Category Archives: mentor-chats

Learn practical and actionable insights and tips from the Shenomics’ community of Mentors and Experts


Vaishali Kasture: ‘Sponsor or Mentor – What’s Better?’


Vaishali Kasture is an Investment Banker by profession, and has had a long, illustrious career in the corporate world in various leadership positions, including the most recent one as Managing Director and Board Member at Goldman Sachs Services, India. Her many accolades include being recognized as one of the Hottest Young Executives in Business Today, a Top 5 Woman Achiever in the Deccan Chronicle, and a Leading Women COO Award. She is seen as a great role model for women in the financial industry and beyond. She takes a keen and personal interest in supporting and mentoring other women. To top it all, she’s equally skilled on the running track as she is in the Board Room, and has run multiple marathons, including the Boston Marathon and the Comrades Ultra Marathon.

What You’ll Learn In This Mentor Chat

“There is a difference between a worker bee and a queen bee. A worker bee will keep her head down, work hard, and hope and pray that she gets recognized. A queen bee will network, negotiate, and insert herself into the right contexts in a meaningful manner.”

– Vaishali Kasture, Former- Managing Director, Goldman Sachs Services, India.

It’s been long believed that what women really need to advance within organizations is mentors. Scores of companies have set up a combination of formal and informal mentoring programs for women. But have all these efforts really translated into building a more robust pipeline for senior positions for women? Not necessarily.

The research suggests while women are being over-mentored compared to their male counterparts, they are not necessarily advancing in their organizations at the same rate as their male counterparts. One of the big reasons for that is because women’s mentors have less clout within the organizations when it comes to decision-making around selecting people for the top roles.

While women are getting valuable career advice from their mentors, what they really need is a special kind of relationship—called sponsorship—in which the mentor goes above and beyond giving feedback and advice to the mentee, and also uses his or her influence with senior executives to advocate for the mentee, especially at the time of deciding promotions. Without sponsorship, women will have less support to reach for and ultimately get the top roles.

What are some of the ways in which sponsorship differs from mentorship? How can women go about finding a sponsor? And, how can women build a relationship with a sponsor in a way that benefits her, the sponsor, and the organization? These are just a few of the questions that our Guest Mentor, Vaishali Kasture, former MD at Goldman Sachs, answers for us in this Shenomics’ Mentor Chat.

Key Ideas: 

At 2:05 – What is the difference between sponsorship and mentorship?

At 5:15 – What are the benefits of sponsorship over mentorship? For women, as well as organizations?

At 8:05 – Many women believe the key to success is hard work and long hours. What do you say to women who find any other ways of advancing awkward or inauthentic? 

At 12:45: What should women look for in a sponsor?

At 15:40: If there is no formal sponsorship program in a company, what are some effective strategies women can use for attracting/building a relationship with a sponsor?

At 18:50: Most sponsors or influencers in an organization tend to be men. How can women overcome or manage the potential negative perceptions around building a relationship with a male colleague? 

At 24:10 Examples of how sponsorship has helped women. 

The Mentor Chat

Additional Resources


For more inspirational insights from Vaishali, check out her TEDx Talk on “Discovering Your Third Dimension.”





Aparna Vedapuri Singh on ‘The Power of Networking’

Aparna Vedapuri Singh is the Founder & Editor of Women’s Web. Women’s Web is an online magazine and community for the thinking woman. It revolves around interesting and useful information for women on career development, managing work and family, successful women, entrepreneurship, women’s health and personal finances.

Women’s Web is also now starting various initiatives offline to allow women to network and support one another through peer mentorship.

What You’ll Learn In This Mentor Chat

“Just like the value of real estate depends on three main things – location, location, location – a woman’s ability to succeed in business hinges on three main things – relationships, relationships, relationships.”

–Jane P. Newton, Partner and Wealth Advisor at Regent Atlantic Capital.

Networking isn’t just about going to events and collecting business cards or opportunistically trying to meet your short-term goals, but about building mutually beneficial relationships for the long-term that help you grow personally and professionally. Networking has become absolutely essential for the aspiring woman – whether you are figuring out how to climb the corporate ladder, or getting more clients for your business.

Here’s a look at the power of networking for women – why is it so important for women? Do women do it differently than men? How can we network more effectively? These are just a few of the questions our Guest Mentor, Aparna Vedapuri Singh, delves into in this insightful Mentor Chat. Aparna even has some useful tips for those of us who might be shy or hesitant to network!

At 1:16 – What is networking? 

At 2:30 – What are the benefits of networking for women?

At 6:40 – What are the most effective ways to network to advance your career/business goals? 

At 8:50 – What are some of the key differences between the way men and women network, and how can women leverage that to network more effectively? 

At 12:00 – What are some of the ways in which women can break into deeply entrenched men’s networks and feel more comfortable networking with men in these networks? 

At 16:05 – How do we identify the best networks for us?  What criteria do we use to evaluate the various networks? 

At 18:25 – What is the easiest way women can begin networking today, especially if you are hesitant or shy to do so? 

At 19:45 – All about the Women’s Web Network


The Mentor Chat

Additional Resources

Women’s Web is also now starting various initiatives offline to allow women to network and support one another through peer mentorship.

To learn more about how you can attend any of the Women’s Web events, or to join the Women’s Web network, go to:




Personal Branding

Rituparna Ghosh on ‘Personal Branding & Storytelling’

With a decade of storytelling on her back, Rituparna Ghosh is the Founder of Your Story BagA writer, editor and storyteller practicing all three forms of storytelling – written, visual and oral, Rituparna is a compulsive storyteller. Always sniffing for a good story to tell, Rituparna feels that her past life as a journalist and television producer taught her the power of good stories.

As a television producer, Rituparna has clocked nearly 300 hours of television programming that includes social, historical and political documentaries, sports, lifestyle and travel shows, investigative shows and biographies. Rituparna believes that there is a storyteller in each one of us, and one just has to be ‘tickled’ to find that secret story bone. Children and adults alike need stories and telling skills all their life, to make sense of the world and give shape to their ideas!

What You’ll Learn In This Mentor Chat

“Regardless of age, regardless of position, regardless of the business we happen to be in, all of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You.”

–Tom Peters

Personal Branding is no longer a “nice to have”; it’s an essential exercise for all women who want to advance and thrive in their careers and businesses.

Personal Branding is about identifying and then communicating what makes you You; in other words, what makes you unique and relevant to your target audience, so that you can reach your career and/or business goals. Personal branding is very powerful because it sends a clear, consistent message about who you are and what you have to offer. If you can understand and differentiate your personal story, and how it connects to your core values as well as that of your target audience, you can use this information to separate yourself from your competitors and really stand out.

In this Mentor Chat, Rituparna helps us understand how storytelling, in particular, can be an effective tool for building your personal brand given the power of stories to inspire, instruct and help forge a deeper connection.

At 1:10 – What is a personal brand? 

At 3:45 – What are the benefits of taking ownership of your personal brand? 

At 7:37 – How can storytelling  be an effective tool for personal branding? 

At 14:18 – What are the 3 stories every woman should have in her Story Bag? 

At 18:50 – What are the key elements a good story should have from a personal branding perspective? 

The Mentor Chat

Additional Resources

For more great training from Rituparna Ghosh, and tips and insights on Storytelling, click on the link below:




Beena Kavalam

Beena Kavalam on ‘5 Strategies for Getting Ahead’

Beena Kavalam, MBA, CPCC is the CEO of Personal Revolution LLC, a coaching, speaking and consulting company based in Denver, CO.

She has an MBA from NYU Stern School of Business, a BA from Rutgers University in Biology, and the Certified Professional Co-Active Coach certification from Coaches Training Institute.

Beena started her career working as a consultant for Accenture, where she worked on business process design, training, and project management for several Fortune 500 clients in the Communications & High Tech category.   She later also worked for Pacesetter Management Consulting, a boutique management consultancy, delivering program management, cross-cultural facilitation and leadership training to international pharmaceutical companies.

After completing her MBA specializing in Marketing and Management, Beena worked for Bayer HealthCare in various brand management positions on its Bayer Aspirin® and Flintstones Vitamins brands.

After surviving a life-threatening accident, Beena found her dream career helping high performing professionals define and craft their personal brands so that they can command the respect, the promotion and the money they deserve!

 Find out more at

What You’ll Learn In This Mentor Chat

As professional women, we can face all kinds of hurdles as we try to rise in our careers. So often we think as long as we keep our head down and keep working hard, sooner or later, our work will be noticed and we will get that promotion that we deserve. Of course, it doesn’t always work that way, and it could be a very long time before we see any results of all our hard work.

Studies show women are anywhere from 35% – 47% less likely to get promoted than their male counterparts. One way to reduce that gap is for women to take ownership of their career trajectories and actively work towards getting that promotion that they desire in a smart and confident way.

If you’re wondering how to do that, you are in luck as our guest mentor for this week, career-coach Beena Kavalam, outlines 5 high-impact strategies that women can begin using today to get ahead, no matter what their background is or what stage of career they are in.

At 3:40 – What is the research telling us about women and promotion?

At 5:25 – STRATEGY #1: Get clear on your WHAT and your WHY

At 7:40 – STRATEGY #2: Identify your Personal Competitive Advantage

At 13:05 – STRATEGY #3: Build your promotion team

At 16:38 – STRATEGY #4: Communicate your personal competitive advantage

At 19:30 – STRATEGY #5: Look and feel like the woman/leader you aspire to be

At 22:00 – Beena gives you an action item to begin taking ownership of your professional growth today!


The Mentor Chat

Additional Resources

For more great training from Beena, and to access her free training on Personal Branding, click on the link below:




Megha Mehta

Megha Mehta on ‘Finding Your Inner Voice’

Megha is a health coach, an energy medicine practitioner and creator of the program – The Nourished Feminine. She works with women to help them find energy, balance and nourishment in their lives. She started her company out of her home office, first in Singapore and now in Bangalore, and recently released her first book “Find Your Rhythm,” which is already getting awesome reviews.

What You’ll Learn In This Mentor Chat

As career women, we often hear about the benefits of having the right role models and mentors to help find the inspiration and direction we need to fuel our career. While that is certainly true, and there is huge value in having a mentor, what is equally important is that we realize our power to be our own mentor by recognizing the immense wisdom that is inside us. The more we learn to tap into our own wisdom, our own intuition, our own sense of what feels right or wrong for us, the more empowered we become to make decisions that are most aligned with who we are and who we wish to be.

In this Mentor Chat, wellness coach Megha Mehta, helps us do exactly that by laying out a simple yet powerful framework for identifying our inner guidance.

At 1:40 – Why is it so important for us to find our own inner guidance?

At 2:42 – The dangers of solely relying on left-brained thinking to make decisions.

At 5:15 – STEP #1: Acknowledge your unique feelings

At 6:40 – STEP #2: Accept them without judgment

At 8:05 – STEP #3: Remember the wise voice inside

At 10:52 – STEP #4: Move out of your head and into your body

At 13:15 – STEP #5: Notice the different ways in which your intuition is speaking to you.

At 15:00 – Megha talks about the simplest action you can take today to begin your journey to accessing your inner guidance


The Mentor Chat

Additional Resources

To learn more about Megha check out her website:

You can also find her book, Find Your Rhythm, at Amazon and FlipKart.

MM Book



Apurva Purohit

Apurva Purohit’s 3-Part Model of Success

Apurva Purohit is the CEO of Radio City, India’s leading FM brand that’s across all major cities in India, and consistently voted as one of the best places to work in Media, not to mention among the top 25 Great Places to Work across industries.

Considered one of the most influential women in the media and entertainment industry in India today, Apurva’s 25-year illustrious career includes successfully launching major TV brands like Zoom, India’s first lifestyle channel, and spearheading the re-launch strategy for Zee TV.

Apurva also currently serves of the Boards of multiple companies like Mindtree Ltd, Meru Travel Solutions Ltd and Midday Infomedia.

Apurva is the author of the national best–selling book “Lady, You’re not a Man – the Adventures of a Woman at Work”, published by Rupa Publications, which is currently getting translated into several regional languages.

To top it all, Apurva is a passionate advocate for creating better opportunities for women at work, and you can find her regularly giving talks on women and leadership, as well as being a willing mentor to many.

What You’ll Learn In This Mentor Chat

In this Mentor Chat, Apurva Purohit lays out her 3-part framework for success for women at work, as detailed in her book, “Lady, You’re Not a Man”. Born out of 25-years of experience in her own career, this is a simple yet powerful framework that any woman can use at any stage in her career to fulfill her highest career aspirations.

At 2:56: How has the conversation around women at work evolved over the last 25 years in India?

At 4:40: Apurva Purohit’s biggest motivation for writing her book, and creating this framework.

At 6:25  Idea #1: ACCEPT

Why accepting and embracing the advantages as well as the challenges that come to you by virtue of being a woman are the keys to your success.

At 10:00 Idea #2: ADAPT 

How and why you should adapt your environment to help fuel your personal growth and success.

At 14:20 Idea #3: ACHIEVE

How taking ownership of your career decisions and owning your success creates a strong foundation for sustained success in your career.

The Mentor Chat

Additional Resources

If you would like to join Apurva in the conversation on issues relevant to women at work, please visit

You can get Apurva’s best-selling book: “Lady, You’re Not A Man” at Amazon and Flipkart.