Debanjali Sengupta, National Sales Manager, Sales & Operations in India, shares her 12-year career journey with Shell, where she has been able to continuously take on new challenges, handle increasingly large responsibilities and become an inspirational female leader.
12 years… 6 different roles… different countries… different businesses… different business conditions, matured as well as entered new markets. Could you ask for a richer experience from any organisation?
I’m Debanjali, National Sales Manager, Sales & Operations, based in India. I joined Shell as a lateral hire when the Retail business was setting up here. It was an amazing exposure to work in a start-up environment nicely nestled in a 100-year-old company. Business school surely equipped me with the knowledge I needed, but it was Shell that entrusted me to learn new skills and broaden my horizons. If you are ready for a challenge, Shell will provide you with the platform to succeed.
On many occasions, the organisation believed in my abilities and offered new challenging roles to me. I was appointed to lead a team of high-calibre Sales Managers with high delivery expectations in my early career life at Shell. Subsequently, I took on a different path in my next role as individual contributor in a newly set-up business development team.
Customer Service champions on the forecourt have never stopped amazing me and putting a smile on my face.
That’s my cracker 50:50 Sales and Operations team.
Having been with Shell for 12-years, I am convinced that the organisation always has bigger plans for you. In 2011, after cracking a milestone deal, I was planning to take a breather for a while. However, within the next few months, my family and I were on a plane to London for a long-term assignment with the Downstream Strategy Development team.
This took my playing field to a global level and the learning experience was enormous. Working with the most senior stakeholders at Shell exposed me to the industry as a whole like never before. It transformed me into an oil and gas professional!
The strength comes when your family wraps you around.
Every role has its complexities that have enriched me. The most fulfilling part is the opportunity to make a positive impact to others – my team, customers, stakeholders and business partners alike. In my current role as the Head of Sales and Operations, I get to lead the best-in-class talents and make a difference to the lives of 250,000 people across the breadth of society every single day.
Looking back, I have earned a few stripes over time - being the first female National Sales Manager for retail as well as lubricants businesses in India, and leading a team of frontline sales people with 50% gender diversity. The good thing is that I did all of this while being a mum to a bright, young girl.
My source of energy and positivity comes from my daughter who so proudly proclaims to the world that her Mum is smart!
When I have wanted to soar higher my family has always been the wind beneath my wings.
I have been blessed with the best people at and away from work who have made it all possible. My family and friends have always been proud of me. They have driven me to go further yet kept me balanced and humble. I have truly been able to live up my career because of them and Shell!
Live up life to live up your career and Shell will encourage you to do so
Disclaimer: Views expressed are of the individuals featured and are not representative of the views of the Shell group of companies and their affiliates.