Efforts of Nona Bains in establishing and promoting AKKAM stimulates others to turn their dreams into success.
It has been a fair fact that now-a-days girls are outperforming boys at all levels. However, the contribution of women in the development of a nation has often been neglected. Especially in developing countries, seldom do we see women entrepreneurs who make an impact on the country's economy and who contribute to the building of the nation. The present study is carried out with an intention to bring out the significant contribution of women entrepreneurs in India. The aim of the study is to emphasize the extensive outcomes of collective efforts of women force in the country. The last few years have seen the numbers of women in the workplace rise significantly since they entered the economic system to supplement the male earning capacity world over. This rise in numbers has resulted in women entering a much broader range of occupations, especially in the corporate sector. Nona Bains, Managing Director of Akkam Overseas Services Pvt Ltd, is one of wonderful names in Indian corporate sector and famous personality in Immigration and Visa services.
AKKAM is a total solution to streamline and automate immigration, overseas education and all visa services to destinations across the business relationships with their clients based on service with ethics and trust.
The CEO Magazine, in an exclusive interview with Nona Bains
Tell us a bit about you and Akkam. How and why did you decide to create it? How does it sit within the entrepreneurial ecosystem of India today?
I belong to a family who have served in the armed forces for a number of generations and have had the benefit of interacting with all sections of society all over India right from the childhood. As a result I have inculcated an outlook of multiple cultures that prevail in our beautiful country as well as imbibed a uncompromising spirit of ethical lifestyle.
I did my Masters in Accounting and International business and Masters in Philosophy in banking. As a teenager I moved to the US on a permanent residency status and lived there on and off for 15 years giving me an exposure to the western culture. I also worked with Bank of America dealing with Investments. I have had the opportunities of travelling to a many countries across the globe which has given me an insight to specific lifestyles, cultures, career and settlement options that are offered by various countries.
Earlier I was working with another immigration company and had a good professional reputation as a branch head for several years. The experience was good in many ways but not entirely satisfying. I have always believed that women should have even play field in business and career opportunities in India as in the case of other emancipated society. I started a company initially which was women oriented but now we have a gender balanced team. I started this business as it meets the criteria of my personal and professional experiences thus far.
Right from the onset Akkam aimed to give a fresh orientation to the business of immigration and overseas opportunities. We started off by hiring a team of consultants who had open mindset conducive to the welfare of the society as a whole with ethics focusing on integrity and customer satisfaction.
Say about milestones of the company.
We started our business in small premises with a handful of dedicated team at Hyderabad and within a short period of time to expand our business to major cities/ countries within India and abroad like Mumbai, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Amritsar, Australia, Canada, USA and others.
How is entrepreneurship and working women important for India as a whole?
Entrepreneurship and working women play a very important role in India when viewed with historical back ground of the female gender having been denied fair opportunities over the centuries. The Women population comprise of almost half of the total population. This massive human resource must be empowered in every possible way if India has to become a super power in true sense. Women empowerment should not only remain as a political slogan. This empowerment starts at home, within communities and beyond. We are totally committed towards the women becoming an important part of entrepreneurial ecosystem.
What was your dream as a business lady?
My dream as a business lady has been to achieve professional proficiency through uncompromised ethics and fair play.
What is your greatest professional accomplishment to date?
My greatest accomplishment has been the trust that has been earned from the clients and their families whose lives have had a positive change and prosperity in their dream destination with our assistance.
What is the best decision you've ever made?
The day I decided to venture into this entrepreneurship against all odds.
How do you define success? What is your take on the ways to achieve long term success?
Success for me is to do my work in a transparent and fair manner which is best judged by the inputs given by our clients. Long term success can only be achieved if every member of your team works within the confines of company's ethical policies and not be tempted by short term gains. One is not successful unless one helps others to succeed.
Please tell us about your future plans.
We plan to increase the coverage of our business operations within and outside the country in terms of all aspects covered by this business like our physical presence offering easy accessibility to our clients and the best quality and range of the products that we offer.
Who has been your greatest inspiration?
My inspirations are all those young enterprising Indian men and women who have achieved laurels in various countries in the world in various fields.
Whom do you attribute your success to?
I attribute my success to the Akkam team who has passionately followed the vision and mission of the company by following the highest level of professionalism. Their role and job requirements have multiple challenges in the ever changing legal and political scenario in different countries and specific requirements of every individual who approaches the company. The core team of Akkam has always taken their roles as a personal commitment and goes beyond their call of duty to ensure growth and success.
Do you think your personal life is affected by your professional life? How?
When one is involved in a business within and outside a country with different time zones one does not have specific hours of work. As an entrepreneur one needs to be available around the clock as a professional prerequisite. As an entrepreneur it is required to interact with all types of people. Such conditions of work need understanding and support of one's close family members, as these committees often conflict with the family requirements.
What do you think is the biggest challenge to female leadership?
The most conspicuous challenge to the female leadership comes from the outdated mindset from the male dominated society. In a country where women are not treated on an equal platform in the spheres of fundamental rights, social status, democratic, religious, domestic and professional fields, it is long overdue that they should be free from these in equalities. Today's women have made some gains but still have a long way to go.
What advice would you give to women who want to start a business?
My advice to the women of today is not to hesitate in making an attempt. Only the brave have the courage and strength to give shape to their