Sudeshna Datta: We Women Are Inborn Leaders

This successful woman entrepreur believes that in India it takes courage for a woman to break the glass ceiling and give a tangible form to her business vision and ideas. Yet, women have challenged the ‘boys’ club’ approach of conducting business in India and abroad.

Kishori Sud
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She has led several large cross-functional teams as a Brand Manager for Kraft Foods. During her stay at Kraft, she implemented a successful turnaround strategy for one of the company’s core brands and delivered substantial improvements in volume and profit growth. She is active as an author on various organisation building topics and regularly publishes articles on entrepreneurship, leadership, talent development, and global operations, and she has been a guest speaker at various business forums. No her life does not revolve just around work but Sudeshna Datta, Executive Vice President and Co-Founder at Absolutdata, is also an avid dog lover, an interior decorator, and a passionate supporter of street art.

Datta agrees that being an entrepreneur is not easy and that each hits "the storm of a lifetime", but in India it takes courage for a woman to break the glass ceiling and give a tangible form to her business vision and ideas. Yet, women have challenged the ‘boys’ club’ approach of conducting business in India and abroad.

Many say that the scenario for women is changing. Do you think so?

In a country where the realm of entrepreneurship is largely dominated by men, it takes courage for a woman to break the glass ceiling and give a tangible form to her business vision and ideas. However sheltered, progressive, or liberal our upbringing was, women couldn’t have avoided the jokes — those that presumed women were bad drivers, temperamental and moody colleagues, or bothersome bosses that should never have ‘left the kitchen’. These jokes and comments created a poisonous atmosphere at offices across the globe, often brought up in watercooler conversations after a pseudo-apologetic “Don’t mind, but …” or something similar.

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Today, the changing Indian corporate scenario has helped bring more and more women in prominent leadership roles. Their big gains and contributions to entrepreneurship and job growth have paved the path for thousands of other motivated women and challenged the ‘boys’ club’ approach of conducting business in India and abroad.

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Most remarkably, women have made inroads into careers and professions traditionally dominated by men. Women employees aren’t just secretaries, HR personnel, or pushed into support functions anymore. I am a co-founder at a technology company that designs and manufactures cutting-edge Artificial and Intelligence and IoT solutions.

Women have struggled with and have overcome far greater obstacles to rise into the boardrooms and CEO positions of large corporations and successful start-ups. Every prominent woman business leader is helping younger women nurture their dreams to grow up into whomsoever they want to be. And this has revolutionised the business industry!

Did you ever feel like backing out and letting it go at any point of life? 

I enjoyed working in the global corporate world and learned immensely by working on multi-facet projects fast paced projects. Met great people and had good experiences. But, there’s a lot to love about doing a start-up like creating your own legacy, building something ground-up, being able to create something which can have life-changing impact, ability to create employment. Added benefit start-ups are really freeing. Your time is your own, its spent on inherently creative pursuits,.Having said that, entrepreneurship is not easy. It's like a man riding a lion. People think, "This guy is brave", And he is thinking, "How the hell did I get on a lion, and how do I keep from getting eaten?"; Every entrepreneur eventually faces a "real test”. We hit the storm of a lifetime. At that point, it comes down to perseverance. You don't have be smarter than everyone else. Or all that much better, you just have to hold on tighter.


Message For Women Out There

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Developing girls’ leadership skills is a crucial step in giving them the knowledge, experience, and confidence they need to succeed. Women are inborn leaders, what can add up to their success is the way they are brought up, the confidence instilled in them, decision-making power and enhancing their multi-tasking skills. Their interests and energies should go be channelised in the right direction, they should be taught to make choices, acceptance to fail and then stand back again and run.

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