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Preeti Monga Offers Inspiration to Samsung Electronics India
Singer Bernice Reagon had famously said, “Life’s challenges are not to disappoint you, but to help you discover who you are.” We all take pride in overcoming challenges and breaking through barriers at work. The HR department of Samsung India Electronics Limited (SIEL (P)) in Noida, India, had the opportunity to interact face-to-face with an inspiring personality who symbolizes the “Indomitable spirit of overcoming challenges”. Held on Dec 16-17, 2011 at Tarudhan Valley, near Delhi, the HR and GA team attended a motivational session by Ms Preeti Monga as a part of their offsite workshop. Our team in India found the lessons learned from the experience so moving and important that they wanted to share what they learned.
Preeti Monga, 52, is a director of an HR consultancy and a renowned motivation speaker. She has been blind since the age of 6, but considers visual disability as just a small challenge that she has overcome during her life. She is also the winner of the ‘Red and White Bravery Award’ and ‘Rajiv Gandhi Manav Seva’ Award for her outstanding contribution to society.
Today, she is a successful entrepreneur with a loving family, but this was not always the case. She was diagnosed with a dry optical nerve when she was six years old, which eventually led to blindness. Despite that, she continued her education thanks to her parents’ support. However, in eighth grade she had to be pulled out of school as the new principal did not allow differently-abled children to be included in the regular curriculum. She says this rejection was the biggest challenge she has had to live with. But instead of letting her spirit be dampened, she directed her energies towards another dream – a dream to become a famous sitar player like famous Indian musician Pandit Ravi Shankar. However, after graduating from a famous music university, she realized she did not have the sense of rhythm required to play at the highest level. Undaunted, she remained positive and focused her energies on becoming an aerobics instructor, at a time when there were not many career opportunities for this line of work. Despite finding success professionally, her personal life was difficult. She had to endure a bad marriage with an abusive husband and a subsequent divorce. Her poignant story was the highlight of her talk and made everybody reassess their own small challenges.
Preeti has been the embodiment of the spirit of “YES YOU CAN”. The most stunning moment was when she held the introduction session where she asked everybody to blind fold themselves, go around the room and come back to shake hands with her. It illustrated how dependent most of us are on their vision, and how helpless and vulnerable we can feel if we lose it, even for a couple of minutes. She emphasized the fact that it is important for us to revive all our senses to perform at their best. She built the foundation of her talk on encouraging people to look at the brighter side of life and to take every challenge as an opportunity to explore alternative solutions.
New Years is often a time when people take stock of what they have and what they want to accomplish for the next year. As Ms. Monga shows, remaining positive is key to reaching goals. Samsung wishes you a Happy 2012, and encourages you to stay positive!