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Nandini Shekhawat: Co-founder & Director – Ascent

Interviews
Nandini Shekhawat: Co-founder & Director - Ascent

A visionary Women Entrepreneur revolutionizing the future of Fintech with Ascent

Hailing from a business family, you inherit strong business acumen and the adrenaline rush of building your product and watching it bloom. Nandini Shekhawat comes from the antecedent clan- an enthusiastic leader filled with ambition to solve complex business problems and always eager to help people. She is among the leading women in technology who are innovative, passionate, futuristic and dedicated. They think they create, they deliver, they question, they invent, they innovate and they lead.

Nandini’s inspiring journey justifies that women are moving lines in the tech space, slowly but impactfully. The paradigm shift in the industry is cultivating more opportunities for women entrepreneurs. Harnessing her expertise, Nandini decided to create her road to success in the tech space with Ascent Business. Fast forward to 2021, the organization has changed the game with its advanced technology framework and has been championing constant growth through automated bank reconciliation, business continuity & escrow solutions. A Singapore headquartered software product company committed to addressing operational challenges, regulatory requirements to the world of Financial Control, Ascent offers cutting edge Innovative Fintech Platform and has gained the deepest understanding of the global economy and financial markets via its business footprints across India, UAE, USA & Canada.

Ascent’s exquisite clientele speaks for its dexterity, globally. The list entails BankDhofar, Doha Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, HCL, Bank Nizwa, Al Rajhi Bank, Union Bank of India, ICICI Bank, Dubai Islamic Bank, Yes Bank and more.

Inspired, we interviewed the leading lady of Ascent, its Co-founder & Director, Nandini Shekhawat, who talked about her ambitions to share, inspire and connect women leaders and aspirants across India and believes that if you open opportunities for women, you unlock new avenues for great leaders and contribute to businesses as a whole.

Excerpts

What makes Ascent stand apart?

At Ascent, we are focused on delivering world-class applications by identifying key challenges faced by our clients in their business continuity management challenges. Our first product, AutoBCM – an Enterprise resilience software platform that automates BCM Lifecycle while another gem, “AutoRecon-a financial control software platform addresses Reconciliation challenges in financial services.

What was that intrinsic factor that made you realized that you wanted to do this (being an entrepreneur) for the rest of your life?

I have always been a keen observer, having an eye for detail and this has helped me stood out from the crowd during my academic years. Completing my studies from all-girls school and my Masters (MBA) for Banasthali Vidhyapith, a first of its kind and only women’s University in India, reflected my persona and made me a strong feminist. My fascination towards making significant contributions in business as a woman and helping colleagues has kept my drive & motivation as an Entrepreneur, uplifted.

How much has women entrepreneurship evolved in the last decade in India?

We have seen a new generation of millennials in the last decade and the country has widely accepted women empowerment in different spheres of life including a noticeable leadership & presence in Entrepreneurship. Although we often hear that after years of silence and submission, Indian women are finally “GETTING THERE”, while the statement may not apply to all Indian women yet, we cannot ignore the fact that they are successfully breaking the shackles of convention. They are venturing into new areas as they explore their talent and build dreams.

Not only have women strived tirelessly in overcoming hindrances and succeeding in their careers; they have also scaled unprecedented heights. Women are no longer relegated to traditional and conventional roles. Studies have shown that women-led organizations tend to grow more and have happier employees as women are more passionate leaders and communal in any group. Their clarity of thoughts helps them raise funds for their ventures and build a workforce that perpetually feels motivated.

If I was to relate and take my example from being in the corporate sector to now leading a successfully B2B SaaS Software company, I feel my entrepreneurial journey from ideation to its fruition to making it a Global successful company has been remarkable. With this comes the responsibility to support and encourage my fellow women entrepreneurs and I take this responsibility seriously.

Read our 20 Innovative Women Entrepreneurs In India Here

In India, the proportion of women in paid work is among the lowest in the world, at just over 23%. How can women entrepreneurship help in changing it for the better in the coming times?

The Govt recognizes the potential of start-ups and particularly those led by women entrepreneurs have started to allocate a good part of the budget to accelerate growth. Several changes have also been made to Labor Laws with an introduction to policies to ensure positive outcomes in businesses like e-commerce, food deliveries and grocery. All these are helping women entrepreneurs to fuel their dreams and shape them into reality. I personally follow and feel that equal pay and giving equal opportunity will bring a very positive change in the coming times.

Also, I request all other women leaders to help other women by being better colleagues, mentoring each other, helping each other to reach the height of professional success in their respective field.

How important it is to promote the term Women Entrepreneurship specifically?

It is very important to promote the term Women Entrepreneurship because of the disparity between men and women entrepreneurs in India. This will also allow and open the mind of women who are not exposed to the idea of entrepreneurship and as leaders, we must adopt, mentor and embrace any aspiring women who want to lead or start a business.

How are you seeing the world change for women after this pandemic?

I think the general perception for working women has gathered more respect than before and people are more appreciative of the multi-tasking and work-life balance capabilities in women. Secondly, due to the new world of work from home, today’s women have stability and flexibility for greater opportunities in this ever-changing world.

What are your plans for development?

My plans for Development are always backed with creating a positive workplace for women and supporting, mentoring and encouraging women in both, the corporate world as well in the entrepreneurial world.

What has been your biggest challenge and subsequent learning from growing the company?

In my entrepreneurial journey one of the biggest challenges, I faced was finding the right talent and retaining them. Secondly, I feel that still today, investors hesitate in solo women entrepreneurial venture.

To every woman out there who aspires to be an entrepreneur this decade, what would be your advice to them, especially after this pandemic?

To all the women out there, you are diamonds and not meant to be broken. Not meant to be stopped, if you chase a dream of building something of your own then nothing can come in your way!!

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