“It is up to us to live up to the legacy that was left for us, and to leave a legacy that is worthy of our children and of future generations.” Christine Gregoire
Living up to a legacy is a daunting task and then building up to that and adding your own history is a humongous task. History shows that children of illustrious parents have often failed to create the same impact, some had been overshadowed and others even choose to stay away from the limelight, . But there are exceptions, there are some who loves to rewrite history and redefine success in their own terms.
Authors Rinku Paul and Puja Singhal
Daughters of Legacy by Rinku Paul and Puja Singhal is a book about twelve successful second generation women entrepreneurs who are carrying the torch of their family business with pride. These 2 women writers , who themselves have seen success in their respective careers provide an insight into the lives of these business women. The writers share their experiences and expectations while conceptualising and penning down this book. They write that when they thought of writing about this book on second generation business women , they were sceptical because ‘ it is the stories of first-generation entrepreneurs, with their grit and gumption in the face of overwhelming odds that have always been celebrated.’ The following generation is always considered ‘ privileged’ , one born with a golden spoon, but is it always true or is it that huge pressure of living up to the expectation that acts as a deterrent?Other than from being taken for granted, for inheriting a wellmade empire these entrepreneurs also have to face the strong patriarchal set up. In India the percentage of women entrepreneurs is only 14%, which compared to the other growing economy , is low. Thus these women are inspirations , they are carving their own niche in a segment which is still dominated by men.
One among these twelve women whose story has been chronicled in this book is Priti Sureka. She is a director of Emami Limited and the daughter of Radhe Shyam Agarwal , one of the two founders of Emami group. When I asked her about legacy , the first thing she said was
” The best thing that we women of legacy can do is to leave behind a legacy.”
Indeed she managed to create her own niche, she is the first woman to be appointed as a director in the Emami Group of Industries. Priti created ripples in the business circuit when she decided to acquire Kesh King, it was a risky acquisition and the stock values of Emami instantly plummeted , undeterred by the widely growing scepticism Priti Sureka stuck to her decision. She decided to fight and prove herself, she decided to go all out with a fool proof plan of execution. The product was given a facelift to help in the integration and coordination of distribution processes. The acquisition happened in 2015 and by 2016 end , Emami reported profit. Those analysts who had written off this who business deal was now applauding the move.
Since childhood Priti Sureka has always dreamt of being a part of the family business, she always aspired to be a businesswoman. According to her
‘Emami has been my training ground from a very young age, my karmabhoomi so to say, and I have learnt more observing my father than what a business school could have possibly taught me.
At a very tender age she got addicted to the business and it’s nuances. She had the genes, afterall as one of the founders her father Radhe Shyam Agarwal along with his best friend and namesake Radhe Shyam Goenka started the business with an initial investment of ₹20,000 and converted it into a company whose collective worth is ₹25, 000 crores.
Priti hailed from a Marwari business family where daughters were earmarked to be married off early but Priti decided to make an exception out of herself by entering into family business.
There are many more interesting facts that you can learn from the book. How Priti balanced both family and business , how she redefined the norms of business. The book Daughters of Legacy is inspiration and these women are truly defining the term woman empowerment.
Publisher – Penguin
Cost – ₹299/-