The Bold and Beautiful - Roma Jayantilal Sojitra

Born to Gujarati parents and schooled in Mumbai, Roma Jayantilal Sojitra is a gallant, fearless, and spirited young lady. Coming from a conservative and socially reclusive culture, the struggle to learn English was real, back in the days. It was her father’s dream to send her to an English-medium school and so he did, by going against society norms. Roma completed her secondary education from the renowned St. Xavier’s convent in Mumbai. Like father, like daughter, Roma grew up to become a bold, strong, and fiercely independent person.  

It was always her childhood aspiration to become a Pilot but her mother’s reactions - “Are you crazy? Is that even a profession?”, led her to think otherwise. While pursuing her Bachelors in Commerce, she developed a fascination for Fashion Designing and decided to sign up for the course. Her days panned out to be super hectic, often starting at 6 am and winding up at 11 pm. She had to crunch it out to make ends meet, but her ‘never give up’ attitude drove her through the challenging times. “In fact, I think I scored more in Fashion Designing than Accounts”, jokes a light-hearted Roma.   

“Being a girl child, my dad always encouraged me. I was the first child from my dad’s village to fly abroad to pursue my Masters”, says a proud Roma. London is an expensive city and she had to pinch pennies to keep within means. Back in the days, the value of Indian Rupees to Pounds was 1:99 and she had to resort to multiple part-time jobs to meet the budget. “To my father, education was a must and I gave my everything to achieve that dream”, added Roma. Reminiscing her first corporate job in London, Roma speaks volumes about her boss. The 65-year-old passionately aggressive boss Jan Brunell taught her more than just work. “She was the kind of boss who would ask you to leave office as soon as the clock strikes 5:30 pm”, shares a smiling Roma. She also credits her friend Regina for being her family-away-from-family, a friend for life and her backbone whilst her stay in London. 

With the hopes of getting back someday, Roma flew down to Mumbai, India in 2012 . “For three months I didn’t tell my parents I was in India until I found a job for myself”, claims Roma. Her job hunting landed her an offer at Mystifly, Bangalore. “I don’t know why but I had this weird craze to work at KPMG or Google and this kept me contemplating. But after meeting with Rajeev, I was convinced that Mystifly was the right place for me”, gleams Roma. Working out of Mumbai, Roma went on to focus on the UK, Europe and US market. The time-zone difference was a hassle, her sleep pattern and social life was affected, but Roma embraced the challenges. “The Rottweiler with lipstick” as fondly called by Norman Gage (Ex VP Sales & Marketing Europe), Roma drew inspiration from Norman’s work ethics. The way the British gentleman carried himself and went through the work grind at his age motivated Roma to push harder at work.  

“The early days saw a lot of escalations, arguments, and differences in opinion. I’m proud of pissing off a few Operations Managers back then”, claims an animated Roma. She always stuck to her principles and stood up for what she thought was right and wrong. As time went by, things started falling into place. She fell in love with the ambiguity in the airline domain, taking up challenging assignments, troubleshooting and solving mysterious client problems. Work demands meant she had to move to Bangalore. To Roma, Mumbai was not just another city, it was an emotion. “Staying away from my parents was a challenge. They’re getting old, taking care of them and spending time with them was always on top of my head. But when duty calls you got to go and dead against my father’s will, I decided to move to Bangalore in 2016”, said Roma. Her leap of faith got her into interesting projects like Azygos, API, Pre-Sales, and Expedia. Though it was super draining, she loved the work pressure; it always kept her on her toes wanting for more.  

“Mystifly gave me a lot of beginnings and learnings in my career. The new roadmap and the direction we’re heading to is great. We’re setting ourselves against some very aggressive targets and I have no doubt that we will be able to reach our end goal”, added Roma. She extends her gratitude to her colleagues for their support and company that she dearly cherishes. Roma’s no.1 friend, support, mentor and guide has been her father. His advice “Let your work speak for itself, never think low or put yourself down, always hold your head up high and walk with pride” has moulded her to be the fighter, go-getter and hard-worker that she is today! 

Kudos to you Roma, stay bold, stay positive and stay empowering as always.  

May the force be with you!    

 

 

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