‘Sky is Pink’ Feature: Women Leaders on Work, Play & Heart(h)

The International Women’s Day – celebrated worldwide every year on March 8th has come a long way over the century – from women demanding the right to vote to women currently excelling in every field, shattering glass ceilings, leading some of the largest conglomerates to being the epitome of balancing and managing it all – home, career, personal interests. But how do they really do it? How far do we still need to go? Is it even possible to have an added dimension personally and excel at it? We think we got some marvellous insights through our conversations we had with some stellar women CXOs. So, here’s a compilation of three feisty women, one who has run the distance of the earth and may soon be on her way to run it twice over – and she has headed some of the largest fintech organisations. Another went on from being a preschool teacher to being regarded as among the foremost K12 leaders in India and drew much strength from meditation through this rollercoaster journey and yet another, a distinguished Marketing veteran who went on to become a Masterchef Singapore finalist, starting an Indian supper club based on Maharashtrian-Bengali cuisine with her CXO husband. Seeing pink already? Well it’s about time, we say – the Sky Is Pink – Well it very well could be.  Watch out!   

We bring to you the remarkable example of Vaishali Kasture, who is part of the Amazon Web Services India Core Leadership Team. She was also the India Country Head at Experian and has headed stellar organisations such as L&T Financial Services, Goldman Sachs, Deloitte India, Infosys BPO, Citibank etc. Vaishali, also a mother and a canine-lover, spoke with us on balancing a high-pressure career and personal commitments apart from following a passion ardently – Vaishali is the first Indian woman to have run all the world major marathons and to think she took to running in her thirties! We bring to you excerpts of our conversation wherein she shares how running above all else, helped her get more honest with herself and gain clarity of what she wants out of life. We also spoke of the challenges women continue to face in a largely patriarchal society and corporate culture, and how it is indeed possible for a woman to taste success on her terms, and append an additional dimension, a dimension only for her to cherish.

Priya Barve, Head of BrandLab, APAC at Google, wears many hats. One such is of a Masterchef! This creative marketing executive also runs a supper club in Singapore, The Bombay Howrah Dining Car, celebrating Maharashtrian and Bengali cuisine. She along with her equally prolific husband, Aniruddha Ganguly, CEO and Co-Founder at Negobot, have hosted several guests. In my conversation with them, Priya spoke about how she began cooking, her takeaways from participating in MAsterchef. Humour is a constant companion throughout this conversation. We also elicit amusing reactions of her colleagues when they came to know of her aspirations. Priya shares how she has sought learning, challenges and growth rather than designations to guide her when she chose the organisations she worked with and how success to her is an accumulation of experiences and she hopes to continue to do so.

Lina Ashar, Founder of Kangaroo Kids Preschool and Billabong High International School shared some enriching insights into understanding the human mind, what it means of being in the business of tapping a being’s utmost potential. Her journey from being a preschool teacher, starting with a single preschool in Bandra West to an acknowledged K12 chain, arguably the foremost to bring forth the concept of ‘learning is fun’ , is inspiring. In my conversation Lina speaks how meditation provided her the right compass to give her a sense of reality – one which enables one to tell stories correctly, in a more peaceful manner, approaching it through love rather than fear. She speaks about how the power of meaning and purpose is well within the reach of everyone and the futility of depending on external validators as a measure of success or happiness.

Happy listening!

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