Corporate divas and their inspiring stories

New Delhi: Their achievements in the corporate sector have only gone on to prove how these determined women have balanced the home and the boardroom with equal aplomb, setting standards for all to follow.

A new book "Corporate Divas" by Sonia Golani offers inspiring insights into what motivates and sustains India`s 18 leading corporate women. Through a series of in-depth conversations, this book deals with the unconventional styles and the secret mantras they use to achieve phenomenal success in their professions. All these women share a common passion a balanced approach to work and life.

Vinita Bali, managing director of Britannia Industries Limited, is considered an unrivalled business leader in the minority group of women in the manufacturing sector. She draws her energy from anything positive around her, be it a lovely sunset, classical music or yoga.

Chanda Kochhar joined ICICI Bank as a management trainee and rose through the ranks to become its managing director and chief executive officer. "I was fortunate to get an opportunity to handle new businesses, to create and grow them. The experience, the learning and the perspective that I acquired in the process were quite varied and I never felt bored or saturated. It was always about the next change, the next new thing within ICICI itself not leaving much room to look out really" she says about her long association with the bank.

Another inspiring story is of Rajshree Pathy, CMD of Rajshree Sugars and Chemicals Limited, who is credited with turning a barren hinterland in Tamil Nadu to lush green sugarcane farming area and running a successful sugar manufacturing business in a rather conservative social milieu.

"I have gone through all challenges that a woman, a human being needs to go through. I have done my best with whatever was thrown in my path and tried to be a good human being through it all. When you remain honest to yourself and strive for the larger good, you see miracles unfolding, you get a way out of difficult situations and you start believing in the power of the universe at work, a supreme force, something beyond yourself that you can turn to," she tells about her journey.

Mumbai-based Golani, managing her consulting firm Management Consultants Group for over a decade now, also writes about Axis Bank MD and CEO Shikha Sharma; Vedika Bhandarkar, MD of Credit Suisse India; Tanya Dubash, executive director of Godrej Group; Manisha Girotra, country head of UBS India; Dipali Goenka, executive director of Welspun Retail Limited; Sminu Jindal, MD of Jindal Saw Limited.

Golani says her book, published by Penguin India, is by no means an exhaustive work on all Indian women achievers from the world of business. "The script had to be completed within a certain time period and that could accommodate only 18 stories," she says.