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Brand India Magazine


02 Women 3.0 / March


e are proud to present the inaugural issue of BRAND INDIA MAGAZINE (BIM) – the must-read magazine for Indian entrepreneurs. It’s been a quest for authentic coverage: chronicling the entrepreneurial successes of the past one year, talking to industry veterans and opinion leaders. BIM aims to be one of the few Indian publishers platform that will not only bring to the fore successful entrepreneurs but also unique startups and ventures in Indian industry which investors would be interested in. The publication will present well curated features on upcoming trends, comprehensive start-up news coverage, first-person interviews, international and business events, along with insights of how industries are expected to grow. We will have a unique approach in editorial strategy: which will curate all of the above features with a singular theme of the month. We have deep rooted relationships with global investor communities, and therefore we ensure that the magazine reaches discerning readers. Available in print and digital formats, BRAND INDIA MAGAZINE is a ‘must read’ for the time-starved professionals and the budding entrepreneurs who has to be well informed to make their brand stand out in the Indian ecosystem.

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Woman with a Vision - Riddhi Doshi Patel From Passion to Profession with Namrata Jain Creating Scale Ups from Start Ups with Chhaya Sehgal Raising the Bar with Preeti Todi Driving towards an Empowered Life with Revathi Roy Pathway to Success with Ritu Gorai After All It’s All About Equality by Kabir Bhatia Raw, Bold and Unapologetic - Nadia Arain

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Powering through with Taruna Suryavanshi On the Rise with Nehal Gadhvi Up in the Air with Shital Mahajan Dance your Heart Out with Aesha Shah Be your Own Hero - Sonal Joshi Culture, Power and Perspective with Dr. Sonal Pandya Phenomenal Woman - Maya Angelou Press Release: Brand India Magazine Press Release: UAE-India Business Council Gearing Up with Crossbow

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Editor’s Letter Oprah Winfrey once said “The biggest adventure you can ever take is to live the life of your dreams, with passion!” That’s what the 14 women chosen for our March-April edition of Women on the Move have gone on to show us. They are sassy, adventurous, gutsy and passionate about their life’s purpose. Entrepreneurial women from around India who are building proactive work cultures and great companies to work for. We spoke to them about their families, what motivates them, what makes them who they are. “Is it possible to find our life’s purpose, reinvent our careers and be the primary care-giver in a family? All at the same time?” we asked them. The answer we got was a resounding YES! Each of their interviews is a shining example of how they arrived at that “Yes!” Chhaya Sehgal, CEO, The Winning Edge, talks about her multifaceted experience in running an exports company and then starting a venture that trains SMEs and entrepreneurs.Revathi Roy, CEO, Hey Deedee, illustrates how she broke gender stereotypes when she started India’s 1st all-women instant parcel delivery service. Namrata Jain, Founder, Out A Loud, talks about how being goal-driven and clear allowed her to start 3 companies of her own in a span of 5 years. Ritu Gorai talks about her venture JAMMS (Journey About Mast Moms) and how she’s enabling mothers all over Mumbai to nurture their own talents, while they take care of myriad demands in a family. Shital Mahajan, Padma Shri and winner of Six World records talks about her passion of taming the skies and becoming the 1st woman to skydive at the North Pole. Riddhi Doshi, is a performance skills trainer and life coach who founded LAJA, where women with social stigma-related issues are able to express themselves openly. Aesha Shah, has created ripples in a city like Ahmedabad with her passion for performing arts and her very own dance academy. Sonal Joshi, a high court lawyer has set example of breaking stereotypes while she brings justice for victims of domestic violence. Nadia Arain, CEO of The Spartanite, and award winning author of “Lioness Best Self Publisher 2017” talks about how to re-invent yourself. Preeti Todi talks about the role of Innovation and R&D, in her stint of 18 years in the packaging industry in Western India. Taruna Suryavanshi, owns a family business of sprawling multiplexes and she describes her journey of running it successfully. These are vivacious women, whose challenges were probably a few notches higher than what the average Indian woman faces. Nothing was handed to them on a platter. They each challenged the status quo to create their own success stories.It just goes on to show that, no matter what her background, if a woman sets her mind on a goal, she can be unstoppable. Congratulations to these ladies on their inspiring work! I am sure there’s something in each of these interviews that will re-ignite a can-do attitude within you. Read on! Sindhuri Rao Editor, Brand India Magazine

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Woman With A

Vision ....

Riddhi Doshi Patel

is a Performance Skills Trainer, Behavioral Training Coach & Child Psychologist. With more than 15 years of experience for the betterment of women and children, Riddhi has proved that hard work, persistence and conviction can make you a successful entrepreneur. She has meticulously designed and executed workshops and training programs to empower, educate and update skills of women from all walks of life. Her workshops and programs aimed at young adults and teenagers touch upon etiquette, personality development, nutrition, mental health and socioeconomic behavior. Riddhi is also an Inspiration Speaker and has held stage at TedxCATE.

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hat inspired you to become an entrepreneur? I started Rhyns Academy Pvt. Ltd. while I was still in college. I used to conduct counseling sessions for young children at that time & it was only after the birth of my son, that I started actively working with children and teenagers having behavioral issues or their personality identification issues. While working with such troubled children; I started noticing that the mothers’ who accompanied these children needed just as much guidance themselves. It was upsetting to see talented, intelligent and ambitious women burying their true fighting spirit under a shroud of tradition, orthodox family values and responsibilities all for the sake of a judgmental society which did not even contribute to a miniscule percent of her actual life, and that’s when I decided to come out with a forum – LAJA, where women with such plight are able to express themselves, find themselves and realistically do something for their betterment. Can you briefly tell us about your entrepreneurial journey so far? I launched Rhyns Academy Pvt. Ltd. in 2002 when a friend and I overheard a disturbing conversation between teenagers. Wanting to make a difference in the attitudes of such young impressionable minds, we set out to conduct workshops and seminars to educate the youth. We used the medium of art and dance to connect with the children and eventually made them understand what and where they were making an error in judgment. The basic idea was not to preach but to let them figure out for themselves where they were going wrong. Eventually during this journey, my friend opted out of this initiative and the rest is history. In the meantime, I also started working with women and started designing workshops and training programs aiming to empower women with skills and give them the courage to face the world uninhibited. I successfully conducted a oneday Conclave for women called Tatva. The journey has been tough, but what is a journey if not filled with adventure! Which are some of the biggest challenges you faced as a woman entrepreneur? How did you tackle them? As a woman entrepreneur, the hurdles I faced were no different from those of a man, setting up a start-up business. Yes, there were additional hurdles like managing family, kid & home along with the business; however, now I have learnt to prioritize and with time I managed the challenges. Having said that, the biggest hurdle I faced were the women: my audience. For instance, some of the women-centric workshops that I conducted, aimed at helping women overcome the life’s challenges like dealing with family pressure, children, financial advice, personality development or enhancement, sexuality etc.

03 Women 3.0 / March

Most often getting these women to attend the workshops was a challenge and once they are in - getting them to open up about their issues is a another challenge altogether. Unless they talk about their problems, how would we help them find solutions? Getting women to express themselves openly takes time. I initiated a channel of communication before the actual event through calls or WhatsApp groups to deal with this issue, which helped the women to get acquainted with each other and feel comfortable enough to open up. How do you aim to stand out? How is your institution different from other similar organizations in the country? I believe in a holistic growth where a woman uses her inborn strengths & talents to reach for the skies along with help from fellow women & her family. We believe in letting our women shine in the group and give them opportunities to demonstrate their skills. We encourage these women to reflect on themselves and them identify their skills/talents and then guide them to work on the same and make themselves self-sufficient. This is more like an up-scaling of women in their areas of expertise.

LAJA is not just an online forum; it is a movement towards empowering and enriching women’s lives not just from within but also from the outside. What typical skill sets & attitudes do you look for while hiring a team for your company? The most important skill set and attitude for any woman to join my team is a passion for the women’s empowerment cause, an ambition to grow, the willingness to learn and a strong sense of team spirit. How do you see your company’s growth in the next 5-6 years? Any new agendas in the pipeline? The next couple of years are going to be exciting. We are launching chapters across a few more states and have got positive feedback come our way from the leading Women and Government organizations. The process is still in the preliminary stage but it’s happening nonetheless. We plan to bring more workshops, conclaves, vocational training programs and much more. We are not limiting ourselves to just indoors but are also heading outdoors. For instance the recently conducted LAJA woman’s trek to Karnala (Mumbai), was to celebrate the power of women on Women’s day.

Is there enough impetus to support and nurture young entrepreneurs in India. If not, can you mention a few things that are the need of the hour? Yes, we have come to a day and age where the ‘Salaried Class’ is no longer seen as secure. Entrepreneurs are blooming by the second. However, there are a couple of things that one must be absolutely sure about before climbing the Entrepreneur-Bandwagon. A. Have a foolproof plan: Study the market, understand

customer needs, arm yourself with the best in terms of technology, people and information, know the loopholes and ways to tackle them and have a Plan B in place. B. Pay attention to your peers and even more to your competition: Listen to the advice & tips shared by your peers. Pay close attention to what your competitors are doing. Always try to stay one step ahead and never stop learning the trade. C. Network: Networking is important no matter which area of business you are in. The more people you meet and make an impression on, the more likely chances are of getting recommended and generating more business. Remember you are never too busy to network if you need to make your plan work.

What advice would you give to someone, starting out as an entrepreneur today? Life is a great teacher, learn from life’s instances. Believe in yourself and in your work. Let nobody tell you any different. Learn to listen to your critiques with an open mind and implement the changes suggested if necessary. At the same time understand that all advice is not necessarily good advice. Keep yourself updated all the time. How do you unwind? What are some of your favorite hobbies? I love to travel and the outdoors is my stress busters. I am not one to sit in a lounge of a hotel and relax by the pool; I would rather lace up my hiking boots and go for a long walk and breathe in the fresh air. Reading also gives me gratification but I usually tend read books related to my area of work. Which are the top 5 destinations to travel on your bucket list? Kailash-Mansarovar, Andaman Nicobar Islands, Himalayas, Switzerland & my father’s native townBalasinor.

Learn to listen to your critiques with an open mind and implement the changes suggested if necessary. At the same time understand that all advice is not necessarily a good advice. Keep yourself updated all the time.

Brand India Magazine


Namrata Jain, psychologist & corporate trainer, features in our list of exceptional, enterprising women this year. When she couldn’t find her calling in a 9 to 5 job, and in spite of resistance from her family, she moved out and started a company by herself. In a short span of 5 years, Namrata has founded 3 companies in the mental health space and each of them is flourishing. In conversation with her, we find out what it takes to wear multiple hats and yet become successful in this field.

From Passion to Profession with Namrata Jain 05 Women 3.0 / March

Can you briefly tell us about your entrepreneurial journey so far? Which are some of the biggest challenges you faced as a woman entrepreneur… how did you tackle them? I come from a traditional Marwari family. The conditioning is one where parents are usually protective about girls. Hence, when I insisted that I will go to a co-ed college, I was the 1st one to do that. Years later when I decided to start a business on my own, I had to break a lot of stereotypes within my family itself. No one in my family has done work in this space, so there wasn’t any precedent. There were a lot of breakthroughs. Another challenge I faced in the initial year was people’s perception about me. I was 23 when I started my business. My clients were people in senior management, working professionals, Directors, CEOs, etc., people who were very senior to me. Before my 1st session, initial reactions from clients would be along the lines of “Isn’t she too young to be running this?”, “She doesn’t have the experience that we have, so how can she advise us?” However, once I would start my session, these questions would gradually dissipate and people started placing trust in my work. People found value in the work I was doing for them. So after the 1st time they came for the therapy, they would ask for 2nd, 3rd ,4th session and so on.

Today I am a self-made person. For a woman entrepreneur the challenges are not very different than those for men.

A lot of people don’t find their passion until much later in life? When did you find your passion and decide to become an entrepreneur? From my 8th grade I had it in mind that I want to work in the mental health space, so I had this focus very early in life. After doing a Master’s Degree in counselling psychology, I worked in the formal sector for 6 months. But soon I realised my calling was not in a 9 to 5 job. My calling was in starting out a business on my own. There is far more work a counsellor can do if she is on her own. It started with just a thought. I wanted to work as a consultant to corporates. I believe if your mind is set on something, and you focus, the universe ensures to bring it to you. I kept focusing in the direction of corporate consulting and within no time, opportunities just came my way. And that’s how I began Out A Loud: a company which runs Mental Wellness Programs for Corporates and educational Institutes. It’s close to 5 years since I’m running Out A Loud. Along the way, I have also started two more firms: Art Ally and Passion to Profession. Art Ally is my brand where I run art-based mindfulness workshops for corporates. Passion to Profession is a firm that trains people to find their pet passion in life and use that to become successful.

How important is goal setting? Very important. If today I have achieved the goal of working with one of India’s largest IT conglomerates, it’s because I had set a goal, saying that’s what I want to achieve. What typical attitudes do you look for while hiring a team for your company? It’s been my nature, when I fix my focus on something, I make it happen. When I hire, I look for people with a similar attitude in life. In the counselling space preaching and teaching don’t work, one has to come with the spirit of empathy and wanting to learn about the other person. I choose people with a “constant learning” attitude. You’re dealing with people and their minds. How do you steer away from negativity? What do you do to invest in yourself? That’s an amazing question, a lot of psychologists should read this. I’ll tell you something, my practice makes me meet a lot of people. Every person’s situation is unique and needs to be dealt with differently. There are constant changes on a case by case basis. And it’s not easy to constantly help people with their states of mind, especially since they are dealing with some kind of stress. Since I’m human, there are chances those cases affect me. Then, I make it a point to observe what I’m feeling on a day to day basis. Just bringing attention to my mind makes me see if there’s anything in particular that may be bothering me. If there is, then I consciously meditate and work on that area.

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Do you have a person that inspires you? Who would that be and why? My mother. She always gave me the liberty to choose what I want to do. She’d say do one thing, but do it well. In fact after my Bachelors, there was a point when I wasn’t sure how to proceed. She encouraged me to complete my masters saying: you’ve worked hard for these 5 years… a Masters degreewill take just 2 more years. 2 years and you will be sorted for life. I’m glad I listened to her. As far as inspiration goes, I take and imbibe one good quality from every person I meet. It’s been a beautiful journey and I’m blessed to have had the right people and mentors in this journey.

It is also important to be non-judgemental, and to accept others without personal bias.

How do you unwind… what are some of your favourite hobbies? I pursue calligraphy. I’ve always loved it, and I find it therapeutic. I have been an artist and calligrapher for the past 12 years.

What are the key Ingredients of a confident mind-set? I don’t think there’s a formula, but there are a few key pointers. Don’t waver, once you have chosen a path. Have will-power, be a risk-taker. Before making others believe in you, you have to believe in yourself and your values.

Any advice for budding entrepreneurs? I would say, age is no bar. If you have a great idea, you don’t have to wait to be of a certain age before you start out on your own. I was 16 when I started earning on my own, so what stops you from doing that? Have clarity in what you want to do. Have a purpose, a goal in mind, even if you don’t know the specifics of how to get there. If you have passion, purpose and you believe you can implement your idea, go for it! When you are ready for them, opportunities will emerge.

What are some qualities one needs to have as a mental health practitioner? I would say, the person should have a few qualities that will help him succeed. Qualities such as being grounded/ down to earth, being a learner for life and a good listener are important.

If I’m creating mental wellness for others, I must be able to invest in and take care of my mental wellbeing first! So 1st and foremost I have a mentor and counsellor for myself. There’s not a day when I don’t speak to my mentor.

Also, I have been rooted in spirituality since a very young age, I attend spiritual seminars regularly. My training in spirituality has allowed me to manage so many types of cases. I am glad to have increased not just the value in my work, but also the number of lives I influence.

07 Women 3.0 / March

Creating Scale Ups from Start Ups with Chhaya Sehgal

We’re in conversation with Chhaya Sehgal, on her journey as a successful woman entrepreneur for over 15 years. Chhaya is an alumnus of JBIMS. Her firm, The Winning Edge provides mentorship to SMEs & entrepreneurs and MNCs. She is also faculty at ISME (Indian School of Management & Entrepreneurship) and the Prahlad Kakar School of Branding & Entrepreneurship. We wanted to find out what makes her such a popular name on the campus of Entrepreneurship Schools, Accelerators and Start-ups. It turns out ito be her passion to teach and her commitment to make a difference.

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What prompted you to start out on your own? When and how did you become an entrepreneur? I was the first born in a Maharashtrian teacher’s family in rural Madhya Pradesh. Education, culture, and old-fashioned ideals of respect, commitment, hard-work, accountability and ethics were the foundation of our upbringing! We inherited self-motivation, and the fire in the belly for accomplishment! Personal integrity and the strength of character were considered to be the topmost virtues. My father was an extremely respected professor of Mathematics, idealistic and honest to the bone. Students used to fall at his feet with sheer respect. But never a favour was either given or taken despite the power he enjoyed. Mother was a scholar of Agra University; MA in philosophy, she was a home maker, our mentor and taught us selfreliance and worked hard to ensure our overall development despite limited resources and opportunities. Due to her committed coaching I completed the entire education with scholarships. We were two sisters and a brother and all were given equal opportunity outside and equal responsibility at home. The work division and the rulebook for our conduct was by and large gender agnostic. As such the atmosphere was pretty liberal and conducive for allround growth; however, the routine discipline was enforced with an iron rod. My schooling and graduation happened in hindi medium in an obscure village of MP.

09 Women 3.0 / March

I secured merit-based admission in ICT (then UDCT) and thereafter in JBIMS MUMBAI for professional education following which I joined the Navratna Oil Giant Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd. in June 1983. During my stint there for thirteen long years I had the opportunity to work in almost all the departments of Finance. Afterwards it started stagnating, and the responsibilities at home front had considerably grown so I decided to give up the job in the interest of effective work life interface and freedom to choose my path for self actualisation. Can you briefly tell us about your entrepreneurial journey so far? I and my husband Arun Sehgal (always wanted to be entrepreneurs) met while pursuing our MBA in JBIMS. My job for 13 long years gave security and stability to our family until “Chempro Exports India” which was started by him, established its business of merchant exports of chemicals, colours and pharmaceuticals as a government recognized Exports House successfully. Today we have presence in about 50 countries with over 500 products. After I quit my job I took up an offer to teach once a week and engaged as a visiting faculty with my Alma mater JBIMS and a journey of accelerated learning began. Soon corporate training and development offers started to pour in; and association with prestigious professional bodies and institutions commenced.

The next in line were the consulting assignments. The entrepreneur in me recognized the opportune time to set up my company “The Winning Edge”. Simultaneously as a passionate educator and a believer and an early promoter of Entrepreneurship I became a much in demand Mentor and Faculty in niche programs such as the “Program on Enterprise Training for Women” organized by NMIMS as early as 1997 in collaboration with “Scottish Enterprise Foundation, University of Sterling and SIDBI” and during this period I also coached for business acumen, the Women Entrepreneurs of “Agakhan Development Network” in their native languages. I and my husband set up an “E – Cell” in 2007 in JBIMS in collaboration with NEN and in 2011 launched “BizOrion” the flagship initiative for mentoring the B – Plans for Start Ups as Chief Mentors. Today my multifaceted experience is found extremely valuable as a mentor and coach by the youngsters and women in Entrepreneurship Schools, Start ups and E Cells of universities. Also now that the Gen-next in family is getting ready to take over the business which has expanded considerably, I mentor and a coach actively at Chempro Exports as well! Which are some of the biggest challenges you faced as a woman entrepreneur… how did you tackle them? Entrepreneurship itself is a challenging journey. Women do face some additional challenges.

How did you aim for your company to stand out? I will say it was an unwavering customer focus, service orientation and constant learning to deliver the customized solution with the latest and the best practices . An experience as an employee as well as an employer, working for a massive corporation and later starting my own company with only one person that is me, working through the public sector culture to later with multinationals as well as MSMEs and having ‘been there everywhere and had done it all’ I could understand the customer expectations with precision. My client list also read as diversely as it couldIndian Navy, KUONI Travels, BARC, SIEMENS INDIA, ONGC, Jet Airways, Nuclear Power Corporation, CEAT Tires, Departmentof Atomic Energy, ABN Amro Bank, Bombay Stock Exchange, Rustomji Constructions, Maharashtra state Electricity Board, RPG Group, SMERA, US Vitamins, Wallace Lifestyle, IDBI, Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) etc., have been my major clients over the last two decades. During this journey the list of collaborative association with prestigious professional bodies of “The Winning Edge” has been

What typical skillsets & attitudes do you look for while hiring a team for your company? Good character and old fashioned values of taking responsibility, hardwork, cultured demeanor with a desire for continuous learning and being accountable are the basic traits we look for our teammates apart from the requisite professional qualifications. It is always possible to mould a person to fulfill the job requirements if these basic qualities are present.

A customer must gets the highest and sustainable value proposition while never compromising on ethics and the excellence in execution.

To begin with, legally they may have equal rights however in reality they always come second to their male counterparts in family, society and workplace. However the blessing in disguise here is that this constant realization of thought of being ‘second to the top – no matter what’ always pushes them to aim for higher. This position of disadvantage makes women tireless workers with a never say die spirit. Next, having to spend the day away at workplace; they have to regularly work doubly hard and invest their personal time of rest and recreation at home to fulfill their familial obligations and once back to work they have to consistently show initiative for taking on responsibilities and not shy away from clocking in extra hours to prove that they mean business. A working woman is permanently under scrutiny at work as well at home and has to constantly prove her professional competence and personal commitments. Secondly the Nature has also loaded women with greater responsibility of childbirth and motherhood! Since a woman’s life is filled with multiple priorities, never ending struggles and conflicting responsibilities, she evolves to acquire high EQ, becomes more resourceful, collaborative and tenacious. Along the way she learns to prioritize her efforts and time more effectively to ably merge her personal and professional goals. In long term she is rewarded generously by respect and love of her people in addition to professional recognition.

So, I see the challenges faced by women entrepreneurs as the very foundation of their success. Every disadvantage in the beginning of a journey eventually becomes a source of empowerment. There is a lot to be grateful for behind those unwanted obstacles, rejections, limitations, non appreciation and sheer toil which seal her will to succeed no matter what!

equally long which enabled me to network and showcase my capabilities well in professional circles like All India Management Association, World Trade Centre, National Academy of Customs, Excise & Narcotics, Indo German Chamber of Commerce, Maharashtra State Women’s Council, Bombay Chartered Accountant’s Society, Institute of Management Consultants of India, Indian Society for Training and Development, Confederation of Indian Industry and Indian Merchants Chamber. Currently I am also serving as an Honourary Secretary of Bombay Management Association. As an educator I constantly learned the global best practices through research and get reverse mentored by the youngsters. These keep me updated, competitive and relevant through the rapidly changing business environment and deliver my best, while dealing with customers, students, mentees and colleagues.

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How do you see your company grow in the next 5-6 years? Any new product offerings in the wings? At this juncture at “The Winning Edge” our main focus is going to be on developing more and more people in the areas of Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Teamwork, International Business Creation, Work-Life Balance, Relationships, Health etc. We wish to give special priority to groom the entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs and business owners into creating Scale ups from the Start ups considering a majority of start ups fail to scale. Also the focus with our mentees will be on sustainable business building by promoting Green Entrepreneurship towards frugal innovation, Socially Responsible Initiatives, coaching and guiding women entrepreneurs and family businesses. In our family business our focus continues to be the development of new Entre-leaders for the Chempro Group to head different businesses from within the family as well as independently hired professionals. In short- Our major focus will be on generating Happy Business Creators in future; both within the Chempro Group and in Society at large. At “Chempro Exports” we plan to develop several chemical raw materials, Specialties, Bulk Drugs and Pharmaceutical Formulations for the Global markets. In the area of Services we plan to develop global linkages with large corporations for developing and managing efficient supply chains out of India. In addition we plan to help underdeveloped countries to set-up their own manufacturing capacities and to ensure balanced development and employment creation around the world. In short, our focus continues to be exports except more services are getting added over the next five years.

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Do you have a person that inspires you? Who would that be and why? There are many inspirations around; however my first and last inspiration in my personal life is my mother. She personifies the ideals of commitment, sacrifice, integrity, working hard quietly and a ‘never satiated spirit’ for personal growth and accomplishment. I find her ability to give her best to everything she undertakes; devotion to family, socially responsible initiatives and humility extremely inspiring. In the external domain I am inspired by the optimism, genius and enterprising spirit of Dr. R. A. Mashelkar. He is a true nationalist and a scientist with amazing business acumen. Our past president Dr. Abdul Kalams’ brilliant accomplishments as a scientist, his simplicity and dedication to the cause of country are worth emulating. In the corporate world I admire Tata Group for its commitment to philanthropy, Mayo Clinic of USA for its financial supremacy without sacrificing ethics and values; Sudha Murthy for her versatile talent and wisdom and Japan as a country and society for its values and becoming a world leader and developed nation in shortest time despite complete destruction during the second world war.

How do you unwind… what are some of your favourite hobbies? I am blessed to be living my passion. I love my work and the opportunities for growth, interaction and engagement with youngsters, women and colleagues it creates. However demanding the day might have been, I only experience the physical fatigue and unwind while listening to music and watching dance, dramas, movies or any cultural activity. I love animals and indulge my children, family and friends by cooking for them. I enjoy and look forward to travelling and discovering the places of historic importance, natural beauty and wonder! Exploring the museums, local culture, food, handicrafts is really rejuvenating. Is there enough impetus to support and nurture young entrepreneurs in India. If not, can you tell us 3 things that are the need of the hour? There is impetus but our country’s needs are more. Employment and job creation is far from what is needed. We have the youngest population as a country and this could become our strength only if they are productively employed. The need for generating business creators today is enormous; like never before. Hence, much more needs to be done.

3 things that are needed are:

1. Basic education starting with primary education needs an overhaul with more focus on application than memorizing. Focus on building good value system is the topmost need of our society and this should begin early on in primary schools. This overhaul is also needed at senior schools and college levels. Technical education needs to focus more on promoting innovation. An attitude to be the best in terms of technology at the global level needs to be nurtured in our youth.

2. Our women entrepreneurs need a very special support from both family and society. This will bring a huge percentage of potentially good entrepreneurs in the main stream and will do wonders to our GDP too.

3. A better eco-system of good mentors and coaches needs to be created with more emphasis on business experience. An absolute focus on real value creation and generating profits on sustainable basis with a priority to conserve and nurture the environment and humanity is needed.

What advice would you give to someone in the age group of 30-40 years, starting out as an entrepreneur today? You are around at the right time with so many opportunities and a supportive business environment which is so conducive for entrepreneurial experiments! Go for it while being abreast of the latest technology and collaborating with the youngsters as they will define the future needs and trends! They provide the necessary energy and idealism and you have got the experience and wisdom of years to carve out a vision and execute it such that dreams of evryone will fulfil while doing good! Keep your focus on protecting and nurturing the environment and societal good with ethical practises as sustainability is the key to success.

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Preeti Todi, with her experience of 18 years has served as a director of many corporate companies throughout her career. Preeti Todi is currently a resgistered Director as per the MCA (Ministry of Corporate Affairs) and is the dirrector of Canpac Multi Ply, Canpac Rotopac and Canpac Trends.

Raising the Bar with Preeti Todi 13 Women 3.0 / March

When did you decide to be an entrepreneur? Could you briefly describe your journey? I have always had a business mind ever since my school days. I was always trying to explore new things and it was very easy for me to immerse myself. Having good business acumen, one such exploration led to the inception of the company in 1995 along with my husband who also hails from a business family. It was joint effort. How has your entrepreneurial experience been so far? Did you face any difficulties being a woman? It seems we have done well for ourselves. I can confidently say that we are growing every day. As a woman, the challenge was to strike the perfect balance between work and family life but having a supportive family was immensely helpful.

By implementing latest technologies we aim to provide economical & environmentally friendly products at a larger scale. There are many initiatives being taken by the government, which were probably not available 10-15 years back, when you started. What do you think, the government needs to address from a business point of view? There are some things that I expect, not that I’m advising them. One is clarity of system in the governance in various aspects. Apart from that probably to compete globally we can have a better infrastructure. We are a growing country & have seen a lot of development lately, but still a lot is yet to be done.

What would you say makes you different from your competitors? How do you innovate yourself, being such a large organization? So my company Canpac Trends Pvt. Ltd. is a trend setter in printing and packaging industry based in Ahemdabad, Gujarat. It is mainly involved in making printed folded cartons and micro flute cartons with special effects and delivers value added solutions. An honest confession is that competition has always kept us on our toes and I really appreciate it. At Canpac, we have always kept a profile & thought process that we want to raise the level of packaging standards in India. So lately, we have been targeting a lot of blue segments, B segments or we generally follow the Blue Ocean strategy. Our biggest kick is when we provide packaging material to a growing company and watch it succeed. Ideally we would like to rub shoulders with clients that help maintain our working standards, systems and processes as per global standards, but we would rather use those efficiencies in bringing up Indian corporates.

Would you say your target audience is Indian corporates or global companies? I would like Canpac to not only provide material in India and raise the level of Indian corporates, but would also like to export a lot. That’s one segment where we are putting a lot of efforts and we are pretty competitive. We are exploring along with being accepted as well. That’s good already, but we would want to go further.

Looking at the global market, the packaging industry also offers a 360 degree service under one roof. How do you cope with that and where do see your organization in 4-5 years of time? We have been providing this since the inception. Our inhouse design team helps clients who don’t have their own designs. We are coming up with a special department in a couple of months, called ‘The BIRD’ (Bank of Innovation Research and Development). It would be a creative facility in 6000sq ft where clients can visit & visualize their packaging material. Our Canpac plant in Ahmedabad is the largest in India with approximately 8 lac sq ft of land and 6 lac+ constructed area. So far we were more focused upon the consumer packaging, called mono cartons while now we have diversified into lot of other verticals.

You have to actually visualize the worst that could happen and think of solutions. There has to be no fears and regrets.

As an entrepreneur who inspires you? Successful industrialists do inspire me a lot, but there is no one in particular who I idoize. I absorb advantageous traits from people which I feel would benefit me & my organization. What would be one advice you would like to give to the young and aspiring entrepreneurs today? My one crucial advice would be when you start a business, go into depths of it.

What do you do when you are not working? Any specific hobbies you pursue? I do a lot of reading in my spare time. Recently I have been reading, ‘The third alternative’ by Stephen Covey. Do you like travelling? Any favourite destination you have? Yes I love travelling. It keeps me calm and composed. I absolutely love New Zealand and the drive over there. Its beautiful and mesmerizing, sometimes that’s all you need!

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We spoke to Revathi Roy on her venture: Hey deedee – India’s First ever instant parcel delivery service by women launched on 7th March 2016. Revathi also heads Zaffiro Learning a skilling for employment enterprise and Zaffiro Ventures - A mentoring and investment arm for student start-ups and Angel Investment. She is also a Mentor at Venture Catalysts a seed investor & Innovation platform. Revathi is very passionate about Women’s Empowerment, and she leads by example. Sharing her experiences and speaking to students is one of the things that she finds very rewarding.

Driving towards an empowered life with Revathi Roy

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Was there a turning point that prompted you to start out on your own? When and how did you become an entrepreneur? It was at the age of 47 when I lost my husband and I became the sole bread winner of the family, and I realised that I couldn’t get a so called normal job in an office. Given the circumstances, I had no choice but to take complete responsibility, to run my family and bring up my children. I needed to do something where I could bring money to the table. I had started driving since a very young age of 16, and I was known in my family to be excellent at driving. So, I decided to use my skill of a driving and become a cab driver. Dignity of labour is something that you can bring into any profession. And driving isn’t just my profession, it’s my passion! Can you briefly tell us about your entrepreneurial journey so far? My journey has been full of excitement. Ups and downs, travails and tensions and also the passion that I could do what I wanted to. It was a completely new field in the sector. There were never any women commercial drivers and it was so insane to see that a woman was ferrying passengers. This continued for 10 years.

Now I have 27 years of experience in hands on exposure spanning industries (Print Media, Manufacturing, Womens empowerment projects, Education, Non Profit and Government bodies) and being on mentor on boards of various Institutes as part of their e-cell. I have helped to build 2 companies 1st as Founder FORSHE CABS and 2nd Co-founder VIIRA CABS. I am also heading Hey Deedee, last mile delivery service done by women. Which are some of the biggest challenges you faced as a woman entrepreneur… how did you tackle them? I don’t think challenges are different for a man or a woman. Challenges are similar, circumstances can be different. For me, the whole thing of convincing women to become commercial drivers was a challenge. And then to get acceptance from the users was another big challenge. We stuck to it, proved ourselves and continued to tackle them.

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What typical skillsets & attitudes do you look for while hiring a team for your company? The drivers are picked up from communities and they are taught to learn driving. So their main thing is that will they work after they get trained. And we need girls who are hard working and ready to be there at all times. How do you see your company grow in the next 5-6 years? We hope to become the biggest company to have ever had women drivers. Efforts are on right now to bring down the time period of 12 month to acquire a transport license and make it skill based and not time based. Do you have a person that inspires you? Who would that be and why? Every girl who works with me, inspires me. How do you unwind‌ what are some of your favourite hobbies? I travel, walk, meet friends, watch movies and chill with my pets at home. I have 2 dogs. Is there enough impetus to support and nurture young entrepreneurs in India? There is enough being done at the national and state levels. There are many independent organisations and E-Cells that are running some amazing initiatives for entrepreneurs.

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Have passion, dream big, take advice and make your own mistakes as well.


How did you aim for your company to stand out? We had to do something really unique. So we had lady like stickers, make up kits, mirrors etc., in the cabs to make it stand out. We learnt the entire gamut of Mobilizing, Sourcing Training, Mentoring of women to ensure that skilling for employability is achieved over various professions, mainstay being Driving and training women to become commercial Taxi drivers.

Ritu Gorai is the founder of Journey About Mast Moms (JAMMs), an exclusive platform for networking among Mumbai-based mothers. She has travelled abroad before returning home to India, and starting out on her own. Ritu is married to Chef Saby (Sabyasachi Gorai) – winner of the Best Chef award handed out by the President of India. Born and brought up in Mumbai, Ritu is also a trained Bharatnatyam dancer. She has travelled across the country for various shows and also been a part of Shiamak Davar’s Academy.

Pathway to Success with Ritu Gorai

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She has now gone on to help many women re-discover their careers, and hobbies after taking on the baton of motherhood. We went on to ask her about her journey and here’s what we found out: Tell us how did the entire concept or idea of JAMM come into existence? Encouragement primarily came from family for my love of dancing. Teaching and performing were really my passion and Shiamak Davar obviously gave me that platform, not just in one dance lifestyle but in various genres. Starting from Jazz, Hip-hop, rock and roll, Indian Bollywood etc. The I have also worked for corporate giants like American Express and WIPRO. Then I moved to Delhi and later to Australia. After back from Australia I started doing a lot of freelance work across India. When my daughter Sara was born, in 2010 I very intentionally and consciously gave up my career aspiration. My career completely took a back seat because I wanted to be a parent, even if that meant being a stay-at-home mother. I wanted a child and I wanted to raise her giving all the attention she deserves. Having shifted back from Australia to Mumbai 3 years back with my family, this time to a completely different part of the city, I realized I didn’t have a support group to fall back on. That is when I started networking in a small way among mothers, being a mother myself, and that’s how I got the idea about JAMMS. It started as a small Whatsapp group of about 20 ladies who are essentially part of my inner circle- my best friends, ex-colleagues, my cousins and my bhabhi (sister-in-law). Everybody liked the concept and the intent of the group and within 4-5 days they started adding others. It started with a motive of reaching out to a network of these Mumbai based mothers. Having started that way, today we are about 40,000+ mothers connected organically online and offline. JAMMS has organised more than 300 workshops on various topics- starting from makeup, cooking, grooming, Bhangra, Zumba, prevention of child sexual abuse, cyber-crime awareness, parenting seminars… you name it and we would have done it. Every single intervention is complimentary. The whole essence is that mothers get to spend quality time. When they are coming together they learn something which is informative and knowledgeable versus what happens at a kitty party. So basically, I am now working in the women empowerment space via JAMMS. Our Whatsapp group is categorized agewise, area-wise then professional/interest wise. You can be part of mothers club, part of mothers group with special child- so loads and loads of groups. There is a movie club, pet club, music club, cooking club. It is a 24*7 business. Having said, we have a very simple approach: no-drama, no-nonsense- no good morning messages, no good night messages and no promotions allowed. Instead we focus on a very close offline connect.

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Right now JAMM network is a multi-award-winning network, we have interesting theme days like makeupshakeup Monday, Gurvaar Gyaan, Tadka Tuesday- like we share knowledgeable information on daily basis. We do plenty of workshops. Speed Networking Sutra is my other initiative, we have done eight successful events and will do a couple of them this year. JAMM takes up so much of my time and energy that I am not been able to give attention to my other venture SNS. Speed Networking Sutra is meant for women entrepreneurs. In every SNS event, the aim is purely networking with like-minded startup owners. For over 3 hours, women attend these events. For instance, if you are a business owner, when you walk in you don’t know anybody but when you walk out, you know every single person in the room. It’s a close-knit group and we learn a lot from each other’s business. We are giving women a platform to get to know other entrepreneurs. So what makes these ventures so special for you? What are some of your pet projects that you’ve initiated in these ventures? JAMMS and SNS… They’re like my babies. I did not restrict them to only mom-entrepreneurs. Even non-moms and unmarried ladies are also welcome to be part of speed networking sutra. We do collaborate with brands if they want to use us as a marketing platform, but that’s a very small section. We do a donation drive every 6 months. In our last campaign we donated Rs. 6.5 lakhs, within a day’s time, from Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, and Thane. That’s what I can manage with a seven year old daughter at home. We are also official promotion partners of movie:Tumhari Sullu. You’ll see our logo before the movie starts- during the credits section. We do a lot of social initiatives, we are the only community that is part of Pride Parade, and we create awareness about LGBT community.

You are the source of energy for others, how does that make you feel? Yes, it takes a lot of time and energy. Sometimes I get a call in the middle of the night from women saying: Ritu please help, I’ve locked myself in the bathroom, I need to contact a lawyer- run to police station, etc. can you help me? I feel very fortunate that so many women look up to me for advice. I personally am certified life coach now, I am also soft skill trainer, I have done so many training interventions, modified peoples’ perspective and lives. For me it is very important to get motivated myself and inspire. Of course, we may as Indian culture give free advice but at a time it is non-sensible, very biased and culture driven. So by doing these interventions, by meeting social entrepreneurs there is so much knowledge. So for me, you don’t just love to network but you live to network and that is crucial when you are a social entrepreneur because your mission and vision are so selfless. I still remember there was this event in Delhi and entrepreneurs from all over India participated. We were supposed to present the brand in 60 seconds and JAMM came first. The prize money of Rs 25,000 was not the motivator but just doing genuinely good work was. I do reach out to many people and support them.

What do you do to distant yourself or rather give a break to yourself? I take digital detox: a day off every month. My consumption of data is very limited. I go shopping, travelling and we religiously go out. We barely get time to watch TV. It’s all about activity, traveling to a new place. My daughter learns so many things. We have also started doing mother plus child bonding interventions. My daughter is always part of workshops. When I ask my daughter what you want to be when you grow up, she says she wants to be an entrepreneur. I was so proud of her. What are some of the stereotypes you are aiming to change with your venture? I want to change the simple things. Such as why is the lady expected to sacrifice everything. I mean I am all for being Feminist and women empowerment. Initially, man of the house was supposed to be the hunter and woman caregiver, but now a mother is supposed to be a masterchef, supermodel, financially independent woman, who can also take care of kids and parents? I can imagine Durga Maa with 10 hands. Somewhere I feel that when women are working, men need to be equally responsible and also do chores.

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I believe in vibe attracts tribe. If you are not hardworking, loyal and sincere I will not collaborate with you! A lot of people think of me as a strong headed person but I have learned things hard way. I am a fun bubbly person, I don’t have mental obstructions even about speaking to complete starngers. As adults, we have so many mental conditionings, which i feel are self-created and self made. What do you love the most about motherhood? Do you enjoy it? I am not going to give cliché answers but for me it’s another gradual progression of my Life. I don’t consider my child as responsibility or duty, I am just facilitator for bringing another life on earth, I will try my level best to give her love, security, safety and nurture her to my the best of my capabilities. What do you think woman entrepreneur needs to do if they have to step out? I have 4 step main mantra for myself….

1. Never feel guilty because the whole thing of -“Kese hoga?, kaun karega?”, is meant to pull you down. (How will it happen? Who will do it? ).

2. Always ask; Ask for help, ask for support. If you will not ask you will not get it.

3. You DON’T have to be a multi-tasker. You cannot be a jack of all trades. Once I asked my mentor how do you balance your work front and she said- “I have mastered the art of delegation and outsourcing.”

4. And lastly, when there is will, there is always a way!

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After All It’s All About Equality

by Kabir Bhatia

Feminism is accurately defined as the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes. But In our country this word is misinterpreted to the extreme limits. I do not understand why feminism is taken the same as women empowerment. In the current society every person associated with the social media says that he/she supports women empowerment. But do women really need support? Yes they do, because this very same person on social media is the one who indulges in domestic violence with his wife at home. This same woman supporting women empowerment on social media is ill treating her old aged mother-in-law. The word equality means equal rights to all, Right? But some people think women are placed above men. Here I am referring to a very small segment of people who abuse these words, women empowerment and feminism. She does a mistake. She should not be punished. Ask her why? “You cannot do this to me, I am a woman.” Just an example of what the mentality of some girls is. As you women proudly quote “All men are the same “, “All men are dogs.. “And a lot more to disgrace about the male sex. What if I tell you that all women are not the same? What if I tell you that some women tend to use these terms which were recently coined so as to prove their supremacy over men or to falsely convict a man for something which he is not guilty of. I heard this while travelling through a local transport service “Aj kal ke ladko ko sharam hi nahi hai, dekho to sahi ladies khadi hai aur ye seats par bethe hue hai. Itni bhi insaniyat nahi ke ladies ko seat offer kar de.” Well said, if you see a woman offer her a seat. That is how you become a gentleman, your ways to earn brownie points. But what happens if a girl with the attitude I mentioned at the starting, the very small segment who abuse the words is offered her seat by a man?”Acha zyada chalak banne ki koshish kar raha hai? Seat offer kyu Kari? Line marega. Bhai saab dekhiye na ye ladka seat offer karne ke bahane mujhe pareshan kare ja raha hai.” The guy was embarrassed by the people around and it ruined his day. I felt so ashamed of the society we lived in at that time. I watched the entire incident and the guy did not misbehave with her at all. What was she thinking when she did that? Will that guy wish to do good again? Give it a thought. Do not spare a woman for her mistakes, criticism on her work just because she is a woman. Confront the man who says “Mard hu me, kya ho gaya gharwali ko chup karvane ke lie do dhar di gaal par to”. I am not saying that women should not be empowered. If you seek for equality then stick to it. If you seek equality then stop asking for sympathy or support. If you are so omnipresent about the idea of women empowerment, first empower yourself and your mind-set, and then encourage people by posting shitty hashtags and posts. We need to widen the limits of our mind-set and come above all these malpractices or else feminism will become a catch-all vegetable drawer where bunches of clingy sob sisters can store their mouldy neuroses if we do not take it in a positive manner. Do not respect the gender, respect an individual. Respect a woman as well as a man. Do not discriminate. Hold them guilty for their mistakes. Let no one escape their guilt based on gender. After all it is all about equality.

Brand India Magazine


Raw, Bold and Unapologetic ...

Nadia Arain

Was there a turning point that prompted you to start out on your own? When and how did you become an entrepreneur? My father was a serial entrepreneur and I grew up with the notion that entrepreneurship was the only real way to embolden success for one’s self. When I was 21, I remember sitting with a friend over a conversation and he encouraged me to open my first business because he said something I can never forget- “Why do you want to wait for X amount of years? Begin today!”. I wrote my first bestselling and award winning book, ‘The 21st Century Spartanite’ and opened my first company at 21. I never looked back, since. Can you briefly tell us about your entrepreneurial journey so far? My journey has been one of both craziness and greatness simultaneously. I lost my whole life at 23, my business, my financial standing, my sanity--you name it and it was gone. I teach Financial Empowerment as one of the 3 parts (the other two being Love and Spirituality) under the SPARTANITE brand, so fluently as it took me everything I had within myself to recover. I wouldn’t trade my journey for the world and today, in my late 20’s – I use all the lessons Adversity provided me, to create a dream life through charm, magnetism and strategy.

If you have to describe your company/brand Spartanite briefly what would you say?

The Spartanite, is a world-renowned self empowerment movement, that guides one to create healthy, balanced and empowered dynamics, in all areas of your life. We ignite a fiery passion in people, to overcome challenging emotions such as guilt, fear, anxiety, depression and a loss of personal power surrounding various situations in their daily living, so they can finally transform the way they approach life. Our work radically enhances the paradigms in which one perceives love, wealth and spirituality. This enables a revolutionary concept to create a seismic shift that impacts generations to come. So in short one can say that Spartanite uplifts entrepreneurial individuals to embrace the power within to become healthier, wealthier, self-sufficient, and wildly powerful. Which are some of the biggest challenges you faced as a woman entrepreneur? How did you tackle them?

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Nadia is an award winning author of the Lioness Best Self Publisher 2017 and Mentor of The Year 2017 as well as a professionally accredited Clairsentient Psychic. She strives for success in all arenas of her life. Former model, Nadia, overcame extreme adversity, to turn her life around to the strength she currently holds.

Not being taken seriously because of my age. I possessed a lot of fire for a young woman, and until I healed parts of myself that were still allowing me to give my power away, I was facing issues. The main issue I discovered was to balance femininity within the male-dominated construct of running a business successfully. I am able to balance both equally.

How your institution is different from other similar organisations in the country?

THE SPARTANITE is a lifestyle brand that focuses on the true dark divine empowerment. I use my exclusively created methodology: Spartanite Alchemae Formulae that consists of coaching, counselling and clairsentient physic ability – to move High Performance Individuals from a state of trepidation to a state of being and action. All my work is no fluff, no nonsense and produces tangible results for people who follow this methodology. What typical skill sets & attitudes do you look for while hiring a team for your company? As the famous saying goes ‘hire character, train skill’. An individual who is willing to join team Spartanite must possess commitment to success, fluency in presentation and the desire to better one’s self.

We do not tolerate people who do not possess burning enthusiasm to change themselves, henceforth, changing and transforming other people’s lives. How do you see your companys’ growth for the next 5-6 years? Any new product offerings in the wings? We aim to create SPARTANITE as a million dollar company within the next 2.5 years. Many new product lines will be launched under the parent brand. How do you unwind… what are some of your favourite hobbies? I quite enjoy travelling. I like attending comedy shows and Spiritual events, and walking around open markets perusing the sights and sounds of different things on offer.

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Is there enough impetus to support and nurture young entrepreneurs in India. If not, what according to you is the need of the hour? Seeing as I haven’t visited India personally, I would say it doesn’t look sufficient from an outsiders perspective. I would say more education, independent thinking and equal opportunities for women, in a country that has been wracked with Misogyny and Patriarchal culture is a must.

What advice would you give to someone, starting out as an entrepreneur today? Discover ways to believe in yourself and keep going, even when the chips are down. Be persistent, get started on your plans immediately and do not miss a chance to be BOLD.

Powering Through With Taruna Suryavanshi A graduate in commerce and a post graduate in Human resource development. Taruna is a soft skills trainer by profession; has vast experience in counselling and personality development trainings. She has trained more than 10,000 students and 1000 working professionals She has been associated with various NGOs like Spandan, Snehalaya, Aapnu Vadodara and Kalp foundation and has conducted many events and projects for them. To name one she organized an open school public speaking contest in Vadodara called ‘Mari Kalpana nu Vadodara’, where more than 100 schools and more than 1000 students participated, an massive event which lasted for four months and was carried out in three phases.

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“If you ask me in particular, what I am passionate about, then I would say I enjoy meeting new people communicating with them and fashion”. Taruna came up with the idea of hosting and organizing exhibition three years back. She along with a friend floated a platform for artists to showcase their products and designs; as an answer to the low visibility issues faced by designers. She says, “Fashion is something I have always been fervent about, being in a city like Vadodara, you do have options but not at one place”. Adding to it she says, “Exhibitions were happening in the city, but I wanted to do something different, hence we came up with an idea of providing a platform to the new designers showcasing their collection”. The three days exhibition with 30 to 40 designers showcasing their collection was Taruna’s first event. It was also the only event which had a fashion show, two days prior to the exhibition. The whole event turned out to be a huge success with a massive foot fall and estimated 40 to 50 lakh worth of sale. “When you put your passion with business the outcome will be good”, says Taruna. Since then she has been organizing such events and exhibition and now it’s an ongoing process. “I wasn’t always an entrepreneur. I started off with a job in an ad agency, but since I belong to a business family, business was always in my blood, I guess”. Taruna is also a family person; she says, “There was a time when my son was going through his teenage years and had the usual teenager problems. It was then that I started with a teen age forum at my house, where all these young people would meet, talk and discuss their problems. It was then that I realized that I can do this on a larger scale”. Then she took this forum to schools, colleges developing their speaking and communicating skills. She has helped more than 10,000 students and 1000 working professionals. “If not an entrepreneur I would surely be a life coach as it comes naturally to me”, says Taruna. Apart from this she is mentoring various new start-ups and is a part of Start – Up Vadodara. •How can we develop a good eco system in India? Our current Government is doing a lot for the new start up’s like the ‘Start-up India’ - an amazing initiative from their side. All the norms and rules are set, even the registration has become easier. I would say that the government is doing good, but they can take it a step ahead now.

Taruna Suryavanshi, is a woman with a vision and believes that if you have something and you know it is going to work, start today, don’t wait. Step out and do it. Don’t fear failure and never doubt yourself. She is the third generation in their family business of owning multiplexes. When asked what would be her advice to the young entrepreneurs, she says: My advice to the upcoming entrepreneur would be, to look out for these three things when you startt a new venture: One: It should solve a problem. Your target audience should get the maximum benefits of your services. Two: Do something that you are passionate about. If you don’t like your work, you will never be 100% motivated to do better. Three: Be well versed with new trends, consider the new possibilities and think ahead of time. In short these 3 can be simply calles as - Desire, Attitude and Skill. I also feel that one needs all these disciplines in order to have a good business running. It doesn’t matter if the business is small or big. •Who is your woman role model? It’s a cliché answer, but my mother has always been my role model. I have always been pondering upon her life situations. She has been a house maker, which is a very tough job in itself. People think being a homemaker or housewife means doing nothing but it is infact the very opposite. It is doing anything and everything 24x7, unlike a job with fixed number of working hours. I have always seen my mother as warm, independant and a super confident person, which I think is the one thing I get from my mother. •Do you have any advice specifically for the young woman entrepreneurs today or for the future woman entrepreneurs? I can only say that the landmarks in a woman’s life are dug up too deep due to society beliefs and standards. So to come up and achieve anything, you need to start now or it will never happen. Don’t waste time pondering over things too much. Just go and get it.

There is a scope for innovation in everything.

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Taruna Suryavanshi, a woman with dynamic personality is an active soft skills trainer and an event organizer. She is adventurous, righteous and integrated. A woman who enjoys what she does and does what she likes. Taruna is full of life and a passion driven person.


On the Rise with Nehal Gadhvi Nehal Zula Gadhvi is a graduate from EDI – Entrepreneurship institute of India. Nehal Gadhvi is a CEO of Olixir - a cold pressed oil brand. She is the founder of Alaska water - packaged drinking water. Nehal also has four years of work experience in HR and recruitment.

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Let’s start at the beginning, What did you aspire to become when you were a kid? I never had any long-term vision, neither was I planning for anything in particular. My mother wanted me to be a doctor or an IAS officer but I wasn’t interested in long-term studies so becoming a doctor/engineer was out of the question. In a way, one can say that I knew what I didn’t want to become but I didn’t know what I wanted to be. What is your educational background? What made you opt for that field? I did my graduation in BCA, and post graduation in entrepreneurship from EDI (Entrepreneurship Development Institute) and I have also done a diploma course in fashion design. My father is a business man and has his own empire so I guess business was in my blood. After doing my graduation, I felt there were only few options and they did not catch my interest. I didn’t want to do MCA because at that time the value of holding a MCA degree wasn’t much and I also didn’t want to do MBA like most people ended up doing. So a family friend had suggested EDI course and she herself had taken the same course, so that’s how I ended up doing entrepreneurship from EDI. So how did you become a part of the Karma Foundation(NGO) and also launch your own brand Olixir? I came to know about it and later becoming a part of it via the future trading company where I am the CEO. It was a long journey; after my post graduation I wanted work experience before I go ahead and start my own business, so I went and got a job at an international call center called E-Tech, which is in Gandhinagar. I worked there for almost 4 years and got promoted twice during the first 3 years itself. Meanwhile, I got married and shifted to Ahmedabad and like any other women who gets married and has to prioritize between work and family, I had to put a hold on the work front and take a break of about a year and a half for the so-called “settling down”. But after that break I wanted to work again and started brainstorming about different fields I can go into. I was highly inclined towards creative field so I started my own boutique. But that didn’t last very long since I had a child in that time period and I had to focus on that so again I took a year long break. Post that I started working with my dad and started my own company- Alaska water, which as the name suggests is a packaged drinking water brand. I and my dad are partners in that company and it’s been 2 years since we have been successfully running.

During this time I also met Priyanshi through my business circle and we soon became good friends. Then one fine day she told me she had this vision of having her own brand of cold pressed oils which we know today as Olixir and she also wanted me to be the main person in charge, the CEO for this company. I decided to take her up on her offer and today it’s been exactly a year since I started this journey from having no in-depth knowledge of cold pressed oils to present day in 2018 where I have this brand Olixir successfully launched in the market. The entire journey has been amazing! The whole process of developing the product to branding, from vendors to stores to marketing, it has just been a really great experience in all. So can you tell us more about your brand - Olixir which you have under your Future trading company? Basically, Olixir is a range of edible cooking oils but what makes it stand out is that these oils are cold pressed oils and not your regular refined cooking oil.

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What that means is that even though these oils can only be used in limited types of recipes, these are power packed with nutrients and hence very beneficial. Since these oils are not refined it retains 100% of the original nutrients from its base ingredient. For example, our almond oil: its cold pressed, it means that its not refined with anything and all the nutrients that are extracted from almond are present in the oil as it is, which means one gets full-fledged benefits from it as suppose to getting only half or in some cases less than half of its benefits. So all the oils we make are via cold press method which retains 100% of the benefits and when used in cooking using certain methods, it can be 10 times more beneficial than any regular oil. And the method used to make this oil is actually almost 2000 years old. It’s called “Kachi Ghani” where seeds are pressed by hands or via crushing them on stone, to extract the natural oils from them and that oil is then collected and used in its most raw form for cooking. Of Course, now in today’s day and age, we have machines to do that for us but the core concept remains the same. This means that in cold press oils, there is no mixing of chemicals or adding any preservatives. There is no deodorization which usually takes place in making refined oil. So what you get here is the oil of the seeds of their respective fruit in its very pure form.

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What would you say is the USP of your product? I would say the packaging. You might ask why packaging is the USP and not the product itself? The answer is very simple but very important. There are very few brands in the market for edible cold pressed oils at the moment and most of them are sold in a regular plastic based bottle. And that is where the whole point of cold pressed oils becomes void. You see cold pressed oils are very reactive. Which means that since no preservative or chemicals are used in them, they are likely to get stale very soon. Even direct contact of sunlight can very easily and quickly make them go bad, and all the nutrients which make these oils beneficial will also be lost. So at Olixir we do not use any random dark material to protect it from sunlight, we use fully black glass bottles in order to retain the oil in its natural state and its benefits. We don’t use plastic since plastic can make it reactive and anyways plastic waste is also a problem in hindsight. We use the highest quality of glass in our bottles. Do you have a particular management style you follow or you would want to follow? How would you want your office environment to be? I like to have a very organized system and a simple one at that. A simple concept, where a person from an executive level can approach a senior to talk about any issue.

That’s the simplest approach we want, a very organized structure. That’s all I have to say about it right now. These things keep changing along the way from time to time so for now, this is my view on it. Do you have any management mantra that you follow in your business/workplace? My management mantra would be to keep on learning all the time and also be disciplined in whatever you do. Any person can learn something if you teach them what to do. Even if the person is not educated, one can still learn. When you show them, they learn. But it is also important to follow it systematically and this is where you need to be disciplined. What are the biggest issues in your business that you are facing right now? They’re actually not issues. The only thing we need work on and give complete focus to right now is placement and good marketing.

What do you usually do when you are not working? I am married and have a kid so taking care of my child almost takes up most of my free time but I really like that too. Just interacting with my daughter, playing games taking care of her needs, keeps me happy at the moment.

Did you face any situations in life which became a challenge only because you are a woman, which you think might not be the case otherwise? I can’t recall much during my childhood and teenage years in specific but in general, as a woman, yes I have. Every woman has to face that challenge especially when you are married but also have a career and are a working woman.

What would be the one advice you would like to give to young entrepreneurs today, especially women? I think everybody has their own life and their own methods. A person’s advice may or may not work for others. Everybody has a different journey. But only one thing is constant in anybody’s life, man or woman, that is if you really want something, you have to work hard for it. No matter what happens, the doors will open. There are difficulties, but if you work hard and you pursue it constantly, it’s going to work.

No matter what happens the doors will open. There are difficulties, but if you work hard, you pursue it constantly, it’s going to work.

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Up In The Air with Shital Mahajan

Shital Mahajan is currently the only Indian civilian professional Skydiver to represent India internationally. She holds 6 World records and 17 National records in the sport. She is known to be the first woman to have done the first ever parachute jump without any training over the Geographical North pole in minus 37 Degrees Celsius and her first accelerated free fall jump without any prior trials over the Antarctica - South pole from 11,600 feet. Effectively, she is the youngest woman to jump over both the North and South Poles. She has to her credit 700 Parachute jumps until November 2017. Her vision is to bring skydiving to the forefront of sports arena in India. In conversation with her, we unearthed her passion for sports.

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How did you get motivated to try this extreme sport? I have noticed that most parents don’t encourage sports just because girls need to be protected. My parents were protective too initially. However I have been very strongheaded. From childhood, I wanted to do something different. When I was in Pune, I got in touch with a Captain. He used to train people in sky diving. I met him and said I want to do something that will do my country proud. I persisted for a year, for him to teach me the sport. My persistence paid off, and I finally got a chance to train with him. This was in 2004. Since then, I have represented India in various skydiving Championships and World record attempts. You are now a holder of 5 world records and 14 National records in skydiving. Which are some of the biggest challenges you faced when you 1st started skydiving… how did you tackle them? According to me, skydivers face different issues. One is access to quality training, especially in Tier 2 cities. And the second is sustained practice. The cost of training regularly or sustained practice is significant, which puts this sport out of the reach for many who might have become good at it. I overcame these issues with a determined mind-set and support from my father. Without these two factors, it would have been difficult to perform well. My father has been a great supporter and he motivates me even today. What are some of the stereotypes that you are aiming to change, by following skydiving? It is difficult to convince people and our society does not accept a woman doing such extreme sports but if a woman knows what she wants, she will do all possible things to achieve it. We live in a society where women are not encouraged for sports or extreme sports but a woman can achieve everything if she desires it. A woman can do anything, she just needs a chance!

That’s when I successfully attempted skydiving wearing Nav-wari saree, which is symbolic of our state. I felt it symbolises the courage and risk-taking ability that we women in Maharashtra have within us. Which are the 3 qualities that are a must in order for a person to succeed in extreme sports? I believe that person must be a risk-taker, have a neversay-die attitude and must be willing to persevere. There simply are no short-cuts. Also, extreme sport requires stamina. Both physical and mental stamina. I encourage people to work on the quality of their mind, even while they are training for physical fitness. What are some of your pet projects for the future? Oh there’s a lot on that list! I want to dive from Mt. Everest and also from space. I am currently working on these projects. I will also participate in wingsuit flying and I want to be the first Indian woman to participate in it. What advice would you give women to become gogetters like you? Today International Women’s Day is a reason for celebration. Why should it be just one day? What about the other 364 days? Make everyday a celebration of your womanhood. You have that spark in your heart, just come out and explore the world and conquer. Do things yourself, you can achieve everything.

Share an experience that you would term as off-beat in all of your skydiving experiences so far? Let me share few of my favourite experiences… first of all, I have been in love with my sport so much that I decided when I get married, it will be a very offbeat wedding. So that’s why my husband and I got married in a hot air balloon, few hundred feet up in the air! I have always dedicated my awards to India. Whenever asked in an international competition, I would say “Main Bharat ki beti hoon!” There came a time when I wanted to do something on behalf of Maharashtra.

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Dance Your Heart Out with Aesha Shah

What makes you stand out amongst your competitors? Most of the dance sessions happen at night when people are ususally free post dinner. I also take care of weddings, sangeet, events etc. So the fact that I do provide these night sessions definitely gives me an edge over my competitors. I also did Ahmedabad mirror workshops where I used to take groups, starting from the age 2 years to 45 years. So working with varied age groups was a challenge in itself and I think that’s also where we as an academy stood out. How do you balance your work and family? I make sure that I keep my Sundays free no matter what for the ‘Family time’. What would be your advice to the organization who are starting their venture today, particularly the young entrepreneur? One should never give up. It’s always going to take a while to make things work, but when you don’t give up you will always reach your goal one way or the other.

How did your entrepreneurial journey start? I started dancing at the age of 4 and my career related to dance started when I was in TY I joined a choreographer as a senior assistant manager and later on I started my own dance academy, after finishing my bachelor’s degree. How has your journey been so far with the dance academy? When I started, I had to start with literally free workshops because at that time people were not really keen on joining dance classes. They used to feel that it’s an activity for kids. So I started Zumba workshops for which I was announced as ‘The youngest choreographer in the city by Divya Bhasker’. I have also taken dance sessions in IIM, Nirma and other reputated institutes. As a woman entrepreneur what are the challenges that you have faced and how did you overcome them? My biggest challenge was to start and run my own dance academy. Paying heavy rent and all during the first year was very difficult. Especially being a woman enterpreneur, the initial years of handling everything by myself was tough but i also learnt many things along that journey. Have you worked with few other organizations professionally as well. Can you tell us more about them? I have been associated with Entrepreneur Organization since past 5 years now. I take care of the Gujarat chapter. It’s an organisation of the leading enterpreneurs of the world and for me, seeing them or learning from them gives me drive to work hard and become one of them. They keep inspiring me all the time.

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Where do you see yourself in next 5 years ? I have been running my Academy (AKS academy) since 7 or 8 years, but now I would also like to do something in the entertainment field that may be acting or modelling. As an entrepreneur who was your role model growing up? I would say no one at that time. For me it was more important to prove myself by becoming something & I used to make sure as an individual, I am growing everyday. The struggle was real because my expectations were more like dreams than reality & I also knew that to live them, I had to rely on my own because I knew that I am not born with a silver spoon. What do you do to unwind from your work? Any particular hobbies? I like painting, as it’s the biggest stress reliving activity for me. I like travelling too but I don’t get much time for that due to work. What are the three destinations you would like to visit in your bucket list? One is definitely Bora-Bora. I would also like to visit Santorini (Greece) and Philippines one day.

Be Your Own Hero With Sonal Joshi

Sonal Joshi is a lawyer, writer and a social activist of repute. Sonal is also an influential public speaker and has visited various universities and colleges globally as a lecturer. She has received a Letter of Appreciation by Mr. Steven Themes (Member of ParliamentLondon) for her contribution in Asian Women Empowerment at London. She is currently practicing as a lawyer in Gujarat and actively working on projects for the upliftment and safety of women.

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How did your jouney as a lawyer, writer and a social activist began? Can tell us a little bit about your background? I belong to a very lower middle class family. My father was a cook and my mother belonged to such a village where one can’t even find proper mode of transportation. They are not that much educated. We have struggled since my childhood as we had to put up a daily fight to even pay my school fees, we even used to borrow books from others for my studies and somehow I reached to 10th grade. After 10th my real battle started with my father because he wanted to get me married but my mother always stood up by my side. My mother believed that if I am educated and independent enough then in future I can take care of myself and my family in case things go bad but my father always found excuses for not letting me study. Although schools weren’t expensive but we still couldn’t afford it yet somehow I managed to complete my B.Com. I was teaching children since I was 15 years old and I guess that was how my work for social cause begun, because I realized that there are many underprivileged kids like me and if I don’t take a stand for them where will they go? That is why I started teaching them for free. I came across few NGO’s who worked for slum kids who are infected with HIV-AIDS and that’s when I realized that the battle I was fighting was nothing in front of the war these kids were facing. I understood that I am in better position than what they are in; they inspired me to fight harder. After that I went on to finish my Law degree and finished my higher studies from California. I also simultaneously pursued my Journalism course along with B.Com because media has the power to give your voice a direction.

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To support my journalism I also raised my voice against few causes. When I was 15 years old, there was a time when I wrote something about Shiv Sena to the editor of a newspaper and it got published. This infuriated many people and they hunted me till my home and wanted to kill me but it all went in vain when they realized I was only 15 years old. That day I realized that I need to study Law. I knew nothing about the course or the institutes and we were broke. My mother had to sell her gold chain to get me through Journalism. My first salary was only Rs.250. I struggled a lot by teaching people and studying by myself but whatever I did, couldn’t have been possible without my mother. Her support was unparallel. All these years, all this struggle, but she never let us skip a meal rather she won’t even let us wait for it. I used to support NGO’s, used to teach them how they should keep humanity first and humans second. Law helped me a lot, it gave me a sense of empowerment. My mother was also a victim of domestic violence, she has suffered a lot and that’s what motivated me to work for such ladies who have the same troubles. I used to work for such women who have no idea what is happening around them,

they feel they are born and brought up just to cook, clean and raise kids and nothing else. Till date I have helped and counselled for more than 5000 women. My mother was also a victim of domestic violence, she has suffered a lot and that’s what motivated to work for such ladies who have the same troubles. I used to work for such women who have no idea what is happening around them, they feel they are born and brought up just to cook, clean and raise kids and nothing else. Till date I have helped and counselled for more than 5000 women. I am the kind of a lawyer who doesn’t prefer to take minor cases to court when I feel that I can solve them myself. If there are misunderstandings in marriage rather than sending a couple to the court, I call them to my home and counsel them. I try my best that both families don’t go through traumatic and tedious court room sessions. I feel the best way out is through counselling and that should always be the first choice. How did your entrepreneurial journey started? I got married and moved to London and as my education wasn’t valid there, I indulged in Blue Collar Jobs.

That was a sacrifice I made for my marriage. I was also a victim of domestic violence and have suffered a lot. I feel that each and every woman should be financially independent, and I have studied law but never took it as a source of income. I have given more than 1700 lectures in police departments, schools, colleges, corporate etc. There are many institutions who can’t afford such expenses, at such places I give my services for free. I have also given lectures in USA, UK and in fact I received Letter of Appreciation from Parliament of London for actively working in field of development of Asian Woman. So as a Women Entrepreneur what you think were your greatest challenges and how did you overcome them? There were many challenging cases which I have faced in my life, be it of goons, politicians or saints. According to me saints are the most dangerous bunch of people because whenever I fought against them, they wouldn’t waste a split second to threaten me. There used to be times when I used to get death threats. I had an old Kinetic which was set on fire, people used to follow me all the time and that is when society used to ask me to let go of such cases as even I have a family to take care of, but I was never able to do so. I was never able to break the trust of a girl who came to me with all her hopes and laid her belief in me, because apparently I was her last resort. That is why I never ever backed out and I never even cared if I lost my life in the process but backing out was never an option for me. I strongly believe that god is with me as I am out there to spread goodness and help people, why would he let anything happen to me? I feel I am the blessed child of god who is able to protect the one who needs it the most.

So how do you feel you are different from your competitors in being an entrepreneur, running an organization, recruiting people and taking care of their life style? What makes you stand out which leaves no choice with customer than to directly come to you? As you know my parents weren’t educated enough. In our field there is no concept of advertisements as well still people prefer me because more than a lawyer, I am a social activist and i have build a strong word of mouth name for myself. I take every case personally and try to find a solution in the easiest manner possible; the reason is that I am a very transparent person. I have also started a foundation named “Aavesha” which provides work to women who are house wives. I am associated with such works and people since long time have blindly put their trust me for which i am grateful for. They know I do not work for myself, I work for people. I guess this is the main reason I have never faced any competition because apart from knowledge I also involve my heart and emotions into the case. Where do you see yourself 5 years from now; personally as well as professionally? Although I have been working actively in India, I still have given more than 100 lectures in foreign countries. It’s my dream to visit more and more countries and educate senior citizens there about sanitization, give them counselling related to matrimonial issues, work with them on their property issues. The foundation which I have set up in India, I want it to spread worldwide for Women empowerment.

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You are in a very sensitive field profession wise, how do you balance your work life along with personal life? I always want to be with people who need me. I always try to be there for people when they need me or they need any motivation. This is the reason why I have never taken holidays for the past so many years. I am always available on calls 24x7, for 365 days. Yes it’s difficult to take out personal time. At times you are mentally stressed too but I think what keeps me going is that knowing, that people need my help and their stories that makes me want to work for those who are suffering. I have always felt that everyone has the right and deserve to live a happy life and this is the reason I work so hard. Many people look up to you as a role model but did you have any role models yourself, whom you look up to or used to? Mother Teresa is my role model, whenever I see her face, I recall what all she has done for the society. If you are doing your work with the motive of receiving something in return then that work is not in goodwill. That’s why I don’t work for anyone but I work for myself. Hence, I consider her my idol and want to live along her principals in life. What would be your advice to someone who wants to start his/her business and aspires to become an entrepreneur? Decide on what you want to do, have a clear idea about it and what your goals are. Evaluate your resources which are available and take the 1st step. Never be afraid of what people say. Have a positive attitude. If you are starting off something; understand that no work is small or big.

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What according to you is a big social issue concerning women today? I feel like people are not sensitised enough today. We have armchair critics who just talk about women rights and go gung-ho about womens’ day in March. And they promptly get back to work without walking the talk. Implementation of solution for the core problem is still lacking especially in rural areas. Women still face domestic violence. A survey says that women won’t have the same rights as men for next 150 years. As a lawyer, I am fighting on a daily basis to get my women clients the dignity and justice they deserve. We are still fighting for equality with men, while we have managed to conquer the moon, that itself is a big concern for me. Men should be sensitised on how to treat women, with dignity, respect and as their equals. What would be the one advice you would like to give to the young women today? Don’t be dependent on anyone; financially as well as in general. Have zero tolerance towards mental and physical abuse. Be your own hero. Any advice for the youth of India? Listen to your heart; don’t just do something because someone else is doing it. And no work is big or small. You may start small but you can always make it big with your own caliber and will.

Live your life to the fullest and be helpful to the society. Experiment everyday and something new will surely come out of it.

So when you talk about going Global, you will definitely need people with certain skill sets who are professionals. So what do you look for in a person before adding them to your team? I always prefer to go with people who are empathetic, those who aren’t hungry for money. So whoever has worked or wants to work with me does get a salary but they should have their priorities straight; first they need to work for society, and then for money. My team should be able to understand people, understand their problems and be patient with them. I don’t want a regular 9-5 person with me.

Culture, Power and Perspective

with Dr. Sonal Pandya

Tell us about your Journey? How did you become the head of the department of communications, journalism and public relations at the Gujarat university? I started my school from Mumbai and my father was a VIP person of the Mumbai city. At that time Gandhi told “Intellectuals should go back to villages”, so my father decided to go to a small village of Bhavnagar district. He took the leadership at the grass root level as he was a very well-educated person from a good institute. I saw Ahmedabad city at a very mature age when I came into college. I did my graduation in Economics as I was Interested to join RBI but one day I realized that my interest is not related to economics, so I opted to do my bachelors and master’s programme in Media and Journalism. After finishing I wanted to join as a television journalist but the time was not appropriate as that was not the time of television boom. I decided to go to Mumbai, Meanwhile I got admission in my MPhil Studies. I didn’t want to pursue my career in academics.

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As a part of MPhil studies, I got admission under the guidance of very well known journalist Tushar Bhatt. He was a residential editor of Times of India and Economic Times. I took up MPhil with Tushar Bhatt as my guide. As a part of my MPhil I started taking lectures on master level and at that time I realized academic is equally challenging and not at all monotonous. After my MPhil I went to Gujarat university and pursued my PhD simultaneously. In 7 years I got the position of head of the same department, I decided not to join any self-financed institute. I strongly feel for media education we need people from the grass root level. As a Head of the department, I decided to explore the maximum resources which we will provide to the students. We have state of the art infrastructure. People think media education is ruled by the elite class people and I wanted to break that monopoly. What change would you like to see for women in their work place? Safety, will be my major concern. Talking about safety, we also try to inculcate gender and gender perspective in our education system. If you think about equality and peace, you have to think of the women in our society. You don’t have to empower the women, but you have to equally sensitize the society and males and I have tried my level best to imply this here and that is why there hasn’t been any cases of molestation. There are 52 laws to protect women but actions for the same are not appreciable. When you talk about gender equality male education is much important rather than showing the women what their power and rights are. What is the thing that you love the most about your workplace? I love my students. I love my profession because I get the opportunity to guide them along the right path and I think that’s the biggest achievement one can get. Any issue you want to talk about or discuss any problem you are facing right now? First of all, we think that gender issue is a problem of a rural or an illiterate woman and that’s a total myth. I have seen women who go to a club and drive luxury cars, also have different type of identity issues. Women working in a farm or who are deprived of the basics, have nothing to do with the economical backwardness. That is a big myth which is prevailing India. Situation of women is changing, not the status. What would be your advice to women facing various difficulties in life? In the name of culture, people establish women as a “shakti”(power). I think instead of becoming “shakti”(power) you should have the equal right of being a “vyakti”(person). India will always stay a backward country if we never think of women rights. It’s not all about protection of gender rights or celebrating women day but it’s a long-term process. If women of the country will remain backward, then the country will also remain backward. Women are fighting against the male dominated system, not the men themselves. There is nothing wrong if a woman is cooking and the man is working in office, but they should be given a choice if they wish to choose otherwise.

Shakti ban ke matt jio, Vyakti banke apni marzi se jio.

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Phenomenal Woman Pretty women wonder where my secret lies. I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size But when I start to tell them, They think I’m telling lies. I say, It’s in the reach of my arms, The span of my hips, The stride of my step, The curl of my lips. Men themselves have wondered I’m a woman What they see in me. Phenomenally. They try so much Phenomenal woman, But they can’t touch That’s me. My inner mystery. When I try to show them, I walk into a room They say they still can’t see. Just as cool as you please, I say, And to a man, It’s in the arch of my back, The fellows stand or The sun of my smile, Fall down on their knees. The ride of my breasts, Then they swarm around me, The grace of my style. A hive of honey bees. I’m a woman I say, Phenomenally. It’s the fire in my eyes, Phenomenal woman, And the flash of my teeth, That’s me. The swing in my waist, And the joy in my feet. Now you understand I’m a woman Just why my head’s not bowed. Phenomenally. I don’t shout or jump about Or have to talk real loud. Phenomenal woman, When you see me passing, That’s me. It ought to make you proud. I say, It’s in the click of my heels, The bend of my hair, the palm of my hand, The need for my care. ’Cause I’m a woman Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, That’s me.

- Maya Angelou Brand India Magazine


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Pravash Dey, Disruptor-in-Chief

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UAE-India Business Council Annual Investment Meeting (AIM): 9-11 April, Dubai

I am pleased to invite you to the eighth edition of Annual Investment Meeting (AIM) scheduled to be held on 9 - 11 April 2018 at the Dubai World Trade Centre, Dubai. The theme of the event is ‘Linking Developed and Emerging Markets through FDI: Partnerships for Inclusive Growth & Sustainable Development’. AIM is one of the most exclusive investment gatherings in the world. It’s a premier three-day FDI-focused event which is an initiative of the UAE Ministry of Economy that focuses on promoting foreign investments in growing markets. AIM attracts the international investment community, corporate leaders, policy makers, experts, and practitioners from across the globe to discuss strategies on attracting FDI and to connect businesses and countries willing to engage in sustainable partnerships with investors. It serves as a unique platform to meet, network, exchange experiences, explore business opportunities and sign cooperation agreements and partnerships. This year, AIM will have the following features: Conference, International Exhibition, Capacity Building Workshops, AIM Startup, Investment Awards, AIM Connect, Investors’ Hub, Country Presentations, and Online/Onsite Business Matchmaking. The event will have three day exhibition showcasing all the different industry projects and services catered for the investment growth of various participating regions. AIM 2018 will have participation of 535 exhibitors from 141 participating countries including GCC, Africa, USA, UK, China, Russia, India, etc. AIM 2017 was proved to be a prime venue for meeting, networking, exploring and conducting business as more than 1,500 B2B meetings took place leading to the conclusion of a large number of business and cooperation agreements worth billions of dollars. More than 15,000 delegates flocked to Dubai World Trade Centre representing 100+ countries to attend one of the most prestigious investment events and the World’s leading Emerging Markets FDI platform. AIM 2018 would be attended by number of Government officials and business leaders from India. Shri Suresh Prabhu, Hon’ble Minister of Commerce & Industry, Government of India would participate in the event. In view of your business interest, I would like to invite you to participate in the event. In case you are pre-occupied, may I request you to please nominate a suitable official from your organization to participate in the event. The registration fees for the event is US $1,500 per delegate and will include the invitation for Opening Ceremony, Country Presentations, Conference, Capacity Building Workshops, Investor’s Zone, G2B & B2B Meetings, Gala Dinner, and Exhibition. Additionally, we will also be arranging the UAE Visa for the delegates. For further details relating to the event, kindly visit: website: Look forward to your positive response and with warm regards, With thanks & best regards, Abdul Salam, Director General UAE - India Business Council (UIBC)

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Gearing Up With CrossBow ABOUT CROSSBOW MILES: CrossBow Miles is a mass outreach and engagement platform tailored for cause-driven campaigns. Conceptualized and established in 2016, CrossBow Miles is the vision of Srishti Bakshi. Team CrossBow Miles has embarked on 3800 km on-foot journey across India from Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu to Srinagar, Kashmir mobilizing citizens along the way to make India a safer country for women. CrossBow Miles aims to sensitize citizens to the gender divide in the country, which it will combat by empowering women with digital and financial literacy. As radical innovators with an aim to reach 1 billion steps, CrossBow Miles is collecting steps on their app (available on iOS and Android) which serve as virtual support from individuals to organizations working in the areas of education, skill development, health & hygiene and women empowerment.

THE WALK CrossBow Miles is walking the talk. Srishti is undertaking a 3800 km on-foot journey from Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu to Srinagar, Kashmir in India to mobilise communities to make India a safer country for girls and women by empowering them with digital and financial literacy. The states that Srishti will walk through are Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Haryana, Punjab as well as J&K. She currently averages 25 – 30 kms a day, meeting anwywhere between 150 – 200 people a day and follows the walk up with a workshop in the town or village she is passing through. WORKSHOPS Safety and empowerment of girls and women through digital and financial literacy CrossBow Miles has collaborated with partners like Project FUEL, Save the Children, InternetSaathi by Google India and Tata Trusts to develop modules that are delievered by the team in unique, interactive, activity-based workshops. Over 110 workshops are being conducted on various topics focused on creating awareness for women’s safety and empowerment through financial and digital literacy. These include I am a change maker, Know your rights, Women empowerment, Gender sensitization, Financial and digital literacy, Hygiene, Sanitation and Leadership workshops amongst others. So far 70 workshops have been conducted in educational institutes, rural areas and self-help groups. WALL ART Th Art Project is all about CrossBow engaging with local communities through the language of art, where a wall is left behind serving as a reminder to the city of the new ideas and the thought processes that CrossBow Miles brought to it. The walls have portraits of women that the team has met across the whole journey who have challenged their circumstances and emereged victorious.

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The wall murals talk to men and women and aim at creating consciousness, well-being through art, appreciation & social participation. There will be 30 walls painted across the country, of which 17 are completed already. Each of these indicvidual walls will have a motif that cmes together as one unique, singular artwork. Poornima Sukumar is a muralist, community artist, illustrator, documentary photographer and is using public spaces – especially through wall-painting – to enable youth voices, engage youth in peacemaking and to create awareness. CROSSBOW MILES APP – Collecting steps #billionstepsforWOMEN Crossbow Miles, with this unique campaign, gives people an opportunity to participate in this movement from wherever they are. People from across the world can donate their daily steps and virtual support to the 21 causes featured on the app, like initiatives of Save the Children, Free a Girl India, Educate Girls and Apne Aap Women Worldwide, to name a few. The aim is to engage people in a digital world movement and reach a billion steps, dedicated to women empowerment. This app is available on both iOS and Android platforms. So far, 62 million steps have been collected on the app. CAMPAIGN CHAMPION- SRISHTI BAKSHI Srishti Bakshi is the Founder and Managing Director of CrossBow Miles, a social enterprise focused on redefining impact funds, from donations to investments. In 2017, Srishti was named an Empower Women Champion for Change 2016-2017. The UN Women’s Empower Women is dedicated to empowering women to achieve their full economic potential by inspiring both men and women to become advocates, change makers and leaders in their community.** The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, has extended his support to Srishti Bakshi and the CrossBow Miles Campaign for Women’s safety and empowerment through digital and financial literacy. **The UN Women’s Empower Women Initiative is dedicated to empowering women to achieve their full economic potential by inspiring both men and women to become to become advocates, change makers and leaders in their community. Please note: United Nations Mandate on usage of this text (to be used in full and not in part). Srishti is a marketer by profession who has worked with prominent brands in the field. Prior to establishing CrossBow Miles, Srishti led brand innovation, strategy, communication and business planning with Otterbox Hong Kong as APAC head of marketing. She also held national brand manager positions in Red Bull and ITC Ltd. Srishti has an MBA from ISB, Hyderabad and is a graduate from St. Xavier’s College in Mumbai, India. Srishti is the recipient of the Flying Otter award (Dec 2015 Otterbox) and was chosen as the Innovative Employee of the Year by India Today in February 2008. In April 2011, she was awarded the ISB Young Leader by Indian School of Business. She intends to work on tech solutions to social problems when her walk has concluded.

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FEEDBACK FROM PARTNERS “Feel proud to be part of crossbow initiative. How Srishti is walking through remote areas and cities and empowering each woman on the way is applauding. I strongly suggest Crossbow workshop should happen in every city n village.” - Ms. Pragya Prasun Singh, Founder, Atijeevan Foundation “L&T Financial Services through our Mutual Fund arm is proud to be associated with this Modern Day Dandi March. It will enable women to take their first step towards financial literacy. Helping them to be KYC compliant during CrossBow’s financial literacy workshops will be the key facilitator in that direction. It is our way of contributing to the movement” - Mr. Kailash Kulkarni, Chief Executive - Investment Management, L&T Financial Services “We at Save the Children congratulate Srishti for taking on a mission of inspiring change for women and children. This partnership is special and together we can impact lasting change.” - Ms. Pragya Vats, Campaign Manager, Save the Children “Our society has largely been unapologetic about gender-based discrimination which is the very basis of a prevalent belief that girls have to be indoors in order to be safe. The CrossBow Miles Project is a groundbreaking initiative that has led to a nationwide conversation around critical issues like gender bias, women’s security and other fundamental rights that women have been denied. We at Educate Girls take pride in being associated with this movement and extend our gratitude to each person who has been walking for us. Educate Girls’ decade-long work towards mobilizing rural communities for girls’ empowerment through education and our association with the CrossBow Miles Project establishes the power of collaboration for social transformation. Needless to say, every step counts.” - Ms. Safeena Hussain, Founder, Educate Girls “Women empowerment is crucial for the development of our country. Srishti Bakshi is undertaking a commendable feat of connecting women across the country with her nationwide walk. Dettol & Harpic through the Banega Swachh India campaign are happy to associate with her as hygiene and sanitation partners.” - Mr. Rohit Jindal, Director Marketing, RB

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Brand India Magazine


49 Women 3.0 / March

Inaugural offer for Advertisers in Brand India Magazine For more detail emails us on

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Core Team • • • • • • • • • •

Innovation and Investor Relationship: Pravash Dey Academia & Institution Relationship: Karan Saragra Research & Industry Relationship: Raj Parmar Legal Consultant: Vishesh Bansal Editor and Writer: Sindhuri Rao Visuals, Graphics & Content Curation: Nikkita Savita & Bhavisha Patel Digital 3.0: Sandeep Shah Photography & Videography: Harshil Patel Youth and Culture: Vishnu Dutt Rajan, Uday Taware and Darshan Bhudhbhati Business Development: Honey Thakkar

Advisors: Tony Lloyd (United Kingdom) Nayan Bheda (India)

Brand India Magazine


53 Women 3.0 / March

Profile for Brand India

Brand India Magazine- April/May 2018  

Brand India Studio is a platform for global PR support, Brand Equity & Brand Positioning to progressive businesses, ideas-n-innovations, unp...

Brand India Magazine- April/May 2018  

Brand India Studio is a platform for global PR support, Brand Equity & Brand Positioning to progressive businesses, ideas-n-innovations, unp...


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