Sheroes Community Meet at InstaOffice
At InstaOffice, we make constant efforts to ensure that our community is learning new things. The idea of networking and learning from the best is what we strive towards. As we both were working towards the same goal it was equally exciting when Sheroes organized their community meet at InstaOffice (Our coworking space in Indiranagar, Bangalore) last Saturday and we had 2 remarkable women – Anuradha Agarwal, CEO and Co-Founder of MultiBhashi and Deepti Beri, Chief Commercial Officer, Sheroes share their stories towards reaching the top of their game.
Anuradha Agarwal is a one-man army who built the learning app MultiBhashi out of her passion to teach. She was born and raised in Jaipur, in a conventional baniya family. And as she herself puts it, she always believed that as a woman, her priority was to look after her family, and carving out a career for herself was not something that came naturally to her. In the Sheroes community meet held at InstaOffice, she opened up to other women, to tell her remarkable journey to entrepreneurship.
Deepti Beri was born in Punjab. While the grandparents followed traditional patriarchal values, her parents wanted their girls to follow their heart. She did well in academics, making to the best college in commerce, SRCC. While many of her friends (girls) got married immediately after graduation or during graduation, she went on to do Chartered Accountancy, which was a course, difficult to pass followed by heavy corporate life and because of these reasons, girls were discouraged to not to take it up. Against all well-wishers not recommending such a career, she went on to finish her CA in the first attempt. She got trained at the prestigious PricewaterhouseCoopers. She joined industry, which was traditionally a Men’s play field, to be a CFO. She worked with new age companies like exl service, PCCW global, the Apollo Group, Network 18 Group and was the CFO of americanswan.com before she joined SHEROES as their Chief Commercial Officer. When asked about her role, she said she wanted to do more than just finance at SHEROES. SHEROES, as a company, echoes her staunch belief for growth of women in terms of education and employment. She works on the commercial and brand strategy, alliances and partnerships, which match the values that SHEROES stands for.
They spoke about various things – the support system, the skills required, family and career. Anuradha explained how having a major support from her husband, Devendra Kumar Agarwal, helped her in pushing herself and attaining her dreams while society was not the same after her second child. She, despite taking a break, got back to build MultiBhashi, even though her job at an Investment Bank was doing great at that time. Deepti echoes her thought, by saying that her family too supported her immensely and she herself is a mother of a 7 year old. Deepti was proud to tell us that her daughter considers her as a role model and how she wanted to bring up her kids in an environment of where both the parents are working and it is a normal aspect of life.
“Go out there and do something revolutionary” was the major takeaway of the day. Anuradha talked about the key factor in life – passion.“I was very clear on what I wanted to do. I wanted to do research. I narrowed down on 5 companies where I wanted to work and there was one specific company that I wanted to work for. I was rejected 4 times and the 5th time they finally accepted me. She threw light on the difference between strength and passion.You might be extremely good at dancing but you might have no interest in dancing, and in such situations, you will not thrive. Your strength and your passion has to match.
Deepti gave us an insight about her own life “I studied and worked for 20 years in finance and when I joined Sheroes, I took a role in Commercial Strategy. The 20 years, which I put into building my expertise, actually became the founding stone of my new role. I think, I now understand the customers, partners, alliances better and intuitively. In my own journey of having seen women drop-out of education and careers, my natural calling was to reduce such drop-outs. I joined SHEROES where I could use my experience and skills to contribute to the cause I cared about as well.”
Our women speakers encouraged the audience to break out of their bubble and start doing things. While they all opened their hearts out, asking for advice in terms of marketing and social and various aspects, Deepti and Anuradha patiently broke down the issues one by one and gave them advice to build something and create things on their own.
“If you let your character come in between, it’s an injustice you are doing to your startup.” Anuradha explained how women or anyone, for that matter should not shy away from talking and reaching out to people for help.
Deepti and Anuradha also spoke about their work life balance. “Women have very demanding personal life. We have to take care of our kids, family and should still manage to work and achieve our passion.
Deepti told us how there is an acute problem of women employment, industry is increasingly demanding women in middle to senior management – how well we do in studies going upto post-graduation, IAS etc. and how less of us are able to translate it to our lives and careers.
. And Anuradha gave us an insight about how choosing talent is changing, and that she cares about the integrity of the person than the gender.
It was an afternoon well spent with the ladies. There was much to learn and much to share. We hope we can host more of these events very soon.