Published: Verve Magazine, August 2014
Photograph by Toranj Kavyon
Twenty-eight-year-old Nadia Chauhan Kurup is chief marketing officer and joint managing director of Parle Agro Pvt Ltd. She’s taken the company from Rs 300 crores to Rs 2000 crores in the last five years
“I am inspired by fearless and passionate people who always do what it takes to fulfill their cherished dreams.”
She’s won awards, she’s delivered a double-digit growth every year and she’s driven diversification making Parle Agro a leader in both beverage and food. Nadia Chauhan Kurup proves that progeny can be the leaders of the next gen. “I remember being mesmerised by the stories my dad (Prakash Chauhan) would relate to us and the many new products that he often brought back for us to taste. Passion is undoubtedly contagious! My inquisitiveness about everything that he was doing kept growing stronger as I became older. I used to spend many hours after school and often even on weekends at his office.”
From a shy child to a boardroom tigress, she has come a long way. “I remember often enough being quite intimidated when I was asked by my father to join a meeting and observe. I picked up a great deal from his very dynamic style of leadership. I noticed how he worked with intuition and his gut in taking decisions. I rely on a lot of this myself even today, in taking the organisation forward.” Looking at the future, she believes that the thriving business is at a tipping point, about to take a greater leap forward.
With great support from her husband and children, she has ably managed to find a suitable balance to ensure that her four-year-old daughter and ten-month-old son remain a big part of her day. “Nia and Kian have accompanied me to office since they were a month old. I am as passionate a mother as I am a businesswoman. I am very hands-on and extremely proud to be so. While you sacrifice some things just to be able to create that balance and give your 100 per cent, to see the outcome of it is the best feeling ever! I dedicate all my non-working time to my kids.”
She’s a perfectionist who often likes to step away from her comfort zone. “I take risks, I explore new ground – with that I grow and with that the business grows further. Personally, I would like to see myself travelling around the world and discovering new experiences.” Her daily personal style is practical and comfortable; while dressing up for an occasion it translates into ‘graceful elegance’.
Nadia admits that she is not fond of the gender question in the business arena. “Why create such differentiation, when there is none? Women around the world are becoming increasingly dominant in work, education, households, even in love and marriage. Some studies suggest that the global economy is becoming a place where women are finding more success than men, and are poised to become the next superpower. It’s pretty much evident with the increasing number of women running some of the best companies in the world.”