The Fairer Breed Of Entrepreneurs
An entrepreneur has to be an exceptional leader. He has to be an exponent of passion, dedication, focus, hard work and confidence
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An entrepreneur has to be an exceptional leader. He has to be an exponent of passion, dedication, focus, hard work and confidence. I believe that epithets of leadership are gender independent. One has to absolutely, convincingly and relentlessly believe in oneself. Only those who are ambitious and determined that make it to the helm, be it a man or a woman.
The Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO), a global community of leading entrepreneurs, consciously gives women and men equal footing. Through the programme’s various forums and events, EO enables all of its 12,000+ members to hone their leadership skills and become more effective role models in business and beyond.
There are certain inherent qualities in women that make them effective leaders, such as: strong intuition, clarity in communication, inclination toward collaboration and the power to nurture. In fact, the main reason that I brought women into my own company is to bring in more diversity in thinking. The way women look at a problem is often different from how men may see it.
Women are often stereotyped to perform well in certain fields, such as: fashion, art, dance, music, etc. Many feel it’s relatively easier for them in those fields as the jobs are more individual-performance driven. And when it comes to business leadership, we may see very few women at top positions.
In my professional career, in the Silicon Valley and in India, I have seen women in corporate environments work much harder to make sure that they are taken seriously. I am hopeful that the future generations will have it easier. The transition can already be seen. There are many strong, powerful and capable women in leadership roles, such as: Indra Nooyi, Chanda Kochhar and Sheryl Sandberg, among others.
Looking forward, it is through my work that I aim to inspire and be a role model for women. When men fail, it is the person that fails; but when a woman fails, it is often the gender. So I work hard to ensure that I succeed—not for me alone—for the women I lead, for my daughter and for all the women. EO and my EO peers have been helping me with this mission, giving me clarification in local market dynamics and opportunities when I tried to expand my business in international countries. Getting connected with other EO members in the technology space was very beneficial, since I was contemplating adding new products and services.
The greatest value offering of EO is its great network. Each member is extremely helpful, available, honest and trustworthy. The level of trust and comfort is so high that you cannot draw any further parallels. Today, I have been able to launch an entirely new business in cloud solutions that was made possible via research and advice I received from EO members.
The other area, which is important to highlight, is the respect that I have received as a woman within the EO community. During my years with EO, I have met and interacted with several women EO members who have kept the flame alive in my progression. As a collective partnership, we continue to work towards the greater good for all EO members.
I also devote a lot of energy, passion and focus to balancing my personal life. An ambitious husband, gifted kids, and a personal passion for travel and running marathons is personally rewarding. Having the right individual drive, being compassionate and humble, as well as leading from the front, has allowed me to be where I am today in all aspects of my life, for which I am most grateful.
Anuja Parikh is the President of Intech Systems, a global software consulting firm and a member of EO Gujarat Chapter of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO). EO’s global connect has been instrumental in helping her launch her cloud solutions venture globally.
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