Breaking Barriers: Priti A Sureka, director, Emami Group Growing up, Priti idolized her father, RS Agarwal, founder & joint chairman, Emami Group as her role model. From her early days on, she had her goals set, I wanted nothing but to be a part of the conglomerate, she says
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.
In the midst of the 1970s, two friends R. S. Agarwal and R. S. Goenka decided to disrupt a market, where other companies had deep pockets. Their grit and toil led them to establish the Emami Group. Differentiate or die, innovate or perish, had been their motto from the beginning…"My father, RS Agarwal, founder & joint chairman, Emami Group is a role model for me. He believed that spotting business opportunities and capitalizing on it, is the key to success. He believed either innovate or die. Emami has stood tall on these principles for almost 50 years now," said Priti A Sureka, director, Emami Group.
Rooting from a patriarchal Marwari family, it was an achievement for Priti to be the first and only woman to enter the family business. "Being appointed as a director on the Board was perhaps the highest point of my career. It was not only a recognition of my professional achievements and credentials, but also an inclusive step taken by the organization," she added.
From her very childhood, Priti watched her father build the business and was exposed to various nuances of brand building. She was fascinated with the process and as she grew, she knew she wanted nothing but to be a part of the conglomerate. Catering to the ever evolving dynamism of consumer needs, instilled a feeling of excitement in her. "My journey began in my teens. What attracted me the most was the dynamism of consumers and their evolving needs and I loved analyzing this trend to develop insight, which I knew would be a key to brand building."
So, were there any 'eureka' moments, "Of course yes! I loved whenever I could identify the need-gaps and suggest an innovative solution to cater to the unmet needs of consumers. My father recognized my talent, curiosity, enthusiasm and encouraged me to go to the office after school, to begin learning the ropes. Finally, when I joined the company formally, I was put in charge of several important projects and brands," she quipped.
Although her operating style is influenced by her father, she has mindfully introduced a few differences. "Having worked very closely with him, my operating style subconsciously also became somewhat similar to my father. However, I have consciously and mindfully cultivated a few differences, as I sincerely believe as a woman professional, one needs to be more mindful. I depend on my instinct and tact as a woman leader in business for more effective results."
Talking about some of her bold moves, she explained the importance of innovation and digital transformation, which has helped strengthen Emami's existing brand equity as a leading Indian MNC. "I enjoy creating disruption and staying ahead of competition by driving innovation and digital transformation across all spectrums of business. Emami has been a traditional marketing company, but to keep up with the changing times, it has undergone a transformation to emerge as a digitally transformed organization through new business models, service innovation and technology deployment. I am happy to have been a key part of this transformation," Priti added.
As a key member of Emami's Core Advisory Team, she drives the FMCG business along with other second generation promoter directors, leading the organization to maintain its position.
Current turnover - INR 25,000 crore
Number of employees – 20,000+