The graduating batch of the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A), was in for a surprise when Axis Bank CEO and MD, Shikha Sharma, took the podium to deliver the convocation speech. Cutting through boring shop talk, Sharma, herself an alumna of IIM-A, gave the students some practical relationship advice.

When the team designated for managing the convocation of the prestigious Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad contacted Axis Bank’s CEO and MD, Shikha Sharma for heading the event, little did they expect her to deliver the most realistic of relationship advices. Come on! Not everyday would you expect the CEO of one of the largest banks to be so candid on the podium while giving a convocation address.

Mrs. Shikha Sharma, mixed humour and realism in the perfect mix in her speech, where she gave the disclaimer that she might sound like the students’ mother. However boring or motherly the advices might be, she said they would serve them well in their lives.

“The choice of a life partner is the single most important choice you’ll make in your life, much of the joy you derive in your life, does hark back to who you choose to share this journey with. A lot of what I am today are a function of the life partner I was lucky to have alongside my journey. Sanjay and I, both alumni of IIM-A, are very different people. But we are not all that different either. We have very similar core values,” she said.

“When you are out there looking for a partner, look beyond their looks, their success, their style. The durability and strength of your relationship if not going to come from your partner’s personality. It is going to come from their character, so remember to look well beneath the surface.”

Watch the interesting speech here:

Mrs Sharma is one of the most popular female leaders in India’s banking industry. It is to be noted that her husband, Sanjaya Sharma, is the former CEO of TIS (Tata Group).