13 Jul Women who lead, women who inspire
The recent directive that has organisations scrambling to have women on their Board of Members has raised interesting questions, chief among them being: Haven’t women entrepreneurs proved themselves?
Consider Kiran Mazumdar Shaw �€” the Chairman & Managing Director of Biocon Limited. Just the name is enough for people to recollect how she gave birth to the company in a garage, steered it to become the first Indian company to manufacture and export enzymes to USA and Europe. As if this wasn’t enough it was also the second Indian company to cross the $1-billion mark on the first day of listing.
In the world of finance, Naina Lal Kidwai stormed the hitherto male bastion of investment banking repeatedly ranking in the Fortune global list of Top Women in Business while current Managing Director of ICICI Bank, Chanda Kochhar gets awarded “Retail Banker of the Year 2004 (Asia-Pacific region)” by the Asian Banker, “Business Woman of the Year 2005” by The Economic Times and “Rising Star Award” at Global Awards 2006 by Retail Banker International.
Apeejay Surrendra Park Hotels’ Chairperson, Priya Paul can well gloat on being honoured with the Padma Sri on the eve of the Republic Day, January 2012. But women continue to be quiet personas that let their work do the talking.
Similarly on the ‘humble and goodness’ scale with magnanimous contribution to her field, is Dr Swati Piramal, Founder of the Gopikrishna Piramal Memorial Hospital in 1983 which focuses on the underprivileged. With decades of hardwork, she has carved a niche for her hospital to be considered a top-notch caregiver in the Public Health Services.
More recently, LimeRoad’s Suchi Mukherjee has changed the way shopping is done. Without a family business background to fall back on or for support, she blazed ahead �€” making online shopping a lifestyle statement.
Not just fashion and jewellery, women have also anchored success in the labyrinth of tools and equipment handled mainly by men. Think of tractors and you wouldn’t think of a woman running a business that deals with trucks and farm equipment, would you? Mallika Srinivasan earned the title Tractor Woman, headed acquisition of Eicher Motors and has nurtured her company to be on par with the likes of Mahindra and John Deer.
Then there is the feisty Zia Mody of AZB & Partners who has ironed out legalities for big names like Reliance Industries, Bharti Airtel, Vedanta and BP.
There are many more dazzling examples in the diadem of Indian business, drivers of unprecedented economic growth, influencing in their own way �€”showing women to cross not just thresholds, but all expectations.