We totally enjoyed speaking to this lady in leadership. Success in Inclusion especially at the top. With the MD, ANZ, Bangalore, Pankajam Sridevi.

#cheriankuruvila and I thought that this time of the year might be just the right time to venture towards Manyata tech park, considering most people are in shut down mode, with the holidays.

We were right.

We discovered Pankajam was there while many were already enjoying the holidays. Pankajam Sridevi, my first impressions being that she has this inner strength that comes with experience, many opportunities to reflect and high amount of self awareness.

She is vibrant and energetic, and has a genuine smile that reaches her eyes. Her stance and presence have a rock solid feel especially when she makes eye contact to take you in. We spent over an hour with this Woman in Leadership, and found the conversation to be practical, insightful and deeply reflective of the ups and downs, the humility and the great mindset this lady carries within her.

My take aways from today’s meeting with Pankajam Sridevi, the MD, ANZ Bangalore;
1. Her ability to identify herself as an equal, and push herself forward, amidst very difficult times along her career journey
2. She boldly voiced her opinion about respect for women, when a comment was passed during a conference, by the moderator commoditizing women. And aims to continue to create a culture that’s inclusive.
3. She shared her experiences on being vulnerable, and how as a Leader, that continues to be a strength. It draws people in and increases engagement.
4. She makes a conscious effort to identify the roles of drama ( how we as women sometimes play the victim role ) and how she calls it out, time & again.
5. She spoke of how Power and ego go hand in hand, and it’s tough, but necessary to play a role beyond the egos hold on self.
6. She has led teams, which have had peers as direct reports. And shared experiences on how she reached out to dissolve unspoken tension, to ensure mature and open conversations can lead to stronger collaboration.
7. She talked of the many times she pushed herself into newer territories, beyond her comfort zone. Her child, her family, the expressed & unexpressed expectations of her. And how support helps. And how taking tough decisions are tough but must be taken.
8. She spoke of how authenticity and genuineness are deal breakers where strengthening relationships are concerned at work and at home.
She pays attention.
She’s kind and strong.
She’s vulnerable. She leads and she follows.

 

The author is an Executive Coach, works with people who want to see Positive Lasting changes in their lives

#carolinefernandes

#iamvibha #vibhawomen #womeninleadership #womeninentrepreneurship #startups #womenincorporate

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I can’t tell you the number of times I’m rejected at work.

I meet so many different kinds if people whom I wish to explore to collaborate with, intend to offer our services to as well.
It’s ego breaking. When things don’t materialize.
I sit to reflect on why things happen the way they do.
I also question what was missing from my side and what more we could have done / do to learn and add value to our own processes.
I’m still learning.
And what’s always struck me as being helpful for our work is asking, listening, sometimes ( many times ) going back to the drawing board time and time again.
I used to feel terrible about it. Now I use that to keep me going.

#iamvibha #vibhawomen #stilllearning # womenentrepreneurs

For more information on Vibha Women

http://www.Facebook.com/ vibhawomen

The author is an Executive Coach and Social Entrepreneur

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There’s a massive sea of change unfolding for many many women over the last few decades

A few decades earlier in countries that have high Western influences in them, and more recently in countries like ours.
I interact / collaborate / coach / learn from a lot of women and the need / search to make a mark or identify is high. This is not to say women want to compete with each other or with men.
I interact / collaborate / coach / learn from a lot of women and the need / search to make a mark or identify is high. This is not to say women want to compete with each other or with men. Competition with the outer world may not be the focus. But more about women really coming into their own, for themselves.
For some women it might continue well past them becoming mothers; transitioning from a role in Corporate India to opting to either resume or becoming entrepreneurs in micro / small sized businesses.
The initial phase of transition / exploration with her identity, can be daunting for many.
What will happen to the family ?
Are the kids going to suffer due to neglect from me as a mother ?
How do I catch up with the world ? ( bevause there have been massive changes since she took a break )
Will my family support me ?
What do I do if they don’t ?
I need seed capital.
What if I fail ?
Will my idea be rejected ?
Will I face rejection ?
If I do fail, what happens next ?
Also with this growing need to explore and discover, many are afraid to be seen as feminine. Like ‘being feminine’ is weak or flighty, or lacking strength.
Femininity wields tons of strength harnessed over years and years of experience with life. After all experiences teach all of us, regardless of gender. It’s upto us to ask – ‘What did I learn from this ?’
What are your thoughts on discovering more about yourself ?
About how gracefully embracing femininity can be a constant source of strength in your decision making and taking action ?
How can each of us engage, to support this change, that in many many subtle and more obvious ways, is having an impact on the family structure and function, on ways we all collaborate at work, on the economy and relationships at large ?

#iamvibha #vibhawomen #womeninleadership #womenentrepreneurs

Chase excellence, and customers will chase you.

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One of the biggest lessons I learnt early on in my career is that it is vital to be excellent in whatever you do.

This applies equally to any sphere of activity, anything that you do. I have observed (in my own life and in that of others) that it is important to first identify what you are good at, what you have a flair for and then simply keep getting better and better at it. This means that rather than take up many different things and try to do them all (and hope that you’d succeed in them and make money), it is better to sharpen your focus on the one or two things you can do well. The key word here is ‘focus’.

We live in times of overload. There is information overload, choice overload, competition overload, confusion overload, distraction overload, everything overload. And as God is my witness, there is mediocrity overload.

In this context, it is very easy to get railroaded by things that won’t really get you anywhere in life. It is also very easy to get lost in the sea of humanity.

Which is why it is important for us to beat this ‘overload’ tendency by focusing. By saying a loud ‘NO’ to anything that doesn’t make sense to us.

In these times of overload, the only way to stand out is to specialize in something, become the expert in something. This is all the more relevant for an entrepreneur. All entrepreneurs have to hustle, irrespective of what they offer – hustling is a reality for us. But, it is important to hustle on the bedrock of domain expertise. You may be offering financial consulting, software products, landscaping, catering, fashion accessories, sports equipment, whatever.

The point is, are you a specialist, an expert in your field?

If your answer to this question is ‘yes’, you have a great chance of differentiating yourself from the crowd.

You can command a price premium from your customers with great confidence; your customers are more likely to keep coming back to you and to refer you to people they know. All this will positively impact your venture.

But, if your answer to the question is ‘no’, you have some more ground work to do. You have to learn some more, speak to experts in the field, take more customer feedback about your offering – in a nutshell, you have to upgrade yourself and your offering.

To summarise: ‘Pursue excellence in your field. And customers will automatically start pursuing you.’

 

Ganesh Vancheeswaran is co-founder of Vibha Women. He is also an author, branding specialist, freespirit, mountain man and occasional nitwit.

Ganesh 2 (1)

 

 

 

For more informatin on Vibha Women check out our Facebok page: http://www.facebook.com/vibhawomen

Or write to us: reach@iamvibha.com

 

 

 

 

Seriously, Intelligence is Over-Rated.

I used to wonder where the point of getting good to great would happen.

I mean, how do you know when you’re getting really really good at what you’re doing?

Simple. You’ll find people, a steadily growing number of them actually, will want to meet you. Not because you’re known or something, and yeah, that happens to happen anyway, but because what you do is getting the results people want.

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So, we are seeing a lot of tense hesitation with women when they transition between where they are, to where they need to be. The Real versus the Ideal states.

We find that all this is to a very large extent, a state of mind.

Through our interviews, discussions, coaching and events, more and more we are realizing women do not take the step into the unknown, simply because it’s the unknown.

Sure, you’re probably thinking how is this different from the way men think, correct?

Correct. To look at it from the surface it is human nature to resist change and resist it we will. Excuses, delays, avoidance and denial flood our minds and stop us dead in our tracks, sometimes self-indulgence in opting to be mentally paralyzed too.

But, studies have shown that when it comes t0 us women, these challenges tend to take on a slightly if not grossly skewed shape. We have a gender based lens that enables us to perceive events that lead us to go into self- deprecation. We bring ourselves down, and filter situations from this world view.

In due course this takes us into a loop which stops us from progressing to getting to that ‘ really really good space’ aka, becoming experts at what we do.

Some of of the basics that can incrementally lead to disengaging this thought process are:

  1. Developing a clear Leadership Vision
  2. Self- Confidence Building
  3. Understanding what Success Means to us
  4. Networking
  5. Influencing and negotiating
  6. Others

We invite yoou to take notice of the fact that core skills around what you do have consciously not been mentioned here, as we consider that a given for success.

Over the course of the next few weeks, we at #VibhaWomen plan on addressing these facets via our workshops that will work in tandem with more sharing of thoughts and experiences that you can read here as well.

 

Join us either at our workshops or read more about this here shortly.

We also invite you to share your own thoughts around this.

More to follow, see ya soon.

 

The author is an Educationist, Social Entrepreneur and Coach

Twitter: #CarolineVibha

#iamvibha #vibhawomen #carolinecaresfernandes

Caroline Cares Fernandes

These women were brought up in a culture steeped deeply in discipline, focus and the will to continue.

I am reminded of the ‘Bloom where you are Planted ‘ adage. It’s usually tough yet ironically simple to start exactly where you are, and then keep going. Crazy paradox huh. We’ve known of tons of businesses that started out of garages and then others that began owing to some adversity, gap or simply exploratory genius.

WINGS CO FOUNDERS

 

Amongst other entrepreneurial traits, perhaps fate too, synergistic-ally brought these two go-getters together to create WINGS.  WINGS, in it’s extended form means – We Inspire Grand Success – WINGS!

Although many times over as a trend, we at Vibha Women have chosen tpo speak of the venture, our primary goal in sharing these stories, is not to highlight the business, rather the inspiring grit and resilience these many many women choose to carry with them to venture into the world of startups.

Read on to know more about Payal Talwar and Priyanka Kumar.

Payal: A Miranda House alumni, I am an M.Sc, B.Ed and an MBA. I am an IFC certified trainer and am also an NLP master practitioner from NFNLP, US.

Priyanka:  Even though Payal and I have both gone through the same certifications together, before that, we were pursuing different things. I have been a student of psychology (from LSR, DU) and psychological counselling. Both of us are from the Army background.

 

On the Starting Point of WINGS

Payal: Both Priyanka and I could sense the frustration our fellow army wives felt.  These highly accomplished ladies are generally unable to pursue their own vocations due to their husbands being posted at far flung places – which offer no work opportunities.   This resonated with what we felt. We realized the need to create a platform which could provide them projects they could be a part of wherever they might be posted; give them a sense of being gainfully employed.

 

On Determining their Target Customers

Payal: Our business is about providing service – through training programs, content development, content reviews and building an online social media presence for companies. Our target customers are corporates and educational institutes. We also aim to reach out to individuals through open workshops.

 

On facing Obstacles

Priyanka: One of the major challenges has been marketing and business development. Initially, it was just the two of us managing everything.

We were unable to do justice to business development effectively. Now that our team has expanded, it is easier – though of course, there’s always more scope!

Also, regular cash inflow has always been on our mind.. 

 

wings workshops

 

How do you market your business?

Payal : We are in the business of helping our clients. We believe that our work speaks for itself.  Most out our clients have given us business only because we have been referred to them by other clients. We just focus only on quality, and our intent of serving them.  Business happens. 

On What Inspires them : (S)heroes, Books?

Payal : Priya Kumar, Ashelsh Rao (our NLP coach), Priyanka – my partner and lifeline!

Priyanka :  J While doing business we both use ‘Go Givers’ as our guide.  It has been authored by Bob Burg and John David Mann

What is your advice for entrepreneurs or aspiring entrepreneurs?

Priyanka: It’s a long haul – be prepared, be consistent – results are slow but sure. Take stock every now and then and be willing to adapt/ open new avenues.

A few more details about the business

A team passionate about spreading our wings and soaring to touch the skies, constantly challenging ourselves to rediscover our potential in the untiring quest for excellence – and enjoying the process to the hilt, is how we would like to describe ourselves.

We like to call our workshops ‘SELF-REVAMPING CLINICS’ filled with dialogue & dance, learning & laughter, creative madness and mental mobility, all in equal measures.

We are into providing training, building social media presence and developing and reviewing content

Website link

www.wingsteam.in

Facebook/Twitter/Linkedin/Pinterest/Google+ links

https://www.facebook.com/wingsteam.in/

Email/Phone number for Business enquiries

payal@wingsteam.in                                                  9899514419

Priyanka@wingstaem.in                                             8587099331

Radhika@ingsteam.in                                                 9489378165

Wingsteam@hotmail.com

 

The author is an Educationist and a Social Entrepreneur. To get yourself featured, feel free to email us on

reach@iamvibha.com

Twitter: Caroline Vibha

Caroline Cares Fernandes

 

My life’s been a series of serendipitous incidents that way!

As luck would have it, this fine lady has probably been at the right place, at the right time !

Say what you will, but to me, it’s an artistic blend of what you see in front of you and how you choose to respond 🙂

It’s interesting how perception shapes our reality.

When we absolutely love what we do, it sure does Nithya.jpg

seem to enable us to open our eyes to a world of possibility!

Meet Nithya David and read on to know more about her:

‘  I started my career in advertising account management with JWT Chennai, handling mainly Lifestyle and Pepsi businesses. My passion and dedication to the Lifestyle brand, displayed during their Bangalore store launch, caught the eye of Mickey Jagtiani, the founder of Landmark Group. I was offered a Marketing Manager–GCC role with Landmark Group in Dubai. After a couple of years with them, I was back in Bangalore with Ogilvy & Mather. Another chance encounter with Shekhar Kapur (the director) led to a marketing job with Gotham Comics.’

On Starting Upstream

I’d always wanted to do something on my own, and had always dreamed of starting my own company by the age of 30. So I guess the universe just conspired to make it happen for me. Only, I thought my enterprise would be in the retail/fashion space. I have no background in HR but I have extremely good networking skills and unbridled passion for anything that I do. In short, the craving for independence combined with ambition resulted in Upstream.

On Target Customers

Upstream is a talent recruitment firm. It was started in 2007. We do placements for advertising agencies and corporate houses across India.

Our target customers are two-fold: qualified personnel and corporate houses who are looking at a right fit both ways. My job is to understand the requirements at both ends and match them.

upstream logo

 

On Taking Initiative in the face of Challenges

First, the perception of this business itself. People think this is just a hook-up job, and the existing recritment firms are largely to blame for this image. They are neither well-versed in the functions of advertising and marketing and end up just supplying ‘people’.

I go a little deeper, and sometimes I can sense annoyance at the other end. But unless I am convinced, there is no way I will pass on a talent to the organisation. Even after that kind of screening, you end up placing someone who hops to another job too soon.

The industry is filled with such job-hoppers who move from organisation to organisation in search of more money and better designations. Perseverance is rare in this business. The sad part is, even organisations don’t curb this itch to hop. And that happens because skilled talent is in such short supply  especially when it comes to advertising.

On Marketing

My business relies completely on word-of-mouth and references.

On Inspiration 

Schuana Chauhan, Head of Parle Agro is an inspiration and so is Indira Nooyi, Chairperson and chief executive office of PepsiCo.

On Advice to Aspiring Entrepreneurs

Not really advice, but some directions:

–  Never never let go : It’s going to be an extremely tough ride. But remember, if it doesn’t kill you, it will only make you stronger.

– Always keep your eyes and ears open. Life is series of opportunities strung together and do not miss even the smallest one.

– Trust your instincts – Being an entrepreneur  is like venturing into the unknown. And in such times, your instincts are sharper. Trust them blindly. If you allow your instincts to guide you, there is no way you’ll fail.

Wanna know more  about Nithya? Here’s how you can explore:

Website link – www.swimupstream.in

Facebook/Twitter/Linkedin/Pinterest/Google+ links

Email/Phone number for Business enquiries – 9900822077 – nithyadavid@swimupstream.in

 

The author is a Social Entrepreneur and Learner

Twitter: CarolineVibha

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