We are proud to introduce Sumathi, Secret Projects General Manager and newest member of the team, as part of our 'From the Heart of' series.
Through this collection of stories, we want to take you to the centre of Secret Projects, right to our heart to discover what drives us as we journey towards our vision of a world where all women have the confidence and resources to make choices, thrive and contribute to the strengthening of their communities. What keeps us going? What joy and love do we encounter on the way to women's empowerment?
Get to know Sumathi better by reading her interview about her work with Secret Projects and a little about his home life below:
Question: In a nutshell what does your role at Secret Projects consist of?
Sumathi: Working with Secret Projects is really awesome. I work here as General Manager, and I have lots of responsibility. I believe in team work and our team is great and very helpful all the time. My day starts with our team prayer and I continue to do all the work as instructions are given to me. I have learned a lot of things so far with the help of my colleagues in secret projects and I have lot more to learn! I love the way how everything is organized so beautifully.
Question: Is there a typical day in you role? What does it look like?
Sumathi: My role in Secret Project is an important one, as I take care of all the work that happens here in the unit, whether it be a courier sending or receiving, parcel packing, sending and checking emails and dealing with concerns, I take pictures of our staff working with safety measures for Covid-19. There is no such typical day!
Question: What did you do before Secret Projects?
Sumathi: I have had a number of jobs over the years. Firstly I worked for Prateek Capital Services joining as Assistant Admin Manager and then I worked in agency auditing for credit cards at Standard Chartered Bank, SBI and ICICI Bank.
I worked for ING Vysya Bank as Operation head for Education Loans for Karnataka.
I worked for Jindal Pollybuttons as Customer Support Officer and worked closely with the team of Garment Managers in Bengaluru. Here I learned about the making of buttons and the huge amount of variety there is in the button world.
I worked for Indian Gymkhana Club as Floor Manager and took care of the staff and up-keep of the entire club. taking care of the cleanliness of the entire club as well as the general management.
I worked for MAAC Animation Institute as a Center Head, taking care of all the students and scheduling the time table for the faculty; I would explain the student of the process and make admissions.
Question: How does your role at Secret Projects empower you?
Sumathi: Secret Projects empowers me in many ways, as I too have struggled in my life at times. After joining Secret projects I got double the strength, as I can work with my team to empower many women like me to come up in life and not stay at home without help. I really love how Secret Projects empowers and encourages so many women by giving them work so that they can earn a livelihood. Our team is so helpful and supportive that I forget about any troubles when I come to the office to work.
Question: What do you find most fulfilling about working at Secret Projects?
Sumathi: The impact that Secret Projects makes is my strength and encouragement. I feel very proud to work here because I will play a part in empowering other women to do their work, show their skills and earn for themselves and their children.
Question: Tell us a little about your life away from Secret Projects.
Sumathi: I live in Bengaluru, India with my family, I’m blessed with 4 children, 3 daughters and 1 son. My husband is not with me since 18years and I took care of all my children without help from my family members. I have faced some hard days in my life to bring up my children for their studies and it was really very hard to bring up 4 children as a single parent. Two of my daughters are married, my son is doing his 3rd year degree and my other daughter completed her 2nd PUC with distinction.
I love my mother and children, as they are my world. I take of my Mother who is 70 years and I love to travel, spending some quality time with my mother and children.
Question: Dancing or walking?
Sumathi: I don’t know how to dance, so I love walking for a long distance and take my mother along with me for an evening walk, or to the park sometimes.
Question: Going out for the evening or staying at home?
Sumathi: I like to stay at home because I love cooking and my children enjoy the dishes I prepare.
Question: If you could have a one-hour telephone conversation with anyone, who would it be?
Sumathi: It would be my Father because my father is no more. He motivated me as a sports person - I was a 100 metre sprinter, a state hockey player and sports captain at school. I miss my father a lot.
Question: As Secret Projects drives people to think about India what do you want to tell the world about India? What do you love most about the country?
Sumathi: I thank Secret Projects for the wonderful work they are doing to empower women in India. I request that we have more units like one in Bengaluru all over the country flourishing the name SECRET PROJECTS to empower women. India is a beautiful country and I would encourage anyone to come and visit.