Ms Tanya Chaitanya: In conversation with Tanya Sachdev, Founder Let’s Expresso

Ms. Tanya Chaitanya - CEO, Her Circle & Digital and Diversity Initiatives, Reliance Industries Limited

Hi everyone! It gives me immense pleasure in bringing today’s featured article. Today, I interview Ms. Tanya Chaitanya – CEO, Her Circle & Digital and Diversity Initiatives, Reliance Industries Limited. I’ll dive straightaway into the interview now. I recommend reading till the end. She inspires all of us through her colourful editorial experience. This interview will motivate you to try and push your boundaries to achieve more and more. I promise.

The sequence is simple. The first is the question asked by me. This is followed my Ms Tanya Chaitanya’s answer.

Ms Tanya Chaitanya: In conversation with Tanya Sachdev, Founder Let’s Expresso

  1. I have been an avid Femina reader. How has the landscape changed from print to being digital first magazines?
    I took over as the editor-in-chief at Femina in 2007 and was at the helm till 2020. Thirteen years of making the magazine relevant to a younger audience, but for me the writing on the wall was more than crystal clear—digital-first was the only way forward. Her Circle has been a personal mission and I’m gratified that as a digital platform our impact and reach is way higher than print could ever imagine.

  2. How do you evolve with frequent digital changes?
    Personally, I love test-driving every model of digital.

  3. Do you miss those days when nothing felt better than putting your hands on the recent cover of your favourite Femina magazine?
    For those who work in print, looking at the advance copy is a major thrill. Sadly commerce and poor sales have sounded the death knell for print. Today, even in the publishing world, the digital covers get way more traction than print. Plus gratification is immediate on digital as opposed to print sales, etc. People like, share and interact on social with your content so at Her Circle our digital covers give me the same high if not more.

  4. What made you commit to the role of CEO, Her Circle & Digital and Diversity initiatives?
    I had been speaking to Mrs Nita M Ambani about the need for a women’s brand that was not limited. She believes strongly in women empowerment. That aided with Jio’s intent to bridge the digital gender divide assisted in our shared vision finding its form in Her Circle. We launched Her Circle in March 2021 and today with a 350 million reach and 2.45 lakh registered women entrepreneurs we are a force to reckon with.

  5. How is ‘Her Circle’ different from other digital women magazines?
    Her Circle is a one-stop digital destination in the form of an app and website, it has already become India’s largest content and social networking space for women. It is a multiverse for women covering content, social networking, personalised tracking, job opportunities, upskilling, wellness help, financial advice and entrepreneurial expertise. We are multilingual and available in English and Hindi. Her Circle is an initiative to bridge the digital gender divide via a circle of sisterhood and light.

  6. How do you motivate your team to work to their full potential and deliver high on performance?
    The first step is to hire right. The next is to familiarize them with the technicals but the real learning is for them to imbibe the brand DNA. From our stylesheet to guardrails and more importantly the brand key, each piece that is uploaded, each video that is shot, each conversation that takes place resonates back to what Her Circle’s brand values stand for. And the final step is to let them take over. I don’t believe in micromanaging and encourage the team to ideate and bring their personal experiences to storytelling.

  7. What are the 3 motivating factors for an employee to stay with an organization?
    If you’re creatively satisfied, monetarily well compensated and are given due feedback on ways to evolve as a professional—that should be motivation enough.

  8. How do you ensure all employees have equal opportunities to grow and forward their career?
    The larger Reliance-Jio conglomerate offers upskilling opportunities and leadership levelling chances on a regular basis. For us, the employees who grow in a system are a huge asset so each time an ambitious, hard-working individual is present in  the team irrespective of caste, religion, gender, we provide them with the required support and guidance to grow.

  9. What strategies have you implemented to promote diversity and inclusion in your organization?
    Beyond the optics lies merit. But when there is merit, intent and empathy, we see real inclusion. Our strategies are to encourage hiring across genders, a regular feedback mechanism for growth, skillset upgrading and a platform to tell their own story.

  10. Have you faced biases for being a woman leader? If yes, how have you dealt with them?
    I have always said that it is highly unfair for women in leadership roles to be expected to emulate male leaders. In the corporate world where even air conditioning temperature setting is based on the optimum temperature men work in and women freeze in, the professional world will have to adjust to how women leaders function. We are all here to work and at the end of the day it is the product we make, the results we give that should matter. Personally, I immediately correct any individual who does not understand my boundaries both as a woman and as a leader.

  11. How do you keep yourself motivated at work and inspire those around you?
    I am an ideas person and surround myself with creative, enthusiastic, can-do people. There are a thousand excuses to not work but even one good idea when implemented right can change the trajectory of things as they are.

  12. How do you deal with employees who do not behave or work as required within the organization’s space?
    Feedback has to be given, methods of improvement to be suggested, assistance to be provided to get them out of their professional rut and if nothing works letting them know that neither they nor the organization will grow in a deadlock situation. Sometimes, the match is not right and it is okay and the professional move to let the person know that.

  13. What do you enjoy the most doing- personally and professionally?
    I’ve chosen to make my greatest interest my career. Reading and writing are what I enjoy both at work and in the downtime. Beyond that, I have a pet Pushkin and a daughter Trina who are my life’s biggest gifts—when I am with them I am a child and there’s non-stop fun, games and insanity when the three of us are together.

  14. You are a role model for many women. What are your three advices to women at workplace?
    Three key pieces of advice to women at the workplace: 1.Get rid of that guilt. You are here because you deserve it. 2. What you do matters. Whether at the workplace or in your societal/domestic circle you may be made to feel that what you bring to the table is insubstantial—don’t allow that thought to belittle your work or you. 3. Don’t give up. All of us fall—one bad day, week or even a year does not define you. Get up, dust off the mud and stride on.

  15. What are the 3 words you define yourself with?
    Ambitious, Empathetic and Creative. If you’ll allow me a fourth word, I’m ever Hopeful.

***********Interview ends************

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