‘Start-ups and conglomerates are creating space for women to join': Sulajja Firodia Motwani
Sulajja Firodia Motwani, Vice Chairperson, Kinetic Engineering and Founder and CEO, Kinetic Green and Power Solutions aims to have the entire E2W assembly run by women.
The electric vehicle revolution is redefining women’s role in the sector to a large extent, says Sulajja Firodia Motwani, who has a head start, with over 70 percent of women employed in the EV component of Kinetic group’s manufacturing units.
This is no easy feat, considering that it requires a perceptible shift in mindset. Motwani goes on to add that the headstrong attitude of the domestic automobile auto component makers over the years hasn’t changed a wee bit.
This is regarding their hesitation to increase their participation of women on the shop floor, or even increase the representation of women in core R&D or
engineering. Motwani wants to change that perception. When presented with the opportunity, she made it a point in her group, in the EV component manufacturing companies, Kinetic Communications, Kinetic Electric Motor Company, and Kinetic Taigene to employ over 70 percent women on the shop floor.
Her love for the auto industry was inborn from her childhood when her father and Chairman of the Kinetic Group, Arun Firodia, better known as “Mr R&D” gave iconic brands and products like the Luna moped and the Kinetic Honda automatic scooter which first gave mobility to women in the country.
When prospective component manufacturers or othersuppliers come to meet her for ongoing work, she likes to ask “how many women hands are on the deck in your
firm?" A positive reply "significantly improves their chances of taking the conversation forward,” Motwani chuckles.
On Kinetic Green’s new electric vehicle manufacturing expansion plans, she explains that they aim to have the entire E2W assembly run by women on the shop floor. Explaining her strategy for increasing women's participation in the workforce, Motwani says that women's representation across the OEMs has increased with the software and technology content in EVs, which are bound to grow in the near future.
Motwani observes that many work opportunities are opening up for women in particular, as start-ups and conglomerates are creating space for women to join the workforce. Sharing her views on the gender bias that traditionally works against women wanting to make a mark in the male bastions, she says that women need to confidently present their thoughts, even if they are the only woman in the room. “I believe there is no such role or job which a woman can't do,” she notes.
Emphasising on the need for OEMs to take charge of the upskilling of women for jobs in the automotive sector as part of their purposeful action and social commitment, Motwani says such actions will bring greater gender equality and create job opportunities for women from disadvantaged communities to get the chance to be the rightful breadwinner of their families. “The way to succeed in your business idea is to align it with the country's social
needs to benefit people at large,” she says.
Motwani is currently the Vice Chairperson of Kinetic Engineering and is also the founder and CEO of Kinetic Green Energy and Power Solutions. She has an MBA degree from Carnegie Mellon University. Under Motwani’s watchful eyes, the Kinetic Group has witnessed expansion and diversification from being a mere moped manufacturer, the company has set a strong foothold in the industry as a manufacturer offering a complete range of two-wheelers right from mopeds, scooters to motorcycles. Moving forward, Motwani has recently restructured the group to expand group activities into automotive systems and green energy. Most notably,she has founded a company, Kinetic Green Energy and Power Solutions that aims to launch electric autos, buggies,and small electric taxis.
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