An Extraordinary Entrepreneur: Meet Aditi Khanna, Co-Founder & Partner at FutureSkomp LLP
Times are changing; advocates for equality are starting to fight more for gender balance in the workplace and toleration for sexism is reducing significantly. If you look at entrepreneurs around the world you may still find that there are overwhelmingly men. That’s because traditionally women have a significantly tougher ladder to climb than her counterpart to reach the top rung of their career. Over the years, mistaken gender stereotypes have implied that there’s only a certain level of success that women can achieve. The fixed mindset approach, lack of education, and similar other deep-rooted societal approaches have significantly impacted women from growing. But women in India, whether in farming communities or city centers, are taking steps toward becoming fully integrated and valued members of society. As a nation, we are witnessing a shift in their status, with more and more women working in the political, business, and social arenas. It is now common to see women working in business or as lawyers, journalists, even as entrepreneurs.
When entering a male-dominated workplace, women are not worried about the theory that they will need to adapt their personality and characteristics or behave like a man to get recognition.
Ms. Aditi Khanna, a partner at FutureSkomp is a true example of one such belief change.
Coming from an upper-middle – service class family, having strong traditions and Indian values – growing up for Aditi was a blend of being open and conservative in the right contexts. She was an independent airline professional for over a decade and took a break at the right time to nurture her family. She gradually turned her innate strengths and learning to nurture a passion bringing forth three organizations – FutureSkomp LLP and its two sub-organizations/platforms of Image Stilista and The Trainers’ Consortium.
Today through the umbrella company FutureSkomp LLP and its subsidiaries stated above, the team is extensively focusing on developing future relevant skills and competencies.
“Given the future focus and business plans, this might quite be a company to watch out for.”
Aditi believes “The opportunities and challenges today are pretty similar for all, at least in relatively mature cities. Rather it has been a positive push as women in most cases are naturally inclined to be able to take a larger set of people together which has been my biggest enabling factor. I think with the internet and scalability getting easier, the field is getting increasingly leveled if you have the passion and dedication.”
As an organization, FutureSkomp has been designed to build industry-relevant capability and future skills, which may not get covered in an individual’s standard education and learning journey.
Aditi says, “AI holds the future. Everything we saw in sci-fi movies just a couple of decades back is all turning to reality. The only way for humans to be relevant is to continue to build on the humane skills to upgrade and that is the fundamental motto of FutureSkomp – “Keeping You Relevant for Tomorrow”
Currently, the company operates as a training organization to build early skills for students in schools and colleges, programs for corporates, and image management solutions The team has partnered with a leading start-up in the field of competency assessment on the back of psychometric assessment providing career guidance and competency assessment to students and working professionals. Additionally, they have also partnered with an education agency that enables admissions for universities across the US, Canada, UK, Larger Europe, Australia, New Zealand. Thus, in the current form, the model is to assess skill levels, provide training to enhance capabilities, and further support functional capabilities by enabling functional education in global universities. The team is just on the move and plans to go big in the field of education for both the teacher and the learners.
“It’s been an interesting journey with its fair share of ups and downs – but every moment has been a treasured gem, to say the least, either as a blessing or to learn from it,” says Aditi
There’s a lot of unpredictability about how the working style will change. AI has begun to rapidly reshape the industry. One should develop the habit of learn-unlearn and relearn to stay in the race as most industries are likely to witness dramatic changes.
“There is a degree of maturity that seems to be coming up,” believes Aditi about the changing business environment. There is a focus on the core, content, and value which is heartening to see. The focus on value and providing sustainable solutions seems to be picking pace which is a shift from quick in and quick out approach.”
Here’s a short excerpt from a conversation with Ms. Aditi.
I think there is enough and more of information all around – you just need to stay alert and keep a tab on both the traditional magazine and reading ways or being more tech adept by leveraging the right source of regular nuggets on your industry and the complementing ones as well.
Role of R&D
R&D and innovation need to be in the fundamental design of the company. Given the pace of change, if you are not reinventing and bringing something differentiated all the time, you may just be out of the game way sooner than you can imagine.
Having read a plethora of theories, I think it is only a sense of purpose and achievement that can keep someone truly engaged and productive. That is what we focus and will continue to do the same – every achievement is the team achievement.
For me, someone like Indra Nooyi and Michelle Obama is someone who I continually look up to for the unique perspectives that they have created for themselves.
Message to the readers
All I would say is being a woman itself is a symbol of strength and creator. Just remember that and go for that leap small of big, it’s your leap & it can only take you ahead. I have had my fair share of challenges and at times getting lost or written off, but just the sheer determination and thought to build your place is the only way to up your game and get to where you want