Jyotika feels, “Empowering a woman is empowering a society. Behind every successful woman is herself! Why accept average when you can be iconic. Empowered women give stability and positivity to the family especially in these unprecedented times. This is possible by upscaling and reinventing both holistically and by new learnings. The digital platform has been very crucial during the lockdown. Taking a few examples from my membership who have reinvented to be alive and kicking to constantly get eye balls. Bindu Sastry had the foresight to create a virtual IT company where 80% women analysts have been working from home and finding their work life balance. Ashwini Oza created a multi designer jewellery store with sustainable products as the precious metals are losing their shine. The Millennials would rather spend on curated holidays or an experience says Seema Jaising of Che Experiences. Anshu Jhunjhunwala of Food for Thought, a home catering entrepreneur has upgraded her skills to market her brand in the New Normal!”

She adds, “These are just some real time examples of FLO members Reinventing to stay positive and flourish. The best way to predict your future is to create your own stories…which have the Power to Empower …Ordinary to Extraordinary! Also, we have had well-known personalities like Smriti Irani, Vidya Balan, Kareena Kapoor, Lara Dutta and Mahesh Bhupathi, Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, Simrun Chopra, Kohelika Kohli, Nisha JamVwal, Sukant Dangwal and other eminent speakers come on our platform and address our members. We also launched a Coffee Table book titled Rtu Rasya on 18 festivals with Reason Season Mythology & Recipes from Pan India 21 chapters of FLO. The digital platform has helped us with a wider reach to our members across the country, across all 17 Chapters of FICCI Flo. We also launched Priyanka Chopra’s memoir titled Unfinished online. We plan to continue to keep it engaging and interesting in the times to come.”

We speak to Jyotika Kalra on her fruitful journey and her achievements in empowering other women in the past one year of her Chairmanship.

1. What were the activities you did during your tenure as the chairperson of FICCI FLO Bangalore?
I took over in very uncertain times in a peak lockdown of mid May 2020. Pandemic was an unknown experience for me and most. My essence of the year was to highlight Made in India by trying to bring in stories who had put India on the international platform. Also, the unprecedented times made me lean on my creative instincts as I saw it thrive and successful throughout the year. First time started FLO Stories which were a series of interviews of all Committee members. Also, for the first time highlighted their Business under a new vertical called Spotlight. Since NGOs saw a huge reverse migration to the villages…adopted and created a Model Village in the Mandya District. First time members became celebrities and met celebrities on zoom and for offline events. I curated more than 20 events with them reaching across to 21 chapters of FLO across India. I am a Green Warrior with Sustainability being very close to my heart…I started a movement with Waste converting them into 7 Murals for Bangalore alone and 7 more on the National level as the National Head for Sustainability. The Bangalore Waste Murals are at the Bangalore And New Delhi Airports.

2) What do you do otherwise?
I have been a Muralist, artist, pilates trainer and have made short films.

3) How challenging was it to do these activities/events during the COVID year?
The biggest challenge was sponsorships but since I used all my members resources to create my own IT for zoom and our creatives were all free …plus my members were the celebrities …led a very frugal year successfully. 95 percent of my celebrity speakers were free.

4) How does one become a member of FICCI FLO?
FLO membership comes with a recommendation and we prefer women to be entrepreneurs or atleast have a spark of creating their own Entity.

5) How many new members enrolled during your tenure?
I was able to make 78 new members inspite of the Pandemic in less than 10 months as Chairperson. I took over in the Peak Pandemic & ended in one.

6) You also released a coffee table cookbook during your tenure. Tell us more about it.
The coffee Table book Rtu Rasya is on 18 festivals with Reason Season Mythology & recipes from Pan India 21 chapters of FLO giving impetus to Dekho Apna Desh through a Culinary & Cultural journey. It’s also for the Millennials to make them aware of impactful Made in India stories covering all Faith. The Book was completely created by 5 FLO members. We have it available as a hard copy and on Kindle on Amazon. All sale proceeds go back for Future Chairs to keep using for FLO initiatives. We are leaving an ongoing legacy for FLO.

7) A woman has to juggle so much between her friends, family, social life and work. How do you manage it all so beautifully?
Focus and constantly being inspired by people, day today life and observing helps me to balance a lot. End of the day I am a private person where creativity is my constant companion.

8) You have given strength and support to a lot of people. Who is your support system?
My biggest strength is my communication with God, my husband and my green environment in which I live.

9) What are your other passions and hobbies?
I am a green warrior. I transplanted 17 old trees in my home itself and love to do charcoal/pencil sketches. I love to keep creating …it’s my deepest passion.

10) Any inspiring message you would like to give to the young women out there who want to make it big?
Why be Average when You can be Iconic….Write your Own Story from Ordinary to ExtraOrdinary! I am a writer too. I’m already into writing the script for my first animation movie. I am also a founding member of FLO Bangalore. In my year I managed to add 78 new members, hosted 70 zoom events with Iconic Names from across all industries, 75-member retreat to Jodhpur and 7 offline events!

– By Namita Gupta