Inspite of the multi-dimensional developments in our country, it is still a man's world. This comes across more conspicuously in the corporate sector. Till date few women have been able to make successful inroads into a predominantly male bastion. Though the number is on the rise, yet women still have many more miles to go. We present here an interesting personality: Ms Subha Rajan, Director, and Confederation of Indian Industries. Ms Rajan has had brilliant academic record and an interesting, chequered career.
|Ms Subha Rajan|
Director of CII
The NNE team went to meet her at the CII
office at Lodhi Road In New Delhi. Despite an exceedingly busy schedule, the lady condescended to meet us, albeit for a few minutes and give an interesting picture about her career and personality.Excerpts from the interview :Please tell us about your educational background, training professional details etc?
I hail from Kerala. I finished my schooling and college from the state. I went on to do my post graduation in English literature & language, besides Political Science. Thereafter, I completed a few short -term courses from reputed universities like University of Caen, France, American University, Cairo, FKI, Seoul, South Korea etc. I have had a stint in teaching (both at school & university levels), in various places abroad namely Egypt, Nigeria and Liberia. Finally I joined CII way back in 1990.What is CII all about?
The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) works to create and sustain an environment conducive to the growth of industry in India, partnering industry and government alike through advisory and consultative processes.
CII is a non-government, not-for-profit, industry led and industry-managed organisation, playing a proactive role in Indiaís development process. Founded over 108 years ago, it is Indiaís premier business association, with a direct membership of over 4800 companies from the private as well as public sectors, including SMEs and MNCs and indirect membership of over 50,000 companies from 253 national and regional sectoral associations.
A facilitator, CII catalyses change by working closely with government on policy issues, enhancing efficiency, competitiveness and expanding business opportunities for industry through a range of specialized services and global linkages. It also provides a platform for sectoral consensus building and networking. Major emphasis is laid on projecting a positive image of business, assisting industry identify and execute corporate citizenship programmes. With 41 offices in India, 15 overseas in Afghanistan, Australia, Austria, Belgium, China, France, Japan, Israel, Italy, Malaysia, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, UK, USA and institutional partnerships with 216 counterpart organisations in 94 countries, CII serves as a reference point for Indian Industry and the international business community.What are the hardships you faced while climbing the corporate ladder?
Personally speaking, there was massive language problem. You see, I had lived most of my life either in South India or abroad. I was new to North India. It took me a longtime to understand and learn Hindi. Secondly there I was a woman tackling a manís job in a manís world. Moreover I had to do justice to my roles as a daughter, wife ,mother and career woman. It was real tough doing the balancing act.How did you find our way into CII?
We had lived in Liberia for quite sometime, when a coup-d-etat took place in that country. We came back to India as refugees. CII was indeed very kind to offer me a job, in those turbulent circumstances. I felt there was ample scope for me to grow and develop within the organization. At that time it was a young and dynamic organization with tremendous potentials. The main objective behind establishing of the CII was that it was envisaged to act as a catalyst between the government and the industry.Define the industry-education equation in India. Is it okay? What does it lack and what still needs to be done?
Indian industry is coming up in a big way . India is now a big power to reckon with. But unfortunately, the infrastructure is very poor; the problems are multiplied by attitudinal problems. If these could be effectively tackled, then things would change for the better.You are in close touch with educational institutes. Do you think private institutes are able to provide quality education?
A few of them are doing their jobs quite well. Unfortunately most of the private organizations are merely moneymaking machines. The attitudes of such organizations must undergo radical changes.What are the drawbacks in a corporate job? Compare and contrast it with a government job?
There are virtually no holidays; you will have very less time to devote to your family, unlike government jobs the promotions are not automatic. To be eligible for promotion, you must prove your ability to deliver.What are the most promising careers today?
If you are smart and enterprising,well the sky is the limit. Generally speaking, famous, well-established business houses like Infosys; Tatas etc provide ample opportunities for all kinds of jobs.What are the main problems encountered by the present generation?
The competition is tremendous. The Generation X is indeed a confused lot. The youth of today has not had to struggle much, unlike the previous generation. Nowadays there is lot more freedom than what we enjoyed in our times. Unfortunately the youth tend to misuse it. There is an utter lack of social, moral values, lofty ideals, family ties and so forth. All that the young people want to do is to make a fast buck. Speaking about the society at large, the attitude towards the GIRL CHILD is abominable and inhuman. For the ultimate betterment of the society this has got to change.