Ankit Jindal lost his eyesight when he was in his teens. But he did not let his disability come in his way, and today he is a successful Marketing Manager at Wipro. From following an ambitious career path and dealing with competition to finding the love of his life, here is all you need to know about his amazing story of success.
“When I was 13, most of the kids of my age would go out, play, and plan a bright future. But I had to deal with the harsh reality that I would soon be blind,” recalls Ankit Jindal. Struck with this understanding, Jindal’s world crashed around him. But not one to lament over his misfortune, he worked on his strengths and today, he proudly holds the position of Marketing Manager at Wipro.
He was in school when a regular visit to an eye doctor broke this news to his family – that he had been suffering from Retinitis Pigmentosa, a disorder which causes progressive vision loss. This disorder was not something unknown to the family as his maternal grandfather, aunts and uncle too had it.
By the time Jindal turned 20, he had lost his vision entirely, and was completely dependent on others for even basic tasks. “It was expected, but the news shattered all of us. However, I decided to not let this disability come in my way. It took some time to accept the reality, but with everyone’s support, I decided to live a regular life despite visual impairment,” Jindal says.
He continued to finish his education and was determined to get a deserving job. He started pursuing an MBA from the Faculty of Management Studies, Delhi. “It was a nightmare initially. No one had the time to handhold me, especially when there is so much competition everywhere,” he says. He would get the notes converted into audio format and started paying extra attention to be at par with his classmates.
“My mother played an important role in my success and has been a pillar of support. Even though she did not understand the chapters, she would sit with me and help me out with the syllabus,” he says.
When summer campus placements came, he got selected by a company but was declined the opportunity due to his disability and he eventually ended up interning at a friend’s startup. “I was shattered; they didn’t look at my qualifications. They just took away the offer because I was blind. I wanted to change this mindset. I wanted people to understand that one can be as good as others in spite of his or her disability,” he says.
The turning point
It was a college project that got Jindal the recognition that he truly deserved. He led a team which stood at second position at the Tata Business Leadership Awards. It was the start of a good time for Jindal, who had faced a lot of difficulties in his professional and academic career so far.
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Wipro came as a campus recruiter and Jindal cracked all rounds of interviews without any difficulty. “I knew I had the potential, and Wipro is a very inclusive company. They didn’t let my disability come in the way of my qualification,” he says.
He has been working as Marketing Manager for Wipro Infotech and Global Infrastructure Services for three years now. His work requires him to travel frequently, meet new people and plan strategies, which he enjoys to the core.
Another victory came by Jindal’s way when he was chosen for the prestigious Hellen Keller award in 2013.
Helping other persons with disability
His own professional success was not something Jindal settled with. He had the desire to do more and reach out to other people with disability to make their life easier. A meeting with an inclusion activist Vidhya Ramasubbam converted into an amazing initiative called Kickstart cabs. Along with Ramasubbam, Jindal launched these cab services in 2013 that catered to the needs of people with disability.
He also set up a social enterprise, Diversity and Equal Opportunity Centre (DEOC) which focuses on making workplaces more inclusive. His list of achievements also include co-authoring a book Value Routes to Business Success: The Why and How of Employing Persons with Disabilities.
Finding the love of his life
No story is complete without a happy ending in the personal life, and Jindal got that when he met his wife Kanika. A match fixed by Jindal’s parents soon transformed into love and today Kanika is his biggest strength and stands tall with her genius husband. “It was an arranged love,” laughs the couple.
Though Kanika’s parents were against this match due to his disability, Kanika was determined to follow her heart.
“Even I don’t know why did she marry me. I am lucky to have her in my life,” Jindal smiles. “I fell in love with him the moment I saw him. His simplicity, his values and his attitude towards life were things that made me decide that he is the one,” quickly adds Kanika.
An adventure enthusiast, Jindal never lets his visual impairment stop him from enjoying his thrills. From white-water rafting to cliff jumping, he has done it all. “I would like to do bungee jumping too,” he says. Content with what life has given him so far, Jindal wants to climb the success ladder even further and become CEO of a company some day.
Willing to continue his efforts in the inclusion sector, he has big plans in store which he promises to reveal only when they take proper shape. We indeed are waiting for this amazing man’s future endeavours and wish him good luck.
We will be bringing to you more such incredible personalities we had a chance to meet at the India Inclusion Summit 2014.