Updated: Jul 21
Exclusive Trusted Magazine Q&A with Tanya Chaitanya, Chief Content Officer @ Reliance
How could you describe your career path in a few words?
My career path has been strongly defined by gaining power in a skewed gender disproportionate set-up and then harnessing that power to build purpose and give back. Today I lead a women-centric digital multiverse that gives back but it comes from a basic skillset—reading, analysing. My love for words as evident from reading early at the age of 3 to building India’s widest selling magazine brand editorially to today crossing over with my own business line Her Circle, that is now credited with being India’s largest content, job and social networking platform for women with 290 million plus reach.
When I launched Her Circle, it was evident that women needed a safe space for growth-- to be able to share their stories/provide mentorship/offer jobs to others of their ilk. A product of Reliance and Jio, our platform is built to bridge the digital gender divide that exists—a key to true economic and equal progress for the country.
Power and purpose would be the defining element in my 2-decade long career path.
What was your most challenging experience and has it changed your mindset?
The pandemic has been the most challenging event for all of humankind.
My mindset impacting learning from the pandemic is that nothing is impossible.
We are an unstoppable race, people who will find ways to work from home, from the hills, from the beaches. In fact, Her Circle, the platform was launched slam dunk in the middle of the pandemic on March 8, 2021 and while we thought not being able to do an on-ground launch would lead to smaller growth but within a year we have approximate 2 lakh registered women entrepreneurs. It’s largely due to the spirit of people to keep growing.
Personally too, the productivity has been as high for us as leaders and our teams as it was pre-pandemic. And now as hybrid work models appear, we are adapting yet again. Most of us are loving being back in the office, enjoying the energy only a shared workspace can bring.
Based on your experience, what’s the key success factor for a female leader / manager?
The two neon signboards that have become visible in the corporate roadmap over the last few years are: leadership intentionality and inclusion. Ideally, in a business, he/she/they who excel are given the onus to run the show. Human-centric leadership goals set by corporates make women leaders an ideal fit.
In my journey I have applied some effective leadership lessons that are inter-connected and segue easily into each other:
Listen. If we only listen to the loudest, boldest individuals in our team we don’t know the full picture; it’s important to encourage the quieter ones to also share their ideas for growth. And after listening, we need to discern and decide and act upon what we hear by observing.
Look. Keenly observe and look beyond the limits. Be aware of the innovations/trends in your space and look for ways to build/transform/create.
Focus. Eyes always on the prize. The background noise and distractions need to be drowned out. Once listened/observed, it’s time to focus and put down on paper the clarity and vision.
Delegate. Always involve the team when building a plan. Post training, hand over the plan to them and allow them the freedom to run it to the best of their abilities.
Celebrate. It’s important to achieve but it’s equally pertinent to stop and celebrate the big and small milestones. At Her Circle, my team and I give each other constant feedback and high-fives.