In the conversation about leadership, woman entrepreneurs have created an exceptional space and often their success story is not merely about their personal success but the success of a larger movement in the society, the one which inspires change in terms of gender barriers.
One such success story is of the richest woman in India in 2020, the first woman to lead a listed Indian IT company, the CEO of HCL, a passionate philanthropist, and a young businesswoman who also is an incredible entrepreneur in her own right, Roshni Nadar Malhotra.
Breaking several stereotypes with one decision in July 2020, Roshni Nadar Malhotra became the heiress and replaced her father Shiv Nadar to become the first woman chairperson of an Indian IT services company, HCL, third-largest in the industry headquartered in India.
Roshni Nadar stands at the first position in the richest woman in India list with Rs. 36,800 crore net worth as of 2020.
How was Roshni Nadar's appointment as a CEO breaking revolutionary?
There are various parts of the above line that set an example for not only young female leaders but also their fathers and elders who believe in the traditional rules of heirloom and leadership.
Unlike the usual situation where sons or other high-level executives in the company in absence of a son prefer to lead the organization after a leader, Shiv Nadar made Roshni the heiress of his company.
For those who argue that girls are weak with technology, Roshni heads the third largest IT company.
Roshni Nadar is also married with two kids. As working mother, she is also paving the path for other female leaders to emerge in HCL with a woman committee.
She was in her late 30's when she was handed over the reins became the CEO of HCL Corporation, the holding company for all group entities and chairperson of the publicly-traded company HCL Technologies.
How did she reach her previous vice-chairperson position and eventually became responsible for $9.9 billion worth technology company's decision? Let's find out:
Roshni Nadar's father is the ex-chairperson and founder of HCL, Shiv Nadar. The company was established by Shiv in 1976 and he led the company which eventually became a central player in India's rise as an IT hub. Nadar retired from his position at 75 years of age. Roshni Nadar is the only child of Shiv Nadar.
Roshni Nadar grew up in Delhi. She was born in 1980.
Roshni Nadar studied in Vasant Valley School. Her education is an interesting part, she graduated from Northwestern University where she went in with the vision of graduating in economics but changed the path and she majored in Communication. She made this decision aiming to enter the entertainment industry. Her bachelors were down keeping in focus she wanted to enter radio, television or film industry.
Nadar Malhotra did work with Sky News UK and CNN America as a news producer for two years after graduating.
She travelled back to the business school and eventually earned her MBA degree and became an alumnus of Kellogg Graduate School of Management.
Yes, Roshni Nadar is a trained classical musician.
As one may already notice from her educational background, Roshni Nadar wasn't aiming to reach the position she has today at first. She had a dream to work in the media industry and went ahead with graduation with the same focus before she became a part of her father's empire.
What attracted Roshni back to her roots in India was not the three decades in existence HCL, but the Shiv Nadar Foundation. She believed her addition to the management that time would be incremental to the existing companies. Coming back to HCL Corporation, the holding company for HCL's operating companies, she led the launch of various initiatives and institutions, each of which was an "entrepreneurial process in itself", as he mentioned in a 2017 interview with Babson college.
Within six months of her return to India, at 28, she was made the whole-time director and CEO of HCL Corporation responsible for treasury operations, brand building and social initiatives.
Speaking of the dramatic situation concerning female leaders in the Indian IT industry, Roshni mentioned din an interview, that even among the Top 200 leaders in the 115000 employees around the world organization.
She, being a director of the HCL Technologies, a position she took in 2013 in the largest company in the group, along with the other two female board members initiated diversity committee responsible for the leadership programmes for a woman reporting directly to the top 200 managers in the company.
She is a trustee of Shiv Nadar Foundation where she drives the organization's vision and strategy. Roshni, a passionate philanthropist, led the organisation's effort to create and launch Vidyagyan, a radical initiative to educate and transform children from economically challenged backgrounds especially in Uttar Pradesh.
In 2018, Roshni established The Habitats Trust, another philanthropy initiative to work towards protecting India's natural habitat and endangered species.
She was the part of the Forbes 100 Most Powerful Women list for three consecutive years of 2017, 2018, 2019. She ranked 57th on the list in 2017.
In 2020, Roshni Nadar Malhotra was recognised as the richest woman in India or the wealthiest active women in India.