India Today decided to put me on the cover for the March issue of Simply Punjabi!
This was a bolt out of the blue but completely thrilling… here are the pictures and the writeup…
AT THE forefront
Three of Punjab’s top start-ups have something in common: they are all helmed by women. Compelling businesswomen all, they stand testimony to the grit one needs to reach the upper echelons of the business world. SIMPLY PUNJABI meets these trailblazers for a quick look into their work, and personal lives.
ANUJA LATH, 41
RedAlkemi is a funky name, and the company, predictably, packs quite a punch. The current industry leader in search engine optimization strategies, RedAlkemi in the third venture of Anuja Lath. Her journey began twenty years ago, when Lath and Atul Gupta, both good buddies and fellow advertising students at the Sector 10 Government Arts College, started Pugmarks Design Studio together.
Today, Lath and Gupta are married to each other, and have two daughters. They have chalked up other achievements as well–their two ventures after Pugmarks: Pugmarks InterWeb and RedAlkemi. Today, Lath, 41, is the chief operating officer of RedAlkemi, which was founded in 1986. The husband and wife duo work closely, even sitting in adjacent cabins in their office. But it’s Lath who spends more time at her desk. “Atul’s job is to wear his thinking cap and generate ideas,” Lath explains. Meanwhile, Lath is responsible for almost everything else, from human resources to marketing and also event management.
Lath’s daily schedule is fixed. She drives down to work at around noon and stays till six p.m. Decentralisation of work is a major priority at RedAlkemi, and only about six or seven employees report directly to Lath.
She says, “All I have to do is meet them. Each of them handles their part of the job by themselves.” She moves to the gym directly after work for her workout. Not only is she particular about fitness, she also uses this time to socialise with a few select friends.
Lath also makes sure her two daughters, Ada, 16, and Anya, 14, get to spend quality time with their mother. “I regret that they won’t get to see and experience the struggle that we passed through,” says Lath. “They have access to everything that a teenager wants.” But Lath knows they are learning the right lessons from her. “They see me conduct myself and learn from it. I am not an overprotective mom who mollycoddles her children. I feel a little detachment is essential”.
Still, it is a challenge to ensure that both home and work goes smoothly. Lath’s attitude is firm and no-nonsense about her responsibilities, though. “Look, if, as a women, you have chosen to work, it’s your willful decision. You shouldn’t crib. Just as you shouldn’t brag about being a woman entrepreneur.”
Lath is a satisfied person today. It’s a journey that started with little responsibility, she says, as, “there isn’t as much pressure on women to eke out a living as there is on men.” But today, she says, “I relish the responsibility that comes with not just taking care of myself and my family, but also of 120 staffers.” All while steering her company to the top.