IMPROVING THE LIVES OF WOMEN IN INDIA
Programme: Parttime Master Bedrijfskunde, 2010
Currently: Founder of WORK+SHELTER, co-founder of New Yardsticks, and credit manager at BNG Bank
Nominated by: Jolanda Quak, project manager
With her strong personality, entrepreneur Namita Krul knows what she wants and how to achieve her goals. She set up two organisations: WORK+SHELTER, a social enterprise in India that provides a secure environment and fair trade work for underprivileged women, and New Yardsticks, which assesses projects to alleviate poverty.
Born in Australia to Indian parents, her father a diplomat, Namita settled in the Netherlands in her late teens. After fifteen years of being a nurse, she switched to an industrial trade organisation. Six years later, in 2000, she moved on to BNG Bank. She can deal with uncertainty very well as evidenced by her choice to work less hours at the bank and earn less in order to invest her time and money in empowering women in India.
Namita earned her MScBA from RSM in 2010. “What I learned at RSM has served as solid foundation for my work as a social entrepreneur. For this, I am very grateful,” says Namita, who participates in the kick off sessions of new semesters for the Parttime Master Bedrijfskunde. She completed RSM’s open programme Essentials of Leadership in 2012 and shares her academic and corporate experiences with prospective RSM students.
“Business is about serving the greater good”
Namita’s professional focus is to achieve long-term socio-economic improvement in the lives of marginalised women in India. . Having the women learn in a work environment is a central tenet of the way Namita wants to empower them. Namita’s work to date was acknowledged by The International Alliance for Women who awarded her a 2013 Global TIAW World of Difference 100 Award.
Within the context of leadership, Namita says that “success is about knowing that you’ve changed the prospects of others by positively influencing their circumstances.” She adds that this change can be made by sharing knowledge, encouraging them and motivating them by your own actions. Within the business context, Namita says: “It’s not just about money. Building businesses should be fulfilling for the entrepreneurs on a meaningful level and serve the greater good of the people involved.”
WORK+SHELTER has been set up as a place for an ethical outsourcing solution and a safe space where women in India receive training and earn a fair wage. Namita: “Our credo is: We learn. We work. We prosper.” She encourages people not to give up before trying your utmost best in whatever they do. “As Winnie the Pooh said: ‘You are braver than you believe. Stronger than you seem. And smarter than you think’,” she says, adding that she believes Nelson Mandela was right when he said ‘it always seems impossible until it’s done’.
Knowing that she can make a positive impact for another human being keeps Namita going. “It’s all about discovering new opportunities and taking a courageous plunge while really including others,” she says. “You have to start somewhere. Small changes can make a large impact.”
Namita’s dream is to help 5000 women in India in the coming five years. She’ll achieve this by collaborating with organizations and like-minded people. The first initiatives are starting to bear fruit, the rest will follow.