When Lakshmi Met Saraswati

DQC Bureau
New Update

style="font-size: 13pt;" size="3">Two

roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by, and

that has made all the difference,' says Robert Frost, the American

poet, in one of his most memorable poems-'The Road Not Taken'. This

stands true for today's Indian women who believe in carving

out a career for themselves, amidst all responsibilities and odds in

the society. Gone are the days when women of our country would

hesitate to take up new roles and responsibilities, often due to the

fear that their family life may get neglected or vice-versa. Seeing

any woman sharing the same dais as any successful man in the tension

burdened corporate world, is no more a new born culture in the

country. Today, one could easily find a woman handling everything at

home as well as handling a team at the workplace. Unlike a few years

ago, today, women are known for managing the administration very

well, multi- asking jobs and successfully managing their duties at

home and office.


style="font-size: 13pt;" size="3">According

to a recent study by Chennai based FLEXI Careers India, sourcing only

women executives, diversity hiring intent among leading companies

have gone up by almost 500% between 2010 and 2011. Women in the IT

workforce grew from 4.21 lakh in 2006 to 6.7 lakh in 2008. According

to FLEXI, many companies today are not only going out to bring in

more women employees, they are also engaging with and trying to

retain them in new, more vigorous ways. For example, Infosys offers

its women employees sabbaticals, extended maternity leaves, and

enhanced training when they come back to the office. This has boosted

the percentage of female workers returning after childbirth to about

88%, from about a third in 2006.

style="font-size: 13pt;" size="3">The

company also tracks women after they return to make sure that they

are being used effectively by managers and not just being

back-benched. Today, on an average, 30% of any IT company consists of

women employees. Looking into the future, one of the research firm

predicts that there will be about 10 mn self-employed women by 2015,

an increase of 70% since 2005. Since, increasingly, conditions are

lining up to help these women succeed, including corporations being

ever more eager to work with women- owned companies, future for the

woman entrepreneur seems very bright indeed. According to a research,

the educated women now do not want to limit their lives in the four

walls of the house. They demand equal respect. Many top corporate

officials in the country corelate between women empowerment and

national GDP growth, business growth, environmental sustainability

and improved human health. They say, women already are the most

dynamic and fastestgrowing economic force in the world today, and

control over $20 tn in spending worldwide.

style="font-size: 13pt;" size="3">WOMEN



style="font-size: 13pt;" size="3">According

to some latest researches, women entrepreneurs presently comprise

somewhere about 25% of the total number of entrepreneurs in India,

with the percentage growing every year. If the prevailing trend

continues, it is likely that in another 5 years, women will comprise

30-35% of the entrepreneurial force. With corporate houses eager to

associate and work with women-owned business, and a host of banks and

non-governmental organizations keen on helping them get going, there

has rarely been ' a better time for women with zeal and creativity

to start their own business. Endowed with the famous female intuition

that helps them make the right choices even in situations where

experience and logic fails, women have an innate flair for


style="font-size: 13pt;" size="3">WHY


style="font-size: 13pt;" size="3">In

a developing country like India, over the years, it has been

witnessed that IT has become women's topmost career choice. Many of

the employees feel, unlike other sectors, IT does not only provide

them job satisfaction, but also helps in personal growth and

development since they are actively involved in the decision-making

process and successfully manages the pressure to perform and deliver



style="font-size: 13pt;" size="3">ON


style="font-size: 13pt;" size="3">Today,

again when India is almost going through another phase of recession,

and with a tough phase surmounting over IT companies, women channel

leaders send a strongmessage to their peers-“Why draw on only

half the deck when you could be working with the whole thing?” More

importantly, these influential executives are backing up their talk

with action. And, it is the time when companies need to retain these

highly qualified IT channel women professionals. It has been clearly

noticed that women channel partners have helped IT companies in

marketing and selling their technologies, services and solutions in

markets across the globe. Today, there are several IT women partners,

who play a significant role in further expanding the vendor's

portfolio and customer reach.

style="font-size: 13pt;" size="3">

Work Ethics

Venkatanarayanan, founder and proprietor, Universe Power Systems


style="font-size: 13pt;" size="3">Hailing

from a middle-class family in Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu, Jeyalakshmi

Venkatanarayanan nurtured the dream of becoming an entrepreneur while

pursuing her higher studies. Her family is focused on fine arts and

hence, when she decided to enter the male dominated field of

entrepreneurship, she did not get support from her parents. But the

constant encouragement of her elder brother and her brother-in-law ade

it possible for her to excel in the power solutions business.

Driven by the passion to work in the area of power, she started

Universe Power Systems in 1997, as a business partner of Tata

Liebert. Starting with no background and prior experience, she

consistently expanded the company's customer base.

style="font-size: 13pt;" size="3">Today,

Universe has over 1,000 satisfied customers. What really connects

Jeyalakshmi to her customers is her honesty, ability to network with

people, and her charming nature. She does not rest on her laurels and

continues to expand Universe further. She does not believe in

sacrificing her career just to prove that she is a great homemaker.

“I believe if a women wants to have a career then it is the duty

of her family to extend ample help and motivate her to go after her

dream but at the same time a woman should know how to strike a

balance between her various responsibilities,” affirmed

Jeyalakshmi. She is also a friendly mother of two daughters and takes

care of her parents, family, business, dancing and teaching in a

balanced manner.

style="font-size: 13pt;" size="3">Proactive


Budhay, director, finance and logistics, Business Algorithms


style="font-size: 13pt;" size="3">A

tenacious leader, Reeta Budhay who is now the director of finance and

logistics at

Business Algorithms, believes that hard work, coupled with honesty

and ethical dealings are her biggest strengths as these have helped

her to succeed at her workplace. She started the company Business

Algorithms (B.Algo) in 1988. With an entrepreneurial experience of

about 22 years, she is the only lady member of the Vidarbha Computer

Media Dealers Welfare Association (VCMDWA) and is responsible for

vendor purchases for the whole association. At B.Algo, she looks

after business operations with upcountry dealers and handles

accounts, human resource and also coordinates for financial decisions

of the company. Helping her team members to achieve their goals in

the company, she puts incredible time and energy in lending all

possible support to her employees. It is, in fact, one of her key

strengths, which even her employees appreciate in her. Having

considered all the hurdles in her career as opportunities, she

strongly believes in “Split the barrier, change the norm, make it

big, and become an achiever.” And, this fact, sufficiently confirms

her credentials of being a courageous leader.

style="font-size: 13pt;" size="3">Dreamer

and Believer

prabhu, director, HR and administration, GurujiWorld Technologies

style="font-size: 13pt;" size="3">After

completing her MBA in finance from Pune University, the focused and

confident Sanjeevanee Prabhu started her career in 2003 as a

financial analyst in an organization. Strong-willed, with an acute

acumen for financial strategy, she joined her husband's company

GurujiWorld Technologies as a director of the organization. She is

responsible to interact with her employees, colleagues, clients,

investors, corporates and also travel for work. Apart from helping

the company in garnering worthy crucial deals, Prabhu has also

managed to successfully play significant roles of being a wife,

mother, daughter, daughter-inlaw, attending family gatherings and

more. She says that the biggest challenge for a working woman is to

strike a balance between her professional and family life.


style="font-size: 13pt;" size="3">For

Prabhu, it was the support of her family which they readily extended,

especially the unconditional support her husband provided, that

motivated her for nurturing her dreams of pursing a strong career in

this industry. She is one of the few women who refused to follow the

conventional career path and dared to pursue her entrepreneurial

dreams. Today, she feels that the entrepreneurial scenario for the

Indian women has undergone a tremendous change, which helps, as women

who are heading a corporation take the initiative to get more women

on board.

style="font-size: 13pt;" size="3">Courageous


Sehgal, CEO, Klassic Computech

style="font-size: 13pt;" size="3">Today,

her self-belief of being an entrepreneur has paid-off, as Nidhi

Sehgal leads the Faridabad based Klassic Computech enhancing the

organization's performance and productivity. An English Graduate

from the Jamia Milia University, Sehgal along with her husband

established Klassic Computech in 1998. For a while she was caught in

a dilemma, faced by a lot of women, on how to strike an optimum work

life balance, and she needed to adapt to the demands of raising a

family, after sometime.


style="font-size: 13pt;" size="3">But,

her quest for challenges and constant improvement in everything makes

her a catalyst for change, for better, in every aspect of her life

and career. She began to work part time but felt that she was not

doing justice to her career. During these times, she felt she was

given projects as they required less expertise and she couldn't

demonstrate her capabilities through them. Her zeal to establish her

career and to build her own identity dawned on her; be it in family

or work, she had always acted in sync with her positive attitude. She

smilingly says, “I believe in handling different situations or work

pressures with a sound mind, and I believe that a big smile can win


style="font-size: 13pt;" size="3">Gutsy


Gupta, CEO, Cache Technologies

style="font-size: 13pt;" size="3">Bringing

in her two decades of industry experience in the Indian IT market,

today Prarthana Gupta has become the CEO of Cache Technologies and

has been instrumental in building a strong relationship with several

vendors and end-customers to sketch a growing curve for her company.

After completing her Btech from Amaravati University, she started her

career with Delhi based QuantM Net Technologies as a service and

support personnel. And, after a short stint with QuantM Net, she

joined Groovy Communications as a systems manager.

style="font-size: 13pt;" size="3">Then,

in 1991, Prarthana along with her husband Alok Gupta started their

own company named Cache Technologies, which has created a niche of

its own. Recalling the initial struggles, she smilingly says,

“Staring company has never been a rosy journey for me as I hailed

from a service-class family. I left my job and my family was against

my idea of starting a company.” But being focused and strategic,

she went ahead with her entrepreneurship dreams and managed to

accomplish it. And, today she realizes that the decision has helped

her greatly in her career by changing her outlook towards many

things. She believes in challenging the conditions around oneself and

not limiting oneself to traditional opportunities that are reserved

for a woman in the society. Outside work, she loves spending time

with family, traveling and reading books.

style="font-size: 13pt;" size="3">Education


Valawalkar, head, operations, Nexsus Techno Solutions

style="font-size: 13pt;" size="3">A

clear demonstration of commitment and a will to succeed, brought to

fore Kavita Valawalkar as a person to watch out for. Her ability to

be upbeat and practical towards challenges turns them into worthwhile

experiences. Currently, Valawalkar as the head, operations of Nexsus

Techno Solutions focuses on operational excellence and profitability

of the company. Valawalkar enjoys interacting with her team and

believes in hard work, teamwork and 'leading by examples'.

style="font-size: 13pt;" size="3">Nevertheless,

she is a hard taskmaster who expects commitment and focus from her

team. Having almost 10 years of industry experience in managing admin

operations in IT sector, she is a BA from Mumbai University. She

believes that more women entering engineering colleges is a great

sign of India moving towards literacy and professional

accomplishments. “If you educate a woman, you educate the

community,” proudly says Valawalkar. Her strength is her confidence

and determination towards work, patience and her 'do not give up

easily' attitude.

style="font-size: 13pt;" size="3">Student


Jain, MD, Kochar Infotech

style="font-size: 13pt;" size="3">Born

in a business-oriented family of Kolkata, Mamta Jain is currently the

MD of Kochar Infotech. As the bearer of one of the strategic

positions in the organization, she has also additional

responsibilities to facilitate the operational expertise of the

organization. After having been instilled with values of good

education since her youth, she started her career by handling

computer retail, where she tackled sales, logistics, after-sales

service, and complete SBU. However, Jain still believes in learning

constantly. Hence, it saddens her when young members of her team

sometimes choose not to focus on things beyond their domain of work.

She herself devotes a substantial amount of her work time in learning

new technologies, business processes, skills, and more. Dynamic and

spirited, Jain believes in challenging the conditions around a woman

in a male dominated society and not limiting oneself to traditional

opportunities that are reserved for a woman in the society.

style="font-size: 13pt;" size="3">Multi


Gaur, director, PRS Computech

style="font-size: 13pt;" size="3">Attributing

her mother to have given her emotional strength to overcome all

challenges and walk ahead in life, Prerna Gaur, the director of PRS

Computech has played an instrumental role in the sales and purchase

of computer hardware and branded peripherals. With a bachelor's

degree in Arts and PGDCA degree taking IT as a major, Gaur is the

daughter of an eminent scientist Dr C Sandill in Bengaluru and her

mother is a homemaker. “My father has always considered me as his

fourth son, and always encouraged me in all my endeavors,”

explained Gaur.

style="font-size: 13pt;" size="3">She

claims to be a bit of a workaholic, juggling multiple business

accounts at a given time and wearing several feathers in her hat.

Playing the role of a winning businesswoman, and performing at par in

a male dominated profession has always motivated her. With a full

determination to achieve her entrepreneurial dreams, Gaur has even

dealt with several situations where she had frequented several

residences for troubleshooting computer problems and installations as

well. This was highly appreciated by the female customers and she won

their confidence and support. Apart from growth of business, her

mentoring and able leadership has simultaneously helped her team

members in their career as well as personal growth. “Everyone is a

leader and everyone can be a leader. One just needs the help of right

guidance to search for those skills in themselves,” she says.

' style="font-size: 13pt;" size="3">Vision'ary

Shetty, director, business operations, Essen Vision Software

style="font-size: 13pt;" size="3">Completely

a people's person, Seema Shetty enjoys interacting with her team

and believes in hard work. Looking back at her career, Shetty claims

that it was a never a smooth sailing, but definitely a rewarding

expedition to lay the foundation of the company Essen Vision Software

along with her husband. She believes that that a result oriented

approach, integrity and discipline at every individual level with a

desire to excel in their respective roles will automatically bring

success to one's career.

style="font-size: 13pt;" size="3">After

completing B.Sc in Mathematics, she completed a Certification in

System Analysis and joined Quantum Systems & Software, prior to

establishing Essen Vision. Heading the finance and business

operations and also strategizing the overall growth of Essen Vision,

she has managed to craft a trajectory for the company's growth. She

attributes all that she has learnt to the various opportunities that

came across; the main drive has been her zeal to learn new things.

Though Shetty has seen

a tremendous change in the number of women opting for a career in IT

she feels

there is still more that needs to be done. Though there are many who

join the

industry, not many women reach the upper echelons. She feels a

lot  of

this depends

on the support a woman gets from both her family and the organization


works for.

style="font-size: 13pt;" size="3">Independent


anantharam, director, Webcom Information Technology

style="font-size: 13pt;" size="3">Born

to a middle class family in Chennai, a Physics graduate, Sumathy

Anantharam was raised to be independent since her childhood. There

was always complete support and freedom in terms of education and

career decisions. Although she is not from a business and commerce

background, she decided to take up a financial career being inspired

by her father and today, she is the director of Webcom Information

Technology. Explaining her struggles to reach up to this position in

the market, Anantharam said that she started this company along with

her husband with a small capital of about `10,000, which was also

raised by taking money from relatives and well wishers. “And, today

the hardwork, sincerity and passion to win has only raised us to this

level,” proudly said Anantharam. A person, who believes in the big

picture, she constantly lays emphasis on developing and maintaining

long-term relationship with people and motivates her team to work

towards it. And, over the years she has mastered the art of work life

balance, thanks to her family who helps her in time of crisis.

Although her work is very important for her, she spends her leisure

time with her family taking care of their education. She believes

that attaining a balance in all her endeavors is what keeps her


style="font-size: 13pt;" size="3">Fast-track


Saha, CEO, Macaws Infotech

style="font-size: 13pt;" size="3">It

is the sense of purpose in her stride, which pushed Manasi Saha, CEO

of Kolkata based Macaws Infotech to take the company up the ladder

amongst its competitors in the market. Not to sit still after

marriage, she decided to start her own company, Macaws Infotech in

1998. Prior to establishing Macaws, she had worked as a regional head

with an anti-virus company. The sharing of a vision with the team and

the execution of decisions and plans keeps her going ahead. Though

Saha has come a long way in her career, she still feels she has a lot

more to achieve, and on the way she will just keep looking out for as

many challenges as possible.

style="font-size: 13pt;" size="3">Life,

like success, does not come on a silver platter. Her advice to

today's budding women techies is to align their careers with their

personal lives. “Stretch and speed it up only when you can invest

more time and use your time wisely,” says Saha. Looking back she

feels blessed with the way her career has shaped up.

style="font-size: 13pt;" size="3">Well


Singhal, director, Kamtron Systems

style="font-size: 13pt;" size="3">Quite

vivacious and a people's person, Kavita Singhal wanted to do

something that allowed her to interact with people while working on

the technical front. She completed her B Tech from Srinagar and

started her career in 1991 as a GET (Graduate Engineer Trainee) in

Calcom Electronics.

style="font-size: 13pt;" size="3">After

gaining 8 years of experience in the IT industry, Singhal along with

her husband started the software marketing organization, Kamtron

Systems. She proudly affirms, “I owe all my success to the strong

mentors I have had in my life, starting with my parents and now my

mentors at work. It was their guidance and faith in me that helped me

reach where I am today. No one is a super human being and all that

one needs is to prioritize one's work. I had quit my job for a

while as I had to look after my son, who had met with an accident.

Especially in the case of women she advocates the added advantages of

qualities like multitasking, self-awareness, and an open mind to

feedback.” Singhal believes that instead of trying to juggle

different roles one needs to prioritize the different roles and


style="font-size: 13pt;" size="3">Young


Talwar, director, Iris Computers

style="font-size: 13pt;" size="3">Having

a passion to work since childhood, Kamini Talwar, daughter of an Air

Force officer, started her career at the age of 17. She is associated

with the IT industry for over 16 years with extensive experience in

sales. Talwar is currently the director of Iris Computers where she

is responsible for handling sales and reseller channels management

for all products distributed by the company. Having made a point that

a woman can execute challenging tasks, and can bring about desired

business results, she has been into the hardware distribution

business for many years. She got immense support from her family in

all walks of life and this made her task much easier. She has an

intense spirit of entrepreneurship and qualities that has led her

pilot the company with grace and dynamism. She is one of the fewer

women managers in India who have significantly contributed towards

making India into a respectable IT destination. Quick decision making

power, eye for detail and focused approach to all the assignments set

an example for people around her. She is called a constant

knowledge-absorbing machine.

style="font-size: 13pt;" size="3">Braveheart


Nandini, COO, Velmayil Innfo Services

style="font-size: 13pt;" size="3">Today,

G Nandini has a rich 15-years of industry experience behind her that

reflects her attitude of following her heart and value for quality

work, constant learning, and team spirit. A leader of immense

caliber, Nandini is the COO of Coimbatore based Velmayil Innfo

Services, where she is responsible for handling the overall

operations of the company successfully. Always a person who

prioritized her career, Nandini understands the challenges of being a

good manager. “I not only need to have a well- defined vision,

mission, and the strategy to serve the customers but also be

selfless, constantly listen to the team and encourage them,” she

explained. On time delivery and quality are two keywords she

reiterates every time to her team.

style="font-size: 13pt;" size="3">Looking

back at her life's journey, she always feels a sense of

achievement. “Thanks to my family for what I am now. They have

always supported me and shown confidence in all my steps. I feel that

I have gained more confidence, developed a broader perspective of

things, and a better analyzing strength,” said the ever-focused

Nandini. Apart from winning family's support, she had to strive

hard to face the challenges of venturing into uncharted territories.

Looking at the budding women entrepreneurs, Nandini feels happy to

see the young female minds dreaming to create a difference. She says,

“It is important to dream, but it is more important to work towards

achieving your dreams, with hard work. One should never allow anybody

dismantle their goal.”

style="font-size: 13pt;" size="3">Blooming


Priya Soundararajan, head, retail, Bloom Electronics

style="font-size: 13pt;" size="3">Having

been associated with the company for the last 13 years, Padma Priya

Soundararajan (S Priya) is currently heading the retail operations of

Bloom Electronics. She believes that it takes great effort and

consistency for a woman to be a peak performer in the retail segment.

After completing her graduation in Economics from Stella Maris

College in Chennai, she started her career with HCL Infosystems and

worked for 3 years. After getting married, she moved to Coimbatore

with her husband and joined Bloom Electronics, wherein she aims to

take the company to greater and newer heights. A quick learner who

brings passion and fervor to whatever she does, Soundararajan

believes that it is very important to offer a rich customer service.

Her zeal, enthusiasm, and energy to grow ahead reflects in her

personality. As a woman, her advice to other aspiring working women

is to stay focused in life. “There are some cultural, social, and

mental barriers which might hamper the work performance of a women.

One can overcome these by being single-minded, focused, and

determined,” says Soundararajan.