Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Female leaders rated higher trust...

A business magazine, along with an Institute of Leadership and Management, carried out a survey of 2400 managers and 2600 non managers to determine how much trust employees have in the leaders who run their organizations. In what should certainly be an encouraging sign for both leaders and their organizations, 47% of those surveyed felt that leaders had done a good job managing their companies. Things get more interesting here, when they compared the trust levels attained by male and female leaders. Female leaders rated higher trust levels than male leaders. The survey also found that male employees have a greater level of trust in female leaders than those who work for male leaders. In fact, the level of trust for female leaders was especially high among men who work in non-managerial roles within their organization. To #ind out that why the trust levels are high for female leaders over male leaders, the data was reviewed and the report was zeroed down to only one word.


When my daughter comes home from school, she runs up to me and gives me a big hug, I could either respond with ‘What is happening?’ Or ‘You seem so excited and happy!’ The #irst response is #ine, but is not an example of empathy. The second response shows that I have noticed my daughter’s emotion and am focused on her feelings. This is empathy !

Empathy is the ability to understand and relate to the emotions, thoughts or experience of others. Empathy is more than simple sympathy, which is being able to understand and support others with compassion or sensitivity. In simple words, empathy is the ability to step into someone else’s shoes, be aware of their feelings and understand their needs. To respond with empathy, you describe the other person’s feelings, as you understand them. It does not matter if you are exactly correct. What is important is that you are listening and re#lecting your observations. This simple communication tool not only makes people feel better, it helps you become a better leader.

In the above mentioned survey the key reason why female leaders win high trust levels is because they are knowledgeable ‘of what their employees have to compete with in their day to day lives’. The fact that female leaders are aware of their feelings and understood what hardships their employees are going through which further leads to a greater sense of trust between employees and their leader. A leader bonds emotionally.

A good leader should have the ability to motivate. Motivation comes when you touch the emotions of the people, thus the importance of emotions in a leader cannot be ignored. Emotions and empathy comes naturally to women and research has proved that they have a unique style of leading. Its called ‘empowering leadership’ which is based on the abilities that a woman is gifted with, best described as feminine qualities like being caring, nurturing, deeply emotional & empathetic and most importantly being more open to discussions while decision making rather than dictatorial, which is greatly admired, which further leads to bonding and transparency in organizations.

According to Indra Nooyi - Chief Executive Of#icer of PepsiCo, the most important characteristic that should be present in a leader is emotional intelligence. As per her, if you do not understand the emotional state of your people and treat them accordingly, in no time they will say goodbye to your organization. The only way you can hold your employee is by hooking them emotionally to the company. Indra Nooyi is one of the most admired leaders. This is because she touches the emotions of her employees. She makes them feel that she values them as a person and not as “employee number 7654”. She makes them aware of the fact that she understands that they have a life beyond PepsiCo.

Successful Indian women leaders have managed to bring a balance in expressing their emotions and have developed the capability to handle others emotions effectively as well. They have reached to top positions by dexterously balancing home, family and career in the best possible way. Women are usually ‘more compassionate, have better listening ability and are more intuitive as to how others are feeling. They are emotionally intelligent leaders who know how to inspire, stimulate passion and keep people motivated and committed. They are aware of their own communication and how their style and behavior affects other people’s moods and performance. They practice what they preach and are transparent and honest. They are able to generate vigor and optimism and give people a sense of clarity and direction even in times of crisis.

The Herbal Beauty Queen - Shahnaz Husain has gone out of her way to show her emotions & empathy towards the less privileged and the physically handicapped, through Shamute and Shasight, free beauty training courses for the deaf and mute as well as the visually challenged. The training has helped provide career opportunities to such physically challenged students. Courses are free of charge. At the end of the course, students receive the Shahnaz Husain Beauty Diploma. This gives them an opportunity to #ind jobs in other beauty salons or work for a Shahnaz Husain salon.

History is full of women leaders who have touched the heart of many people by giving them emotional support and security. But this does not have to be at the expense of results. They should have empathy towards people, but at the same time they need to produce the results. There needs to be a balance. Remember that people are not machines. They feel as well as produce. An empathic leadership style can make everyone feel like a team and increase productivity, morale and loyalty.

Thumbs up for all the women who have transformed themselves from being emotional to ‘emotionally intelligent.’ Kudos to the lovely ladies like Shahnaz Husain, Meenal Arora, Tanya Dubash, Bachendri Pal & Sulajja Firodia Motwani who have not only made it in a man’s world but are leaping one step ahead by successfully attaining the most powerful weapon – the 2 ‘E’s (in L-E-AD-E-R) Empathy & Emotions, and that’s what makes them the Real Power Women!!

Friday, 28 December 2012


Have you ever wondered why, though women have proven their mettle time and again by making their presence felt on the boards of different organizations, their ability is often questioned? Some question their strength, some their commitment, while others question their ability to perform professionally vis-à-vis their male counterparts. Women have been facing the ‘glass ceiling’ effect ever since they tried venturing into the male dominated work arena.

Though higher educational levels and falling fertility rates have contributed to women’s increasing participation in the work force of India and the situation of women is changing with more and more women not just getting educated in general streams but also in technical and professional courses, yet this change is not wholesome as there are still innumerable barriers that women face when trying to climb the corporate ladder. Today although women’s entry into management profession has increased yet their climb to the top within various types of organizations has not been smooth. The number of women that actually reach the top shrinks. But why is this? What happens to women as they begin to climb the corporate ladder to success? Why are they not making it to the top? It is observed that women are graduating and entering management positions but there is a bottleneck at middle management levels. While entry is easier, progression slows. Progression is dependent on a number of factors. The factors can be categorized under individual, societal and organizational factors. The ‘glass ceiling’ can be felt in more ways than one. For instance, women’s under representation at the corporate hierarchy, gendered wage gap, discriminative corporate policies, lack of attention to the speci ic needs women have, or exclusion of women from informal networks. They also face another ceiling called the ‘hour glass ceiling’, which means they are discriminated based on the number of hours that they work for. All this contributes to women lacking the con idence and attitude that is needed to succeed in business or work.

The major barrier for promotion of women managers comes from insensitivity of the corporates towards women’s social roles and responsibilities. If companies are serious about bringing in greater diversity in their management and want to encourage competent women to overcome the hurdles that society places in their career path, they should implement the following changes - develop career planning policies including mentoring and leadership development programmes for women as part of a company’s overall corporate strategy. Mentoring plays an important role in the advancement of women into management positions. However, mentoring is often limited for women, which in turn results in a lack of access to training and career development activities. Mentoring inspires a sense of responsibility across levels. Companies should establish leadership training explicitly for newly recruited women managers. The leading global IT company, Zensar has an interactive forum called ‘WE’ – Women For Excellence. This is a forum for Zensar’s women employees to help foster leadership in women employees and encourage them to break the barrier and realize their true potential.

Companies should identify highpotential women early on in their careers, involve them in decisionmaking and provide them with opportunities to lead high pro ile projects so that they build their competencies and skill-sets to ascend to the upper levels of the company. Renault-Nissan CEO, Carlos Ghosn, said “ I have started now using more and more inputs from women employees while designing the cars. The needs of men and women are different and when women look at cars they go for design, color and comfort. We are increasingly looking at hiring more women.” Talking about women taking maternity leave, he said, “ In a career of let’s say 15 years, if a woman takes a year off, its perfectly ine. You can’t let go a good worker simply because she is giving birth to a child.

Organizations should accommodate women to enable them to strike the right work-family balance. Family support strongly contributes to the career aspirations of women. Companies should adopt best practices such as options to work in lexi-timings, work from home and transport facilities. Microsoft’s programme ‘Springboard’ provides women who have taken career breaks an opportunity to hone technical skills, besides offering attractive monthly compensation through the duration of the project and then join as a full-time employee at the end of the programme. The company tries to persuade women techies who have taken a career break for personal reasons such as marriage or childbirth to come back to work. The company offers reskilling and mentoring, lexible working hours, and an option to work from home or any other tailor-made solution that techie moms demand. A similar initiative is driven by PepsiCo India in a tie up with Job Street. It reaches out to career women who have taken a break in their careers. It provides access to talent that is not currently present in the active workforce. The initiative has not only worked well but has also helped win the con idence of potential female talent that adds to the richness of diverse work culture. To support such diversity, they also offer special provisions like sabbaticals, lexible timing and other support to women with young children or family responsibilities.

The success stories of few women making it to the top does give us a ‘feel good factor’ as it provides an impression that position and status of women is changing in Indian management sector. But in the real sense how many of these breakthroughs are really happening? Barring a handful like ICICI Bank, PepsiCo and Biocon, majority of Indian boardrooms are still ‘un touchable’ areas for women. Companies need to be more responsive and should create situation where men and women are treated with equal dignity. Corporates need to be more open to women leaders who have the ability to cut through a male dominated work place, and make their own mark. Yes, there are few companies who are trying to get the balance right. IBM has a policy of offering special incentives to recruitment consultants for getting capable women professionals into the organization. Motorola has increased its women workforce to 37%. The IT Company, CSC, offers incremental bonus to employees for referring women employees on board.

Every woman is capable of reaching the top of her organization. What sets women such as Indra Nooyi, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Monica Oswal and Chanda Kochchar apart from the rest of the similarly talented women? They went ahead and shattered the glass ceiling with a high level of sustained self con idence and emotional quotient, persistence and patience, an extremely supportive family and the most important thing - right mentors at various stages of their career. They had the courage and the determination to shatter the glass ceiling and create a mark for them. Each one of them, a pioneer and innovator in her own right, has not only nurtured families but also met deadlines with a desirable spirit. Each one of them has a unique story to share – a success story that is aweinspiring and tells us the way forward as I elaborated earlier.

Saturday, 15 September 2012

‘Face’ of the family business is changing indeed.

Cheers to the real Indian Power Women ! The world of women in entrepreneurial roles !!

Yes women are entering the world of business ownership at an extraordinary pace ! Thankfully the male dominated Indian society no more believes women should sit back at home instead of entering businesses, at least when it comes to their daughters or wives. From being considered delicate, less challenging, being offered less risky jobs, and women in family businesses being mostly unrecognized, the situation has surely changed with the advancement of womens education and the growing role of government in women’s empowerment. It has not only made women aware about their rights and responsibilities but enlightened families and society towards the positive impact, that women could make in businesses in particular and in society in general.

The rate of women in family businesses has increased in recent years. Husbands and fathers now understand that to take charge of their company, their wives and daughters needs more than just good education, thus they are providing her with all the support by nurturing their strengths and talents ! This along with more independent minded and educated women are surely making it great times for power women !

Ofcourse, many women have proved the same in the past, that they can be great inspirations by the aura that they have created for themselves. From Indira Gandhi who inspired an entire generation of women to examples from the corporate like Indu Jain, who is also known by many different identities such as that of spiritualist, humanist, entrepreneur, an educationalist but most prominently who plays the role of the Chairman of Times Group, examples of awe inspiring Indian women is unmissable ! Not to miss on names like Simone Tata, who has been instrumental in changing a small subsidiary of Tata Oil Mills into the largest cosmetic brand in India – LAKME, synonymous today with Indian Fashion. Love them or hate them, you just cannot ignore Balaji serials and Ekta Kapoor is the woman who single-handedly founded and made Balaji Telefilms, the household name it is today. Known to be fiercely protective of her company and brand, Ekta is also very professional and has strong business acumen. Megha Mittal, the daughterin- law of the steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal, is the Executive Director of Escada, the German fashion luxury brand. She has taken some valuable lessons in turning around business from her father-in-law. She has retained the management and has empowered them in decision-making and she has set strict revenue targets and is all set to achieve the same.

Everywhere you look, there is a woman in the pursuit of the entrepreneurial dream. From being involved in small, usually home based businesses now they are more visible, they are more ambitious and mind you its not just about earning an income. They clearly want to venture out and want to take their businesses to greater heights. They want to be recognized as credible and marketable themselves so that they can create and establish their own identity apart from their family. They are all ready to take over the jobs with absolute different expectations, ideas and solutions. They value open communication and teamwork. For them people are assets and communication is the driving and motivational force. The new generation of power women in India is all set to create astounding benchmark through diversification specially if you were to consider the following examples we cover in Power Women this time !!

This young lady is someone who constantly strives to push the artistic boundaries. Belonging to a family whose roots no where was connected to jjewelry making, it comes surprise that Preeti Jain discovered her true calling and sheer joy in making art through jewels. She discovered her penchant for jewelry while working with her father. This made her realized her instinctive creative abilities and artistic temperament. She thinks that part of her creativity comes from her genes. She also owe her love for jewels and jewelry design to her mother who herself is an experienced designer She has been an in- finite and constant source of inspiration and has always helped her strive for perfection in every piece of jewelry she designs.

For this gen next woman her father has had a huge influence on her life. The mission & aim for her is to take the 115-year-old family business to youngsters across India in a big way through her new ventures. The group realized few years back that Gen-Y was no longer identifying itself with the brand name ‘Godrej’. Tanya Dubash, Adi Godrej’s eldest daughter, was given the task of fixing that perception. Tanya spearheaded the launch of a 3-D Internet portal, the first such initiative in India. She heads the Strategic Marketing Group (SMG) that guides the Godrej Masterbrand and portfolio strategy, and chairs Marketing Council comprising of Group Marketing Heads. She also heads Corporate Communications and Media for the Group and oversees Godrej Nature’s Basket, a gourmet food retailing chain.

She has been ranked in the International list of “50 Most Powerful Women in Business”, by Fortune. Works with industry bodies and the Government of India to advance policy decisions on important healthcare issues. Was invited by Dr. Manmohan Singh, to join the Indo-U.S. and Indo-Malaysia CEOs Forum, think tanks created to strengthen bilateral cooperation and trade. She is one of the pioneer businesswoman of India in the segment of Health Care Industry. Dr. Preetha Reddy has innumerable credentials attached to her. Inspired and guided by her father, Dr. Prathap C. Reddy, the pioneer of corporatized healthcare in India, Preetha formally joined Apollo Hospitals as Joint Managing Director and five years later; she became the Managing Director of the Group, which is now one of the largest healthcare conglomerates of India.

She joined the family business towards the end of her teens, as Assistant Product Manager and moved her way up the ladder to be the Executive Director of the group, through her hard work and determination. She launched Parker brand in India in the year 1996, which was a huge success. Pooja Jain’s contribution to the growth of the Group has been phenomenal. She introduced Amitabh Bachchan as the ambassador to boost the brand value. She was always in awe of her father’s position among the best in the world and she knew that it would be the pinnacle or nothing else for her. She was single- minded in her determination to get there. She heads the Writing Instruments business for both Indian and International markets. Her strong foothold over her business and her passion for social service makes her an inspiration for the youth.

With the increasing number of women taking over the reigns, the ‘face’ of family businesses is changing and it’s definitely becoming more feminine. So here is an issue dedicated to the next generation of women leaders of business companies who have not only groomed themselves to be the top notch names but from being the typical home maker and daddy’s little girl, they are all set to storm the business world and are all ready to succeed the throne. Cheers to these new age power women from the world of family businesses !!

Friday, 1 June 2012

Taking the centre stage

There is an old saying that behind every successful man there is a woman. By the time we reach the end of this edit the saying might change!

Behind the successful men, there are women who still choose to stay at home and raise the children, run the household, entertain sophisticatedly and do everything possible to support their spouses’ career goals. They provide moral support to their husbands by supporting their decisions and taking household responsibility off their shoulders. Indian culture reflects a strong bond between family members. Wives support husbands by taking care of all their needs in every possible way to make them win in their business or job. But with changing times, more and more couples seem to be agreeing that independent identities and separate careers or outside interests are better.

There were a lot of sacrifices that the past generation of women made in order to get ahead, and those sacrifices were often marriage and children. But that is changing. The new age women want to develop independent personalities of their own and not to look to their spouse’s company and title for an identity. These women are not only taking care of their families but are playing multiple roles as a wives, mothers, presidents, CEOs et al.

I strongly believe that behind every success story of a woman there must be some support from everyone. No one can achieve anything without someone’s support. It could be direct, indirect or moral support. I doubt if any successful woman exists who hasn’t had a mentor at some point in her career. Role models are essential to exhibit to women the value and attractiveness of a career. Mentors can prevent the feeling of isolation for women and also help them steer the path to promotion. Women should not only be encouraged to find their own mentor but they also should throw a challenge to themselves by becoming a mentor to someone else. Today’s female entrepreneurs are figuring out new ways to combine their careers with family. But how do they do it?

For this superwoman, life is all about her kids, the kitchen menu, her brainchild – the Dhirubhai Ambani International School and her IPL cricket team’s agenda. Yes, we are talking about Nita Ambani who is a businesswoman, actively involved in various philanthropic activities in the fields of education, human resources and disaster relief. She is actively involved in Project Drishti, a social initiative taken by Reliance Industries (RIL) and National Association for the Blind. To her, power is responeditorial Role models are essential to exhibit to women, the value and attractiveness of a career Taking the centre stage power women 5 june-august 2012 sibility. And she derives it from her family, her work, her passion and her very middle-class values. She always wanted to be a teacher, and she has surely converted her passion and dream into reality.

Women should always feel the need to be involved in something and to know that she is creating value. For one’s own self worth, its very important.

Richa Agarwal is one such name who has carved a name for herself in a field that is far apart from her husband Aditya Agarwal’s Emami Group. She manages the group’s foray into art auctions and related infrastructure under the Emami Chisel Art (ECA) banner. It is a collaborative effort between the reputed Emami group and Chisel Crafts, a parent company of the Kolkata based Aakriti Art Gallery. Richa always believes that the world is its stage and she feels confident that their participation in various exchange programmes will make the combined influence incredibly far reaching and the combined expertise immensely valuable in taking art to tomorrow’s connoisseurs.

Another super role model was at the peak of her career as a leading actor when she gave up a successful career to marry one of the heirs to the Reliance empire. Tina Ambani is among the first ladies of business in India—a role she does complete justice to. Today she is involved in a number of charity, arts, and talent endeavours. From taking care of certain aspects of the business to being involved in various works and promoting the arts, she has her hands full. She is involved in Harmony Foundation - For Senior citizens, Harmony Art Foundation - For Promotion of Art. In addition to that she looks after Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital & Medical Research Institute and Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Nursing College. Tina is a complete woman in so many ways.

It is now more important than ever that women have successful female role models. This issue is dedicated to such women who have created an identity for themselves apart from being a celebrity/CEO’s spouse. These women from various fields inspire in many ways. Also, now as there is a big change in society where women are coming out and proving themselves in various fields, a lot of credit goes to their mentors. And in majority of the cases, behind all their success there are men – that could be a father, a brother, a husband or a teacher. So can we say that behind every successful woman there is a man?

Only if the old saying goes like this, “Behind every successful man is an even stronger successful woman”.

Friday, 2 December 2011

Women have reached everywhere

I haven’t yet come to terms with this new role of mine, and to imagine three months are already over and it is time for the new issue. Actually, as the deadline for this edit was coming up, I was feeling helpless thinking how I would manage writing it with so many other important things to do. But then here I am writing this. Voila! This is what power women are capable of. Juggling work and home is a cakewalk for them. This being my first proper edit for Power Women, it is my ode to the very concept of power woman!

A woman has always been described as a source of strength. She stands tall even after never ending turmoils. I believe that every woman can make seemingly impossible things happen if she has the will and commitment to do so. Gone are those decades when women were typically involved in domestic tasks, where wifehood and motherhood were regarded as women’s most significant professions. In recent decades women in most societies now have access to careers beyond that of the traditional homemaker. Awareness, education, and life’s struggles have forced them to shed their inhibitions. Great women leaders, artists, scientists, and other professional women have inspired other women to overcome social obstacles. Women have left the secured domain of their home and are now in the battlefield of life, fully armoured with their talent. If on one hand she is at the top of the ladder of success, on the other hand she is efficiently handling the household chores and taking care of her family. She is the new age woman, ‘The Power Woman’.

These women have broken the barriers and have made a difference to society with their outstanding work and other pursuits that touch our lives, in more ways than one. Women started coming out of their shells, in the past decades mostly as reformers. However clichéd it might sound but the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize ‘Mother Teresa’ nonetheless inspired countless volunteers to serve, and with the help of these social reformers women slowly started recognizing their true potential. They started questioning the rules laid down for them by the society. As a result, started breaking barriers and earned a respectable position in the world. Today women have excelled in each and every field from social work to visiting space stations. There is no arena, which remained unconquered even by the Indian woman. Be it politics where names like Sarojini Naidu, Vijaylakshami Pandit, Sucheta Kriplani who were the torchbearer for the women of India. The most important name in the category of women politicians is Late Mrs. Indira Gandhi, the first woman Prime Minister of independent India. She was the one who made the world stop and notice the talent and potential of Indian women.

Women have achieved great laurels for the nation in every sport too. Whether it is cricket or hockey, our country has a national women team for every game. The Indian women cricket team has won Asia Cup of 2004 and 2005 and made the country proud. Some women sports icons of India are P T Usha (Athletics), Kunjarani Devi (Weight lifting), Diana Edulji (Cricket) and Sania Mirza (Tennis). In the past women of India used to write, but their work did not get the recognition. Today they are getting their due Arundhati Roy, Anita Desai, Kiran Desai, Shobhaa De, Jhumpa Lahiri are famous names in Indian literature. Not just in India now these women are recognised all over the world. Arundhati Roy has been awarded with the Booker Prize of 1997 for her work God of Small Things. Kiran Desai has been given Booker Prize of 2006 and Jhumpa Lahiri got recognition in the form of Pulitzer Prize. Women have not just made their mark on earth but they have engraved their name in the whole universe by flying to space. Kalpana Chawla, who was a member of Colombia Space Shuttle, which exploded on its way back, was the first Indian womn astronaut who visited space station. And now following on her footsteps another women of Indian origin Sunita Williams has become the second one to be the member of International Space Station crew.

Women have even made great strides in the corporate world in the last three decades. They are also enjoying the impact of globalisation and making an influence not only in the domestic, but also in the international sphere. Women are doing a wonderful job striking a balance between their house and career. Indu Jain of Bennett Coleman, India’s biggest media house, has even reached billionaire status.. Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw started one of India’s first biotech companies, Biocon. Lalita Gupte and Kalpana Morparia, both were the only businesswomen in India who run India’s second-largest bank, ICICI Bank. Anu Aga turned around an ailing company, the engineering firm Thermax Group. Simone Tata built one of the first indigenous cosmetic brands, Lakme, now a unit of Hindustan Lever. Priya Paul became the president of Apeejay Surrendra Group at the age of 24 when her father was assassinated in 1990. Sulajja Firodia Motwani, managing director of Kinetic Motor, has ensured that in the past six years her company has collaborated with firms in Korea, Italy and Taiwan and has helped it grow from a niche moped maker to a manufacturer of a full range of two wheelers and auto components.

Be it any field, women have reached everywhere. So it’s not only Venus but women are conquering Mars too! We should be proud of such trendsetters who have not just carved a name for themselves in their chosen path, but have become the torch bearers for countless others in urban and rural India who want to follow their dreams, reach their goals, and give back to society. I salute these and the countless other “Power Women” who have inspired not just us women, but the entire mankind today.

This issue is on the wonderful women like - Pooja Jain, Divya Modi, Sminu Jindal, Shradhha Suri, Zia Mody, Lara Balsara, Monica Oswal and Himani Modi who have not only inherited their family businesses but are positively impacting it and taking it forward. My best wishes to them and hope more and more women get inspired by such super achievers and make greater strides in life and business!

Friday, 2 September 2011

I am the power woman!

That’s exactly how I feel as I sit down to write this edit. I can’t believe that I am writing the editorial of this wonderful magazine brought to you by ICPAR in association with the IIPM Think Tank. Although now someone far better than I ever was – Abhimanyu Ghosh – runs it, ICPAR was almost like my baby. It brings back the best of my memories... of the making of ICPAR as a sought-after and respected PR company!

Of course, nothing would have materialised without my first boss Amit Saxena’s sincerity and crazy dedication to make the vision of a world-class PR company a reality, Deepak Shah’s ability to carry on alone when no one seemed to trust our abilities and finally Dipali’s tremendous positive energy and ability to bring an unseen vibrancy in ICPAR!

In the middle of all such lovely people, I had barely started cracking a few clients, when I realised that I was made the boss of the Delhi operations and asked to run the show, as Amit Saxena was asked to take care of more important activities! That’s how the founder of the Planman Group, Arindam Chaudhuri operates. Just decides the biggest of things one fine morning without any prior notice and then drives them to success!

I spent quite a few number of years running ICPAR and building it up, before shifting to my current special consulting position. And though I don’t run the show at ICPAR anymore, no one can ever take ICPAR out of me!

I remember that then, I used to so often suggest that we must have a special magazine as our contribution to the industry! And the one magazine I often said I should have wanted to give to the media industry was a world-class product focused on women at work.

I felt it would act as a great tool, firstly to showcase our intellectual research and analytical capabilities; secondly, to honour the sincerity that women bring to work – a sincerity that so often goes totally neglected in this male-dominated corporate world; and finally, above all else, to salute all those women who work tirelessly in this particular field of PR (an industry which requires soft-skills more than anything else), which is perhaps one industry which has more women than men and so many of them leading right from the top.

And then one day, as I said is Arindam Chaudhuri’s habit, I suddenly got a message that he was planning to publish this magazine and that he wanted me to be the consulting editor for it! It’s no use arguing with him. But still, with all my sincerity, I told him that I had no such past experience, so I could just suggest ideas but couldn’t write.

But he reminded me of the couple of articles I had written some years back on the PR industry for my own interest – which he had liked very much. Even I had forgotten about them, but he remembered. So finally, here I am writing the first editorial of this lovely dream magazine – Power Women – and happy that ICPAR and my relationship takes a special turn here on!

Although this time, I am too overwhelmed and consequently might have ended up finishing my entire editorial simply talking about how I came to be seen and be heard (ICPAR’s punch line is ‘Be Seen, Be Heard’), I do hope that I will be able to do justice to this column – especially from the next issue – by picking up cases of the real power women who have made the corporate sector and society at large a better place. I would also try to pick up and write about ways we women can take inspiration from such power women and reach for the stars.

As of now I really hope that you enjoy the woderful contents of this issue which covers some of the most respectable names from varied fields.

Till the next issue then, let me relish this opportunity and responsibility that I have been given, for right now, I am the power woman