Rising Raveena

Raveena Desraj Shrestha is Deputy General Manager in Mega Bank Limited. Apart from being a Banker, she is also a motivational speaker and a Certified Life Coach (USA) and has received 4 international awards. Raveena has been a source of inspiration for many and it is proven
by her followers in social media sites
like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Raveena is also a proud homemaker and mother of actor Ayushman Shrestha. Versatile visited Raveena at her office and sat over a coffee to talk about various aspects of her life.

What was your childhood like?

My childhood was fantastic. It was filled with love from my father, mother, grandparents and
brothers. I used to be a
very cheerful child and
used to play with dolls,
dance a lot and do all
those things a normal
child would do. I also
spent a considerable
time in school hostel
during my education. I
consider myself lucky to
have such beautiful and
happy childhood.

How was your school and college life?

I went to a very good school, thanks to my mom and dad. My school was Dr. Graham Homes. It is located in West Bengal, India. I studied in this school from 1972 to 1995. It was a fantastic school and it focused on overall development

of child. Apart from regular studies, there were lots of extra- curricular activities. We played lots of sports. We learned how to cook food, clean our rooms, help younger

kids do homework and get them ready for school and so on. My school taught me real life lessons. I even learned how to clean toilet there (Laughs).

In 1986, I changed my school and got enrolled in Modern Indian School. I achieved and learned a lot from both my schools.

My college life started in 1987 from Sikshyatan College affiliated to Calcutta University. I used to go to college in mornings. In day time, I used to work
in Mother Teresa Homes for Children and Elderly. It was my first step towards social work and I worked there for 3 years. During the last year of my college, I also became a nursing assistant and looked after people with leprosy and

Tuberculosis. When I sum up my school and college life, I enjoyed
it thoroughly. My education and real life lessons during this period has shaped me up to become what I am today

How and when did you enter banking sector?

I believe in progressive and developmental work. Since my childhood, I wanted

to do something that will have impact upon many lives. I believe that Raveena came into this world not just to live but to touch and help people through my developmental work. I thought I could do so by entering into banking profession.

I joined Standard Chartered Bank Ltd. in 1992 as Developmental Manager. I worked there for 13 years and then moved on to Mega Bank Ltd. I have been a banker for 25 years.

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Versatile | JANUARY 2017 15

Social work have definitely helped me develop a positive attitude towards life.

I also spare time
for myself. I am
a free thinker, Spiritual Materialist, Womanist, Coach and a Healer. Then only I am a banker.

You have been engaged in social work from your college life. What inspired you for this and what is your overall experience in social work?

When I worked for Mother Teresa, I
saw babies being delivered as well as people dying. I cared for people in their last stages. I talked with them about their experiences and listened their stories. After knowing the struggle of those people, I became grateful for the life that I had. My Parents provided for everything, I had good education, good food and warm bed. I compared my life with people that were forced their life with just Rs. 10 per day. During those years, I used to look after a leprosy patient who didn’t have limbs. But he was a very funny person and we used
to laugh a lot at his jokes. He took life
so lightly and was always happy. This experience changed my perspective on life.

I then came across Dr. Jack Pregar,
who had established a free clinic in
Park Street in Calcutta. It always used
to have a stream of patients. Doctors from around the world used to come
to this clinic to help treat patients and
I also wanted to be part of this noble cause. I asked Dr. Pregar if I can also join the clinic. He asked me to show my hands and asked me if I was ready to cut my nails as I had long nails (laughs). I became a useful member in this clinic as I was the only person who can speak

English, Hindi and Bengali. Apart from this, I also initiated a cloth collection drive and have been involved in different charities. This work has provided me with a unique perspective of life and I feel very positive when I am able to help people in need.

So that is what makes you “Positive Raveena”?

(Laughs). I am a woman and I have feelings that every woman has. I cry at times. I become sad but I have learned

some hard lessons due to which I am grateful for the life I have. Social work have definitely helped me develop a positive attitude towards life.

Tell us about your married life

I got married when I was 23 years old. I have two sons Ayusman and Ashirman. I became separate with my husband after 17 years of marriage. We had differences and this resulted in separation. But I still have good relation with my ex-husband and his parents. We talk and meet at times.

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You are a banker, social worker, artist, motivator, life coach and many more. How do you manage your daily schedule and time?

I am good in time management. I
have learned how to manage my time during my banking career. I meet a
lot of people, attend a lot of calls and manage my home and office time to perfection. We have 24 hours in a day and I plan for each hour. Before I go to sleep, I ask myself what I have achieved today. Let’s take example of today. I talked with my son in the morning, I am meeting you now, and then I will attend to work in office and will go shopping
in the evening. This is how I plan. But
I also look for results. If I think I have contributed my time for betterment of others then I become satisfied.

I also spare time for myself. I am a free thinker, Spiritual Materialist, Womanist, Coach and a Healer. Then only I am a banker. If I am not happy then I won’t be able to make others happy. So whatever the difficulties, I always work to manage time for myself and for others.

Tell us about various awards and fame that you have earned

I feel that I am very lucky to have
been able to win awards in national
and international arenas. It gives me immense pride that I have won award from among 6000 participants from 32 countries. I won my second award from among 3000 women from 16 countries.
I recently got facilitated by Samsung Korea.

I feel that this has all been made
possible due to media and their backing. Professionally I am a banker but media also portrays me as an example of women empowerment. Some people
are known in their circles but some are known out of their circles. I feel I am a lucky person who is known out of my circle as well. Media has helped me a
lot in this. Whenever I get covered in magazine, newspaper or TV, I feel happy that I have been able to make a position for myself. But this fame also comes with responsibility. I now have to constantly deliver better results and do more impactful work. I now have to be more

Professionally I am
a banker but media also portrays me as an example of women empowerment. Some people are known in their circles but some are known out of their circles.

progressive in all of my work. When
I am being featured, I want to convey positive thoughts so that I can impact a person’s life for betterment.

We have seen you as an artist and you are also seen in Ramps.

Yes, I frequently get invited to become a show stopper for fashion shows. I
also get invited for various Jewelry and beauty products which I happily accept. Internationally people assume that bankers are serious and boring persons. I want to show people that bankers

can also be fun and jolly. This is why I do such kind of activities. I hope I can encourage others with this.

What is the secret behind your tantalizing beauty?

First of all, I want to thank you for such good comment (laughs). I believe that people who are happy inside will always look beautiful outside. I love myself. Inner happiness shows in my eyes, voice and skin. This is not only related to women but also for men. Apart from this, you need to maintain yourself through mediation, exercise and diet. There is a famous saying” There are no ugly women, there are lazy women”

There are so many women in banking sector, but you have been a celebrity face with coverage every week and months. How has this benefitted you?

I am very happy with this outcome
but I do not give effort to get covered. Even you have come on your own and
I have obliged. I try to convey different message in different interview. As I told you earlier, I want to have a meaningful impact on others which can positively change lives.

Some of your pictures, one in
a bikini have been criticized in media and social sites. How do you see these kinds of criticism?

Yes, I am in that bikini and I have posted the picture on Facebook myself. There
is a deep message with this picture
and I posted it to promote women

empowerment and to change mindset of educated brass. I have the strength to post that picture and I fully stand by it. But it should not be taken as a form of nudity as it is a part of a power message to uplift the society.

What are the reasons for your frequent travel out of the country?

Sometimes I go on vacation, sometimes for award functions. I go on vacation regularly with family and sometimes alone. Many people do not know that, whenever I travel outside, I always promote Nepal and our national flag.

You have a tattoo with Freedom written in it. What does this tattoo mean to you?

I am also a hypnotherapist and I have come across various people. I see that many people suffer from depression and carry tension in life. There is tension between husband and wife, some are tension due to their son or daughter being in drug addiction, unmarried
girls are in tension due to unavoidable pregnancy and so on. I see that everyone is seeking freedom from the tensions. Some seek freedom aggressively and

live positive life whereas some cannot and get into depression. We live in a traditional society and there are so many social stigma that we have to overcome. So, I see that everyone wants freedom.

I have a tattoo with Freedom written
in it in my hand and feet and I believe that if my hands and feet are not tied then I am free. Freedom is being able
to do what I want whatever the result. Freedom is a universal right and I feel
I have it. Whenever someone criticizes me, I look at my tattoo and feel that I am ok because I have my freedom.

How do you sum up your career in banking being women?

I am very satisfied with what I have achieved. But there are a lot of things that I still have to learn. I feel learning never ends. I want to continuously improve myself and at the same time pass on the knowledge I have gained to others.