At “Sovereign Stories” we often come across interesting facts from around the Group. For example, most meetings in Singapore office now start with a mindfulness session for everyone’s benefit. To mark May’s Mental Health Awareness Week, we caught up with Niyati Nair, Corporate Secretarial Executive who is the office’s mindfulness coach.
Niyati joined Sovereign almost a year ago. Her previous job ended as a result of legal changes in Singapore to visa and employment rules. She was attracted to Sovereign by its reputation as a socially responsible employer and was encouraged from the start by local MD Andrew Galway. He is well-known as a keen proponent of diversity in the workplace. Niyati cites the Singapore team’s diverse nationalities and ethnicity as real examples of this policy in action – more important than mere words.
She merged into one, the role of two previous job holders which is no mean feat. From the outset, Niyati presented ideas on how to run the portfolio in a more efficient way thus benefitting clients and colleagues.
Niyati introduced interactive mindfulness sessions as part of her team building initiative. She was delighted when a new colleague joined who is also well versed in mindfulness sessions. Active participation in these mindfulness sessions has allowed the teams to get to know each other better, improving their work dynamics.
Niyati mentioned a recent meeting called to discuss budgets wherein the mindfulness session began with an open discussion where all participants were encouraged to contribute, some raising issues that they wouldn’t normally have shared with colleagues.
Sessions are wide ranging and may deal with aspects of self-awareness before closing after about twenty minutes. It is thus complete before starting the formal agenda. Increasingly the mindfulness session IS part of the agenda, a trend likely to grow given Niyati’s enthusiasm, underpinned at all times by management support.
Niyati points out that Sovereign can truly be said to be leading the way. She is convinced that mindfulness will grow in importance in the years to come, particularly in a post-Covid world. Sovereign is therefore in a good place already.
We asked Niyati about her corporate secretarial role. In a delightful quote she told us that her job is simply a question of “reminding everyone about everything to do with the Singapore companies in the portfolio” – currently numbering around 200. Deadlines must be met in areas such as tax, status updates, accounting and compliance. Niyati is responsible for reminding clients of their obligations – and the admin staff about theirs!
Niyati was attracted to Sovereign by the wide range of services and international office network not often seen in Singapore in similar sized firms. This allows for multinational structuring worldwide – and it can be arranged by the local office.
She found her three-month probation period challenging as she learned about the job and duties. Niyati was grateful for the management support afforded which again is not common in Singapore.
Since starting, no less than three new colleagues have joined as a result of her recommendation. As elsewhere, Covid presented multiple challenges but in general Niyati feels the team adapted well to working from home. She is, however, glad to be back in office.
Married in 2009, her husband works in IT and they are proud parents of a three year old son. Brought up in Mumbai, Niyati moved to Singapore seven years ago. Apart from English, she speaks four local Indian languages of which Marathi is her mother tongue. When not working she enjoys sea swimming and also making short videos on diverse subjects that interest her. These are posted to various social media channels.
Niyati combines a busy job with family life and a broad range of interests too. We wish her well and will follow Singapore office’s development in the mindfulness area as it lays out a pathway for other locations to follow.