KATHMANDU: As if being appointed the first female country manager of Etihad Airlines in September 2011 was not a glorious achievement in itself, Pawana Shrestha is determined to soar even higher. “This has been one of my best accomplishments so far, but I will continually strive for better achievements in the coming days,” she says.
Shrestha, who obtained a postgraduate degree in Rural Development from Tribhuvan University in 1998, began her career as a teacher.
According to her, this first job was a great experience as it helped her obtain work ethics in a very friendly environment. Shrestha then switched career to the aviation industry by working in Gulf Air from 1999 to 2005, and then headed to Galileo Global Distribution before landing at Etihad Airlines. She explains, “My experience of working in a multi-cultural scenario coupled with a decade-long sojourn
in the travel trade business led me to the aviation industry.” The enterprising high-flyer also has plans to start her own travel agency in the near future.
Elaborating her current role, Shrestha says, “My responsibility at Etihad Airways Nepal is to take care of all its commercial and functional aspects and to ensure the adherence of Etihad code of business conduct.” According to Shrestha, though her responsibilities are really challenging and demanding, she enjoys them. She says, “If we learn to transform challenges into opportunities and utilise the maximum
potential, we will be successful.” Shrestha considers it a natural challenge to sell a product in a price sensitive market like ours. However, she adds, “It depends on how you sell your products using unique selling points and value added services. The product should offer clients the best value for money and ensure customer satisfaction, which is priceless.”
Shrestha, who describes herself as a team player, stresses that working in a team not only reduces workload, but also adds to
optimisation and efficiency. Differing from the common viewpoint that working women face hassles, she says, “I feel that such thinking
is detrimental to oneself. So, instead of making an issue of being a woman at the workplace, I see many opport-unities for smart women in today’s global workforce.”
Shrestha believes juggling office and home efficiently is important. She says, “It is essential to strike a balance between career and family for a happy life. I’ve been lucky in this matter as my family, especially my husband, is very supportive. There is a saying that there is a woman behind every man’s success, but in my case, the reverse holds equally true.” Offering advice to her counterparts, Shrestha says, “Women should always dare to explore and never limit themselves in their search for skills and knowledge.” According to her, everyone needs to stretch their comfort zone, and perform tasks in the best possible way to excel in life.