A Legal Practitioner of Wisdom, Compassion and Determination
Neera Sharma is foremost a compassionate human being and then a lawyer. She is the founder of the Sukh Setu foundation; she keeps the words of HH Dalai Lama in her heart which says “You don’t need to be an industry titan to be a leader. Develop a warm heart and use your intelligence, and you can make a difference”. This has made her emerge as a true leader as she continues to break stereotypes with resilience, diligence, and perseverance.
Her long list of achievements includes Top 25 General Counsels by ICCA and Law Society of England at the House of Lords London, In House Lawyer of the Decade in the Year 2020, Policy Lawyer of the Year 2021, Top Legal Minds of India 2022, Most Promising women Leader of India by Economic Times & Femina 2021 and Year 2022 among others.
Hailing from Ludhiana, Punjab, Neera is a law graduate and has done an MBA in finance. She is an accomplished professional in Cyber & Labour laws. The UCLA alumni says, “My corporate experience encompasses serving extremely diversified start-ups and eminent mid-sized organisations, including DCM Limited, HFCL, HCL, IDEA, Emaar MGF, Aircel & Sistema. I feel contended to fraternise with meticulous & professional seniors/ peers throughout my journey.”
Through her work, she got to travel to many countries, which opened her worldview to diverse cultures. Striding ahead with her mantra for success, ‘No compromises with ambitions’, she become the only women leader to attain C-Suit in Sistema. Her undivided focus, tenacious commercial acumen, firm grip on issues, leading by example, and remodelling complexities have made her attain staggering success.
She had her own share of struggles as being a small-town girl to becoming a powerful woman whose work inspires others. Her field of work where men outnumber women had its own set of challenges. Due to these factors, she believes in the phrase ‘smooth seas do not make skilful sailors’, which has made her shatter the glass ceiling to reach new heights.
For her striking a work-life balance has not been a cakewalk. Many times when the pressure became too much, she would be on the brink of quitting. But her parents stood by her like pillars of support and mentored her in continuing her endeavours. She feels that work-life balance is a challenge that runs parallel to her work, and its intensity fluctuates from time to time.
Neera says, “Preserving attainment is always far more strenuous than embracing it. Justifying your judgements & actions amidst gender prejudice is always arduous for any female leader & I am quite fortunate to surmount it. Being a board member & Chief Executive, every task necessitates you to walk the extra mile along with 24x7x365 availability to plentiful challenges coming your way.” This, she feels, can be really exhausting and that a working mother is a superhero as she juggles everything very efficiently.
Being a national level Table Tennis player, Neera loves teaching her two kids the techniques of the game. This gives her immense happiness to impart her learnings to them. She emphasises to them that any sport requires absolute hard work and dedication to excel. She feels that this is true for virtually all aspects of life.
Neera defines her passion as she states, “Eagerness to help others and to be compassionate towards others define my passion. My goal in life is to be Good Human being first, and to become that my passion helps me a lot; it has been built in me that I think about others before myself, I do face a lot of hardships and setbacks due to that, but these setbacks are nothing before the pleasure I get if I help anybody productively.”
She recalls that as a kid, she was a firm believer that hard work, determination and strong will can move mountains. Carrying forward this attitude, she became a top business lawyer and got a deep understanding of businesses. She believes in her team and gives them the freedom to work. She even teaches them how to be accountable for their work which she feels is her strength. Her weakness she percieves is that she can’t leave pending work on her table.
Neera gives her mantra for growth, development and success by stating, “The biggest rewards come when one takes the greatest risk. Envision your end goal, then stretch, network, and grab onto opportunities for growth. I realised in my twenties that no one was going to come and show me everything I needed to know, and there was nothing stopping me from teaching myself and asking for opportunities to learn.”