Sheba Nandkeolyar is one of the founders and CEO of MultiConnexions Group, a multicultural marketing and advertising agency. A director on various government and industry boards, Sheba was the first woman to be elected National Chair of the Australia India Business Council in its 33+ years’ existence.
Sheba Nandkeolyar describes herself as “an optimist beyond repair, a perpetual dreamer”, positive and passionate about making a difference in business, in international relations and trade, women’s empowerment, diversity, multiculturalism, mentoring the next generation or simply being with family and friends.
How are you coping with Work From Home?
Surprisingly, I am coping well. I normally have such a hectic schedule that working from home without interruptions gives me space and time to myself. It is such a great opportunity to think strategy and value innovations for my clients.
After hours, what keeps you entertained: what are you watching currently?
In the past I never had time in the evenings due to the innumerable business meetings and functions which continued late every day. The only time I had free was the weekend. I have finally re-claimed my evenings. I watch a lot of TV programs, news, Netflix movies and drama series. Just finished watching The Crown but my favourite is Inside Bill’s Brain: Decoding Bill Gates. Absolutely fascinating to watch how he pushes off on his own with heaps of books to his secluded cottage for a whole week to work on ideas!
I do tend to read a fair bit. My reading time is usually around 9.30pm when I get into bed, but now I get time through the day to catch up. I love inspirational books – they motivate you to keep learning and keep the brain active too in a very positive way.
Currently reading a book by Dr Isaac Mathai, founder of Soukya, a holistic treatment philosophy. Holistic Healing: A Doctor’s Guide to Rediscovering Health and Happiness, Naturally. It is an amazing book which shows how advanced India was in the field of natural medicine and Ayurveda. Incidentally, he is also the holistic health physician to Prince Charles, having helped him recuperate recently after COVID 19.
I love old numbers by Cliff Richard, Elvis Presley and old Hindi numbers – Geeta Dutt is my favourite. More recently I have also enjoyed the new genre of fusion by young Indian musicians. Some of the beautiful old numbers have been given a magical twist by them.
To be frank, I hardly had time for cooking these past few years. My cooking was restricted to the weekends if at all. I now have home cooked meals and of course prepared by me. I am cooking a lot of Indian meals even though they are somewhat time consuming. With time on my hands I am re-visiting Indian cuisines especially from Lucknow & Bengal!
How have you been exercising/staying fit?
I am not a gym person and will never be one. I prefer the fresh air and love taking walks. Mornings have always started with some meditation. I find meditation keeps my mental energies high. Walks do wonders for my physical energy.
Acquired a new skill?
I wish I could say yes. But in small ways I am delving deeper into the area of technology and what it could mean for the community and for our business.
Revived an old passion?
I used to love playing musical instruments as a student and was even in a band that won quite a few prizes at uni festivals. I am being challenged by friends to get started – perhaps I may commence with an acceptable croak after all these years.
What’s family time like?
This truly is the best deal! I am enjoying time with my family as never before. It is almost as if the universe wanted us to slow down and savour the beauty of the little things that we miss out or take for granted.
In what aspects do you think your life will change when COVID restrictions are relaxed?
I do believe my life has changed forever. Going forward, I will manage my work-life balance better. Being a workaholic, I realise now that I may be missing out on a lot of little things – such as hearing the chirping of the birds, enjoying the sun as I work remotely in my backyard, taking calls from my family without getting impatient, and more time to read. All this and more has added much value to my life these past few days. I would not change this for anything.