Daring to dream 

Newly-appointed chairperson of women’s body FICCI FLO Bengaluru, Revathi Raju takes us through her journey of being a homemaker to helming top administrative positions
Revathi Raju (Photo | Vinod Kumar T, EPS)
Revathi Raju (Photo | Vinod Kumar T, EPS)

BENGALURU: Failures  come and go, but one has to come back stronger to achieve what they dream. This is what drives Revathi Raju, the newly-appointed chairperson of FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry) FLO’s Bengaluru chapter. The true-blue Bengalurean admits that she missed the bus to pursue her dreams during her younger days. But not stopping herself now, Raju has a finger in every pie- education, entrepreneurship, and social service.

“I was a Kuchipudi dancer. But I come from a very conservative family and had little scope to express my talent on stage. When I was growing up, a woman performing on stage was not accepted. Even today I miss being a dancer,” says Raju, who is in her 50s. But life had different plans for her. Before donning the hats of an educationist and a business person, in the early 2000s, she was part of Innerwheel, an international organisation linked to the Rotary Club, which was improving the infrastructure in Hebbal. “From setting up water facilities to lighting the streets, I was part of the communi ty development project,” says Raju, who later assumed the role of managing director at the family-run Vyasa International School in 2008.

From being a homemaker to taking on an administrative role has been a challenge.“It was difficult to shift gears. However, my father guided me and I learnt all the tricks of the trade. Getting into the education sector was a different ball game, but I enjoyed every bit,” says Raju, who took over as board member of Atria Education Trust and Atria Hotel in 2015.

Not having been able to pursue her dreams at a young age, she is ensuring that other women have an opportunity to take their passions forward. “At FICCI FLO, we have lined up a series of startup incubation programmes, mentoring sessions to reach out to women entrepreneurs who are struggling during the pandemic,” says Raju who has been part of the Bengaluru chapter for six years now. In the coming days, Raju plans to airdrop over 5 lakh seedballs (a blend of manure, seeds and red soil) prepared by kids.

This, to reduce the carbon footprint. In addition, she will be taking over a project that FICCI FLO took on last year. Theyhad adopted a village in Mandya to introduce skill-based development programmes to rural women and children. “We are introducing an organic farming model. This year we are also starting English and computer classes for women and children. Moreover, the village grows a lot of tomatoes and as a result we are looking to collaborate with a local NGO to set up a tomato processing unit. This initiative is aimed at amplifying skills in education, environment and sustainability for better livelihood,” says Raju, who is also planning to form clusters in south India to train women in textiles and crafts.

Related Stories

No stories found.

The New Indian Express