ME POWAIKAR March 2019

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“The glass ceiling that once limited a woman’s career path has paved a new road towards business ownership, where women can utilize their sharp business acumen while building strong family ties” Prophetic words by Erica Nicole, a leading female entrepreneur who left Corporate America to start YFS a digital magazine for start-ups, small business and entrepreneurship culture.

I was reminded of her words when I came across Neeti Garg, whose venture "HiREarchy", an HR Consulting firm, was started to give wings to her own dreams and add to her own skill set but also carried a deeper purpose of making a difference to the lives of women who take a sabbatical from their careers for a myriad reasons.

An energetic girl from Delhi Public School with a grounded childhood gave Neeti a normal life filled with an upright value system they literally lived by when her father’s factory had a lock-down. As a result, he moved out of India for employment while the family continued to stay in Delhi. At that young age, Neeti took the challenge head-on, and helped her father in taking care of the family. This learning experience instilled in her a great sense of responsibility, a role she plays perfectly to date. 

The germ of Neeti’s journey began when she wondered how people in Head Offices manage global operations. She envisaged a woman with multi-tasking wired into her DNA, similarly functioning out of her home. Live-wire Neeti found it difficult to stay idle at home even after her daughter was born. The lack of options for a mother despite having the necessary skill sets was her inspiration for taking up this initiative and she founded ‘HiREarchy’, through which, they empower women, especially mothers with young children to get back into the workforce and perform front end roles (or wherever their expertise lies!), while her team supports and backs them up with marketing and other functional expertise. They create customised roles for mothers with babies and 6-7 years of corporate experience who are raring to get back into the rat-race but at their pace so she gives them exposure to work in teams. The lady who manages her HR has an 11 month baby and works mostly from home, challenging the stereotype. 

As a company, they embrace diversity and inclusion of every kind and Neeti nurtures it with the right attitude through a triad of empathy, energy and empowerment. After doing her Bachelors and Masters in Business Administration, she worked in QAI, a global consulting firm, for around 5 years where she was mentored by the CEO who taught her life lessons she still lives by. Later, she joined ICICI Prudential and won Leadership Awards for her outstanding performance. 

Neeti is a NLP Certified Practitioner and a soft skills consultant in addition to the numerous other learning initiatives that she undertook during the break to raise her daughter and finally embark upon the journey of entrepreneurship to develop what she knows best.

She was blessed to hit the right track early in life. Now she has everything sorted out. Neeti begins her day at 4.30 AM dedicating an hour to herself, reading or watching empowering or motivational videos or taking a nature walk. That gives her a real head start for the new day. She leaves home early in the morning to get her daughter to school in time and heads to her office in Innov8, a co-working space in Kailas Business Park where she has an hour to help plan the day and once her team rolls in, they’re ready to roll. She has arranged for a little play area in this space to encourage staff to get their kids. In fact, her own daughter joins her in the office after school and attends a few classes right there, completes her homework etc. Once home the child can head straight to play with her friends. With this kind of approach, Neeti ensures that nothing stops her. She is the Founder/star of her own work for she knows it the best. She has a proven track record of leadership development, marketing strategy and management consulting.

Spiritual Neeti dedicates time for doing sewa on a regular basis while Nikhil her intellectual husband stands rock solid behind her perfectly balancing her vibrancy. Neeti’s mother continues to be her ever-inspiring role-model. The entire family believes in celebrating every little achievement and milestone together.

For a career-minded professional, Neeti remains a woman at heart, putting her distinct stamp on all she does - whether it be beautifying her home or herself, even rustling up something special for her family. It’s a packed queen-sized life for Neeti, forever bubbling high with energy and passion. What better role model could I have chosen on the eve of International Women’s Day than Neeti?