Meet Maya Mohan, defying stereotypes and breaking down barriers to another so-perceived male bastion. Mohan is not just turning all popular notions of the BPO industry upside down but has also carved a niche for herself with the contributions she has made to this burgeoning business. Director, Health Care Services, Ajuba Solutions India Pvt., Mohan is a qualified Charted Accountant. Of course, she could have opted for a humdrum office job in a staid finance company. But exemplifying her enterprising spirit, she chose the less trodden path of serving a new industry and exploring herself.
Mohan's life too was that of a normal Indian woman till she decided to trade comfort with challenges. Born and brought up in Coimbatore, she completed her education in the city itself. Like all girls her age she also got married and started spending her days in blissful domesticity. But Mohan was not one to be content sitting at home. She felt her education and talent were being wasted. To add to her discontent was the fact that her husband had to move frequently and she along with him. This made it well nigh impossible for her to settle down in one place and pursue a career. She worked when she was onshore with him. Later, in 1996 when her son joined formal school, she decided to get back in action. Reminiscing she says, "I think that was the time I decided to settle down in one place."
"I have learnt a lot from the BPO industry," says Mohan. She believes that earlier Indians had a very laidback attitude. "Since you belong to this same set, you tend to have similar attitude. Before globalisation, their were very few who were 'punctual' as in the sense of taking their work more seriously," she says, adding, "This industry is all about timing, precision and accuracy, whether be it in work or meeting. It is most important to value time. The delivery to the client or the transition, all has to be on time and must be a 'first time fix'." She believes the BPO industry is very specific and punctual. "Since we deal with clients who also value time, it becomes all the more important for us to deliver the best."
With always a new project or process on anvil, there is nothing called monotony in this industry, says Mohan. Specifically, in the healthcare industry, which is highly technology driven. She says, "Some of the hospitals and physicians use unique and advanced systems. These increase our knowledge and understanding. The kind of exposure this industry offers is incomparable."
But how she ended up being a hardcore BPOite is also an interesting story. She reminisces, "It was the kind of fascination to know what's inside a building," she laughs. Then she explains the mystery behind the building, "When I was in Chennai at Tidal Park, I could see a newly-constructed building with beautiful architecture and I was curious to know what lies inside it. As soon as I saw the advertisement for the post of manager in a company in this building, I knew what to do next. I just applied. So my venture in outsourcing industry happened by chance. It was my fascination and curiosity for a building, which led me to join Nittany Decision Services, pioneers in setting up the first US Medical Billing offshore services from India in 1995." She further says, "Finance was my forte. With my knowledge I could join and leave the finance industry anytime. But when I saw the kind of exposure and perspective the new outsourcing industry offered, I decided to fasten my seatbelt and take a ride." And this is how it all started.
She accepts that although her joining the industry was by chance, leaving Nittany for Ajuba was a conscious, well-thought decision. She wanted to explore new horizons, she says, "And Nittany was running on oiled wheels. Everything was in place. It was more about maintaining rather than establishing. But this could not hold me anymore. I shifted to Ajuba and was the first employee in operations." Mohan adds, "I had started working with US clients for US Health Care as an analyst managing accounts receivables for physicians and clinics. It was a whole new arena. There was so much to learn and do. Everything had to be started from the scratch."
Mohan has a lot of achievements to her credit. She is the founder president of the Chennai chapter of AAHAM â€“ American Association for Healthcare Management â€“ the only chapter outside USA. She is also the only person in India to have qualified the CPAM - Certified Patient Account Manger â€“ one of the highest certification exams in USA for the healthcare industry. She says, "This is the highest certification in this field and I am trying to train my managers to earn this certificate." As director for Ajuba's operations, she is in-charge of transition, delivery, human resource and everything related to her profile. She says, "In my career, I have been fascinated by different work but transition is what I love the most," adding, "transition is most exciting and challenging."
It's not that her life has been a bed of roses for Mohan. But she has accepted each challenge on her way and come out winner. She says, "Challenges have been there whether managing family, work or profession. But there is a way to handle them." She believes that the challenges have never been big enough to overpower her and she keeps creating challenges for herself, for that is what keeps her going.
Mohan heads the healthcare BPO operations of the multinational Ajuba Solutions India Private Limited, located at Tidel Park, Chennai. And she believes it is boon to work from Tidal Park. Why? you ask and she answers, "It really inspires me to be perched in an office on the 12th floor with a bird's eye view of the ocean and the busy life below." She believes the location acts as a stress-buster. Though the infrastructure is similar to any other multinational IT, the environment at her office is kept lively with posters and paints. And she says, "I am lucky to have an office which gives such a beautiful view, adding, "at the end of the day it is Nature that gives you respite from all your troubles." No wonder gardening in her free time is her favourite pastime.
Her other love is listening to Tamil music and she is also an avid reader. She has almost finished reading 'History of Time', by Professor Stephen Hawking. She also likes reading books on management.
At times she feels it is difficult to manage work and life. "Earlier, there were times when I could meet my family only on weekends. But they have been quite supportive and understanding." It might get difficult at times for youngsters in the BPOs, but they must learn to balance life and work, she advises. Asked if it is difficult working in a stressful industry, she answers unequivocally, "I have enjoyed my stint so far."