Bhawna Aggarwal: An Entrepreneur by Heart and Leader by Soul

Bhawna Aggarwal
Bhawna Aggarwal

In an interview with Insights Success Bhawna Aggarwal, CEO of Gadgets 360, shared her thoughts about today’s empowered women and how they are creating bench marks in every field they are working on.
1) When you close your eyes and imagine an empowered woman, what do you see?

An empowered woman, would be one who strives to be a better and stronger version of herself every day. To be empowered means you are in control of your life, aware of your capabilities and ready to take on your dreams. An empowered being is not reluctant to take risks and committed to work hard to ensure that those risks pay off. Most importantly, someone who is self-assured and has the ability to empower others around her.
2) Brief us about your own personal path of empowerment?
In the initial phase in my professional career, people assumed I was too young to launch & lead large businesses to success. However I never let the opinions of others consume me and was determined to achieve my goals. I have always believed that one needs to have an empowered mindset and willing to work hard to keep evolving. These core set of beliefs proved to be very useful as I was able to lead my ventures to success before joining Gadgets 360 as the Chief Executive Officer which is now ranked number 11 in the World and India’s largest Technology platform with over 40 million active users every month.
3) Brief us about and describe the distinctive services/solutions/products it provides?

Gadgets360° is India’s BIGGEST and most-trusted source for everything tech. For years, we are known for breaking the latest technology news, comprehensive product reviews, and advices that help over 40 million people take buying decisions every month. Our hybrid platform has shown tremendous growth in last 2 years and is established on 3 Cs of Content, Community and Commerce offering the best to the tech enthusiasts in India.
I believe the key differentiators which make us unique would be following:
1. One of the fastest growing global technology platform built on hybrid model which forms the basis of our organization, it has shown tremendous scale profitably.
2. Our highly-engaged audience uses Gadgets360 platform to determine what to buy and where to buy. Our award winning editorial & technology team is passionate about understanding complex user behavior and consumption patterns efficiently.
3. Seamlessly bridging gap between Consumers and businesses who are looking to buy right product/service.
4. We are continuing to leverage our content, technology and our deep understanding of the consumer’s need and have recently launched two new platforms:
• – India’s first ‘search engine for shopping’ which aggregates over 100 million products across all categories (apparel, books, electronics, FMCG, appliances, sports equipment, etc.) from leading e-commerce stores including, Flipkart, Snapdeal, Paytm, Infibeam, TataCliq and more in India. It is based on search algorithms built on top of Machine Learning to deliver fast and accurate results. Quality and ranking of search results are driven by Artificial Intelligence which becomes better as the machine indexes more data. Built like a search engine, one can access it through desktop, mobile and as Android and iPhone app and it is available in 10 different Indian languages.
• – a unique platform that enables users to access the best deals, curated product recommendations, guides and tips and much more based on their dynamic usage pattern, buying preferences and requirements. It connects consumers with brands bringing an array of hand-picked deals from diverse sectors, including gadgets.
4) What are the most important decisions the CEO makes as a leader of her organization?
The most important part of the role is owning the vision, creating a climate of success and empowering the teams while ensuring their goals are aligned with the organization. As a leader, you are involved in several aspects of the business. One minute you are discussing a new product, then it could be a human resource issue followed by any new thing that comes your way. At times, many issues require a solution that may affect multiple departments. It is utmost important for the CEO to make the final call at the right time when no one else will.
One of the most critical decision is to prioritize tasks and find a balance when dealing with the onslaught of issues and it is equally important to ensure that the entire company continues to have a growth mindset.
5) What advice or suggestions can you give to women walking on the path of empowerment?

The most important message I would like to give women walking on the empowerment path is to believe in yourself and focus on building your career the way you want; not what others want for you. Cultivate a good network of trusted mentors who could give you the best insights into your business to help expand your vision of what is possible. It is equally important to remain focused and not get distracted by the stumbling blocks. Set the right tone in your business by being absolutely committed and very competent and the results will speak for you.
6) What are some of your experiences with unlearning and self-learning? What were the processes/experiences by which you identified and started to develop your own potentials, abilities, skills, creativities, questions, common sense and voice of conscience?

When I made the transition to entrepreneurship, it was a completely different ball game and it required a totally different mindset. The paradigm shift in the mindset of unlearning and relearning is something that every entrepreneur has to go through and the sooner you go through it, the better it is.
One of my mentors told me long ago that the ships were not built to stay in the harbor and sometimes not trying by itself could be the biggest failure so it is essential to keep trying different things and be willing to proactively make changes. Over the years, I have come to believe that when the ecosystem around you is changing so rapidly, your ability to be agile in letting go of old rules and learning new ones is utmost important. This is a key to succeed in an unpredictable and constantly evolving environment.
If you resist unlearning and relearning, the options available to you and your company can narrow very quickly. The first step is to acknowledge that things have got to change and you need to be willing to let go of the familiar past. I like to question assumptions about how things work and relearn what is relevant in the digital world around us now. It is equally important to be specific in recognizing what you want to change, what would you like to change it to and What will make this change worth it?
7) What inspires you to undertake new experiments in your life? What values/ dreams/ relationships are important to you? How have you gone far towards exploring various dimensions of meaningful living?

I think it’s important to make an investment in one’s self and my relationship with my family is of utmost importance. To live a meaningful life, it is vital you take consistent action in spite of your fears and doubts while you continue to schedule a window of quality time for yourself and the family. Especially with the demanding life we live, it is becoming increasingly important that the time you spend following your dreams be absolutely worth it. If you follow your dreams with the right set of values, you will have something worth sharing with others and a meaningful life.
From the beginning, I have had an unending dissatisfaction with the status quo and believe I can do better which has led me to take up lot of new challenges. Through successfully accomplishing a lot of these experiments, I have come to appreciate the experience of both success and failure as meaningful life is all about the journey and not just the destination. It defines who you really are and how your core set of beliefs can guide you. You must take risks by creating forward momentum towards discovering your purpose.
8) How do you encourage others in your organization to communicate on the “core values”? How do you support women to live empowered lives?
Given the challenges of running a organization, sometimes the core values could get overlooked. As leaders, it is very important that we don’t let it happen as it is critical to enduring success. I like to encourage our people to keep communicating our core values whether they are hiring new people, taking decisions around customer processes or at the time of reviews. To support other women to live empowered lives, you could offer your compassion, mentoring or suggestions that might help them deal with the challenge they may be facing. To be an empowered woman means not only believing in yourself, but also believing in those around you and helping them succeed.
9) What is the most important quality that you attribute your success to?

One quality that attributes to my success would be Grit and a Growth mindset.
10) How do you take care of yourself everyday so that you stay balanced and focused?

I have inculcated a habit of starting my day early, it helps to start the day with clarity of mind with positive thoughts. For a balanced personal & professional life, it’s important to be healthy both physically and mentally. A healthy diet with a suitable exercise regime can help one stay focused and energized through the day especially on hectic days that may involve a lot of running around. I also ensure I leave aside good quality time for the family and me that plays an important role in maintaining the balance.
11) What is your vision or hope for women in business?

A lot of times, the most common way women give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any. In this new digital world, I hope to see a lot more success stories of game changing women entrepreneurs who are not willing to let any ceiling limit their career path and they continue to empower other women to bring the right change. I sincerely wish that more and more women stop overanalyzing and just go for the opportunities to expand the horizon.
12) What advice would you like to give to people, to bring out a social change?

I believe that we need to ease up by being less judgmental, develop empathy and walking the talk ourselves. If we really want other people to change then we have to start with ourselves and follow ethical discipline. Secondly, it is importing to develop good support networks to help create an ecosystem that fosters innovation and growth through knowledge sharing.
13) What can be expected from your organization in the upcoming years? Kindly mention what encourages as well as what concerns you.

Our goal has been to become India’s thought leader in the technology sector and become first hybrid platform of content and commerce and a game changer in the category across the world. While we are scaling so rapidly, we continue to aim at retaining this leadership position with a vision of making the business more profitable and diversify the business into multi geographies and in newer verticals built on cutting edge technology. This is going to be an exciting and challenging journey and we are gearing up for the same.

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