Major Vandana Sharma represents the face of today’s multi-talented bold Indian woman who challenges man in every field from country’s defense to corporate sector.
She served in the Indian Army as a Major for a decade, earned fame in the corporate sector, and is now helping entrepreneurs find success with her venture StartupPeopleConsulting.
Vandana has always advocated and believed in equality of women.
Born and brought up in a defence family, Major (Retd) Vandana Sharma had loved the uniform since she was young. Her childhood was spent seeing uniforms, fighter aircrafts, and defence personnel. She often wore her father’s beret and saluted herself in the mirror. She had a dream to wear a real uniform one day. By the time she completed her graduation, the Indian government announced the Women’s Commission in the Armed Forces. Vandana’s dream soon got fulfilled when she joined the Indian Army. She says, “I had a wonderful career with the Indian Army for a decade. I have been posted to different parts of the country such as Ladakh and North Bengal where hardly anyone had seen a woman in uniform then. I also played a backend role during the Kargil War in 1999. Being posted to the most beautiful but far-flung areas of the country was challenging in terms of limited resources and harsh terrain but it brought great learning experiences. I love to travel and this also made me appreciate the unexplored beautiful areas of the country that are relatively unknown to India and the world.”
As Vandana was selected in SSC (Short Service Commission) so after serving the Army for a decade, she moved to the corporate world. She held senior positions in various MNCs and e-commerce startups. Thereafter she started out on her own venture StartupPeopleConsulting. Vandana Sharma says for her initial days, “When I made the transition to corporate life, I really had to start all over again. I had to learn new skills, business vocabulary, working with technology, and life in big cities, including managing traffic and infrastructural menace. I was determined to make it work and relentlessly pursued my career across various sectors like IT, infrastructure, logistics, e-commerce and tech startups. Being considered resourceful with a strong people network was really helpful. Staying curious to learn more helped me integrate seamlessly across organisations and do well in my assignments.” Today, she is a successful entrepreneur. About her new project she says, “My project helps early entrepreneurs with all people-related matters and also helps build their networks and teams across locations with minimum effort and speedy timelines.”
Vandana Sharma is also working on many women’s empowerment initiatives/mentorship programmes. “I have worked towards creating women-based forums in each of these organisations to ensure their voice is heard formally and informally. I have run critical learning and development programmes to encourage women to plan their financial independence, especially around their milestones and career breaks.” she says. Vandana expresses her wish for the youth of India “I want to be an inspiration to young men and women. I hope to work towards building an equal world where gender plays no role, whether it is in business, science, music, art, sports, running homes, or running government offices and countries.”
Major (Retd) Vandana maintains a perfect balance in her work and personal life. She pursues all her dreams and passions such as travelling, fashion, running marathon, trekking, writing, cooking and most importantly being a doting mother to two boys aged 12 and 16. Vandana has traveled to places like Australia, Europe and South East Asia as a solo woman traveler. She is an inspiration to young women who want to travel solo to discover themselves.
Major Vandana is a strong-headed empowered woman of modern India who believes and has proved by her own example that women are in no way lesser than their male counter-parts. Her success as an army personnel, as a corporate leader and as an entrepreneur has broken all stigmas attached with womanhood. Her mission in life is to help build a stronger India where women’s contribution in society is valued more and break all gender based stereotypes. Way to go girl!