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In the ever-evolving space of Fast-Moving consumer goods (FMCG) trade, innovation meets the everyday necessities of life.  

Lavina’s passion for her industry was evident in every word she spoke. She added on to elaborate, “Balance is something you carry within yourself, and work is just a part of life; there’s no need to balance work and life separately.” Work, in her opinion, is simply a way of life. Her sensible advice will cause you to reconsider your attitude toward both your professional and personal lives.

Join us as we showcase Lavina’s great personality and how her interview can help the next generation. where she not only transforms the way we perceive the FMCG trade industry but also inspires us to embrace the richness that comes from being true to ourselves in all aspects of life. She emerged as an inspiration during her recent appearance on Deetaux  



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“Work Life Balance” with Lavina Dsouza | Trade Marketing Manager | FMCG | KITCO

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You started your career off at the age of 19 at a recruitment firm, and now you're at FMcG. How would you describe your 25 years of career so far?

Lavina: Well, Dee, it’s been 25 years. That’s amazing to hear. Actually, the journey has not been that easy but it has not been difficult either. I started off at a recruitment firm at the reception. So, moving up from reception to admin to a position in finance and then in HR Yeah! And my first break in marketing came in a media house. And then, that’s it. Then I moved on to FMcG, and there is no looking back. 

Dee: When you say that you know you entered marketing, what was the reason behind choosing FMcG? 

Lavina: The first break I got into a brand that I love; I grew up with It’s Kraft cheese. Okay. And who can say no to Kraft cheese? So, when I got the opportunity to join as a marketing analyst, I just grabbed it! 

I knew that I would reach this far. However, that very first step that I took has taught me a lot about FMcG and the name itself, which says it’s a fast-moving consumer good. So, the thing that’s called fast moving is what excites me. Yes. So, the moment the life cycle of a product is so fast that you are ready to launch another product and then another, it keeps going. 

Dee: Great! I’m not very sure if FMcG is, I would say, preferred by the current generation, because the purpose of the show and bringing on so many types of experts and professionals in their field…

If you were to describe it, let’s say FMcG, in a line, how would you describe this industry? 

Lavina:  FMcG has many categories. So, the category that I am in is food. And who doesn’t eat food? When you’re sad, you eat. Yeah. When you’re happy, you eat. Yes. When there’s COVID, you still eat. When there’s a recession, you eat. So, this industry is never going to die. It just keeps growing. And it just amazes me how far the food industry has reached with its technology, with its packaging, and with its offerings to the consumer. It has made life easy for everyone. 

Dee: I believe that from what you’re saying, it’s very exciting, and I would say very tedious as well. 

Lavina: Right, you just summed it up right

How do you think FMcG as an industry has contributed to your life?

Lavina: Well, it has given me a new perspective on how I see things and what I buy. Why does a product remain the same at a supermarket? 

Why is the color coding maintained? The things I want are at eye level.  so, these are the facts When I discovered it, I understood that there’s a lot of science behind why things are done the way they are. There is so much reasoning and scientific procedure that my seniors have used and that we follow. So, this is the main thing that has changed my view on how I look at different things. 

Dee:  Honestly, this is a very insightful way of looking at this industry as a whole. 

With 12 years of experience in FMCG and visiting a grocery shop, don’t make comments like, “Oh, why is it here? It should be somewhere else.” 

Lavina: My grocery shopping takes more than two hours. 

Dee: Is it because you’re looking at the product placement? 

Lavina: I’m looking at the product placement. I’m looking at the competition. I’m looking at the opportunity. I’m looking at the white space. You just name it. 

Dee: That’s amazing. Anyone who has graduated from college and has come across the video should watch it because I believe it’s fantastic, especially the way you’ve put it.

One of my favorite questions Are you in your position or yourself at work? So, in a sense, let's say someone initially meets you in a personal gathering or at home, and then they somehow pass by you at work as a client or as a supplier. Are they going to meet the same Lavina that they met at the gathering, or someone completely different?

Lavina: Hmmm! Good question. I’m a completely different person at work. I don’t recognize myself sometimes. I just have to wear that different hat. Yes. In terms of where I’m working, it’s a male dominated industry, so it’s not easy for a woman to sustain. So, I have to keep my head over my shoulders. It’s a completely different me. I don’t remember that. I have a house…  I have my kids.

And I switch off when I am out of work. Then it’s a completely different Lavina.

Dee: This is very intriguing because, again, like all of these episodes that we shoot and these conversations that we have, there’s so much that I learned through the same process. And I want to understand, is there a form of imposter syndrome where you’re acting as someone that you’re not? And do you ever enter a headspace where you’re like, Am I the Lavina who is at work that’s truly me, or am I the Lavina that’s at home? That’s truly me. 

Lavina: Wow. I mean, good question. Actually, I haven’t really thought about it. The only reason is that, no, I don’t have a doubt. Yeah. Of what? Am I at work, and what am I at home? Yeah, it’s just that I have learned how to switch on and switch off. Yes. So, when I’m at home, it’s me. Completely. And I don’t have a single doubt that I’m acting differently at work, because again, when I’m at work, that’s natural. 

Dee: I understood it’s like a different habitat and a different environment. 

 Lavina: I probably must have adapted to it. But it’s just that it comes naturally. Yeah!

Do you think work life balance is real? If yes, what's your best method of maintaining it?

Lavina: So, balance is giving a life. Yeah. Something requires the attention that it requires at the right time. I’m not saying that you necessarily need to. Cancel anything. Yeah, but it just gives life the right attention it requires. 

 So, I really don’t believe there’s anything called work life balance. Everything is life. Think about it… Because the balance is in you. And if you are balanced on the inside, Then everything is balanced. Your life is balanced on the outside. Right? 

Dee: So, you mean to say in a sense that work itself is life?

Lavina:  Why do you work to live? To earn that money and have a comfortable life. Now, how much is too much? It’s on you.

Dee: Correct! Such a beautiful way of putting it. I came across the fact that you guys might not know about Lavina, which is that she’s a workaholic. And, you know, this was a very important question for me to ask you.

Lavina: Yeah, absolutely. Because when you talk about balance and you say that I’m a workaholic, I’m a workaholic at work, and I’m a workaholic at home because I’m a homemaker also. Yeah. And I have to provide for my children and for my home. So, there is no difference in the work that we are doing. If the moment comes, you start enjoying what you do. You have already crossed  that boundary of  inconvenience. I should say that the hard work that you put in over the past few days to understand the business and what needs or processes the company needs can just carry on in your subconscious mind when you go home. Not necessarily that you need to carry your work home. By just being present and having the presence of mind both at work and at home, you can create that balance, right? Yeah, I did hear also about, you know, Gen Z’s talking about work life balance. 

But I think it’s very important and needs to be discussed.  And again, as I said, each one to themselves, and you draw the line.  Because you have to decide what’s important to you. And how much is important for you?

Dee: Correct I agree, it’s very much subjective, and everything at the end of the day is a perception, in all senses, even success and even wealth and anything, so on and so forth. 

Thank you so much, Lavina. Your answers have been so insightful.  I feel like a new person. 

Your contributions surely enhanced our conversations, and your presence offered tremendous benefit to our audiences. We appreciate your time, knowledge, and unique viewpoint on the discussion.

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