Oct 16, 2014 12:10 pm
Smita Deorah

I am:

A mother of 2 geniuses, Zoya (5 yrs) and Anay (3yrs), who challenge me at all levels every moment. I share this challenge (& pleasure) with Sumeet, who inspires me every single day to do better. I am also an Education Entrepreneur with a passion to impact more and more children in India. To fulfill this passion I founded Sparsh, an education NGO which currently reaches out to over 600 children in Mumbai slums and is now opening a school in a village in Gujarat.  I am also Founder/COO of Leadership Boulevard, a company that runs leadership programs for students and does school transformation/management.

Before being a Mom:

I was a corporate woman, working non-stop first at PriceWaterhouseCoopers for 3 years and then at Procter & Gamble for 8 years. I was an avid traveler, out four times a year on a trip. I was lucky things worked as planned, and the last trip I made before being a mom was to Antarctica – a trip I shall never forget.

Why I made the change:

After Zoya, I just did not see the point of leaving her home and going to work. I chose to make the most of her early formative years by staying with her and investing my time in her development. With her I learnt a lot about early childhood development. I also discovered that I was capable of developing new skills apart from finance. Then, along came Anay – my gift to Zoya (though she doesn’t see it that way yet). During this time, Sumeet’s passion to bring better and better education to more and more children in India rubbed off on me. When I saw results of my work with Zo & An, I decided to take that to other children and started Sparsh. Then last year, Sumeet quit his job, and given our common passion with complementary skills, we decided to kick-start Leadership Boulevard together.

How do I manage:

Working with my husband does make things easy. We manage our work commitments and schedule in a way that allows us to spend time with children. We use all possible technologies and creative work arrangements to maximize time with them. And ofcourse we have a wonderful support system – our ‘always willing to help’ parents & close friends and an extremely reliable nanny.

In the future:

I am excited about our first school coming up and hope we can open 2-3 more in the next year. I am also extremely encouraged to see how much students are benefitting with ‘Leadership Café’ – our signature leadership program for 11-18year olds. The ambition is to spread this work to over a 1000 students this year.

Websites: this has details of the leadership work we are currently doing with students in Mumbai - this has pictures of the centres and the upcoming school


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