Bharathy Bhaskar is a household name in Tamil Nadu. Her motivational talks draw thousands, and her YouTube videos are seen by millions. She is a celebrity and needs no introduction. Why would she agree to a webinar to inspire the students of an engineering college in Chennai? Therein lie some great leadership lessons – a lesson in modesty, a lesson in compassion, and a lesson in the spirit of giving back.Continue reading
I had the opportunity to talk about Roots and Wings with Hari, my fellow alum from College of Engineering, Guindy. I am thrilled to have four of the women from Roots and Wings provide their takes on what it meant to them to study engineering. Thank you, Nalini, Radha, Kalpa, and Indira! You can click on specific links (in the video description) to hear them talk.
Every year the Alumni Association of College of Engineering, Guindy (AACEG) selects a number of alumni for the Distinguished Alumnus Award. The categories are:
- Renowned Professors from Academic Institutes
- Eminent Scientist
- Illustrious Defense Personnel
- Prominent Industrialist / Entrepreneur / Administrator
- Prominent young Scientist/Entrepreneur/ Administrator (Less than 45 years of age)
- Outstanding Sports Personnel
- Eminent personnel in Arts and Music
- Philanthropist /Prominent Social Service rendered personnel
- Any Others (Specify)
Annika, a Palo Alto High School student, invited me to talk to the students of SAKALA, Haiti about the jobs of the future. Sakala serves as Cite Soleil’s only youth community center, to develop children and young adults through athletics, agronomy, and education. Founded as a Pax Christi peacebuilding project, Sakala builds people of courage and character, to strengthen the families and communities of Cite Soleil. I could not deliver this presentation live due to internet issues but had fun putting this together for their use.
Well, the number one issue, as per research firm CB Insights is – no market need.
In her talk to the startup founders who are part of CEG ALUMNI INCUBATOR (CEGAIN), Shantha Mohan Ph.D. elaborated on two reasons why they fail and how early-stage startups can help reduce these risks.
She said that it is important to do good market research to understand the industry trend, consumer needs, and competition. Spending time and resource on this early in the journey will help find the right problem to solve that is at the intersection of a product for which there is a need from a sizeable market that has the ability to pay the price that will make the business viable. She gave techniques on how to do market research through surveys and shared the success story of icliniq.com by CEG alumnus Dhruv Suyamprakasam
She also spoke on the other failure reason – failure to network- and how founders must tap alumni, social media, and other networks.
It was super sweet of her – author of Roots and Wings, an entrepreneur, active member of CEG Alumni Association North America, social media influencer, and deeply involved in the innovation ecosystem in the US – take time from her very busy schedule to encourage and share knowledge with founders. Pandiyen R
This is a webinar on women’s empowerment I gave to the members of SF Bay Area Tamil Manram. I shortened the length of delivery and created a video from the presentation with voice over.
Recently I was invited to give a talk on Women’s Empowerment at the San Francisco Tamil Manram. This article is based on the webinar I delivered in Tamil. One of my mentees who is currently doing her engineering undergraduate was surprised by some of the challenges I mention. That comes from belonging to the privileged class of women. Keep in mind that when I talk about women, I am talking about all women in the world and my frame of reference is the Indian culture. Challenges unique to women in technical professions are also discussed.
Seetha Lakshmi graduated in 1972 from the College of Engineering, Guindy (CEG), with a degree in electronics and communication engineering. She went on to get a Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Texas, Austin (the first woman Ph.D. from CEG!).
I confess. I am an impulse buyer. The other day, I went into Trader Joes to buy cashew nuts. Passing the bread and cookies aisle, I couldn’t resist buying a bag of iced cookies. Never mind that I shouldn’t be eating anything with that much sugar. If you tell me you are not an impulse buyer, I won’t believe you. We all buy something on impulse, only the degree of impulse buying varies. I say, let it be.