Women Of Mettle

Women Of Mettle
- Inspiration
24 May, 2018 Uploaded by: Mick Presentation
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Presentation Script

Paramount Auto Bay Services in Secunderabad, Telengana looks like any other four-wheeler auto service outlet, but for the fact that it is owned and managed by its CEO Vidya Nambirajan. A 30-year-old business that was handed down to her from her father turned into her passion when she took over it in 2001, and became the first woman in the city to own an automobile service outlet. As someone who was initiated into the business with no knowledge of auto parts servicing (she worked in marketing before), what kept her going? When she had to manage the garage due to her father’s illness, surprisingly, the same friendly staff who worked with her dad didn’t respond well to her because they didn’t want to report to a woman in a male-driven set-up. That was when her resolve to learn the job strengthened. “I wanted to prove that I could do it much better, and that drove me,” says Vidya. As for the customers, “I found that if my mechanic, a male colleague, said some part needed replacement, the customer would readily agree without a question. But a series of whys and hows would be shot at me if I had to deal with the same customer,” she says, of the earlier years. Even today, almost 18 years later, it’s not always business as usual: “People look at me with either apprehension or in awe,” she says. Over the years, she has hired both men and women, and finds that the difference is that women are more process-oriented and committed, because they don’t take the job for granted. “It’s easier to train women, but more difficult to retain them, as they lack family support,” she says. She herself is process-oriented, and has ensured that her garage is ISO-certified. She has also set up a Skill Development and Placement Centre, a service that she extends free of cost to women. Her students are placed in India and abroad as automotive service technicians. In a first, she has tied up with DUALpro, Germany, in conjunction with the Indo-German Chamber of Commerce (IGCC). A three-month on-the-job German Certification Course equips technicians to work anywhere in the world. She has also ensured the institute is DAkkS-certified, a German certification for quality management. Affiliation to the Automotive Skills Development Council, another first in Telangana, qualifies her trainees as Automotive Service Technicians, assisting them to advance in their career. Vidya has also tied up with major on-road

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