Colleague spotlight: Meet Aniko Lehotai-Dhingra, Implementations Manager.
Aniko Lehotai-Dhingra is the newest member of our Implementations team, having joined the team in September 2020. With a background in Procurement and Project Management, at global giants such as AB InBev, Maersk and Unilever, her skills and experience are a great asset to our already fantastic Implementations Team.
Tell us a bit about your background, Aniko, and why you wanted to join AdviserPlus?
I’ve previously worked in Project Management and Procurement roles, however the HR sector has always been a very attractive area for me because of the focus on people-related matters in a work environment. When I saw the opportunity arise at AdviserPlus, I didn’t hesitate to apply. It was a real plus for me that AdviserPlus is not a global company. After working for three multinational businesses I was keen to experience working for a more agile organisation, whilst supporting project deliverables in large client organisations. When I read about the company’s digital transformation vision and got to know more about empower®, I was completely sold.
What does your job entail and what do you enjoy most about it?
As an Implementation Manager, the main purpose of my job is to act as Project Manager when we bring a new client on board or upgrade the services we provide to existing clients.
There is no such thing as a “typical day” in my job because a large part of it is reacting to any new developments, risks or requirements regarding a particular project. In general, we do a lot of alignment and follow-up to ensure things get completed on time, and facilitate discussions and make sure that the right people get involved. We maintain an overall implementation plan and track progress based against that. We also do a good amount of reporting and documentation, both internally and to client stakeholders.
This might sound sentimental, but I like to think of ourselves as “guardians” and “solution finders”. “Guardians” in a sense that we protect the reputation and the values of AdviserPlus during the implementation of our services – and if you think about it, for any new client this is the first impression about AdviserPlus as a company, so it’s really important we get this right. And by “solution finders” I mean us acting on and managing any issues and risks that occur during the implementation, the problem-solving element which is also significant.
The thing I enjoy most about the role is the daily interaction that I have with people both within the business, and externally. The role involves us liaising with a wide range of people in different areas of the business, including IT, HR and senior leadership. The most satisfying part of my job is that I can get things moving, I can get things done – even if the actual work is not done personally by me.
What do you enjoy most about working for AdviserPlus?
I joined AdviserPlus during the Autumn last year and, due to the pandemic, I’ve been working remotely ever since. This means I have not actually met my colleagues in real life yet, but I was welcomed warmly and felt supported from day one. There is a strong feel of us working together to achieve a common goal. The people are so approachable, professional, and extremely kind at the same time. We also have an amazing clientele and I find it very exciting to work with companies who are known in every household in the UK or around the globe.
What is your biggest professional accomplishment to date?
I consider my career path to be my biggest achievement. I am one of those (probably many) people who have a degree in a certain field but when it came to embarking on a professional career I went in a completely different direction. I am from Hungary originally, and because I could speak three foreign languages at the time, I was hired by a multinational company’s Accounts Payable department. Within a year or two I was offered a job in Procurement and learned to be a buyer. Project Management followed that. So, I have come quite far from what was originally “planned” and all this happened across three different countries (Hungary, Denmark, and the UK). Having had the ability to grow up to these roles, in completely new and different environments, and being able to prove to myself that I can live up to others’ and my own expectations, is what I am the proudest of. And I have loved every moment of this journey.
If you weren’t working at AdviserPlus, what do you think you’d be doing?
This is a very difficult question for me because I am interested in many things. If I had to pick one, I’d love to run a small bakery which specialises in Swedish pastries and cakes. We lived in Denmark for eight years and the Scandinavian style of baking acquired a special place in my heart.
Tell us an interesting/ little known fact about yourself?
We have 45 different herbs and spices stored across two kitchen drawers in my home, and I have learned to cook with them all. My husband is originally from Delhi, so it took many years, but I believe I can say now that I managed to learn to cook “authentic” North-Indian food, from curries to vegetarian dishes and different types of bread.