You can tell the condition of a Nation by looking at the status of its Women- Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first Prime Minister.
The possie of women in ancient India has been a very complex one because of the paradoxical articulation in different religious scriptures and occassionally in the same text at different places. Some have narrated their status as ‘equals to men’, while others have clasped not only in disrespect but even in positive hatred.
So, what is women’s status in India? Today’s India proffers plenty of opportunities to women, with women having a voice in day to day life, the business world along with the strong presence in political life. However, India is still a male controlled society, where women are often seen as secondary and inferior to men. This doesn’t mean that there aren’t a lot of positives to report on. Nevertheless, even though India is motiling away from the male dominated culture, it is still a task for most of the women in India, be it in urban or rural areas to arise and conquer the outer world.
The women, whose stature and part traditionally was well explicated and roughly cemented in the society, are now enduring far-reaching changes. Traditionally Indian women exist because of the family and for the family.
The women today are entering into evident contemporary fields that were once unknown to the woman’s orb of role-sets. They are actuating, engaging in social, economical and political activities.
The women of the existing generation have normally accrued higher education than the women of their preceding generation. There have been far outreaching consequences in the economic status of their families.
Today, women are tending towards the social issues, and making their best to change the social stature of women at large.
Proliferated awareness and education has inspired women to forge out of the four walls of the home. Many women strongly braced and have involved themselves in the nationalist movement and appended prominent positions and offices in administration and public life in free India.
Just like their man compeer, women are also fond of visiting social functions and value her social life quite a lot. Once, men-folk used to unnerve women from leaving their households for attending social functions. Now the spread of education, mainly that of women, and with that, the changing social attitudes of educated women have altered the order.
The modern woman has started caring for their own health, cultural needs and interests, academic pursuits, social intercourse, religious activities recreational needs, etc.
Now, let us start by commemorating cue women in Indian tech scene who are prime, some of the most pioneering and significant tech companies. With thousands of people reporting to them, these women are a force to reckon with in business.
Following presented is a list of those influential leaders, leading their way to thousands of others! They incorporate star executives from the banking sector, which has invariably been ahead in encouraging women; consulting firms, business school favourites, where women are heading to make a impression and multinationals, whose melange mandates have played a vital role in assembling women leaders in India. Not peculiarly, the list features a fair number of start-up entrepreneurs. And then there are daughters of leading business houses, some of whom have upstaged their brothers.
Suchishree Mukherjee Founder, Limeroad
When Suchishree Mukherjee set up ecommerce platform Limeroad in 2012, she was bringing together three entirely variant ecosystems: sellers, scrap bookers and consumers. This has turned out to be a big component in the company’s triumph, from getting 50,000 sellers in the first year, to growing 100x in the last year, to go up to one lakh consumers. One of the objectives, Mukherjee has managed to accomplish with Limeroad is to generate regional products available to a larger audience, which has arose through a tie-up with the MP Laghu Udyog Nigam. There were hurdles and naysayers aplenty. “While I was trying to set up the business, I was told in as many words that for an Indian woman who has lived out of the country for so many years, trying to set up a new company was going to be next to impossible, and that’s just the sort of thing that eggs me on with greater conviction,” she says. She firmly believes in the importance of being focused on what you are building and learning to chop out the noise around you. “Everything is do-able. I try to motivate my team to be problem-solvers too, to take up tougher problems and bigger challenges,” she says.
Shinjini Kumar CEO, Paytm
Looking back at her career trajectory, Shinjini Kumar feels that she hasn’t changed jobs as much as having changed careers. From starting with journalism, to working at the RBI for 16 years to consent to consultancy and now a payments bank.One important lesson, she’s learnt through all this is the ability to leave things behind. “For me, moving on has never been a problem. I’m more forward looking and get excited about the opportunity to learn something new,” she says. While the early six months in a recent job are when she is absolutely out of her comfort zone, this is also something she really enjoys. Her time studying in the US also helped her think further clearly about her own ideas and be independent, which gave her a added confidence to do things her way. At PwC, she built a uncommon business, working with MNC banks and financial institutions to flourish their presence in India, in line and with the local regulations. When she wants to de-stress, the former journalist relishes reading her husband’s poetry and offering ‘suggestions’ -not editing.
Monica Gupta, founder, Craftsvilla
It was while touring through Kutch in Gujarat that Monica Gupta struck upon the idea to set up what would ultimately be Craftsvilla, a platform for Indian ethnic products that puts artisans in touch with customers. Now, the platform has two million products from 16,000 sellers, averaging 10,000 interactions a month. Craftsvilla is likely to hit the $100mn revenues mark this year.
Gupta says, “The most satisfying moment for me was when an artisan called me and said that he could pay his son’s fees because of his sales on Craftsvilla.” The platform has raised collectively rounds of funding and spearheaded partnerships with the Ministry of Textiles to e-market handloom products.
A trained CA, Gupta counts her husband, Manoj, among her mentors and says that she’s steadily learning from different people in her team at work. Her biggest learning was to keep quiet and listen to the customer.
Debarati Sen, Managing Director, 3M India
Debarati Sen’s career stretches over 24 years in Asia and the US, 18 of which have been with 3M. This year, she was chosen by the American company to head 3M India & Sri Lanka as managing director. “From the onset, I’ve sought out assignments in other countries so I could establish myself as a trans-cultural leader,” she says.
Deba, as her colleagues call her, is also an executive member of the Women’s Leadership Forum for 3M. As a single mother, she has a personal understanding of the routine challenges that working women all over the globe encounter.
She moved to the US with a five-year-old, and today her son is a 20 year old pre-med student at the University of Miami. “Being a single mother has been difficult, but at the same time, it has been most fulfilling and rewarding,” she says.
Sen has been on the board of the 3M Asian Employee Resource Network and also on the national administrative board of Jeremiah Program, a Minnesota-based US charity focused on single mothers and two generation strategy.
Gunjan Soni, Chief Marketing Officer, Myntra
Her stints at Star and McKinsey helped Gunjan Soni prepare for her current role at Myntra. “I picked up the hard skills at McKinsey and Star taught me the importance of good content, aspirations and intuition, all of which are important for a consumer-centric business,” she says.
At Star, Soni was part of an organizational transformation which backed the company de-risk its growth curve. At McKinsey, she was liable for setting up the big data and scientific marketing practice back in 2010 when big data wasn’t on anybody’s mind. That, along with working on the evolution for the first democratically elected government of Bhutan are two things about her stint at the consultancy that she holds dear.
She was the brains behind the country’s biggest online fashion sale at Myntra, resulting in 2mn orders in a single day. An avid reader, Soni enjoys science fiction and fantasy, while at other times, you are likely to find her bent over a 5,000-piece puzzle at home.
Sripriya Kalyanasundaram, Vice-president, Delivery, Cognizant
Her parents’ resistance to her shifting from Coimbatore to Mumbai to take up a job and a appetite to work in the US led to Sripriya working for Dun & Bradstreet. Now, back in India, Sripriya played an crucial part in setting up Cognizant’s 32,000-strong quality engineering and assurance unit, which assists clients across industries and geographies.
From setting up offices in various geographies to focusing on strategic drive, Sripriya has played a broad variety of roles in her two decades with the IT firm. She’s come to realise that women have immense multitasking ability and that often, they create their own glass ceiling. “We often undermine ourselves and go into a shell. There will be failures, but you have to work through them,” she says.
Shradha Sharma, Founder, Yourstory.com
It might be hard to remember, but in 2008, there wasn’t too much content available online. For Shradha Sharma, it was a surge of faith to make the evolution from traditional media to an online platform, concentrated on telling stories of entrepreneurs.
Today, with investors like Ratan Tata and a team of 100 people, she stands validated. “There will always be naysayers, but they are the best thing to happen to you. On days when you want to sleep an extra hour, you’ll be motivated to run an extra mile instead,” she says.
Sharma considers results come from doing the same thing day after day, month on month, rather than doing something exceptional. Whatever spare time she has, is spent with her two dogs at home. “As a woman, you have to learn to appreciate and love yourself.We need a sense of validation and that has to come from within us,” she says.
Thus, with evolution and betterment all over, women in different fields are creating examples and expanding their horizon in every possible and difficult field. The philosophy of an individual is not best expressed in words; it is exhibited in the choices that they make!