Neeraj Khanna is co-founder & Director of Spark Career Mentors. He has over 25 years of experience in Telecom, Aviation, IT-BPO & hospitality sectors.
Neeraj started his journey in early 1980’s aspiring to become a photojournalist while still at school. After a few internships he changed his plan to pursue hotel management and in the last 25 years ended up working in four different industries including telecom, aviation, IT-BPO and hospitality. During his career he has played many senior management roles at global multinational companies as well as start-ups including COO, CEO, Managing Director and board member. After his last job for nearly 6 years at British Telecom where he initially managed outsourcing and later global operations across 42 countries, he chose to give up the perks of his corporate work life to become the co-founder & Director of Spark Career Mentors.
Neeraj’s career path has been extremely varied. After spending the initial few years at the Taj Group of hotels he worked in a variety of other industries. This includes heading customer service operations across India for ModiLuft (a joint venture of Lufthansa and the S. K. Modi Group), helping start and establish the Indian IT-BPO industry being a part of the initial team at GE Capital’s International Services division, building from scratch and growing the MphasiS BPO operations as its COO, running the joint venture of Clientlogic, USA with ITC Infotech as its CEO & Managing Director, running the offshore operations for Dell’s Worldwide Consumer business from India and in the last 6 years with BT doing multiple roles ranging from managing the nearly billion pounds worth outsourcing operations and running complex service delivery operations across 42 countries.
At school Neeraj loved photography and dreamt of making a career in it. For some years he spent all his time and pocket money on cameras and gained more exposure in the field through periodic internships. At 16, he joined as an intern under Mr. Raghu Rai, India’s top photographer and India Today’s picture editor at the time. During this time he also participated in some amateur photography competitions. After having explored and deep dived into the field of photography at that stage he finally decided to continue photography, but only as a hobby and not a career.
Having lost his father at a young age and his elder brother even earlier, Neeraj missed the presence of a mentor during early years of life. Looking back at his own life journey he strongly believes that the presence of a sincere and capable mentor could help a young person multiply chances of success many times and can make the student’s journey much more stable, enjoyable and rewarding in the long term.
Neeraj lives in Bangalore with his wife and two children. His wife Guneet is an independent entrepreneur apart from being a homemaker. His son Chetan, a science stream student of grade XI is exploring his career options of an architect or an engineer while his daughter Niketa is in middle school. Apart from photography which Neeraj still enjoys, he also loves scuba diving and he shares this passion with his son Chetan. Both of them are PADI certified ‘Advanced Scuba Divers’ and go for diving trips as often as they can.