Left to right: Gomathy Ramaswamy, MD, Concord Ventures Group, Madhu Arora, MD, Saffron Media Corp, Anvita Kapoor, Director, MiDCOM Group, Dr. Anna Sebastian, MD, Sebastian Holdings, India and JJ Marine LLC
Four enterprising women. One motive. Four brilliant ideas. One thought. Four perpsectives. One goal. How do UAE’s top notch business women Gomathy Ramaswamy, Madhu Goel Arora, Dr. Anna Sebastian and Anvita Kapoor aim to empower the fraternity of women entrepreneurs with their unique forum Kaasdir?
Manju Ramanan discovers.
MD, Concord Ventures Group
As merchants of fashion who specialize in garment design, manufacturing and fashion logistics. I have been in this industry for the last 16 years. Being in an industry which is focussed around human resource, Kaasdir provides me to make a difference to people’s lives – to share my experience and knowledge with like-minded women and in the process adding value to them and to myself. It is a platform for women entrepreneurs to connect, communicate and come together as a team which helps them towards empowering themselves and others through mutual co-opetition (co-operation with a healthy competition). Kaasdir has been a great source of nourishment for my intellectual side. I get to ideate, debate and discuss varied topics of interest with equally enthusiastic and enlightened women.
Women entrepreneurs being multi-taskers are under tremendous pressure juggling their responsibilities at work, home and socially. Kaasdir is a forum where they can be sharing their goals, ambitions and anxieties without being judged. We all share very similar visions and can relate to one another. This leads to strong bonhomie.
Dr. Anna Sebastian
MD, Sebastian Holdings, India and JJ Marine LLC
I am proud to be on board with Capt. Sebastian (my father) in Sebastian Holdings, India and J&J Marine LLC, a sister concern of the Ahmed Group of Companies, UAE. Growing up in a business family and working closely for and with a self-made man has taught me more than any text or scholar could ever teach, guide or mentor. With Kaasdir I contribute time and focus to guide, mentor, teach and learn from fellow members subsequently scaling heights beyond the goal, effortlessly by simply tapping their self. Kaasdir works on a ripple effect – empowering women through continuous growth and progress of self to achieve holism in one’s personal and professional life, ultimately touching every woman we meet and know and through them working on the girl child.
A follower of the Aristotlean quote ‘The whole is more than the sum of it’s parts.’, I believe that such forums are important for women today. Once women take on the additional role of an entrepreneur they then become the official juggler. It is a race against time- work, home, festivals, year after year. Where will one pause to rejuvenate the cognitive self? The woman today forgets to replenish and energise herself. Through discussions and debates we energize one another making members interdependent. This results in better yields and long term gains.
MD, Saffron Media Corp
As Managing Director of Saffron Media Corp that extends itself to publishing, events and PR, I deal with a cross section of people on a daily basis. With Kaasdir I explore my horizons to being a teacher and student – it is a great forum for knowledge exchange for entrepreneurs.Kaasdir means to rise and shine all of which contribute to women empowerment – the concept is self-growth and learning. There is a juggler in us, which is trying to manage the different worlds we inhabit in the same one life. Each one of our experiences is enabling the other to learn from giving encouragement that ‘If I can do it, so can you’. Each member becomes an integral part and automatically becomes a contributor. We learn, we introspect and we grow.
Kaasdir envisions self-development for every member. Every woman entrepreneur will have Kaasdir as a platform for self-growth where they will have no inhibitions to learn from and to contribute.
Kaasdir is a platform for them to become students and a teacher. We would like to take this platform to other countries have cross country meetings and seminars giving more women opportunities to learn from being a part of Kaasdir and as a by-product this will be enhancing their business opportunities and self growth in the whole process.
The one thing that I believe in is that if you have a vision you can never fail to achieve your goal. Kaasdir is the force that propels your vision and your goal. For me Kaasdir has been my first platform to express myself without the fear of being judged, to be a student and a teacher at the same time.
Director, MiDCOM Group
In my company, my chief responsibilities include managing the group’s finances and guiding the CSR activities of the organization. I am a yoga enthusiast, an avid golfer and enjoy travelling. Kaasdir to me is a forum of women with a continuous give and take process in terms of learning and enhancing knowledge and entrepreneurial skills. The bimonthly discussions on varied topics and enlightenment of self, both at professional and spiritual level has enriched Kaasdir gradually converting it into a powerhouse.
My vision for Kaasdir is to develop it into a strong collaborative group of women who work towards reinventing themselves. In creating an incredible business environment they are being empowered and constantly encourage each other to achieve the stage of self-acutalisation. As Kofi Annan says, ‘I believe that there is no tool for development more effective than the empowerment of women’. When we interact with our participants, we understand the power of a woman’s will to succeed despite the numerous obstacles in the way. When we go back to our homes, this reflects in the way we conduct ourselves in day to day life.