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Role of Business In Empowering Women


“There is no tool for development more effective than the empowerment of women” – a powerful statement indeed from the former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.

While there is a lot of focus on gender and diversity in corporates, some organizations have actually walked the talk.

A recent visit to a premium clothing manufacturing corporate in Bangalore demonstrated how companies can actually create a highly productive and efficient work environment by designing a comprehensive employee strategy that included a sound hiring plan, employee engagement with focus on development and retention, and alignment of people with business objectives.

The New Age Startup Checklist

Imagine the scene in the startup sector in a couple of years from now. With the launch of ‘Start up India Stand up India’ program by the Government of India, startups have become the buzzword in the country once again. India  has been generating entrepreneurs in this area for at least a decade now. But what was essentially a technology wave has evolved over the last few years with many young entrepreneurs testing out non-tech ideas such as health management, food and grocery aggregator platforms, home maintenance services, property services, and riding the new age e-commerce boom. And with high profile investors such as Ratan Tata and Narayana Murthy stoking up the excitement through their financial backing, startups are now firmly entrenched as the most happening sector in India.


When you wish to know your customers better, what initiatives does your organization undertake? Do you go meet customers, organize customer events, design feedback forms to be filled up by customers, or even commission an external consultant to conduct a Customer Satisfaction Survey? You may be doing some or perhaps even all of these. Which is commendable as these exercises certainly help in understanding your customers better and cementing the relationship further.

But how many of you actually know where your core customers (the 20% who contribute to 80% of your turnover) have positioned you in their growth plans? Do they view you as a vital partner or just as a current supplier or service provider? Do they see you as a key contributor to their long term goals? Do you figure in their future plans? Based on their perceptions, how do they expect your organization and your people to respond to them? How do they position you vis-a-vis best of class firms of a similar nature?