Vinita Rathi: Founder & CEO at leading digital Consultancy, Systango endeavors to support new founders and to empower women
The world we live in professes that we have overcome gender inequalities but it would not be wrong to say that still women leadership is hindered by 'glass ceiling', a metaphor that represents those inconspicuous barriers that pose limitations for women from availing of further opportunities; getting promotions or increments. These obstacles are termed as 'glass ceiling' because they are imperceptible to women and any woman may not know about their existence until she hits or experiences them. Such hindrances are not authorized practices that contradistinguish women yet they take shape due to prejudiced attitudes. Many talented and competent women are prevented from achieving success in their endeavors that would give them opportunity to help businesses, societies and ultimately, nations grow and flourish. For women 'sky's the limit only when there are no 'ceilings'.
The CEO Magazine through this second issue of women special intends to bring a wave a motivation to women community around the globe through narrating success stories of women who explored their capabilities; were determined to rise above barriers and successfully carved out reputation for them. Vinita Rathi, a visionary and thought leader, constantly endeavors to support budding entrepreneurs in their success journey and works towards increasing participation of women in leadership roles by enhancing their skill sets in technology. Vinita hails as Founder & Chief Executive Officer at Systango Technologies Private Limited, a leading digital consultancy and agency that specializes in building mobile apps, web apps and websites from start to finish. In a chat with The CEO Magazine, Vinita shares, "Systango helps and hand holds founders, especially, with no technology background to build their product and get it out of the door just like an in-house team would do. We either augment the current team with contractors or setup the team from scratch. We have also served some very large companies like Grindr and Dialpad. We also make some pretty neat IoT products like breathalyzer, sensors for wineries etc."
Vinita's ideology of life is based on three pillars. She believes in nurturing life-long relationships. She is strongly determined to contribute towards well being of the society and she puts her best efforts to live up to this ideal at Systango. Also, she aims to empowering women in places where they need to be empowered most. Being an extremely passionate developer and tech architect herself, Vinita is associated with two global communities: Women Hack for Non-profits and Women who Code, that are dedicated to the development of women; providing support to women and help them to acquire skills they need for professional advancement wherever they live.
Now a successful entrepreneur, Vinita has held top level management position with a global giant prior to her stepping into journey of entrepreneurship. She served as Vice President at Goldman Sachs in London before realizing that Systango was something that she really wanted to do. Speaking about what stimulated her ideas to establish Systango, she shares, "I worked at Goldman Sachs for around 5 years and working there was a humongous learning experience for me. But when I felt that it was time to test what I had learnt, I quit Goldman and set out to do something bigger." However, like every entrepreneur Vinita also experienced failure in her initiatives in the beginning of her career and learnt her lessons. She thinks failures play a significant role in helping people achieve success. She expresses her views saying, "I think it's extremely important for someone to fail, as the greatest learnings come from failure. And as much as people say that you should learn from other people's mistakes, some mistakes need to be made by you, before you can truly learn and understand. For me, my very first project at Goldman Sachs made me realize how much I lacked in technical knowhow and how it was so difficult to apply the conceptual knowledge that I had learned in college to practical work situations. I am glad I learnt my lessons early."
Words of Wisdom
It's extremely important to be honest with you and to learn to say "No". Establish an open line of communication between you and your stakeholders.
There may be times when you need to say 'Stop'. When everything around you is saying something is not right, it's better to stop and re-evaluate.
In her life, the idea of being successful is a person's ability to have an impact on society and benefit lives of people in true sense of terms. She adds, "For long term success I try to build and sustain existing and new relationships and make sure that I bring happiness to the people around me." She attributes her success to her parents, who are "the reason for all the success" that she has achieved. They have supported her in overcoming the biggest obstacles she has faced. Her husband has been her 'true partner' in all sense.
As a part of her future plans, she keeps an unswerving focus towards making a difference in people's lives and bolstering the cause of feminism in India. She is trying to achieve her objectives with the help of WomenHackForNonProfits.com. Also, she has started a child mentoring initiative at Systango with the mission of contributing towards Child Development. Apart from that, she invests best of her efforts to make sure that Systango keeps growing and keeps getting better at providing a safe and happy working environment for the entire Systango family.
The CEO Magazine chats with Vinita Rathi, Founder & Chief Executive Officer at Systango Technologies Private Limited
TCM: Who has been your greatest inspiration?
Vinita: Well, Steve Jobs for his out of the box thinking and perseverance to achieve greatness is what inspires me about him. I look up to Sheryll Sandberg for her determination and persistence and her stand for women empowerment.
"I look forward to the day when half our homes are run by men and half our companies and institutions are run by women. When that happens, it won't just mean happier women and families; it will mean more successful businesses and better lives for us all."
This is something that she said which has stayed with me and I too believe and look forward to that time.
TCM: Do you think your personal life is affected by your professional life? How?
Vinita: Being a mother has brought more maturity and a fresh perspective on a lot of things. I have been able to hone my multitasking and prioritization skills. In the truest sense, I also now understand the sacrifices a mother has to make when they want to have a good blend of a professional and personal life.
TCM: What do you think is the biggest challenge to female leadership?
Vinita: Male chauvinism is very evident in the software industry and what is worse is the lack of empathy in the women community itself. This has been and will continue to be a challenge till we women really want to make that change happen.