Do Not Try to Conform Her, She Will Only Break Away
She is only in her mid-30s, but has already accomplished more than most will in their lifetime.
Born in India, Yeshasvini Ramaswamy spent the first part of her career in organization development and human resources. She was recognized for her talent and contributions and quickly worked her way up the organization.
“I got promoted because I created my own identity, experience and meaning with the solutions I came up with,” Yeshasvini said. After more than a decade in the field, she was lonely at the top as all her “peers” were much older, and she wasn’t very inspired by the life and opportunities she saw ahead.
So, Yeshasvini became an entrepreneur. Only four years later, her company e2e People Practices, with an unusual business model in India, is growing fast. It is a leadership audit firm that helps companies of all sizes achieve business-people alignment because, “At the end of the day it is the people who deliver on the results,” Yeshasvini said. e2e also help companies work on diversity and inclusivity in the workplace, and CEOs scale their businesses.
“My work is divided into three segments,” Yeshasvini said. “The first is entrepreneurship, the second is education, and the third is community development. All of my activities need to integrate with each other because our country needs a holistic approach to solve its problems. If I’m talking about entrepreneurship, it needs the other two segments. If I look at education then we need to make business sense out of it. If I talk about community service…well you can’t be doing charity for the sake of charity. If you want to be sustainable then all three circles must be there, and this is in whatever I do at e2e People Practices.”
Starting a business was unusual for Yeshasvini. She comes from a family who has always worked for the country and is very service oriented. Her family’s service orientation influenced the holistic approach she brings to her business.
“I want to do something for the country. Entrepreneurship was my way of doing something.”
Yeshasvini said she became an entrepreneur by accident.
“It wasn’t something I always thought I would be,” she said. “But how much training do we need to say, ‘Talk this way, walk this way;’ why can’t we be our own person, walk our own way? If you try to conform me I will break away. I love to experiment, that is the person that I am.”
“Why can’t we be our own person, walk our own way? If you try to conform me I will break away. I love to experiment, that is the person that I am.”
And now her affinity for experimentation and nonconformity is changing the business landscape in India.
“Training is not looked at positively and I am trying to change that,” Yeshasvini said. So she also started a school for CEOs called CEO Satsang (which means an assembly for positive talk in sanskrit). They focus on mentoring and training. Yeshasvini also successfully started ‘India’s Premier Entrepreneurship B-School’ called JG IDEA, and is on the management committee for JGI Ventures, which supports and mentors “successful entrepreneurs who will create jobs and help contribute to the economic prosperity of the country.” They have already incubated 46 companies, and generated more than 4,300 jobs.Other ventures that support and merge with JG IDEA, JGI Ventures, and CEO Satsung include JGI Odessey of Creative Industry (an innovative educational platform promoting skill enhancement and creative development) and the School for Leadership & Entrepreneurial Excellence, where she holds to role of Chief Anchor.
As for the community development piece that blends with all she does to promote entrepreneurship and organizational development, Yeshasvini gives much of her free time to Samatvam, an Endocrinology Diabetes Center (SEDC).
Yeshasvini said her journey has just begun. “Many people say ‘You have done what people have done at 60!'”
Tomorrow we will publish the rest of this exclusive, personal interview with Yeshasvini that includes her advice to women globally who want to start a business, and her vision for women entrepreneurs in India. Stay tuned!
Follow Yeshasvini on Twitter.
(Sources: FORTUNE/U.S. Department of State Global Women’s Mentoring Partnership 2012 Mentee Bios and her CV)