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Praneeta Singh: Building a centre of excellence in Macquarie’s Gurugram office

Praneeta Singh has worked at Macquarie for the best part of a decade. As a Business Manager for the Gurugram office, she has witnessed its growth into a centre of excellence and has been a champion for both gender equity and women in tech.


When Praneeta Singh joined Macquarie’s Gurugram office in 2012, the brand was less established in India than other large corporations she had previously worked for.

“Macquarie wasn’t yet well-known in India,” Praneeta explains. “But I was attracted to the speak-up culture I’d heard about, as much as the opportunity to take on a busy role where I would be working with many stakeholders across teams and across regions.”

“Another driver of my decision to join Macquarie was the calibre of people I met during interviews.”

Praneeta started with Macquarie in the Operational Risk Management for Technology team before progressing to lead the Identity and Cyber Security team. Now almost a decade into her career at Macquarie, she has advanced to Business Manager for the entire Gurugram office.


A centre of excellence

Gurugram is now Macquarie’s third largest office globally and Praneeta is responsible for overseeing the governance and operations in Gurugram across multiple divisions within the Group.

“It was a brand-new role for me and for the organisation,” Praneeta explains. “As a Business Manager for Gurugram, I’m looking after the entire office from a governance point of view.”

“The work is evolving and fast-paced, and I’m constantly learning, partly due to the speed of regulatory change in India, coupled with the pace of change at Macquarie.”

Praneeta’s role responsibilities are so broad that she can manage everything from financial services regulations to technology, taxation, HR, and the pandemic.


Work-life balance

After just two days at Macquarie, Praneeta was faced with a dilemma when her child fell ill. She recalls feeling overwhelming guilt when forced to ask for a leave to care for her sick child after such little time within the organisation.

Praneeta explains that her manager was very supportive and said ‘Don’t worry at all. We can talk about training when you come back, it is more important that you take care of your one-year-old child now.’

This made me realise just how supportive the Macquarie culture is—all we need to do is have the courage to speak up and ask for help when needed."

Her manager’s response gave her confidence that she would be supported when needed, creating a valuable work life balance. This was very important to allow Praneeta to support her family and interests in art, fitness and meditation.

“Each day is different,” she says. “Some days a work project needs me more than my family, so I give myself fully to the project. But other days family must be my focus. Whether it’s work, or family, I try to be fully focused on what I am doing at that moment.”

“Macquarie really does help me bring my whole self to work. I get to follow my interests and my passions,” Praneeta says.

“I may have a defined role, with deliverables and tasks, but I always feel inspired to give more because the organisation invests in me, my learning and my growth.”


Flexibility and diversity

Praneeta sees flexible working as an important way to increase diversity in the workplace.

In line with this, Praneeta has mentored other women in the organisation, helping them establish flexible work arrangements. She passionately drives gender equity within Macquarie and has been involved in several initiatives to help further embed it in the workplace. She has attended courses on gender and diversity, participated in forums, and is an active member of Macquarie’s Women in COG Tech Employee Network Group.

“We may face similar challenges striving for diversity and equality across different regions in the world, but the cultural aspect is also important,” Praneeta explains.

“Women can be more reluctant to speak in Zoom meetings, for instance,” says Praneeta. “So I always prompt the team leaders to hear every voice and support women to speak by asking if there is something they want to say.”

“We also have to work towards small mindset changes, to ensure tasks at work are not stereotyped,” Praneeta says. “So it’s not always the women who organise a team party, for example.”


A personal and professional journey

Praneeta has enjoyed building long-term relationships, creating teams, and working globally in her career at Macquarie.

“I don’t feel like I’ve been in the one place for almost a decade, because there’s always something new to learn,” says Praneeta. “It’s been an enriching experience.”

“Macquarie champions and propagates change, so being open and adaptive to the entrepreneurial environment has helped me evolve in my career and also my personal life.”

“It’s important to be flexible but also plan for the future. I strive to build strong succession in my team and create new opportunities to adapt to how the world is today.”

Praneeta notes the pandemic and the seamless transition to working from home as examples of Macquarie’s adaptability. She also highlights the enormous growth in Macquarie’s Gurugram operations over her time with the organisation.

“Our office has deepened the level of work undertaken as well as the footprint,” Praneeta explains.

But what has really altered is that we’ve seen perceptions change from simply ‘offshoring’ the work, to Macquarie's Gurugram operations becoming a centre of excellence. More niche work is being completed here and some of Macquarie’s largest projects are now being led from Gurugram."

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