My Company’s ‘Commitment to My Development as a Leader and Individual’ Made Me Stay

Sponsored by Albemarle Corporation

Indu Kheterpal

Photo courtesy of Albemarle Corporation.

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While headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Albemarle Corporation has a global reach. The specialty chemicals company boasts leading positions in lithium, bromine and refining catalysts — they power companies around the world in critical industries, including energy, electronics and transportation.

In addition to actively pursuing sustainability in managing their diverse global footprint of world-class resources, Albemarle takes pride in their experienced talent across all corners of the globe. One of those professionals is Indu Kheterpal, the director of Global Quality Improvement Programs who has worked for the company for 10 years — not all of which were spent in the same role.

Kheterpal held a variety of positions with increasing responsibility in the Analytical Research and Quality (ARQ) organization in Baton Rouge, LA. There, she led the organization for four years, bringing new analytical capabilities, as well as hiring and developing emerging leaders across Albemarle.

She also led the PDC consolidation program in Baton Rouge after a divestiture to W. R. Grace, which included an extensive renovation and relocation of Albemarle laboratories and offices. She was responsible for leading personnel through the change — something to which she’s accustomed due to so much change throughout her own career.

“I am good at learning quickly and getting things done in new areas,” explains Kheterpal. “I have been able to successfully switch roles and fields several times in my career. I also get excited to work on new, challenging problems.”

In her current role as a director, Kheterpal is now responsible for building systems and processes that will set the company up for success as it continues to grow.

“One of the exciting parts about my role is that I get to collaborate with both external and internal partners from various parts of the organization who continually challenge me to perform at my best,” she tells Fairygodboss.

And, for other women climbing the career ladder, she shares what her Ph.D. advisor used to say to her, “Be first and best at whatever you do but, if you can’t be first, you better damn well make sure you are the best.”

Here, we caught up with Kheterpal to learn more about her advice for other women who are looking to grow in their own careers.

How to grow your career without job hopping.

Many people believe that to grow and advance your career, you need to change companies. But, for Kheterpal, she discovered that professional growth is more than possible at Albemarle. 

“There were times when I felt I might be stuck in the same role and responsibility level,” she tells us, “but Albemarle provided me with new opportunities and challenges at those times. I have been able to work on projects in which I can see the long-term impact. Albemarle assigned a formal mentor to me soon after I started, and this was critical in understanding the Albemarle culture, meeting leaders in the company and learning about possible future roles that I didn’t even know existed.”

In the end, the culture of professional support at Albemarle has been key in not only advancing her career, but also for staying at the company. “Albemarle’s commitment to my development as a leader and individual shows that I am valued,” Kheterpal shares. “Albemarle’s commitment to improve has also led me to stay, as it is a progressive organization willing to try new things. And, Albemarle’s commitment to the care and safety of their employees, communities and the environment have kept me here.”



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