It was a curious decision. At least that is how I thought about it. She had spent 18 months at Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages and was leading a change cycle at the company. By all accounts, she was doing very well, but here she was telling us of her decision to move on from Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages (HCCB).

I am not the one for too many pleasantries and polite conversations, so I asked her upfront – “What is making you take this decision?”

I was a little surprised by her response, but it is a life lesson nonetheless.

She said, “I am not getting any younger. My children are grown-up and pretty much independent, pursuing their academic interests. My husband is a successful entrepreneur and I have a flourishing career. Nevertheless, I was continuously asking myself if I wanted to lead this beautiful life away from my family members, on both sides, or if I should be with them, when they will need us the most. My husband and I spoke about it and each time, our conversations veered towards - family first. That meant a change in city. So I took the call!”

Having worked with Seema for several months now, I was obviously aware that she has spent a considerable amount of time in Bengaluru, but all her family lives in another city. She is also very lucky that her family on both sides, are in the same city. So come August, she will relocate. She will be in a city which is very familiar.

Culture, love, emotion and fairness are things that she has always prioritised. In one of our earlier conversations, I remember her asking, “Why don’t we already have gender balance not just within HCCB but across the industry?” And then I saw her championing the project of having at least 40% women employees at our newest Greenfield plant at Sananda, Gujarat. Her intent of doing so … “first prove the concept and then go back into all our existing manufacturing facilities to ensure that over a period  of time we get to at least half of the population being women.”

At a time when one comes across so many career decisions, which are not tethered in geography, this one is a surprise. But it is one that has given me a new perspective to life.

Good luck, Seema!