Traditionally, in India, women of families who run successful businesses are expected to play a limited role, with little exposure to the world outside the realm of their families and they often get overlooked completely, regardless of their acumen, intellect, passion, desires and accomplishments. In the few occasions when women who manage to enter the family business, they face the ‘glass ceiling ‘as they remain at lower positions then men, and often get coaxed into becoming a non-contributing member.
The scenario is changing fast as businesses become gender-time-location neutral and the possibilities for women playing a stronger role in their family’s business rise dramatically.
Along with the women born with the proverbial silver spoon in their mouths, there are those venturing into unusual start-ups and businesses with as much passion and determination as their male siblings.
Dr Uday Salunkhe, Group Director-WeSchool, feels that the times have changed due to factors such as globalization, breakdown in the joint-family fabric, education, thoughts of career, self awareness and confidence that have contributed to turning women into harbingers of social change by becoming dynamic participants in their family owned businesses
It is however not an easy climb for women as entry into the family managed business does not necessarily mean pathways to leadership. With Indian businesses being under patriarchal influence, succession of women to the top still hangs in balance.
Dr Uday Salunkhe Group Director-Welingkar, is confident of Indian businesswomen and believes that they are equally capable of managing the rough and tumble of the business world successfully, whether construction, FMCG, infrastructure, retail, IT, logistics, healthcare, manufacturing, consulting or engineering.
The environment has changed, but it will always be up to the women to reinvent themselves and their role in business with vision, foresight and planning, ability to see the bigger picture and of course, creativity. They need to use the tools at their disposal with a shared purpose with a deeper meaning, awareness, management of energy, networking and collaboration and define newer roles for themselves that will take them to greater heights of success.