By Shadan Muneer, Freelance Journalist
Dr. Sridevi Kulenur is an Associate Professor at JSS Science and Technology University, Mysuru. She has been teaching in the area of HR Management, Organisational Behaviour and Total Quality Management. Her Ph.D thesis was in the area of Integrated Approaches of Total Quality Management and HRM Practices. Her research area includes quality management, industrial relations, leadership, organisational citizenship behaviour, employee competency mapping, and stress at work places, employer welfare measures, and job satisfaction and employee engagement. With over nine years of academic experience, Dr. Sridevi Kulenur has published many research papers in national and international journals and delivered special lectures. One of her research papers won the Best Paper Award at an international conference in Goa.
SOM: Being a professor, a professional singer and having a family life, how do you balance out things?
Dr. Sridevi Kulenur: I consider 3 ‘Ps’ in my life, the first ‘P’ would be Profession, which I truly enjoy, the 2nd ‘P’ is Passion which is Music, and the 3rd ‘P’ is Part of Life which is my Family — balancing all three successfully is not an easy job and I face a lot of challenges every day. Projects, research papers and my young child have to be taken care of. But when you are passionate towards your work, everything falls into place and thankfully I have a supporting family which helps me through it. Since music is my passion it helps me release stress.
SOM: How has your professional journey been and what motivated you to become a singer?
Dr. Sridevi Kulenur: I got into teaching profession when I was 24. I realised that apart from teaching I need to play various roles — that of a guide, a friend and a mentor to my students and build rapport with them which has worked for me. I started liking music in my teens and it was Lalitha, my music teacher, who believed that I could become a singer. She started giving me training and she has been a major motivating factor. Over the years I learnt light music, Karnatak music and Hindustani vocal. Today I sing for movies, albums and even do composing.
SOM: You started your career at a very young age and did you face any obstacles?
Dr. Sridevi Kulenur: Obstacles are a part of every job and I too faced a lot of them. In teaching profession initially managing students, who were more or less of my own age, was a little difficult and challenging but with time I realised that it was not about age or giving lectures but it was about learning to deal with students with an open mind and guide them through with a lot of patience.
When it comes to my music, managing time was a major factor as music requires a lot of time and dedication. Obstacles made me start my own recording studio and none of us had experience in it but somehow we managed and today I have my own professional recording studio. As a woman and a mother, it has been tough to reach the position where I am today especially with a small kid.
SOM: There is a lot of stress, competition and pressure on young adults to perform well. What is the best way to deal with it according to you?
Dr. Sridevi Kulenur: Planning out each day and organised way of doing things helps a lot. If you want to manage stress and balance emotions indulge yourself in something that you like the most, it could be any creative work or hobby for that matter. I always suggest my students to do multi-tasking to keep them energetic and active.
SOM: How do you bring in creativity in your teaching and make learning interesting?
Dr. Sridevi Kulenur: I indulge in creative teaching which makes learning interesting. I involve students in activities like situational role plays which excite them. Audio-video learning and brainstorming are part of my teaching.
SOM: Do you think exploitation of women at workplaces still exist?
Dr. Sridevi Kulenur: Today’s women are bold and confident and know how to handle themselves at any given situation. They don’t feel inferior to men and they are strong enough to raise their voice.