It was marriage that brought Lucknow-based Ruby Bakshi Khurdi to Switzerland. A little over 18 years ago, her husband, Sunil Khurdi was working with Infosys on a short-term project with Nestlé in Switzerland. So like many others, she accompanied her spouse to the Alps.
A quick flash-back
Ruby remembers with a look of pleasant nostalgia, “With dreams in my eyes and love in my heart, I started my adaptation process. You see, moving from Lucknow to Switzerland brought forth a big cultural change. I was in awe of this amazing country, which is so beautifully depicted in our Bollywood movies. For me, it was love at first sight!”
She continues, “The initial few months were very difficult and challenging – language, being a major issue. Even basic shopping was difficult as looking for what I wanted would take ages and a lot of translation work! And social life was almost non-existent. I had to make lots of adjustments in my way of living. It was not easy, but I am happy I did it as life took a turn when Sunil got a permanent offer of being based here in Switzerland. We simply could not resist it as both of us had fallen in love with this beautiful country…. and so, without hesitation, we decided to make it home.”
Creating her life in Montreux
With time, Ruby and Sunil grew from being a couple to a family of four. A proud mother, Ruby says, “We have two adorable kids, Sheen and Pamposh. They have been our priority in life since their birth. I have always worked part-time as I wanted to spend quality time with them and at the same time do something significant for the society.”
Good at multi-tasking, Ruby made sure she balanced her family, social and professional life well. The results were evident as she went on to be a loved and seemingly popular professor at the college she teaches in. “Yes, my students adore me,” says Prof (Dr.) Ruby Bakshi Khurdi matter-of-factly.
A reputed academician
Ruby is teaching Business Ethics, Communication as well as specialization courses in Human Resources Management at the AGSB University, Sumas and Hotel Institute Montreux.
In the process, she herself has been at the receiving end of various awards and certificates in the sphere of teaching, public speaking and social leadership.
Ruby is often invited as a speaker at various business and cultural events and has conducted various workshops on topics including emotional intelligence, leadership, the impact of education, cultural sensitivity etc.
As an academician, Ruby’s teaching focuses on strategy implementation, leadership development, team spirit, and quality management. She has attended various academic tours with many international groups of students to Turkey, China, France, Prague and within Switzerland.
Being a social leader
Other than her success in her profession, she also held many social positions of responsibility. She became the (former) Secretary of the Indian Association, Lausanne, and (former) Vice President (Education) of the Swiss Riviera Toastmasters Club. At present, she continues to be an active Member of Conseil General of Rennaz, the commune where she lives along with her family.
Another important role that she juggles along is that of being Chairperson for the All Ladies League (ALL, Montreux), a global NGO. She says, “ My role is to bring ‘naari-shakti’ or woman power together. At ALL, we host and organize theme-based lunches, cultural events, movie nights, cooking sessions, coffee meets, visit old age home, ‘bhakti sangeet’, etc.”
In addition, she is also the co-founder of Hindi and Bal Vikaas School in Rennaz. Here she provides free Hindi lessons on Sundays at her residence. “To inculcate values of the rich Indian culture, I am actively involved with cultural education – teaching ‘shlokas’, ‘mantras’ and ‘bhajans’ to kids as well as adults who are interested. Another part of my work that is tangentially different is the initiation of Bollywood dance classes in my Commune.”
Along her way of doing different things in different ways, Ruby came under the spotlight for the number of awards and accolades she won this year. These include: Exceptional Women of Excellence by the Women Economic Forum at Portugal, Global Goodwill Ambassador by the GGA, Portugal, Most Inspirational Female Entrepreneur (nominee) by Swiss Entrepreneur Magazine and the Competent Communicator Award by the Toastmasters International Communication Programme.
Humbly, she says, “Awards and achievements always give an extra kick to give my best and perform better. My main aim in life is to serve mankind – empower both women and men. I want to do more significant tasks in life and be a harbinger of change, educating people and spreading happiness.”
A motto she lives by
“Education is a continuous mission of life, Never stop learning – learn something new every day. And I
am not just talking about degrees and diplomas but real life – education. Try to inculcate good values, noble ethics, and cultural sense within yourself and in people around you.”
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