18 APR 2016

A Journey from Analyst to Managing Director


Vidya Lakshmi, a newly promoted managing director in Bengaluru, reflects on the twists and turns of her career and the lessons learned along the way from analyst to MD.

In your career, you’ve worked across divisions, functions and geographies. What have you learned with each move?

Vidya: My years with the firm have been a journey of self-discovery—moving from investment banking in New York, to serving as the chief of staff for Bunty Bohra (the CEO of Goldman Sachs Services in India), to helping build out the Securities Division and now, to working in Human Capital Management. As I took on new assignments and bigger roles, I stretched myself and discovered new facets of my personality. And with each move, it got more comfortable to be outside my comfort zone. One of the highlights of being part of a fast-growing office like Bengaluru is that you’re part of something new and exciting and you have access to senior leadership. You’re forced to step up in your roles more quickly than you might otherwise be able to.

How was the transition from Investment Banking and Securities to HCM?

Vidya: While Goldman Sachs has a unified corporate culture, there are subtle nuances within each division. I also learned that it is important to spend time with the junior people on your team who really understand the nuts and bolts of what the problems are and the day-to-day issues of the business.

How do you view your management style?

Vidya: My policy is to be transparent about what I know. By sharing what you know can gain your team’s trust and respect. My office door is open and I spend time with my team on the floor.

How do you manage the work-life balance?

Vidya: For me, it boils down to discipline. What that means is that I have to be extremely disciplined about how and where I spend my time so that when I want to leave the office early, for example, I can.