Highlighting the Mosaic of L.E.K. With Krishore Subramaniam
Mosaic@LEK is an affinity group that seeks to attract, recruit, develop and retain individuals in the L.E.K. community who identify as racial and ethnic minorities. Sydney L.E.K. Associate and Mosaic member Krishore Subramaniam gives us insight into his cultural heritage and his journey to L.E.K.
What is your cultural heritage?
My heritage is half Indian Tamil and half Sri Lankan Tamil. My Indian heritage comes from the state Tamil Nadu in India, where Tamil is the commonly spoken language. My dad's grandparents were brought to Malaysia by the British, and his father later moved farther south to settle in Singapore when the Japanese arrived. My Sri Lankan heritage comes from the northern Sri Lankan city of Jaffna, where Tamil is also the most spoken language. My mum's grandfather had first moved to Malaysia in search of work, and her father later moved to Singapore in search of work as well. (Interestingly, my parents later moved to Brisbane, and I later to Sydney … hmm, there seems to be a pattern here.)
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Singapore for the first nine years of my life. While I remember it being quite a stressful education system with lots of tuition involved, I cherished my childhood days of spending time playing games around the Housing & Development Board flats (colloquially referred to as “HDB”) in Singapore with the neighborhood kids, getting a variety of delicious foods in the school canteen for bargain prices, and being able to attend frequent cultural celebrations and family gatherings.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your journey to L.E.K.
I joined L.E.K. as an associate in February of 2022 after graduating with a Bachelor of Mechatronics Engineering from Queensland University of Technology QUT in Brisbane. I remember being able to freely discuss cultural elements of the employee experience in my final interview with the partners, and I found that openness translated into the office culture when I later joined. When I had initially moved to Australia during primary school, I remember being quite intimidated by my extroverted, well-spoken and creatively minded peers. It took me many years to build confidence in myself in these areas and be comfortable sharing my own cultural personality and traditions. Through Mosaic, I feel as though I have been provided the psychological safety to be myself at L.E.K. and, by extension, be able to focus on my professional learning and development without the anchors of self-doubt or disconnectedness linked to my cultural background.
How does your background influence your work at L.E.K.?
It perhaps doesn't influence my work as much as it influences my relationships at work. I vastly enjoy connecting to others by learning about their cultures as well as sharing my own. This motivation comes from my multicultural upbringing in Singapore, but more so from stories of how, when my parents were growing up, the Chinese, Malays and Tamils would invite each other to their houses during cultural festivities to eat and enjoy conversation. This ease and lack of a "borders" mentality that existed in early Singapore seems to be lost today, as the world seems to have grown bigger and more disconnected. As a result, I'm truly grateful that we have platforms like this blog where we can proudly and unashamedly portray a fuller version of ourselves.