Ar­chana Garodia Gupta takes over as Pres­i­dent of FLO

Ar­chana Garodia Gupta takes over as Pres­i­dent of FLO at 31st An­nual Ses­sion

FICCI Business Digest - - Special Features -

Dr. Sub­hash Chan­dra, Chair­man, Es­sel Group, has spelled out the qual­ity at­tributes that fam­i­ly­owned busi­nesses in In­dia pos­sess which have en­abled them to not only sur­vive but face the chal­lenges with equa­nim­ity, fuel the growth of their com­pa­nies and make in­creas­ing con­tri­bu­tion to the coun­try's GDP.

Speak­ing at the 31st An­nual Ses­sion of FICCI Ladies Or­gan­i­sa­tion (FLO) in New Delhi on April 9, 2015, Dr. Chan­dra said the rea­son which fam­ily-owned busi­nesses con­tinue to grow is be­cause they have been job cre­ators. Most of such en­trepreneurs have been thinkers and risk-tak­ers and that is why they have been able to stay in busi­ness for gen­er­a­tions.

He said when such en­trepreneurs were in dif­fi­culty, for in­stance in an eco­nomic down­turn, they faced it with grit and de­ter­mi­na­tion. Their women even gave up their jew­ellery to pay the debt in­curred, he added.

An­other at­tribute, he said, was per­sis­tence. Fam­ily-owned busi­ness man­agers do not take no for an an­swer. They per­sist in achiev­ing their goals.

Dr. Chan­dra, how­ever, cau­tioned against fall­ing prey to the pit­falls of power. Ab­so­lute power, he said, cor­rupts the brain cells and sti­fles ra­tio­nal think­ing. Fam­ily­busi­nesses are not im­mune to this and those that have suc­cumbed to it find the law catch­ing up with them some day.

A qual­ity en­joyed by fam­ily­busi­ness lead­ers is that they are givers. They not only pro­vide for them­selves, but also for the bad times, the next gen­er­a­tion, the state as taxes, reli­gious and other so­cial causes such as ed­u­ca­tion.

Such fam­i­lies also have a strong sense of pur­pose of ex­is­tence which is be­yond their im­me­di­ate busi­ness in­ter­ests; they never for­get their roots, up­lift peo­ple around their work­places and nurse no egos.

Baroness Sandip Verma, Se­nior Min­is­ter for En­ergy & Cli­mate Change, Gov­ern­ment of UK, in her ad­dresses, em­pha­sised the crit­i­cal role of as­sertive­ness, lead­er­ship and men­tor­ing to bring about a change in the lives of women who are de­nied an op­por­tu­nity to carve out a niche for them­selves.

She favoured 40 per cent rep­re­sen­ta­tion of women at the mid­dle-level man­age­ment of com­pa­nies. She said eco­nomic growth is gen­er­ated be­cause women tend to be the big­gest con­sumers and won­dered why in such a sce­nario In­dia was not man­ag­ing its dis­course around women.

Ar­gu­ing for a larger rep­re­sen­ta­tion of women in com­pany board rooms, she said a mixed board room en­ables one to take a di­verse view of what con­sumers want. Baroness Verma

ad­vised women busi­ness lead­ers to "reach out if you want help from oth­ers and reach out to help those who need it."

Meenakshi Lehki, Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment and Spokesper­son of the BJP, said that dis­crim­i­na­tion against women was all-per­va­sive, not just in the top ech­e­lons of so­ci­ety. "How many women gar­den­ers, women cab driv­ers or women e-rick­shaw driv­ers do you have?" she asked even as she noted that small en­trepreneurs (in­clud­ing women) con­trib­ute up to 35 per cent to the coun­try's GDP. And yet till yes­ter­day, there was no gov­ern­ment pol­icy on soft loans to them, she added.

Dr. Jy­ot­sna Suri, Pres­i­dent, FICCI, noted that in two years FICCI has had two women as Pres­i­dents, a no mean achieve­ment. She un­der­lined the need to go to ar­eas where women need help; to ru­ral ar­eas to cre­ate aware­ness that there is no dif­fer­ence be­tween a man and a woman in terms of abil­ity and ca­pac­ity to ex­cel. "As re­spon­si­ble In­dian women, we need to share what we have learnt by reach­ing out," Dr. Suri pointed out.

On the oc­ca­sion, FLO Ris­ing Star Skill Awardees were fe­lic­i­tated for their de­ter­mi­na­tion in skilling them­selves and find­ing a place for them­selves in so­ci­ety.

At the con­clu­sion of the an­nual ses­sion, Ar­chana Garodia Gupta took over as Pres­i­dent of FLO from the out­go­ing Pres­i­dent, Neeta Boochra.

L to R: and Dr. Manju Kalra Prakash, Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor, FLO; Meenakshi Lehki, Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment and Spokesper­son of the BJP; Baroness Sandip Verma, Se­nior Min­is­ter for En­ergy & Cli­mate Change, Gov­ern­ment of UK; Neeta Boochra, Im­me­di­ate Past Pres­i­dent, FLO; Dr. Sub­hash Chan­dra, Chair­man, Es­sel Group; Dr. Jy­ot­sna Suri, Pres­i­dent, FICCI and Ar­chana Garodia Gupta, Pres­i­dent, FLO.

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