Many of India's traditional business families have finally woken up to the huge upside that including and empowering women members can bring to their enterprises. Two years ago Roshni Nadar was named chairperson of HCL Technologies. Around the same time, Nisaba Godrej became the Managing Director of Godrej Consumer Products. At Reliance Industries, Isha Ambani as director, Reliance Jio and Reliance Retail, has been at the forefront of complex deal making as well as the launch of JioMart.
And not a day too soon. For their own good, traditional families are realising the tremendous gains from having female leaders. In a 2019 study published by Harvard Business Review, women were rated better leaders by those who worked with them when compared with men. A year later when the same agency did a similar study, it found that “comparing the overall leadership effectiveness ratings of men versus women, once again women were rated as more effective leaders. The gap between men and women in the pandemic is even larger than previously measured, possibly indicating that women tend to perform better in a crisis.”
Anecdotal evidence backs data from such studies.
At Apollo Hospitals, in the eight years since the sisters, Preetha Reddy, Suneeta Reddy, Shobana Kamineni, and Sangita Reddy took charge of the business, growth has been exponential. At Lupin, over the last nine years Vinita Gupta has steered the company’s journey to a successful $2 billion pharma giant with a strong presence across key markets outside India.