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Jhuma Dutt - Head of Operations Assurance and Resource

Name, Job Title, Years in Serco

Jhuma Dutt, Head of Operations Assurance and Resource, 11 years

Tell us a little bit about your role?

I am the head of operations assurance and resources department at leading rail contract in the region. The department comprises of two work streams: operations assurance and resource planning for Serco’s rail contracts in the UAE.  We are responsible for the overall management of operational assurance and managing rosters to ensure the efficient utilisation of resources.

 

How do you feel Serco has supported you?

Serco as a company has several learning opportunities for staff to aid their career progression. The Senior members within the company provide valuable mentoring and there are several channels to progress. Be proactive and ready to explore, learn and embrace the change.

My career progression in Serco is an example of the level of professional support Serco provides to each employee. I started as a station agent and over the years I progressed steadily to my current position.

Every day was a new learning experience, received prompt professional guidance from my line managers and mentors at Serco.

What makes a good leader?

Focus on inclusion, empathy and diversity. Communicate well, put your people first and support them so they can realise their potential. Think and act strategically, foster creativity and innovation - and keep learning!

How do you balance work and life responsibilities

I love what I do at work, therefore there is no struggle to balance work and personal life. I would note though, that it is important for me to have a daily routine and get my priorities in line. I also believe that being agile and working as team is crucial to work-life balance.  Switching off from work once I’m done for the day allows me to have quality time with my family and the disconnect paves way for a novel restart with new energy. I make sure to have some ‘me time’ every day.

What has been the highlight of your career?

The most impactful career highlight was in May 2015 when I took a role in operations assurance and emergency preparedness. It is traditionally not a female-led role, but I took that on as a personal challenge. I was supported by my line manager and colleagues, who believed in my capacity to perform this role.

In November 2015, I performed my first full scale emergency live exercise drill as the first female test case manager in one Serco’s largest rail contract in the region.

Who inspires you and why?

My everyday inspiration is my mother. She always encourages me and reminds me that there is more to achieve. I’m also inspired by those who create an impact by taking down barriers and those who are not in the best situations but still are continuously striving to make a difference.

What advice would you give to females who are just starting their careers?

Believe in yourself and create your own impact. Focus on your strengths and map these with the opportunities around you. Define your career goal and progression path.Be ready to take the first step and don’t be afraid of failure. Its important to explore different options and not restrict yourself. Accept change and continue learning.

What’s next for you?

Serco is a major player in the service industry and there is a lot to be explored. I am currently working on expanding my proficiency in assurance by learning elements of system assurance that are linked with operations and how these can be channeled to improve overall service delivery. I’m also interested in overall contract management within our different transport projects so I can understand their ways of working to help me improve myself and my team.