There are many stereotypes that makes a bit difficult for women to sustain in a working environment: Sarika Rahul Rajgaria
Sarika Rahul Rajgaria is the Director of sales for Pentagon Tapes. She has painstakingly dedicated more than 16 years to bring the company the success and recognition it has today.
For nearly two decades, Pentagon has been known for being a pressure-sensitive adhesive tape expert and has successfully catered to its clientele and retail market with a variety of innovative tape solutions. It is a leading manufacturer and supplier of Ultra High-Pressure Tapes (UHPT), pressure-sensitive foam, and film tapes. Sarika believes that the key to achieving success is patience and passion, and she has been implementing the same rules for almost two decades now.
Sarika always desired to work even after marriage, and when she expressed this wish to her husband, Rahul Rajgharia, MD and CEO of Pentagon Tapes, supported her and was more than happy to have her as a part of the management team.
Sarika’s biggest strength is her family, who has supported her immensely to execute her Business Development duties, which require traveling across India to maintain client and customer relations.
Pentagon Tapes, with its long experience in this industry, has not only established a wide customer base across India, but in partnership with them, continues to maintain its leadership through bringing into the market, newer technologically advanced tapes, and thus offer superior and best-in-class products to customers. Sarika has been very resourceful and immensely contributed towards pan India business development. Her mantra to achieving all her business goals is ‘Honest is the best policy’.
Apeksha Sandesh had an exclusive conversation with Sarika Rahul Rajgaria wherein she spoke about her journey so far, shared insights about the adhesive tapes industry, and a lot more. Check out the excerpts.
Tell us about yourself and your career so far in the world of sales?
I can define myself as a ‘woman’ as I have been taking responsibility as a businesswoman and a homemaker, which includes taking care of my joint family and children as a mother, and a wife working with my husband as Director of Sales in our company. I got married right after my studies, and my career in sales started without any prior experience. I entered the business to support my husband in his absence with his clients for some follow-ups regarding sales calls. I think sales is the easiest job if we understand the needs of the customer and are clear in all the communications at all levels. It is a roller coaster ride sometimes, but also fun as we keep learning from every experience, by meeting different people, travelling various places, and exploring different industries.
What is the role of women in the manufacturing and distribution business pan India?
Traditionally, women have had always been a part of manufacturing activities mainly for tasks like sewing cloth in a garment factory or working as a cleric staff maintaining account but that has been changing now as they are taking roles of factory manager and handling all level activities of product R&D and procurement of materials, maintaining inventory as well as building the factory and even installing machines. In distribution, women never had a major role until a decade back, but now most warehouses are logistics are being looked after by women, which is the core and base for disturbing goods in different parts of the world.
Initially considered a man's world, a lot of women are now seen on the field. What kind of transformation has been witnessed after women entered the sales segment?
As evident, all industries now do recruitments without a gender clause. There have been major changes in terms of conversions as most sales are converted into order by being transparent about the quality of products and services offered by an organization, rather than by corruption. Earlier, most big orders were bagged or secured by offering favour either in cash or something in barter, however, with women entering the sales field, the tendency of asking favour has gone down.
Women at the leadership level have their struggles apart from the usual struggles that the position brings. Considering the work culture in India, women giving instructions to male counterparts, or they reporting her creates problems. To what extent is this true?
There have been many inspirational stories of women where this discrimination has been evident but, in my case, I have never experienced such behaviour with my colleagues. They never had any issue taking instructions or reporting to me (a woman) instead of a man. I truly feel that if you are an intelligent person and you justify that position, then irrespective of gender everyone will accept you as a manager or leader.
What is the biggest struggle of a working woman today in India?
Each gender has their set of struggles when it comes to working in an organization, but when we talk about women, there are many stereotypes that makes a bit difficult for women to sustain in a working environment. I feel that there is a lack of trust among management concerning a woman's working capability due to their misunderstanding that women are emotionally weak and very practical at all levels, and so they may not make the right professional decision timely. This usually leads to women needing to prove their capability before they are given the power and position, they deserve.
Women in leadership positions mean more responsibilities at work, which does not reduce the responsibilities back home. How do you strike the balance between the two?
Being a working woman is tough for both women who live in nuclear families or joint families. Despite what designation a woman has in her office, she is expected to look after the chores of her household and family members. The key to creating a proper balance is to always try to schedule and prioritize things based on their importance. It is a must to be patient and passionate about every task that we do.
Women are better salespeople in the field. How true is it?
Each gender has its perks as a salesperson, but in my career, I have observed that the main factor why usually women are regarded as a ‘sales wiz’ is because of their focus, commitment towards achieving their goals, and honesty towards their work.
What main change would you like to see for young girls in the next generation?
GenZ has already entered the professional arena and their early exposure to technology has made them smarter and faster compared to even millennials. I anticipate that these young girls are already introduced to an ocean of opportunity when it comes to both personal and professional life. The only challenge they might face in the future is that if they don’t give each opportunity sufficient time to sink in, this might lead to some irreversible damage, both in their career graph as well as personal life.
International Women’s Day celebrates the scientific, political, economic, and social achievements of women. In your experience as a successful woman, what is its significance?
For me, International Women's Day signifies that by recognising women roles in various fields which were initial dominated by men, it gives courage and hopes to many more woman to come forward and take up a challenge towards achieving their ambitions rather than sitting at home, which is otherwise expected by our society. This annual tradition also helps women to have a sense of belief that if other women can do it, they can do it too, which tends to create much more opportunities for women to take a commanding role rather than sitting at home.
Apeksha Sandesh congratulates Sarika Rahul Rajgaria for her contribution and commitment in the field of sales with her works, and wishes her all the best for her future endeavours!