A company’s culture greatly influences how successful it becomes. Building and managing this across borders and cultures makes it all the more challenging. This month, we are featuring the leader behind our award-winning people strategies, Sheena Ponnappan, the Chief People Officer of Everise. In our interview, she reveals how some of her experiences have shaped her into the fierce and fair person she is today.
Outside of work, what are some of the activities that you enjoy doing?
My love for cinema takes up most of my free time outside of work, as I believe it is one of the most powerful mediums apart from literature. Works of genius and creativity, cinema provides us with emotional connections to fictional characters, even historical figures and the ability to see the world through another’s eyes. I’m fascinated by the time and patience required to create something so spectacular that tells a story in anything from 15 minutes to 3 hours.
As the CPO of a global experience company, you travel a lot - what continues to fuel your passion to travel?
I enjoy traveling to new places to get out of my comfort zone and to learn more about other places and cultures. This helps me expand my perspective and introduce me to ways of life that can help me have more empathy in my decision making. I’ve been very fortunate to have had jobs that have given me opportunities to travel around the world, blessing me with a rich collection of human experiences.
What specific experience in your life has been the most memorable so far?
Who I am today is an amalgamation of my life experiences, hence it’s difficult for me to say any one is the most memorable. Professionally, the time I spent working in the Philippines, South Africa, and England carved several personal and emotional experiences for me through the years. The relationships I've formed in these countries and continue to do so in Singapore, Malaysia, Guatemala and the US through my work have humbled me and helped me see the world through the eyes of people I may never have otherwise known.
Looking back, I take pride in having family in all these countries and in having been able to make a difference in people’s professional and personal lives. It’s always been the legacy I wished for. Personally, the birth of my niece and how it changed me is my most memorable. She is 14 now and continues to teach me something new with every interaction.
Considering you have traveled extensively around the globe, what is your favorite food?
I absolutely love seafood. And almost all desserts.
What is something new that you’d like to try in this life?
So many things! To list a few:
• Learn to speak Spanish (in order to survive better in Florida!)
• Visit Antarctica (Somehow, Sudhir manages to not only give us professional goals, but personal ones as well!)
• Climb the Inca Trail
• Experience the Rio carnival
• Learn to ski
Sheena is one of the many people behind Everise’s award-winning culture. She uses her life experiences as a way to innovate the world around her. Find out more about our disruptive leadership team and their experiences today.
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