Women leaders inspire trust and people feel women are more ethical: Geethika Sudip
We, at Adgully, have always saluted and honoured women managers and leaders across diverse fields. W-SUITE is a special initiative from Adgully that has been turning the spotlight on some of the most remarkable women achievers in M&E,
Advertising, Marketing, PR and Communications industry. In the refurbished series, we seek to find out how women leaders have been managing their teams and work as well as how they have been navigating through the toughest and most challenging times brought about by the global pandemic.
Geethika Sudip is the Chief Executive Officer of Resorcio, a multilingual content aggregator start-up that has recently attracted Kris Gopalakrishnan, Co-founder of Infosys, as an anchor investor. In four months, Resorcio has clocked over 2 million unique visitors from across the globe.
An alumnus of INSEAD Business School, Paris, Geethika Sudip has over two decades of experience in various fields, including corporate strategy, tourism, film and media, journalism, etc. Her work experience includes stints at Mid Day Multimedia Ltd, Mumbai, MMTV Manorama, Kochi and her family business, Kerala Travels Interserve, Kerala’s first-ever travel company. Also a writer-filmmaker, Sudip penned and co-directed the national-award-winning ‘Black Forest’.
In conversation with Adgully, Geethika Sudip, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, Resorcio, speaks about the role and scope of women leaders in the new normal, crisis management, gender sensitivity and inclusivity in the work place, and more.
How do you think the role and scope of women leaders has widened in the post-pandemic world?
The pandemic affected a shake-up in how we perceive existing systems – be it family or work or leisure. The work-life balance emerged as a key parameter for most people. Hybrid working became the norm. All conventional work frameworks were biased towards men, simply because historically there have been more men in leadership positions. As the landscape changed, a new playing field was created with equal opportunity for everyone to excel, regardless of gender. Not surprisingly, women stepped up and delivered.
The rapid transition to digital, an uncertain economic landscape, charting unknown waters, working from home – how have you been navigating during the COVID-19 times? How are you maintaining work-life balance in the new normal?
Resorcio is a Coronial start-up – born during the COVID wave. From Day 1, we have focussed on creating a good team irrespective of location, because being together in a physical space was just not possible. We have the operations team in Kerala, our tech team is in Bengaluru and our content team is in Hyderabad! Our business model centers around online resources – again, something that is flourishing in the new normal. Covid proved a fertile ground for us as a company, and we are carrying that momentum forward.
Multiple studies have shown how women leaders performed better during the COVID-19 crisis. According to you, what makes women the best in crisis management?
That’s an interesting statistic. Women are better than men in navigating uncertainties simply because most systems are not women-friendly. So, being at a disadvantage and having to find an effective solution has become second-nature for us. This core strength bloomed during COVID. Also, women generally tend to be better listeners. In times of crisis, there needs to be patient and thorough examination of all perspectives and options. A good listener has an in-built advantage. Personally, I’ve felt that women leaders inspire trust. People feel women are more ethical and caring, as leaders. That’s a good stereotype and I hope we live up to it!
What are the five most effective lessons that you have learned as a woman leader?
- Harness conflict effectively. Nothing new can be birthed without conflict, but handle it well.
- Invest in diversity. There’s very little that can be done with a team of similar people. More diversity, more creativity.
- Always remain a learner. Tremendous lessons are to be had from mentors and seniors. And also from newbies with a fresh perspective. Keep your learning mode "on" always.
- Read, read, read. Not just things related to your sector or industry. An idea can be sparked off by anything.
- Prayer is a powerful weapon, use it. At any point of time, there will always be things beyond your control. Staying centred spiritually is crucial for a balanced life.
Gender sensitivity and inclusion in the new normal – how can organisations effectively encourage and groom women leaders in challenging times?
Sometimes it’s just about hiring the best person. For example, we were looking for a finance head, and the best candidate happened to be a woman. There still aren’t a lot of women heading finance teams, but there was no way we were going to let stereotypes drive our decision. We hired her, of course. Sometimes it is about making an active effort to create an atmosphere that is conducive for women, helping them to balance work and family. Hybrid working has been a boon in this case. Sometimes it is about mentoring them and helping them realise their potential. Inclusion involves a lot of big and small decisions over a period of time. Personally, I’m thrilled that Resorcio has a lot of women playing key roles at multiple levels. It wasn’t a conscious decision, rather an organic process – and that makes it all the more exciting.