Interview by: Amrutha Ragavan
BASED IN: CALIFORNIA
What do you do and why do you do it?
I produce a talk show - WomenNow and also organize events to connect with women in person, to inspire and empower them. My show focuses on issues faced by ethnic immigrant women in the Silicon Valley. Our goal is to help them live their life to their fullest potential. We invite guests to discuss issues ranging from parenting to depression and find meaningful ways to overcome them. We also believe in celebrating Womanhood.
My talk show helps spread awareness about issues faced by women. My events help spread awareness about Indian culture and bridge the gap between the perceived woman and the real woman. I do it as my goal is to build a powerful community where women can come together to learn from each other and stay motivated in their journey.
How did you get to where you are now?
I had no background in media in US. I had to learn every step of the way. The initial days were very hard. I was a no name and was given no regard. But I was passionate about my vision and did not take ‘no’ for an answer. I did my level best and slowly word got around and people started to take notice. It is hard even now, but I don’t give up.
What is the hardest thing about your work?
I run a voluntary organization. My entire team is composed of volunteers! One of the greatest challenges that I faced was in identifying the right people who share the same vision and can keep up with the expectations of the community. The other big challenge is motivating people. It is more taxing in terms of leadership to motivate and drive people to execute when they have a choice to walk away at any time. Unlike an organization where you get paid, I feel running an organization with volunteers is tougher for the leadership .
What is the high point of your work?
The best part of what I do is meeting inspirational people. I have learnt the most from them. A short conversation with some of them changes a large perspective. That is the power of the platform. I have been running this firm for 5 years. We went from a small group of 3 to now a team of 35 strong. We have received several accolades but most recently were recognized by San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed for our work covering ethnic immigrant women. We also were the exclusive event build up partner for India’s PM Mr.Narendra Modi’s Silicon Valley visit.
What would you tell other aspiring young entrepreneurs?
Forget the competition or blind rat race. You are uniquely you. There is no one else like you. Look within yourself and learn and understand your strengths. Come to terms with it. Work very hard and do what you do best. Build yourself a strong network both at work and play. Lastly, have patience, lots of it!