Member Spotlight - Nishtha Kapoor
Nishtha Kapoor is the 2022 winner of the Richard A. Freund International Scholarship. This scholarship honors the memory of Richard A. Freund, a past president of ASQ. It is for graduate study of the theory and application of quality control, quality assurance, quality improvement, and total quality management. It covers the engineering, statistical, managerial, and behavioral foundations of those fields.
Where do you live?
I’m an Indian national, hailing from Jalandhar, a small town within the state of Punjab. Recently, I shifted to downtown Toronto, Canada, to pursue my master’s degree at the University of Toronto.
What’s the highest academic degree you’ve obtained? From where?
I’m a graduate in public accounting from the University of Delhi, India, and I’m currently pursuing my MBA from Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto, Canada.
Is there a teacher who influenced you more than others? Why?
From the time I commenced my education until now, many teachers have been the guiding lights in all paths I’ve taken.
It is challenging to name one teacher. Several teachers have had a profound impact on my upbringing, thoughts, my way of conduct and decision making.
To list some, I would mention:
School (St. Joseph’s Convent School): Ms. Neena Singh
School (SSDPS): Mrs. Monica Kukreja
Undergraduate Degree (Jesus and Mary College): Mrs. Rekha Dayal and Mrs. Charu Sarin
All of them have always inspired me to put in my best effort, be daring enough to fail and to learn from those failures. They have made me realize that experience is the best school, and efforts take us a long way in the journey of being a better version of ourselves and adding value to the world!
What did you consider your introduction to quality? This might be your first job in quality, or it might be a class, or something else altogether.
To me personally, quality always has been the prime factor of consideration for every decision – be it while making my purchasing decisions or submitting deliverables at work. I am a very detail-oriented individual. That always drives me to emphasize the intricacies of every task.
In 2015, I pursued the KPMG Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Training, organized by Henry Harvin, who introduced me to the world of quality control management. The course enlightened me on implementing the DMAIC method to significantly reduce the errors and defects in a production cycle.
Since then, I have actively tried to incorporate these methods into my professional as well as personal life, to ensure better results.
Did/do you have a mentor who has made/makes a difference in your career?
I am blessed to have had a few mentors who have been instrumental in guiding me toward the right direction throughout my academic, as well as professional journey so far.
Of all, I would like to mention about Mr. Aditya Gupta, who is my former manager at Deloitte US India, where I served as an external auditor for four years.
Aditya has been super supportive all throughout my time at Deloitte – identifying my strengths and weaknesses, discussing potential growth avenues, and mentoring me on how I can attain them.
What’s the best career advice you ever received?
The best career advice I have received so far is to learn from everyone’s strengths and incorporate best practices in my own ways of approaching a situation. This has instilled in me the trait of identifying the value each person contributes to a greater goal and learning from the diverse set of people around me.
What is your current job?
I am currently an MBA student at Rotman, but before embarking on this journey, I worked as an external auditor at Deloitte US India for nearly four years. My work entailed catering to the financial reporting requirements of the Fortune 500 oil and gas clients across the globe.
Have you had any previous jobs you consider noteworthy?
My job at Deloitte has been truly fulfilling in terms of equipping me with some indispensable skills such as leadership, interpersonal, analytical, and problem solving. Being among a diverse group of individuals has taught me to embrace the uniqueness of each person and to learn from the factors that distinguish each one of us. Besides receiving accolades for my professional acumen and demonstrating leadership skills, I have been an active member of the Deloitte Employee Giving Program (DEGP), through which I have contributed toward helping the underprivileged.
What ASQ activities are you involved in?
I have been involved in ensuring the maintenance of quality standards by implementing Six Sigma in the work I choose to do. This has ensured that I’m emphasizing the impact that good quality can create in each task.
Have you published anything?
I am fond of writing poetry but have not yet published a book. I am working on my poems, and plan to publish them as soon as the number reaches 50.
Any recent honors or awards?
I was honored to be selected as a McKinsey Next Generation Woman Leader Asia-Pacific in 2022. McKinsey selected about 200 women out of 10,000 applicants across Asia-Pacific, as women leaders, and gave them the opportunity to network and grow into the best versions of themselves.
What are your favorite ways to relax?
I love the different forms of expression of the art – I love to paint and write poetry in my free time. I believe that words and colors are the best ways to express one’s true self!
What books are you currently reading? Do you have any favorite authors?
I am currently reading The Elusive Quest for Growth by William Easterly. This book throws light on the power of economic models in the development process.
My favorite author is William Shakespeare. I completely adore his plays and poetry and have read “As you like it” and Hamlet multiple times.
Do you have a favorite blogger? Why?
My favorite blogger is Akshat Shrivastava. He is an ex-BCG/Dalberg consultant and an ex-INSEAD admit, who shares insights on managing your finances and investing strategically – not only in terms of finances, but in terms of maximizing one’s career growth!
What was the last movie you saw?
The last movie I watched is “Laal Singh Chaddha”. I would keep the story a suspense, as it is still in the theatres.
Are you active on social media? Is there anyone you follow that you would recommend to others? Why?
I am active on LinkedIn, and actively follow Shatakshi Sharma, CEO of Global Governance Initiative, India. She has been my mentor during my time at GGI as an Impact Scholar. Shatakshi shares her takeaways from her professional and personal journey, the power of decision making and the significance of managing one’s time well.
What would you like to say as your original quality quote? If you need some time to think about that one, that would be fine.
I believe in Aristotle’s quote that:
“Quality is not an Act; it is a Habit”
In today’s world of utmost competition, it is supremely important that we prioritize providing “quality” products to the customers. The cut-throat competition makes it imperative that each and every aspect of a product/service offering is taken care of and considered as a supremely important aspect of consumer decision making.
How has being an ASQ member been valuable in your career?
The moment I learned about ASQ, I realized the importance of access to quality resources and knowledge in solving complex challenges. ASQ highlights the role of quality for powerful results and has always driven me to be a quality-focused professional and focus on improvising and implementing the best methods for a positive transformation that can lead to some wonderful experiences!