NEW DELHI: A qualified Chartered Accountant and Tax Adviser, Antra Bhargava authored an award-winning thesis on gender diversity in corporate boards. Today, she is the CEO of SuVitas Holistic Healthcare. She’s one of the first youngest female Indian black belt holders in Taekwondo and one of its first female referees at the National Games of India. She’s also the brain behind PACE personal safety model designed for all age groups to build good personal safety habits. Here, Bhargava tells us how these diverse paths converge seamlessly in her life.
I have a deep love for literature and reading law. However, to my utter surprise, I fell in love with tax and corporate law as the Trinity College (Dublin) allowed me to marry my love for mathematics with law.
I had suffered a knee injury during my training for the National Games in 1998 that was not resolved for 10 years. This taught me to adjust my martial arts training for everyday use. I utilised my appreciation of corporate law and my training as a CA to learn how to manage scarce resources, create a legacy through training on personal safety, work in social impact with my NGO and spread awareness on gender blindness.
My mother Ritu Bhargava, who is deeply involved in supporting the Bengal Taekwondo organisation, researched and found that Taekwondo was the best self-defence training for both my brother and me. I began training at age five, was awarded my first belt in 1992 at age 12, and my second Dan black belt a few years later, where I also qualified as an instructor and a referee. That training has stayed with me. It fires up parts of your brain you cannot shut down.
About becoming the first ever-female referee for Taekwondo at the National Games in 1998, the story is quite simple. It’s about busting my knee while training for the championship as one of India’s top martial artists. The injury was so severe that my anterior cruciate ligament shattered and my meniscus cartilage split. Being in no state to compete and already having qualified as a referee, I took up this role. It was the first time that Taekwondo was included in the National Games given the upcoming Seoul Olympics acknowledged Taekwondo that originated in Korea.
As a woman healthcare leader
Leading SuVitas is both challenging and rewarding, because this startup is a pioneer in India’s transition care industry with its focus on healthcare services (rather than tech). As the CEO, I support the clinical team by providing them with resources and showcasing their results to the world. Building awareness of this care and business model, from the economic and commercial fora to the clinical team, is also part of my role. I strive for a ‘tough but fair’ approach, and ensure I make quick decisions with a clear rationale that is communicated in a timely fashion to all stakeholders.