur Mohapatra | Oct 30, 2017
Suchitra Maurya, an alumnus of the 1988 batch of NITR has scaled great heights in the professional front and has proved herself to be an inspiring persona. A former student of MCA at NITRKL, she is currently serving as the General Manager, RBI in the Mumbai region. A soft-spoken though detail-oriented person, she is a seasoned veteran in the banking sector with over 22 years of experience in the banking sector. In a recent conversation with Team MM, she sheds some light on her journey in life and her tale of success. Here are a few excerpts from the interview.
Monday Morning: Tell us something about your days before joining REC.
Suchitra Maurya: I was initially pursuing B.SC in B.J.B College with Physics (Hons). Computer Science and its applications was a completely new discipline for me owing to the fact that I had never seen a computer before. However, later the novelty of the subject drew us in and a few of my friends and I decided to appear the entrance examination. Most of the questions were based on mathematics which was a subject of my interest and thus presented me with the advantage of scoring well in the exams. I qualified the examination and joined the Master’s program in Computer Applications at REC.
MM: Share with us your experiences in the erstwhile REC Rourkela. How important do you think were the two years at REC for your career?
SM: REC Rourkela has given me a mixed bag of myriad experiences. There were very few stumbles on the academic front and owing to the subjects being new, they successfully captured my interest. Logical thinking supplemented with the prowess of good textbooks, discussions, illuminating guidance, and self-study proved to be beneficial enabling me to harness the reach of the new subjects. Using computers for the very first time was an enriching experience itself as I reckon we had the privilege to access one of the most advanced computer systems available in colleges during those times. There were a few setbacks as well which included issues regarding accommodation of the female boarders due to the subsequent rise of admissions of the girl students into engineering as well as the MCA course that year.
MM: What was it like in those days when the number of female students pursuing engineering or related courses in the campus was very less?
SM: The experience of belonging to a part of the small population of students was really unique. We spent our initial days in the Staff Quarters (make shift hostel). At around 8 p.m. the security guards from the main girls' hostel brought us dinner. Even the mess in the main hostel was small and basic in its performance. Being at the far end of the campus we had our own struggles and each of us tried to keep ourselves updated with the whereabouts of our fellow batch mates. Later, a new block was incorporated into the existing girl’s hostel and we were made to shift there.
MM: What was your motivation behind switching sectors from computer science to the banking sector?
SM: Computer Science and Applications is all about logical thinking and problem-solving. After a point of time, I realized that I wanted to be involved in the larger responsibility of Public Service or Policymaking and made way towards broadening my horizon in the work front.
MM: What prompted your decision to pursue a CAIIB course?
SM: CAIIB course is a certification that creates awareness and proficiency in banking law/practices and related matters. It is a norm to write the examination more for validation of our own understanding of the subject.
MM: You have been associated with RBI for two decades and have risen through the ranks of the organization. How would you sum up your experience at RBI? What duties and responsibilities did you shoulder during your 23 years stint with RBI?
SM: My experience being a part of RBI encases several dimensions. I have had the opportunity to work in areas like Foreign Exchange Management, Currency Management, Deposit Insurance and Cooperative Banking Regulation and Supervision. Good regulation and supervision have helped the Indian economy and especially the banking institutions to survive all kinds of crisis and I feel immense satisfaction in being a part of an institution that has been successful in holding the economy of this great country together.
MM: When was your recent visit to the institute and what did you feel about the visit?
SM: I had visited NIT four years ago. I witnessed tremendous development in the infrastructure domain and the students seemed to be totally in their comfort zone which is quite opposite to the scenario during our time. It is always a nice and warm feeling to visit the campus.
MM: What is your take on the role of an alumnus for an institute of national importance like ours? How do you think the present scenario of alumni interaction can be improved?
SM: I believe that the alumni have a very significant role to play. Student clubs should take the initiative to facilitate the interaction between the alumni and students during their visits to the campus. The alumni could share their insightful experiences and give inputs or suggestions regarding career choices which could be of great help to the students.
MM: You have occupied several positions of responsibility through your career. How did you handle the pressure and the disappointments? What are some of the things that you had to learn along the way?
SM: I feel it is essential for each one of us to have our own support group ( non-competitive )which enables us to brainstorm ideas on important assignments ( if not confidential in nature ) and prepare ourselves for the downside risk. Every influencing parameter is not under our control so there is always the possibility of encountering a downside risk as we go along.She says:
One has to be realistic in approach while committing to the deliverables and deadlines. Having a completely nonprofessional association like a hobby or a yoga group also aids in keeping the mind rejuvenated and lays the path for the advent of fresh ideas and some out of the box thinking.
MM: How do you keep your spirits high amidst professional pressure and hectic schedule? Do you have any long drawn out hobbies that you still indulge yourself in?
SM: I am an amateur bird watcher and a classical music enthusiast. I mostly spend my holidays out in the wild in the company of my bird watching group. This serves as a mode of experiencing complete detachment from the professional pressures and relieves stress. I have also been learning Hindustani Vocal for some time now and practice it often for my own pleasure.
MM: You have come a long way in your journey; how do you feel when you look back-do you have any regrets?
SM: I absolutely have no regrets. I have had a very fulfilling journey so far, being able to work and contribute to the best of my abilities and being provided with the opportunity to work amongst the best.
MM: What does it take to be Suchitra Maurya?
SM: Suchitra Maurya is a very simple person having concerns for the economy and having an aim of working towards creating an environment for the next generation so as to enable them to avail the best of opportunities in our own land. Working for the Central Bank is like putting in efforts to maintain stability in the growing economy keeping the future prospects in close consideration. I characterize myself as a sincere, hardworking and an optimistic human being.