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.
As a young girl growing up in Ambala, Swati Bhargava, co-founder of CashKaro and EarnKaro never imagined that she would eventually study at The London School of Economics, work at Goldman Sachs in London, or start and run a successful multi-million dollar business in India. “For me, having done all of this has been an achievement that wasn’t quite on my vision board as I was growing up,” says Bhargava.
Starting CashKaro with Rohan Bhargava has been a true game changer for Swati. “I spearhead investments and corporate activity at CashKaro, and the experience of raising over Rs 235 crore so far has taught me so much. We also managed to get Mr Ratan Tata to invest in our business, and that’s one achievement that will always remain special to me. In addition, I personally have worked hard to create an amazing work culture at CashKaro which is something I am incredibly proud of,” shares Bhargava
Read More: #ShareTheSpotlight: 'There is no harm in being a vulnerable leader. It’s a sign of strength,' says Mindpeers' Kanika Agarwal
Throughout her professional journey, Bhargava has thrived in male-dominated environments, overcoming gender stereotypes and not letting any biases hold her back. “Whether at Goldman or Indian tech start-up scene, there have always been more men than women. I’ve learnt though that each one of us has to carve our own place with our hard work, business acumen and confidence and therefore, I’ve never let the lack of role models or support deter me,” says Bhargava, adding, “I continue to approach my work with the same excitement and commitment as I did in my first job in 2005, and the desire to keep learning just keeps pushing me forward.”
"I learnt the importance of having a great leadership team a bit late in our startup journey," Swati Bhargava, co-founder, CashKaro
As far as professional challenges go, Bhargava feels that the importance of a team is something she learnt later on. She says, “I learnt the importance of having a great leadership team a bit late in our startup journey. If I had prioritized the hiring of senior personnel earlier and invested more resources in this area, we might have been able to grow even faster.”
Bhargava has shared the spotlight with Vani Kola, MD of Kalaari Capital. “I admire Vani’s grit and ability to stand up for herself, the people she cares about and the opinions she holds. She genuinely makes an effort to encourage more women to stay in the workforce, to move forward in life and even start their own businesses. There are only a few people who back action with words, and Vani is definitely one of them,” says Bhargava.
Bhargava also loves the work Aabha Bakaya is doing in building an ecosystem for women in India. “Through her venture, Ladies Who Lead, Aabha has brought together so many women CXOs, entrepreneurs, corporate professionals. LWL today is a network like none other and Aabha has done all of this on her own, which is super inspirational!” says Bhargava
Bhargava also gave a shout-out to entrepreneurs whose products she herself uses and loves. The common thing between them all is that they have created products, services and categories from scratch, recognising what India really needs. They are Vaishali Gupta of mCaffeine, Kindlife’s Radhika Ghai, Malika Sadani of The Moms Co, Rashi Narang who founded Heads Up For Tails, Shreedha Singh of The Ayurveda Co, JetSetGo’s Kanika Tekriwal, Vineeta Singh of Sugar and Ghazal Alagh of Mamaearth.
Read More: #ShareTheSpotlight: Grapes’ Shradha Agarwal on intrapreneurship, aspirations, and the woman she wants to spotlight
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.