About Heather

My journey

… from England to India and everything in between!


If you’re reading this, you’re probably (hopefully!) a little bit intrigued by my story. Either that or it’s a slow day, workwise!

Why is she here, in India? How does she think that she can help me navigate my business challenges? You may even be wondering – how can she help me settle in to this new and strange country?

Though there are very many foreigners living in Asia, India and Mumbai, there aren’t so many who stay for decades and really make their adopted country their new home. I originally came to Asia on a backpacking trip in the year 2000, and loved it so much, that I never left. Since then, I’ve travelled the length and breadth of the region, learned an awful lot about diverse communities across countries in Central, South-East, and North-East Asia, and finally made Mumbai, India my home.

I have a passion for people, learning and development and I am fascinated with the way that different cultures affect behaviour. I’ve worked closely with over a dozen countries in the region, and developed a deep understanding of beliefs and customs, preferences and values, which has deepened my love of this part of the world.

Over the years, here and in the UK, I’ve helped solve complex business problems, launched award winning advertising campaigns, partnered with Business Leaders to ensure excellence in recruiting and developing people, and coached senior executives to meet stretching goals. Here’s a bit more about my journey :

Picture

1970

Born in Exeter, UK. Thankfully my fashion sense improved eventually (though it took a while).

1970
picture

1972

2 awesome years of being an only child, before my sister joined us. As you can see, I was very happy about it.

1972
Picture

1977

Celebrated the Queen's Silver Jubilee in style

1977
Picture

1981

Won a scholarship to a posh private school. My Mum gave me an awesome “home haircut” using a pudding basin, to celebrate.

1981
Picture

1984

Discovered Wham! And fluorescent pink accessories. It was a year for fashion to remember.

1984
Picture

1992

1992 Graduation

Graduated from The University of Newcastle Upon Tyne with a degree in English Literature and no clue what I wanted to do in life. Became the President of the Student Union, to while a year away while I decided.

1992
Picture

1993

1993 First Job

First “proper job” in marketing, as a Brand Assistant at Procter & Gamble. Quickly realized that my heart lay in advertising, and moved to McCann Erickson, one of the best agencies in town. Wined and dined a LOT of clients, and spent a lot of time partying, in the name of networking.

1993
Picture

2000

2000 Travels

Left the UK, having risen through the ranks of McCann Erickson and J Walter Thompson. A year of backpacking took me all over Asia, from India to Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia.

2000
picture

2001

Offered a role as Regional Account Director for the Unilever Foods Business with J Walter Thompson in Bangkok. Grabbed it eagerly, and exchanged dorm rooms and bus travel for 5 star hotels and business class flights.

1984
picture

2003

Persuaded to move to Mumbai, and take on another Regional Account Director for the Unilever Detergent business, this time with Lowe Lintas. I was the only foreigner in the office, and immediately fell in love with Mumbai.

2003
picture

2005

Became the head of HR for Lowe India, thanks to a prescient CEO who had "a feeling" that I'd be good with people. Realised that HR and developing people was my calling.

2005
picture

2007

2007 SILS MIL

Headhunted to set up the HR team for Indian media giant UTV. Moved into a life of Bollywood premieres and TV channel launches. Met my husband Vivek, and his lovely, large family. Here's me with my mother in law and 4 (4!) sisters in law.

2007
picture

2008

2008 Wedding

Married Vivek in a Christian wedding ceremony at St Paul's Cathedral in Kolkata, followed by a big fat Indian wedding party.

2008
picture

2010

2010 Jake

Turned 40, and became a mother. Something I never expected would happen as I'd never been the maternal type. Fell in love with baby Jake, and immediately wanted another. Started Coaching after being trained by some of the best coaches in India, and realized that I loved that too.

2010
picture

2011

2011 Book

Left UTV to ostensibly “take a break”, write a book, and Coach more. Was seduced to join The 120 Media Collective as Chief Talent Officer by their exuberant CEO. Published the book, Becoming Mrs Kumar, a year later.

2011
picture

2012

2012 Baby 2

Had baby no 2, Noah. Now I really knew what it was to be a working Mum.

2012

2016

2016 Certificate

Spent a year living and working in the UK, and completed International Coaching Federation ACC qualification, to add to the skills I have developed already.

2016
Back to top