A global bridger in India, an enterprising mother consumed by wanderlust and a businesswoman with an innate passion for change — these are some of the references that describe Bengalurean Leena Pishe Thomas. Hailing from a family of seasoned entrepreneurs, it didn’t take Leena long to realise her penchant to make a socio-economic difference. In a quest to make sustainability and clean technologies a reality in India, her venture Global Business Inroads was born. From being invited to the Global Entrepreneurship Summit’ 17 to being interviewed by BBC, the year 2017 has been nothing short of spectacular for the high-flying go-getter. In a tete a tete, she divulges more...
“Being invited as a woman entrepreneur dealing with a technology business that has a social impact, it was very inspiring and encouraging to be around driven individuals. I’ve always seen myself as a business woman who believes in making a concrete socio-economic impact. The importance of networking can never be overemphasised, and therefore, more than the conference, the idea of meeting those with a genuine love for starting-up and entrepreneurship are what made the entire experience memorable. It’s important for entrepreneurs to be learners and good listeners,” shares Leena, who founded her consulting firm in early 2009. The Summit, which saw Ivanka Trump as a panelist, made headlines across the country. Despite not having a one on one with the icon, Leena is all praise for her after group discussions. “Ivanka is a great ambassador for women. She was all for women empowerment. Her talks were laden with facts, and she spoke very intelligently. She (Ivanka) carries herself impeccably and clearly made a very good impact in her first visit to India. What I truly admired about her was that she emphasised on a gender neutral work-life balance and that’s something I vouch for, personally,” opines Leena.
“Display, discovery, development and deployment of technology — The 4Ds pretty much sum up the crux of my venture,” states Leena, who focuses on market transformation for sustainable clean technologies in India. The Bengaluru girl who is the inBIA global ambassador for India, was also interviewed by BBC recently. She elatedly recalls, “I would be lying if I said I wasn’t stoked about getting called on by BBC. The experience was great, and I liked how the subject of women’s safety and what I planned on doing on that front as a woman entrepreneur were the highlights. These are topics we need to understand and ponder more deeply about.”
Quashing myths that parenthood often acts as an impediment to one’s career, Leena is a hands-on mother and has no qualms in admitting that family is as big a priority as work. “Whether you are a man or a woman, you need to make a schedule that gives you enough time to go back to family. I owe it all to my husband, Shibu, who encouraged me to work even after the kids were born. He believed in my talent. We are very level-headed parents who believe in giving them space to grow. I would suggest women not quit despite childbirth as a working mother brings a world view to the table. This in turn enables children to give a higher regard to their mother. ”
Biz-whiz by the day, a dotting parent at home and an intrepid traveller whenever possible, Leena compartmentalises her day to the T. “On a typical day, our family time starts at 6 am. Both my husband and I allocate that one hour of exercise, and we make it a point to work-out together. It is something we have stuck by, for the past 12-13 years. We set the table every night, and dinner is at around 7.30 pm. Travel is largely explorative. We don’t go by a plan so we have been travelling ever since our daughters were five and eight. We recently visited Vietnam in the summer of 2017, and it was wholesome — from cycling tours and cruises to trekking and ingredient
shopping, we did it all! I love reading, listening to music, watching movies and doing yoga and meditation as it helps me refocus,” enthuses Leena.