“Whether it is a man or woman at the helm of a business, the key to success is to have a never-say-attitude. Skills can be learnt and experience built over time, but if you don’t have the right attitude to deal with a multitude of issues and the calmness to resolve them, one cannot be a successful leader,” says Meena Vaidyanathan, Founder of niiti Consulting
Founded in 2010, niiti Consulting is an implementation-focused consulting firm, providing services like strategy consulting leading to implementation, designing solutions to specific problems, ranging from impact measurement to operational efficiency, research and documentation, training and curation for practitioners on building specific skill sets, namely how to monitor and evaluate social impact, how to report social impact, how to prevent and address sexual harassment at workplaces, etc.
Meena drives the company with a core team of passionate, creative minds along with an open network of advisors and partners, in their specific area of expertise.
“I am motivated by challenges. I work best under pressure and have never let the lack of knowledge or experience come in the way of experimenting with something new. I am not a rebel but don’t believe too much in conforming always to set norms. I take each day as it comes and question myself everyday if I have been productive”
‘Quality Work Focused’
Strong belief in time management, Meena prefer focusing on one thing at a time rather than multitasking. With a non-intrusive managerial style, Meena believes in giving her team space and opportunity to perform, make mistakes and learn from them without breathing down their neck all the time, and shows zero tolerance for compromising on the quality of their work.
Meena has a vast experience in Business Development, Marketing, and Public Affairs since 1994. She holds a double Masters degree in Biotechnology and Business Management, and a certificate holder in Social Entrepreneurship from INSEAD.
Meena had the privilege of conceptualizing and executing a number of innovative brand management and global marketing strategies for some of the world’s best known technology companies, including Monsanto, Honeywell and HCL Technologies over the last 22 years. She worked with some of the best thought leaders in Harvard Business School, IIM and INSEAD on case studies and teaching programmes. Meena started her foray into the world of social enterprise in 2008 and her first project was the global expansion of Dialogue in the Dark workshops.
Meena loves teaching and she have been a visiting faculty on marketing and social entrepreneurship in many business schools in India and abroad since 1999. In 2014, she curated and managed a programme for Masters’ students called “Design for Sustainability” at TERI University. She was guest speaker and panel lead at at many international fora.
Meena has authored several papers and video case studies, including playing a crucial role in publishing the book, “Employees First Customers Second”. She loves writing and sharing her thoughts on her blog www.lifeintwohours.com, also writes occasionally in other online and print publications like www.thebetterindia.com.
Meena influenced by the wonderful people she has come across in her personal and professional career. She learnt from her father the art of making friends and keeping them, from her husband the ability to keep her cool in trying circumstances, and from work colleagues and managers the nuances of marketing and communications as well as running complex global programmes.
Meena’s Views on Being An Entrepreneur
“When one becomes an entrepreneur, one has to be prepared for a roller-coaster ride. Sometimes, the business is great and other times, there are not so good times, especially when works in the social sector,” Says Meena.
Being a workoholic, Meena spends her time with family everyday. She is a health freak and love yoga and swimming. “Being physically fit helps me be mentally active, which in turn gives me the energy to work hard and enjoy my non-work time as well,” reveals Meena.
While talking about client relationship Meena says, “I have always believed that when you like your work as much as I do, all your colleagues, be it your team, your partners or even your clients end up being friends. They become people who you like to associate with, brainstorm with and grow with. This approach has helped us not only build a strong, but engaged client base.”
niiti Consulting constantly looking at improving their business models and service approach to address complex problems that organisations face in their quest to bring social change, and in the next few years, they see their only yardstick and measure of success is their ability to contribute in that quest.