1) An MBA graduate from XLRI, Jamshedpur, Rekha Menon chose to take a shop floor job in automotive firm Eicher. According to her one would get the most learning from a ‘shop floor’.
2) She was a gold medalist and topper of the batch, yet could not land a job at Hindustan Lever, one of the top recruiters on business school campuses. “We don’t have a programme for women,” the recruiters told Menon.
3) Later when she moved to Ashok Leyland, she was the only woman among around 3,000 men. Rekha did not compromise on any tasks that made a gender differentiation. She tried hard to fit in and not to stand out of the crowd, as she was the only women. “It doesn’t matter if you are a woman, if you are good at your job and you are open to learn.” says Rekha.
4) Menon took seven years off from a full-time job to be with her kids. But she kept herself relevant by consulting for startups and large companies. This shows how successful women must not only focus on their career, but also contribute to their family.
5) She was in the executive management teams of Levi Strauss, Akzo Nobel, Cargill before she joined Accenture in 2004.
6) Rekha joined Accenture to set up the corporate function for Accenture in India. Till then, Accenture was only a consultancy practice in India, and Menon set up the delivery centre and the outsourcing business started in Philippines and China, It was then she turned to be the Head for Asia-Pacific delivery centres.
7) Between her jobs at Eicher and Ashok Leyland, and when she joined Accenture, for 14 years, Menon had two intense stints: one, changing gears to be there with her children, and two, with start-ups.
8) “Being an entrepreneur requires a different DNA, it requires a lot of self belief, and ability to take risk,” says Menon when she was working with Talisma – a startup firm at Bangalore.
9) Rekha loves being a part of start up’s as it involves more of building new things, rather than scaling or marketing existing stuff.
10) Menon has also been a long-distance cyclist and runner for years from now. She has broken her legs several times, yet did not give up. Recently she took a five-day cycling tour of the Nilgiris.
11) Rekha sets an example for all young women out there, to be yourself and to excel at what you love. No matter what are the hardships you face. Accenture has named Rekha Menon as its new India chairman to succeed Avinash Vashistha who resigned in July. She’s responsible for delivery excellence, procurement, human capital, diversity, marketing, finance and much more.
Kuddos and all the best for her new role. She is worth mentioning as the inspirational women across India.