It is an exciting time to be in India and to be part of the start-up scene, especially as a woman entrepreneur! The best part of my journey till now has been the myriad experiences at both personal and professional spheres gathered over the past 3 and a half decades !
Born into a very academically oriented family (most of my relatives including parents are either Principals / Professors or Lawyers ! ) and growing up in Kerala, God’s own country, my childhood had equal doses of academic and cultural inundation. When I was completing my BTech Degree during the early 1990s, India had started experiencing the positive ripples of liberalization and the IT revolution. I landed a dream job in Infosys, but chose to pursue further studies instead much to the chagrin of my father and teachers!
I pursued my MBA from the Faculty of Management Studies in Delhi, one of the premier institutes offering post graduation in Management in the country. However, the transition from the protected environments of one of the oldest Tamil Brahmin settlements in the Southernmost tip of India to the very modern and political atmosphere in Delhi was a great challenge and one for which I was least prepared ! But I guess, life has its own ways of throwing you into the deep sea only to bring out the best in you.
I spent the first year of my career with HCL Technologies and later moved to Maruti Suzuki as part of their marketing team. In the meanwhile, I got married to my colleague from HCL ( very much the 2 States way – Tam Brahm weds Punjabi ) and took a year long career break when our first baby was born. We had also moved from Delhi to Mumbai during this phase.
In 2006, I joined a start-up in Mumbai, much before start-ups were the “in-thing” to do! After almost 2 years, I took up the most challenging and most satisfying professional experiences that I have had. I joined an organization working with HIV infected/affected children as their Head of Strategic Planning & Research. I took another year long break when our second child was born. Later, I worked for a year as a Consultant with Tata International in Dewas, Madhya Pradesh but by then was already contemplating ideas for a new venture.
My earlier stint in a start-up was a good learning ground and gave me the motivation & confidence to start my own venture. Through Metrica, we work with organizations to improve their business performance through consulting, training & assessment services. Under our SkillMetrics(TM) vertical, we provide innovative training programs to help bridge the skills gap between the academic and the corporate sector. In 2016, we are branching out in the South and also starting our own Training Center- SkillMetrics Academy both in Mumbai and South.
Being an entrepreneur needs you to believe in yourself more than anything else. One of the biggest challenges I faced was to enter and establish in a sector which is completely different from what you have been doing all along. Building the business right from scratch offers its own challenges. The other challenge I have had, like most working women have is to find the balance between work and family. I think each one of us is capable of managing this in our own ways and I am blessed to have a husband, kids and mom who are very supportive.
I personally believe that women succeed better as entrepreneurs and I am saying this not because I am myself a woman entrepreneur! Women are mentally stronger, more adaptive, can definitely multitask, more flexible and receptive to change, less political – all characteristics which define successful entrepreneurs.
I cherish the various experiences and learning that my professional, personal and entrepreneurial journey have offered me. And I am also all the more excited about the opportunities available to us these days – to do great work which will create impact !