Ms. Megalai Senthilkumar bags “Exceptional Women of Excellence” Award at the Annual Women’s Economic Forum at New Delhi
‘To foster empowering conversations and connections among women committed to foster constructive change in ALL walks of life. The vision of Women Economic Forum (WEF) is to inspire every woman to become a businesswoman’ – these purpose lines from the Women Economic Forum website found a decisive echo when it recognised and honoured Ms. Megalai Senthilkumar, Head of LBN Tech Solutions (A digital marketing company at Chennai) and wife of Mr. S. Senthilkumar, ED (RS), SR with the “Exceptional Women of Excellence” award at its Annual Women Economic Forum at New Delhi.
Receiving the award in the presence of Nobel Laureate Ms. Ouided Bouchamaoui from Tunisia along with Forbes listed businesswomen from UAE, first ladies of nations and many others, Ms. Megalai said “it was a very humbling, motivating and an awesome experience”. Women Economic Forum (WEF) is an associate of ALL Ladies League (ALL), the world’s largest All-inclusive international women’s chamber and a movement for the Welfare, Wealth, and Wellbeing of ALL.
Elegant, demure and unpretentious, what strikes one about Ms. Megalai is the passion and pride she holds for being part of the IndianOil family. “IndianOil has given us everything. All that one would see or experience in my household is only because of this great organisation - IndianOil”
So what inspired her to start LBN Tech Solutions? “I post-graduated in Economics and I had a passion for teaching. While I taught for a decade, I harbored an urge to achieve something more. My sister was instrumental in bringing out the entrepreneur in me. She motivated to start LBN Tech Solutions. My husband and my father encouraged me throughout.”
LocalBizNetwork (LBN) as the name stands for, is a digital solutions company that serves to empower Small Business Owners with strong digital footprints. “Not having a technical background helped me to steer the company to providing lasting solutions to our clients. I converted my lack of technical knowledge into an advantage as I could put myself in the shoes of my clients and question my team, which provided quick solutions. Today the company provides an entire gamut of varied solutions from website creation to online marketing to small and medium enterprise owners. The testimonials we receive from our clients is my report card!!” she added with a beaming smile.
What differentiated her from the rest? She shared, “I consciously employ a lot of women who do not have the flexibility to work outside their residences. My company has many skilled homemakers as women breadwinners for their families. This has been a huge differentiator and am proud of that. Our Global business directory for small business owners has about one lakh businesses.”
With her vision to empower her employees turn entrepreneurs, and manage the company just as she did, she says she would continue her passion for training, by teaching small business owners to create strong digital presence. She says “My employees have learnt everything from me. Right from communication to job skills. So for them to turn entrepreneurs to run the business is like watching your own children take the baton from you and winning the race. That would be the most satisfying moment for me”.
It is very true that “Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle would not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared”. That perhaps summarises the spirit with which Ms. Megalai manages her business.
Just as charity begins at home, inspiration began at home for Ms. Megalai. With a doctor aunt in the family, who revels and finds happiness at delivering babies and making Jam at home, Ms. Megalai had a home-grown head-start to delve into a business that blended home and career seamlessly.
Facing hurdles to succeed is part and parcel of the way the game, is her firm opinion. “I never heeded criticisms or naysayers. I believe that everybody should follow their dreams. You can start anything at any age is what I firmly believe in”. “You can become an entrepreneur at any age” she says emphatically.
The EntreprenHer Tour
Meghalai Senthil Kumar studied economics and always had a passion for teaching. She was a teacher for a decade.
Without any tech oriented background but eager to learn and with some support from her siblings, she entered the tech area as founder of LBN Tech Solutions. She told us that her lack of knowledge regarding the tech field was an advantage for her, she could put herself in the shoes of her clients as a non-technical person. LBN Tech Solutions provides tech support for SME: it goes from website creation to online marketing. She has 35 employees.
Meghalai employs a lot of women who cannot get outside of their homes for traditional reasons. Indeed traditionally speaking, men are breadwinners, not women. They are currently working on 20 projects and 90% of them are for US companies.
What is her future vision? She wants to move into training, by teaching small business owners what is good for their website.
Her experience as a woman in tech : being a woman is tough in the labor force. She is evolving in a “man’s field” and has been through remarks from her clients, didn't pay attention to it and kept moving forward.
Her final statement was a very positive message : everybody should follow their dreams. “You can start anything at any age”. According to her, this message is not spread enough in India. You can become an entrepreneur at any age.