Sargam Knows There’s No Easy Way Out For A Boss’ Daughter #TakeCharge #FightingBias

Published on 21 Apr 2017 . 5 min read

What were you doing with your life at age 22? Chilling? Being clueless? Just nothing?

Well, Sargam Dhawan at the same age is the Director- Marketing for Planet herbs Lifesciences and Paul Penders, with that the Communications Managers for DAFNI INDIA.

After her schooling from Welham Girls' School, Dehradun, she went to pursue a Bachelor's degree in Communications and Film Marketing from University at Buffalo, New York. When she returned, her father and grandfather were looking to expand their business, and she then decided to join them.

It is definitely thorny for a young girl to make inroads in the industry because people judge and conform to stereotypes. They don’t want to take a young person or a girl seriously. 

“If you want things to change, you have to bring about the change yourself. Being born with a silver spoon or not, one still has to make it on their own to be of credible worth in any industry. A doctor’s son may automatically have it easy to enter into the medical field, but whether or not he will be a good one, is entirely upon his talent and hard work.

A lot of people feel, I have it easy because I could just walk into a business and call it my own. But, whether I am able to sustain the business or not is what truly defines me. Which is what I have been working towards and striving for since the day I joined work. I was initially asked to work on two brands that were poles apart, one of them being an International hair straightener brand called DAFNI and the other one being a pharmaceutical company called Planet Herbs Lifesciences.

It isn't easy being the boss's daughter and granddaughter because you have to prove a point to everyone who is just waiting to point fingers at you. Both of them are strict taskmasters and often end up being stricter with me than their other employees. I had to start from scratch when it came to decoding how the medical industry works.

To counter all those pointing fingers at me, I would sit up all night to read up about every ingredient and every single manufacturing process we deployed in our factory to make sure no one had any other reason to blame my young age or gender or my lack of knowledge in the field.

Dealing with presumptions regarding  her lineage

At office a lot of people wouldn't take me seriously. They would laugh and giggle when I spoke and a lot also thought I've just come to while away time till I am-MARRIED OFF.

When I joined, it took me a while to learn the dynamics of the corporate life. I was just unsure on how to make decisions and would be perturbed by others commenting about me.

I come from an extremely liberal family where all the women in my house are self empowered and motivated in their own right, hence even though I had heard about discrimination against girls but I never really felt it. However, when I started working, I would go for meetings with my colleagues, clients preferred to talk to my colleagues instead of addressing their issues to me simply because I was a girl.”

Every nerve in her body worked to prove them wrong and how?

“So what if I happen to be the founder's daughter or young or a girl? Does that not give me the right to be good at what I do? Or at least wish to bring a change in archaic methods of working?”

Currently she is at the helm of launching a stellar brand into India, called PAUL PENDERS which is the world's first 100% botanical and cruelty free cosmetic brand. For Planet Herbs Lifesciences in the past 6 months she revamped the brand completely and introduced new packaging, strategy for more effective marketing and gave a face to the brand. She has signed Mandira Bedi as the digital aggregator. With that, her team is in the process for developing revolutionary medicines such as ayurvedic alternative for cancer medication. As for DAFNI, she recently launched the DAFNI GO brush in collaboration with Jean Claude Biguine in Mumbai.

She advises every girl who wants to enter the pharmaceutical or beauty industry three things. Firstly, believe in yourself even though the whole world doubts you because of your age or gender or background. Secondly, research and perfect your knowledge base, so that it builds your credibility, thirdly, always work as a team player and believe in your team and lastly take criticism constructively.



Piyali Dasgupta
A writer and an educator with expertise in experiential learning,capacity building, counselling & content development. A feminist, wit addict and time/life traveler. She loves trees, water bodies, vintage,cooking and arts

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