#ShareTheSpotlight: Indian female sports persons are hugely under-represented: Megha Desai, ENGN

Megha Desai, co-founder and CMO of ENGN talks about how athletes’ stories of triumph inspire her every single day and how her goal is to constantly put the spotlight on these hardworking, talented girls.

By  Indrani BoseMay 12, 2023 4:15 PM
#ShareTheSpotlight: Indian female sports persons are hugely under-represented: Megha Desai, ENGN
Megha Desai feels that when one is leading a new business, attracting the right talent and then nurturing the same passion and enthusiasm in them is not only imperative but also extremely challenging.

Note to readers: Storyboard18's Share The Spotlight aims to highlight inspirational stories of women who continue breaking barriers and setting the precedent for other women marketers, entrepreneurs and communication specialists.

The initiative aims to kick off a movement where people from across these communities step up and share their spotlight with other women. They could be women in their team or any other team, a new group or previous one, from a past workplace or the current one.

Share The Spotlight calls on us all to come out and share words of praise and encouragement for each other, appreciating and acknowledging the contributions of so many people who make businesses, brands and workplaces better. Learn and understand how to face challenges and seize opportunities while bringing along others on the path to progress.

This is just the beginning of a long journey to spotlight individuals who are empowering others and bringing change and growth for all. Together we rise.

“For someone who comes from a non-business background and did not really have the opportunity to pursue sports, getting an opportunity to lead a brand like ENGN is something I am immensely proud of,” shares Megha Desai, co-founder and CMO of ENGN, a sports management company which supports and backs 8 Indian female athletes.

From taking care of their monthly expenses, providing a panel of nutritionists, coaches, psychologists as per their requirement, and creating a premium quality yet affordable performance wear brand, ENGN seems to do it all. “It is not only a tremendous challenge but an exhilarating ride that we are all very pumped about. Some of our ENGN athletes and their stories of triumph and overcoming challenges inspire me every single day and my aim therefore is to constantly put the spotlight on these hardworking, talented girls and give them the recognition and platform all deserve,” states Desai, adding, “Female sports persons are still hugely under-represented in India and yes, we have come a long way from 20 years ago but we still have a long way to go.”

Desai doesn’t feel failure is the right word for her professional struggles. The one thing Desai constantly struggles with is finding, hiring and retaining the right talent. When you're leading a new business, attracting the right talent and then hopefully, be able to nurture the same passion and enthusiasm in them is not only imperative but also extremely challenging.

She says, “Even after having worked for over 21 years, it pains me if a team member is not motivated or there's a disagreement or just a gap in expectations on either side. So that's one big area I try to better every single day plus there are always umpteen daily challenges - operations, product quality, customer satisfaction. There's a constant see-saw of taking stock and prioritising."

There are lots of women that Desai has learnt from and continues to learn from by just reading about their work, listening to them, following their trajectory - women like Indra Nooyi, Brene Brown, Reshma Saujani, who have done some path breaking work in their respective fields.

Desai is amazed by the work of Priyanka Khimani and Pranjal Desai. Priyanka Khimani is the founder of Khimani & Associates, a law firm based in Mumbai. “Priyanka and I had interacted during COVID times for a project to aid performing artists and since that time, I have got to know more about her. The way she has risen up in the legal field, especially in music and entertainment, and more importantly, the ease with which she is spreading awareness for newer artists is an absolute joy to watch. Plus, from what I remember, as of today, her firm is filled with an all-women team which is applause worthy,” shares Desai

Pranjal Desai, who is the Regional Head of India & SEA of MediaMath - an independent advertising technology platform is married to a family member of Desai. “Panjal carries this sense of quiet fortitude about her which makes her extremely reliable and someone you can lean on for advice,” says Desai, adding, “She's been a huge force in establishing as well as the growth of MediaMath in India.”

Know anyone you’d like to share the spotlight with? Join the movement, give them a shout-out on LinkedIn and tag Storyboard18 so we can take it forward.

First Published on May 8, 2023 11:06 AM

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