Please tell us about yourself

Uttara Talapatra graduated from Sikkim Manipal Institute of Technology in the year 2003 from Computer Science & Engineering Department. She went on to do her MBA in Marketing & Finance from TA Pai Management Institute.

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Your career path?

She joined Titan Industries Ltd in the year 2005, where she was responsible for marketing, sales, account management and launch of various products. After a 3 year stint at Titan, she joined L’Oréal India in the year 2008 with whom she has been since then. In her earlier years with L’Oréal she was responsible for- ideation of new products, building the L’Oréal brand in India, creating strategies for communication and marketing and research on media and consumer behavior. Currently, as the Assistant General Manager at L’Oréal, she leads the Hair Color category for the Garnier brand in India taking care of every single aspect of the product development and business.

How did you end up in such an offbeat, unconventional and unique career?

Right from her days in SMIT, she took immense interest in writing. While she was in college, she worked with professors to edit their books and as one of the founders & lead organizers of Kaalrav, she took care of scripting events and hosting them and in drafting strategies to spread the word about Kaalrav to nearby schools and colleges. After college, she took her passion for writing ahead and her short stories were published in a collaborative fiction called Just Plain Bad Luck. After the book was well received, she went on to publish her own collection of short stories inspired by her own experiences in a book called Surprises in the year 2014. It is a delightful collection of short stories, each one of them with an unexpected twist at the end. It has a wide variety of stories and has elements of suspense, mystery, comedy, romance, satire and drama. Whether it is a scheming housewife, a crooked politician, a loyal friend, or a loving dog- there is something to hold and engage everyone and the characters remain with you long after you have read the stories.

Even after leading a decade-long successful stint as a marketing professional, she still remembers vividly the time she had spent in SMIT. As a student from one of the earlier batches of SMIT, she saw SMIT grow before her and she believes that she and her friends were fortunate to study in an institute that wasn’t so well established back then because that gave her the opportunities to take initiatives, manage to do wonders with fewer amenities and perfect the art of jugaad. She thanks the college and professors for helping shape a large part of her personality during her early years. She believes that a lot of how she is as a person is thanks to the experience at SMIT.

On behalf of the SMIT family, we wish Uttara all the very best in all her future endeavors. Wish she keeps making us all proud.