It’s not talked about often. It’s hardly ever noticed. But it’s there. And it’s vital. The role a man plays behind a woman’s success needs to be mentioned.
A lot has been written and analyzed about the investment persona of women. What she does? Her relationship with money. How she manages it? are women interested in investing? And the like.
Almost everything we are is because of our upbringing. This is a fact. If you don’t nurture and nourish, there will be no fruit. The environment must be conducive for excellence. Many women can’t pursue dreams. Or secure an education. Or are permitted to work. Or explore ways to fulfill their potential. This is because of various economic and social reasons.
A woman needs space and time to pursue a career and family. For this she needs supportive people around her. The father and the husband have to stand behind her. The in-laws as well. Sometimes, even the children. The assistance she gets from the family are integral to how her future pans out.
Many of my friends can’t pursue a career. They have the qualifications to do so. The skills are there. The hunger is there. But there is little support from family and friends. Often, this is an accepted trade-off to keep the family peace. More often than not, a woman is unable to pursue her professional interests. The support and space are just not there. This is a crying shame.
Today I am an independent woman. I have a career. I take vital decisions. I pursue my dreams. The credit for much of this has to go to my father and husband.
My father is a quintessential businessman. He did business during 70’s & 80’s. It was an interesting time to do business in India then. Very challenging. He succeeded. He is meticulous. He is thoughtful. He is cerebral. He is intellectual. He is devoted to good business. I have inherited some of this from him. Business is in my blood. I thank my father for it. I couldn’t be what I am without his inspiration.
My father had to quit school after grade 10. He quit to run the family business after his father passed away. As a consequence, my father could not become a chartered accountant. It was his dream. Today, at 70, he still quotes his classmates who could achieve the feat. He values education. My father is very open, ambitious, and broad-minded. These are some of the other qualities he has taught me to value.
When I was in grade 10, I expressed a desire to move to a close-by town (Latur) for further studies. My father told me that if I scored at least 80% in grade 10, he’d grant my wish. He would send me to a bigger city for further studies. That became my target. I thank my father for motivating and supporting me in this manner.
After grade 12, I enrolled at an Ayurveda college to learn medicine. A few months into it, I realized, it was not my cup of tea. I returned home. I was 17. I didn’t know what to do next. My father took me to a career counselor he knew. After that, I decided to do a B’Com. And then an MBA. My father supported my decision of new direction. Even for my MBA, I wanted to go to Pune to pursue it. My father agreed wholeheartedly. Post my MBA, I was hired by UTI in Mumbai. He encouraged me to soar.
I found my space. My journey from small town to educational qualifications to professional job came true. It happened, to a great extent, because of the encouragement provided every step of the way by my father. And, post marriage, my husband, Ravi.
Then came marriage. And Ravi.
Marriage becomes a break from the profession for many women. Many women find it very hard to balance married life, in-laws, and career. The level of commitment and effort it demands is herculean. The woman has to be very determined to do it. And needs her husband to stand firmly with her in this journey.
The second man who influences changes in a woman’s life is the husband. To have a supportive life partner is a boon. I am blessed to have been granted this.
Ravi and I started Gaining Ground in 2004. I used to work at my convenience initially. With Ravi’s support, I juggled home and office from home. Ravi does a lot of heavy lifting in the form of business development. This allows me to do things that I am more suited to. He supports me. We complement each other. Building this harmony was far from easy. Ravi has been an extremely understanding partner.
In conclusion, I wish to salute the two men in my life who have allowed me to blossom at home and in my professional capacity. Thank you.