Jyotsna Sanghi, Chairman and Managing Director of SGS Motors and Managing Director of Sanghi Brothers, is of the opinion that technology will make jobs easier for men and make opportunities ‘wider, stronger and more scalable’ for women.
Jyotsna Sanghi of SGS Motors and Sanghi Brothers is of the opinion that we are at an inflection point in history. “It’s an inflection point for us to understand whether this is a perception and a mind block, or is this above and beyond that, which I think is definitely the culture, the attitude, the environment, people, skill set and opportunities and leadership abilities,” she says.
Talking of how technology is changing things, Jyotsna said that with the advent of electronic vehicles, electric technology, hydrogenous products that are coming in, and the scalability of machines, women don’t need to pick up (heavy) things. “It is all about (being) technology driven and that is where the opportunities will increase jobs for men or women per se,” she added.
Having acknowledged that there are gaps that women leaders can help fill, Jyotsna is of the opinion that the industry is supporting women a lot. “Everything from a technology perspective for a car dealership or a franchisee per se is very amenable to having women work and increase their opportunities in the space of service, and not just limit themselves at the front desk and call centres,” Jyotsna adds.
We really need to change this perception that women can’t do something or that it's harder for women to do something as compared to men. Terming these things as passe, Jyotsna Sanghi says that at the end of the day, it is about the culture and character that one brings in. “Given fifteen years of working in the automotive franchisee space, the change that I am seeing is that if you are skilled, if you are talented, you know your work very well, I feel like the other gender is very amenable and comfortable in taking instructions from a woman boss”, she added.
Jyotsna, who was encouraged very early on by her father to join the family business, talks about how the support system is just a question of mind set and is completely changing.
On being asked whether the support system needs to evolve and the steps that need to be taken to ensure this, she cites examples of this very panel discussion hosted by Autocar Professional, on how women leaders have gone beyond and above the support system, to support others.
This support is something that Jyotsna is seeing not only in metros but tier two cities as well, as women push the frontiers and excel at their work. “We can just lead from wherever and whenever we want to," she says, citing the example of how they carried out a campaign Veerangana Express, with Tata Commercial Vehicles in smaller towns in Gwalior. This was to ensure that the women get finance on their bank balances, they open their accounts, they get finances to buy small commercial vehicles that would penetrate into the deeper tier two city markets, and that went off very well, proving that one can roll out initiatives from wherever they are, adding that she does not see this as a barrier at all, for the smaller cities.
“It’s more so with the skill set and the opportunities that you bring to the table. That’s when you definitely weave into the cultural dimension of this issue. There’s no turning back”, she noted.
Jyotsna Sanghi is the Chairman and Managing Director of SGS Motors, a Tata Motors dealership for commercial vehicles, spare parts and accessories in the Gwalior district. She is also the Managing Director of Sanghi Brothers, which manages the luxury car dealership of JLR and the entire state of Madhya Pradesh. Jyotsna is also the director of Africon, a company established in Gambia, engaged in heavy construction equipment for infrastructural development.
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