I am Priyal Keni and I have been passionate about rifle shooting since the tender age of 13. As a student I was blessed with academic prowess and was also involved in several extracurricular activities, sports to be more specific. Sports has always taught me to be passionate and dedicated; and picking up the 6.5kg rifle to aim at the target for the first time in 2008 was among the turnaround moments in my life.
I went on to compete at a school level, then represented my city, state and finally 18months down the line got the opportunity to represent India at my maiden international competition in Germany. This was the result of spending 4-5 hours daily training at the shooting range, holding my rifle in the scorching heat, and working on refining my technique – looking back I wouldn’t wish it were any different.
Since then, I have represented India for 7 years as a member of the Indian Shooting team at several top-notch international tournaments such as the World University Games and the World Championships. I have won 117 medals, broken 3 National Records till date and have been featured in several articles in India today, Times of India, Yahoo, Hindustan Times, Deccan Chronicle etc. I have also won the prestigious Shiv Chhatrapati Award in 2015, which is the highest honour for sport in Maharashtra.
While in college I also started my own social organization to promote sports among children belonging to less privileged sections of society. I founded the “The Play and Shine” foundation - a pan India non-profit initiative functioning at the grassroots level using sports as a cohesive and flexible tool to foster individual and community development. We have a core team of 9 international athletes which has worked with +400 volunteers (and counting) having a presence in 40 cities across 11 states actively involved in projects with the TATA group, Teach for India, Unnat Bharat Abhiyan-IIT Bombay, PIFA and many more.
However, despite all the extra-curricular, I did not let my passion for shooting in any manner affect my academic aspirations. I always dreamed of becoming a Chartered Accountant and adding the title ‘CA’ before my name. I was able to achieve this milestone in 2019 when I cleared my CA Finals.
During my preparation and even after qualifying CA, I have always connected with my peers and junior aspirations from the fraternity in guiding them in their exam preparation and interview sessions. Till date, I am proud to have mentored more than 20 fellow CA students.
I currently work in the Consulting domain at the intersection of Finance and Digital Transformation with one of the Big4 companies. I enjoy creative problem solving to overcome complex client issues and deliver challenging projects within the stipulated deadlines.
I am a TEDx Speaker, McKinsey Next Generation Women Leaders 2020 Alumni and a GGI Scholar 2021. I have also been invited as a speaker at several events such as Abhyuday, the Social Fest of IIT-Bombay, SRCC and ENSGO for their seminar on a project Co-Funded by the Erasmus+ Program of the European Commission.
Personally, it has been a very fulfilling experience till now. The opportunity to be able to pivot to such a renowned organization and give my professional career a much-needed launch without sacrificing my passion for sport and social work feels like a dream come true.
My final message to everyone would be to - Please stop underestimating yourself and commit to doing what it takes to accomplish your career goals. Don’t let all the doubts and insecurities you have within you stop you from doing something.
I am reachable at firstname.lastname@example.org for any mentorship around sports, exam preparation and queries regarding the consulting domain.