33 minutes | Dec 17, 2020
Building a Luxury Brand Delivering Ancient Ayurveda with a Modern Twist with Nikita Mehta of Fable and Mane
If you have any Indian ancestors, you’ve probably had the quintessential experience of growing up with some delightful oil champis (with Panchatantra stories to boot) from your grandparents that helped keep your hair long and strong. Today’s guest, though born and brought up in London, had the pleasure of experiencing this heartwarming tradition throughout her childhood with her grandma. So when stress and adulthood, in general, brought along with it hair troubles, she decided to go back to her roots and rediscover the ancient Ayurvedic tradition of hair oiling. On a mission to deliver the benefits of this technique to the rest of the world, brother-sister duo, Nikita and Akash Mehta started Fable and Mane in 2020. Since it’s launch during the pandemic, it’s already sold out TWICE at Sephora US, and is on track to become the go-to luxury haircare brand. Tune in to hear their story!
22 minutes | Dec 1, 2020
Achieving Success On Your own Terms with Almona Bhatia of GQ India
When you think of men's fashion, luxury, and lifestyle, few brands hold as iconic a status as GQ. Until most recently today's guest was responsible for bringing the GQ brand to India, and instrumental in building it into the powerhouse it is today. We sat down to have a conversation with Almona Bhatia, the former publisher of GQ India at Conde Nast India to discuss the landscape of the media industry, the role that technology will play in its future, and the key ingredients to achieving success on your own terms.
39 minutes | Nov 12, 2020
The Art of Building a Timeless Brand with Pushpa Bector of DLF Retail
When you think of retail in India, you think DLF. Iconic properties like Promenade and Saket have been the cornerstone of entertainment for millions and have become institutions in their own right! Today we sit down to talk with Ms. Pushpa Bector, the woman who has spearheaded these malls to become the behemoths that they are today. With an introduction to the hospitality and retail industry through the prestigious Oberoi Group, Ms. Bector has spent her career bringing iconic brands like Dominos and DLF to life in India. At a time when the future of retail remains bleak, she’s remained headstrong and calm while leading the DLF properties and it’s valued partners through the COVID-19 pandemic. Tune in as we discuss the future of retail, leading with confidence and compassion, and finding opportunity for growth in uncertainty! Fun Fact: She was responsible for naming the iconic Peppy Paneer pizza on the Dominos menu in India!
36 minutes | Oct 23, 2020
Making Healthy and Tasty Coexist for Children (and Adults!) with Meghana and Shauravi of Slurrp Farm
In today’s day and age, “healthy” eating is all the rage—the extensive benefits of “superfoods” like quinoa and açai berries are touted by many experts. However, eating habits are formed in early childhood, and it can be hard to transform them at later stages in life. To help set healthy food habits in children in India from an early stage, Meghana and Shauravi started Slurrp Farm in 2016. On a mission to do for millets what the Bolivians and Brazilians did for quinoa, Slurrp has quickly spread to 400 stores across 7 cities in India, and online in the UK, UAE, and Singapore! Tune in to hear how they consistently deliver recipes that satisfy both, the flavor and health cravings of children and adults with their innovative recipes!
35 minutes | Oct 9, 2020
Discovering the Power of Network and Community with Namita Singh Thakur of LinkedIn
It’s a story as told as time—man studies hard, gets a great job at his dream company, gets to leave home and live abroad as he grows in his career. Now let’s replace “man” with woman, and reimagine that journey of growing and leading a team in a corporate office as a woman of color in a foreign country. Namita started her journey working with LinkedIn in India, and quickly worked her way up and became a force to reckon with, going on to Head the client solutions department. Her stellar growth led her to move from the only home she’d known all her life, to a new country with only her husband to accompany her through that journey. Navigating life and work in a new, cosmopolitan country, without much of a support system is undoubtedly a daunting task. Join us today, as we talk about how Namita uncovered the power of network and community with Women @ LinkedIn, and her plans to give back to that very community as the new Co-Chair of the committee for EMEA and LATAM!
38 minutes | Sep 25, 2020
Empowering Women to be Financially Independent with Priti Rathi Gupta of LXME
Feminism and financial equality are undeniably intertwined. For centuries, women’s financial rights (or rather, the lack thereof) have played a key role in enabling women’s oppression and the perpetuation of gender inequality. To this day, harmful stereotypes regarding women and money continue to persist. To help abolish these stereotypes and empower women to manage their own money, Priti Rathi Gupta decided to start LXME—India’s first financial planning platform for women. After a long and illustrious career in finance as the co-founder of Anand Rathi, Priti decided to use her skills to pay forward the boon of financial freedom to other women. Tune in as we uncover her quest to deliver financial literacy and independence to women in India.
35 minutes | Sep 18, 2020
Investing in People and Relationships to Build a Successful Business with Archana Jain of PR Pundit
An estimated 90% of startups eventually fail—so when an entrepreneur finds and operates a successful company for over 20 years, it calls for a celebration—and a closer look! Archana Jain founded PR Pundit back in 1998 when female entrepreneurs were few and far between in India. Since then, she has established PR Pundit as the go-to in luxury and lifestyle PR, with brands like Dior, Dyson, Bobbi Brown, Uniqlo, Christian Louboutin, and Burberry as trusted clients. Throughout their 22 year journey, PR Pundit has constantly evolved to adapt to changing landscapes to stay relevant and on top of their field. Tune in as we explore this brilliant journey with Archana and uncover all the lessons she’s learned along the way.
35 minutes | Sep 11, 2020
Navigating Child-Rearing in a Tech-Infused World with Sumedha Khoche and Shireen Sultana of KinderPass
As young working mothers in this digital age, IIM alumni (and roommates) Sumedha Khoche and Shireen Sultana recognized the need for a scientifically-backed information portal for new parents. In their quest to better navigate parenting and child development in a world where technology has permeated every sphere of our lives, Shireen and Sumedha, founded KinderPass in 2019, a digital early learning & child development service. With over 60,000 downloads in just under a year, KinderPass has been a blessing for new parents, especially during this pandemic. Join us today, as we explore their journey, and determine the makings of a successful Edutech startup in this day and age!
43 minutes | Aug 27, 2020
Knowing Your Customer and Defining Your Niche with Ayushi Gudwani of FableStreet
After spending almost a decade having a thriving corporate career with McKinsey, Ayushi Gudwani has lived and breathed the life of the quintessential, modern-day professional woman in India. In the time, she became acquainted with the core challenges faced by her colleagues in the industry. One such common pain-point she noticed was getting access to premium workwear catering to Indian body types and preferences. After over a year of intense R&D in the segment, Ayushi founded FableStreet in 2016 in the pursuit to deliver high-quality, fashionable workwear for the professional woman in India. Join us as we discuss her strategy to create a proprietary sizing algorithm for the Indian body, her journey building and leading an exceptional team, and her vision for FableStreet going forward.
47 minutes | Aug 19, 2020
Mastering the Art of Impactful Storytelling with Ishita Yashvi of Cross Border Kitchens
Food is something that isn’t just essential to our survival, but to our happiness as well— it’s a delight to the senses, something that brings family and friends together, a mark of celebration in cultures worldwide, Ishita Yashvi, along with her three childhood friends, decided to start Cross Border Kitchens to deliver the magical experiences they grew up having with food to the rest of the world. Today we discuss her journey from earning her living flipping burgers at McDonald’s as a teenager, to becoming head of marketing at the iconic Forest Essentials, to now following her passion as CMO at Cross Border Kitchens. Tune in to hear more about her entrepreneurial journey, and her advice for budding CMOs and marketing executives.
54 minutes | Aug 11, 2020
Being the Change You Want to See with Tanvi Malik of FabAlley
Have you ever felt frustrated by the lack of choices and representation in the fashion industry in India? Ever thought about starting your own fashion label to fulfill those gaps? Not quite sure where to start just yet? Tanvi Malik found herself in a similar position in 2011—feeling exasperated by a homogenous industry that wasn’t evolving to address the style, affordability, and sizing needs of its end consumer, Tanvi yearned to create a fashion brand that could address all those needs for Indian women. Armed with brand and marketing expertise from her extensive career at Titan, Tanvi joined hands with her childhood best friend, Shivani Poddar, to start the phenomenal FabAlley. Join us as she shares her journey and tips for other young founders aspiring to start their own fashion labels!
47 minutes | Aug 5, 2020
Using Art to Start Impactful Conversations with Misha Japanwala
Art is powerful— it can influence our culture, politics, and even our economy. While the general sentiment towards art as a profession has been less than ideal for years, especially in the South Asian communities, social media has changed that for the Millennial and Gen Z population.Pakistani artist and designer, Misha Japanwala has used her art to start a conversation around issues like domestic violence and honor killings faced by women in the South Asian diaspora. Using her body as a vessel, Misha aims to amplify the voices of those women, and share their stories by desexualizing the female body, and investigating what makes it so inherently sexual and threatening in the first place. Her work has garnered the attention of famed magazine editors and celebrities like Gigi Hadid, and today we sit down with her to discuss her journey.
50 minutes | Jul 27, 2020
Unapologetically Following your Dreams with Shaili Chopra of SheThePeopleTV
"Too ambitious", "too outspoken", "too stubborn".These are the phrases that are often used to describe strong-willed women In Indian society. These are also the phrases that Shaili Chopra heard extensively while growing up. Raised in a household that encouraged autonomy, and debate around society, religion, politics, and more, Shaili knew from a young age that she wanted to become a news reporter with the courage to tell the unfiltered truth. After 20 years with an illustrious career in the business, she realized that there didn't exist a platform that dealt with issues faced by and concerning women. That's when she made the decision to start the iconic SheThePeopleTV. Tune in to learn about Shaili's mission to make content catering to 48.2% of the country's population, while being fearless and unapologetic in her pursuits.
24 minutes | Jul 9, 2020
Speaking Up and Starting a Conversation with Malini Agarwal of #IgnoreNoMoreOnline
Have you ever received inappropriate, sexually explicit, harassing DMs online?Ever been subject to a constant barrage of invasive or vulgar comments on your posts?Felt frustrated with the lack of options on actions you can take to Just. Make. It. Stop?Well, you aren't alone. Women all over the world have been subject to gender-based harassment online (as they are in real life), without any information or tools at their disposal to tackle the same. After experiencing years and years of such online abuse, Malini Agarwal decided to speak up about her experience, and start a movement to empower other women to do the same. That's how her initiative #IgnoreNoMoreOnline came to life. Listen on to learn more about this initiative, Malini's motivation behind starting it, and how YOU can be a part of it!
24 minutes | Jul 6, 2020
Embracing Change with Tanaaz Bhatia of Bottomline Media
Who can say they hold three Master's degrees in Media, Marketing, and Business Administration, have had a tremendous career on Wall Street, AND have started and successfully run their own media company all before the age of 40? Tanaaz Bhatia can. Truly a woman on a mission with the passion and discipline to see it through, Tanaaz is an awe-inspiring powerhouse always looking to challenge herself and others around her. Leaving a successful Investment banking career to start your own business might seem like too daunting a move to some, but Tanaaz decided to pursue her dreams, and let her ambition speak for itself. Join us for the first episode of the second season of Boss Brown Women, where we discuss navigating career changes like a boss with Tanaaz.
36 minutes | May 19, 2020
Empowering Women to Fight their Battles with Manasi Chaudhari of PinkLegal.in
As we are all left reeling in the wake of the recent "Boys Locker Room" debacle, several questions about the legality of the boys' actions run amok in our minds. The response to the case on social media has been staggering, catching on like wildfire across platforms. So much so, that it pushed authorities to (like the Delhi Commission for Women and the Cyber Crime Cell) to take action. The victims of this unfortunate group chat spoke for themselves, and demanded swift action for their perpetrators. This was possible because those girls and women were aware of their legal rights and unafraid to use them to fight their battles. Manasi Chaudhari wants to ensure that this becomes the rule, and not the exception, for all women in the country with her initiative, PinkLegal.in. Pink Legal is the first-ever website in India dedicated to women’s rights and women’s laws. Its goal is threefold: 1. Empower women2. Reduce gender inequality in India3. Bridge the gap between laws in India and the common peopleListen on to learn more about Manasi, how she founded this groundbreaking organization, and her vision for its future.
41 minutes | Mar 16, 2020
How to Lead with Purpose with Sanna Vohra of The Wedding Brigade
Coming hot off the heels of the glorious wedding season, I thought it only fair to release an episode on the gargantuan 50-billion-dollar Indian Wedding Industry. The behind-the-scenes making of “The Best Day of a Bride/Groom’s Life” involves soaring amounts of stress, rigorous and continuous planning on the back-end, and little-to-no joy for the family members involved. Taking a break from her high-powered Wall Street career for her sister’s wedding in India, Sanna Vohra came face-to-face with this very reality, and realised just how disorganised the Indian wedding industry was. There existed to no one-stop-shop to browse wedding inspiration content, purchase garments and accessories, and book vendors and locations. That’s where The Wedding Brigade comes in. In this episode, we discuss everything from her start as an entrepreneur, how she charts a vision for her company, books and habits she swears by, and the future of the Indian wedding industry. Tune in to hear more about how Sanna is revolutionising the Indian wedding industry, constantly transforming her business to keep up with consumer needs, and leading a company with discipline and purpose.
39 minutes | Mar 9, 2020
No Woman Left Behind with Kalpana Jain of Deloitte.
Ever had dreams of climbing to the top of the corporate ladder? Felt afraid that you might not make it through all the way to the top? Well, today’s guest could help you plan out the path to that goal with her 15+ year experience in the corporate consulting world. Kalpana Jain has worked against all odds to become a revered senior partner and member on the Board of Directors at Deloitte India. Her story is a remarkable one, and outlines just how she was able to manoeuvre her way to such a prestigious position where she actively works to affect change. So listen on to hear about her start in consulting, how she worked to get the best opportunities in her career, the mentors she met along the way who helped shape her journey for the better, and how she’s using all the lessons she’s collected over the years to now lead the Committee for Diversity and Inclusion at Deloitte!
54 minutes | Mar 4, 2020
Writing Your Own Ending with Vandana Seth of RV Solutions.
Episode Summary Education was always highly valued in her household and she being the eldest went for engineering at Kurukshetra. She breezed through the course, but knew she wanted to do something of her own. She got married very early after college, and her first venture was with her husband, where she supported him in back-end jobs. She also tried her hand in the stock market at her husband’s suggestion, but failed miserably at both. These 2 years really took a hit at her self-confidence, with her experiencing true failure for the first time in her life. After that period, she restricted herself to the household for a period. However her enterprising nature didn’t let her continue for very long. She decided to make use of all the samples her husband was getting from China to start her own side-business,s and experienced entrepreneurial success for the first time! Yet, getting that success “too easily” as she puts it, wasn’t something that fed her drive, and so she went out in search of something more. She again joined hands with her husband for a new venture— in the medical transcription business. However, their ideologies didn’t seem to match at any point in how to grow the business. So at long last, Vandana decided to put a pause on her enterprising needs and take a job to rebuild her self-confidence. RV Solutions started as the eventual third venture that Vandana started with her husband, identifying an opportunity in the IT sector where there was a lot of government spend. Within 2 years, they had 800 people on board and were present in every major city in India. They experienced explosive growth, but none of them knew how to handle such growth, and the business had a near-death experience as a result. While her husband and co-founder was intent on shutting-shop and moving on, Vandana recognised the responsibility she had to wards her employees, her vendors, and her clients— all people she owed products and money to! She couldn’t contemplate turning her back on them, and having that be the end of her entrepreneurial journey. Half of RV offices had to close, had to shut shop and lay off half their payroll, which was one of the hardest thing Vandana had to do. The big break for RV came when Vandana recognised a way to truly provide value in an impact. Though her team came down to 150 people from 800 within the span of 6 moths once she took over, it was a loyal and committed 150 that gave their all to the business. The way that Vandana works is the team runs the show, she believes she’s just there. This did however lead to difficulty when an employee left the company, poaching 40 people from one of their key team with him! This event didn’t change Vandana’s leading style though— she didn’t want to punish all her employees for the mistakes of one who took advantage of her trust. She did however sit up and decide not to be a “chair CEO”, as she likes to call it. Being a PAN-India company, she started visiting various sites, interacting with the employees there, putting a face to “Vandana Seth” in their minds as well. Her top lessons in life: Nothing beats handwork. Be kind to people and open to hearing their ideas. Always work on improving yourself. Quotables: “Even a job can be enterprising if YOU are enterprising” “When things come easy, I’m not very receptive of that.” “I was too busy surviving to care about people not taking me seriously “ “Starting a business is easy— getting first orders, scaling— but sustaining a business, now that’s a challenge!” “The way I work is the team runs the show, I’m just there.” “Too much analysis, leads to paralysis.”
39 minutes | Feb 25, 2020
Become the Catalyst for Change with Monica Agrawal of KornFerry
Today’s interviewee is at the helm of driving change when it comes to diversity and representation at the top levels: Monica Agrawal, Head, Financial Services & Co-Head Board Services at Korn Ferry. Her journey to finding her dream career has been over 20 years in the making, and along the way, she made several crucial, fearless choices that got her there. Never one to fear or resist change, she’s worn many hats in her professional journey: consumer banker, insurance professional, and finally, search and recruiting. Now that she’s in a position to influence change from the top, she’s utilizing her platform to ensure wholistic leadership is at the helm of India’s largest companies. Listen on to hear about her journey, and what she thinks are key characteristics of a good leader. Summary In a time where having a career and a home for a woman was unfathomable, Monica boldly carved out both for herself. Monica’s number one rule in life: Be absolutely focused and take ownership of your own decisions On how she achieves a work-life balance: Ruthless prioritisation- you can’t do everything, and you can’t be everything to everyone, so why even try? Outline a few key things that matter most to you in life, and never compromise on those, always make them priorities. Finding a supportive ecosystem is essential. Without having people who can help you in your journey (especially as a woman professional), life will become incredibly hard. Find your tribe. Always be open to opportunities: learn what you want to do, but also what you don’t want to do. Through Unilever, Monica got exposure to finance, HR, sales, marketing etc., and that helped her figure out that what she wanted to do was sales. Even though her education was entirely focused on finance, through her stint at Unilever, Monica found that her heart lay with consumer-facing roles. On finding her way to recruiting at Korn Ferry: Monica was fascinated by Search for the impact it could make; she knew she eventually wanted to be a part of this industry. She’s been on both sides of the table: working in the financial sector, and recruiting for it. This gives her a keen understanding of the roles she recruits for, something that gives her an edge among her competitors; clients like the fact that she knows the technical jargon, not just the job description--the business and the practical perspective. Qualities that set good CEOs apart: 1. Agility: knowing what to do when you don’t know what to do. 2. Affection for people: a heavily underrated soft skill in Monica’s opinion. Unless leaders genuinely care about the people they’re leading, they won’t be able to deliver. Personal touch + strategy= true leadership. Diversity & Representation at the top: Companies are making representation priority, and it’s their job to find them the best candidates to fill those roles. Monica notices that at the entry level, there exists a diver pool of candidates (in term of gender representation). Maximum drop-off for women happens after their first child-- that’s where she feels organisations should be far more supportive. Facilities like daycare, sufficient maternity leave, are all ways in which this drop-off can be curbed to ensure for diversity at the CXO levels. On preventing burnout: Focus on fitness. Having so many things on your plate, Monica urges people to still make time for fitness. Fitness for her is not just physical health, it’s also mental health. Again, it’s all about prioritisation for her.