Welcome to our section on Real Women—where we bring you stories of and conversations with real women who inspire us, who have changed lives and given back to the community. Today, I’m here with Bhavna Juneja, Chairman of Edith Pro, Co-Founder & CSO MPowered, Global VP – IT Services Life Science & Infrastructure at Infinity and Official Member of Forbes Technology Council. She tells us about her incredible journey from door-to-door sales to being a serial entrepreneur and how faith has kept her going.
| 1. We know that Bhavna Juneja dons many hats. What is it that people don’t know about you?
I’m deeply invested in charity & if given a choice, I would like to do this full-time. From setting up health infrastructure to enabling more children to get a good education & means to a good life, there are a few such things that I am currently working on. However, this isn’t something that I talk about often.
2. What inspired you to do what you’re doing right now?
It was the survival of the fittest. While growing up, my sisters & I needed to support our mother financially. I figured that I’m an entrepreneur at heart, and that’s how my journey started. Edith Pro is an AI-based platform which helps speed-up the hiring process as well as serves as a remote learning product for the education industry. The real estate industry in India doesn’t have many women leaders as it’s assumed that women can’t make a successful career in this field. This was a major influencing factor that positively challenged me to join MPowered in real estate & set the stage for other women too. A few successful examples are enough to encourage others to join the bandwagon & turn things around for the better.
3. How has the journey been so far, from being a door-to-door salesperson to being a serial entrepreneur?
It’s been a massive learning experience & hugely gratifying! It’s also made me rock-solid as a person as well as a professional. Today, even if you throw me deep into the woods without any survival ecosystem in place, I’ll come out of it unscathed & a true survivor.
4. Tell us about the first sale you made.
I was way younger than 17 & sold imported crystal glasses to one of the home-makers in Delhi. It felt victorious because my mother had sent me to the same house thrice earlier & each time, I was turned away. So, on my fourth attempt, when I finally made this sale, it was exhilarating & boosted my confidence a great deal. Although it may not sound like too big a deal right now, for a teenager bravely putting herself out there every day & trying to make ends meet, this was nothing short of a personal victory.
5. Any personal anecdotes, considering how tough sales is?
I was in the US with my client who had businesses worth billions of dollars. I was surrounded by 12 men in a meeting room & was being pounded with questions. Suddenly, I was asked the question, “Why should we work with you?” I remember reclining my chair & responding calmly, “I know what I bring to the table as a businesswoman & what’s in my fate, no one can take away from me.”
6. The best sales pitch you’ve ever made
What’s in my fate, no one can take away from me.
7. A few qualities you look for when hiring someone
a. The ability to learn & unlearn & b. Whether their aspirations as a professional are aligned with the objectives of my business.
8. Tell us a little bit about Cancer Charity & other philanthropic ventures
I generally pay for one cancer treatment a year. Recently, I contributed towards 2 surgeries, for someone who had actually helped treat my mother when she was suffering from cancer. The idea is to step in & financially aid those who can’t afford treatment for themselves/loved ones. Also, I do a Diabetes Camp every year with my dad through one of the Gurudwaras. Apart from that, I am the Chairman of the GOPIO, which undertakes community service & scholarships to help raise funds for organisations that are working towards abuse against women, child-related issues, etc.
9. What’s your power outfit?
I really don’t have any power outfits but whatever I wear, I look good & feel confident in. You just have to feel comfortable in your own skin. #FashionKaroMastRaho is my personal style statement. Everything must be coordinated yet don’t be scared of wearing subtle with loud as that’s where you turn heads.
10. What do you indulge in when you aren’t working?
I either spend time with my children or meditate.
11. What are you carrying forward into 2021?
My greatest learning has been to continue being positive & help people around me because the past year has been tough for everyone, and we all must be compassionate.
12. Any learnings that you’d like to share with the readers, especially women entrepreneurs?
The very first step you have taken towards entrepreneurship is already your first step towards success. So, there should always be faith over fear. Make sure that you make the most of the opportunity that God has given you & ace it!
All images used are the sole property of Bhavna Juneja and cannot be used without prior permission.