In India, the greatest challenge is to bring about a change in the mindset of everyone

The Sweden Alumni Network India includes more than 400 talented and engaged alumni who have studied in Sweden or participated in a Swedish Institute Leadership Programme. One of them is Ankita Shroff who participated in the Swedish Institute management programme 2016. Today she is co-promoter and associate director at Bulb and Key, a platform for small and home based businesses with order, inventory, delivery & payment management tools.

Why did you apply to the leadership programme?
I was recommended highly by my sister. The leadership Program would help me develop the right skills, practices and provide the necessary knowledge to grow my startup sustainably and be an example of a responsible leader to the youth.

What are your recommendations to anyone thinking of applying?
It is an incredible program with lots of learning, case Studies, empowering network and interaction with a great exposure to Swedish culture and sustainable practices in all fields of life. I highly recommend it to everyone in any field. It has been a lifetime opportunity.

What are your take aways from the leadership programme? Can you share 2 examples?
Through the learning and interaction at the program, as a part of my manufacturing startup, I developed conducive strategies for human resource which reduced attrition by 70%. In order to be more sustainable, our company changed the plastic packaging into a reusable cost effective paper packaging. All in all the company’s performance grew exponentially. As an advocate of gender equality, we have 45% women in our company with equal pays.

What are the greatest challenges for you as a advocate of gender equality?
In India, because of the cultural norms, the greatest challenge is to educate the importance of gender equality and bring about a change in the mindset of everyone. Along with the men’s support, women need to gain the confidence, desire to work and feel dignified. The government needs to support, create incentives and more conducive atmosphere for the same.

How have benefited from the leadership network?
The world class network has been the strength of the leadership program. With the help of the network, I have been able to expand my business in other countries, get the necessary support and mentorship in my professional and personal life. It has helped me broaden my perspective and given avenues to collaborate in different sectors. The network worldwide has been extremely useful and beneficial.

What are the main changes that you as a gender advocate want to achieve?
As a gender advocate, I wish to achieve gender equality where women and men are recognized as equal and treated equally with the same status, power, resources, responsibilities and opportunities for fulfilling their potential.