Express press service
HYDERABAD: The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), especially the Women’s Organization (FLO), has changed the lives of many female entrepreneurs in Hyderabad. The planning of result-oriented initiatives that pave the way for development and sound leadership are a great inspiration for those who seek a better future.
Advancing those ideals is the city’s chartered accountant Shubhraa Maheshwari, who took over as head of the FLO chapter for 2022-23 on Tuesday. CE catches up with her about her journey with the organization, her plans to empower women in financial literacy, and what initiatives she has in store.
It all started in 2015 for Shubhraa, when she thought she should join a trades and trades body to meet like-minded work colleagues. “There is no better name (body) than this; So, I filled out my form and showed up for an interview. From there, my journey began. In the same year, I was hired as treasurer and since then I have been a member of the central committee of FLO,” she says.
But it was in 2019 that Shubhraa truly entered the fabric of FLO, when she was elevated to the position of secretary. “The secretary is in constant contact with all the teams in the organisation. It was a great learning experience because we learned how to start initiatives, motivate people and help those at the grassroots,” she says.
With over 850 members, the organization has evolved over time. According to Shubhraa, they have learned to adapt to rapidly changing times during lockdowns through the three A’s – access, adapt and accelerate. “Access the damage caused by the pandemic, adapt to the new situation and circumstances that affect women and accelerate to greater heights by seeing how we have best used our digital technology,” she explains.
A delighted Shubhraa, who is also the auditor of TTD Temple, National Highways Authority of India and Aarogyasri Healthcare, is looking forward to embarking on her plans for FLO this year. She chose “financial literacy” as the theme for her mandate, given her strong background in finance. “For example, why does my housekeeper still keep $500 in a container of rice? Why can’t we as literate women teach empowerment to those at the grassroots and help them open their own bank accounts. They don’t need to be fluent in the language to open a bank account or put their money in a fixed deposit,” she says.
Likewise, she finds many educated women, like her, who earn well but do not know the difference between a gold bond and physical gold. “It’s sad. A gold bond will earn you more interest than a gold cookie. So financial literacy would be my main focus. We will also work to provide graduation training for girls in schools and who live below the poverty line. Another thing I want to work on is helping people with disabilities. I want to work in alliance with the government,” she says.
For members, she plans to host numerous conferences and conclaves, covering topics such as alternative science, start-ups, entrepreneurship, and medical and health conclaves.