Providing for the future of our Nation.
Ms. Varsha Goel is the founder of the AAS NGO, New Delhi. The not-for-profit has been helping children from urban, slums, old person and other vulnerable communities with the means of providing education, medical and healthcare facilities.
How do you balance being a Mother/Home And Work? What have you sacrificed (Both Personally And Professionally) At Each Stage Of Your Career?
Varsha: The key for me was that I knew I wanted to keep growing in my career, but I also wanted to be home for all of the milestone moments with my family. Having said that, on many occasions, when I had to make an ‘either/or’ choice, my priority has always been family, so professional goals took a backstage.
Do Women In Your Profession Have A Hard Time Getting Promoted? What Are Some Strategies That Can Help Women Achieve A More Prominent Role In Their Organizations?
Varsha: I believe that gender is not a differentiator, performance is. Speak up – even when you doubt yourself. Being there done that, I would suggest developing a strong, transparent dialogue with your family and friends. It’s crucial to surround yourself with a group of supportive people who push you to do better, everyday.
As A Female Leader, What Has Been The Most Significant Barrier In Your Career?
Varsha: Living in Delhi, working until the wee hours of the night can be dreadful, considering the safety issues. As a female working in events, society in general also tends to leave a tad bit of pressure. Nevertheless, I keep going strong and unapprehensive.
Who Inspired You And Why? What Are Some Traits You Think Great Leaders Possess?
Varsha: My biggest inspiration has been my mother because she has never given up despite any twist that life has sent her way. I’ve seen her be an ace at management – be it family, financial or home – even with limited resources, she never let us feel any shortcoming.
What Was Your Dream Job As A Kid And Why?
Varsha: I always wanted to be a politician as I had seen my father very actively involved in politics. I enjoy debates, discussions on current topics, and speeches by great personalities.
What Is The Best And Worst Decision You’ve Ever Made?
Varsha: The best thing I ever made was to form AAS and subsequently ‘The Housewife Awards’ to celebrate women for their tireless, selfless efforts to transform a house into a home.The worst, probably, was not to follow the path to be a motivational speaker, it remains as my goal for a long time now.
How Do We Move Forward When Everyone Else Is Telling Us That Our Idea Won’t Work?
Varsha: There is one resonating thought that I always go back to – “Don’t be scared to walk alone down the path less traveled, and don’t be scared to love every minute of it.”While creating new, it is bound to be different from the norm. People and their doubts are also common. Trusting your gut to make your dreams turn to reality.
How Did You Reach Your Level Of Success, Given The Sector’s Gender Gap, Especially Among The Leadership?
Varsha: With me being a housewife, I was repeatedlyscorned off for lack of experience, high probability of lack of media support and sponsorships. Since I had nothing to lose, it worked to my advantage and I never looked back.
Where will we find you on a Saturday At 10 A.M.? What Is Your ‘Me-Time’ Like?
Varsha: I love to spend quality time at home with my kids and husband. We discuss and chatter about current happenings to the latest movies and social topics. I enjoy immersing myself in motivational books, Ted Talks and poetry to stay inspired.
Share A Little About Your Background, Where Do You Hail From? What Was The House You Grew Up In Like? Who Lived With You? What Languages Were Spoken In Your Home?
Varsha: I grew up in Delhi, and my parents, especially my father instilled a love for art and culture from a very young age. Practicing sports was mandatory, I was a state-level Volleyball player in school.
What Words Of Wisdom Did Your Mother/Grandmothers/Aunts Share With You?
Varsha: They were instrumental in my career, they encouraged me to ‘Instead of work-life balance, aim for life-work integration. Make your work such that you can enjoy the little things with family too.’
Have You Been A Volunteer? How Has It Been Important To You?
Varsha: Yes, I volunteer across multiple avenues, including political rallies, seminars, talks, NGOs as well as fests. It allows me to help people in need, or contribute towards worthwhile causes. It has also helped boost my confidence and step out of my comfort zone. There is a strong sense of fulfillment, which keeps me going.
What, In Your Life Has Brought Satisfaction Or Fulfillment? Looking Back, What Would You Have Done Differently? And How?
Varsha: I think formulating the Recognition to homemakers in terms of Housewife Awards has given me the greatest satisfaction. This is an ode to women who play multifaceted roles.
What Advice Would You Give To Our Next-Gen Women?
Varsha: ‘Never believe that your age or gender is an obstacle to achieving great things. Always aim to integrate your life and it’s many facets and learn to celebrate your successes.’