Esolvit CEO Usha Boddapu credits the strength of women leaders for navigating COVID-19.
Women and minorities experience unique challenges in the business world. Conditions have come a long way, but there are still challenges to overcome as we move through 2020, especially with the effects of a global pandemic and struggling economy. The COVID-19 health crisis has impacted every organization in every industry, but as a leading female tech professional who has worked fluidly for many years, I was able to lead my company in quickly shifting our focus. My specific success proves why the inclusion of women and minorities in business is best for our community and the improvement of our local, national and global economies.
As founder and CEO of Esolvit Inc., I knew we had to pivot and make arrangements for employees to telecommute without a disruption in service for clients. Our retention rate has been close to 100 percent, plus we won a huge federal contract that increased service offerings across the board. Our growth has outweighed our loss. Some would call it lucky, but I say it was strong female leadership.
My personal experience during COVID-19 has been very challenging. But the lessons learned over years and the leadership courses I have been taught have kept me going. I have been following the book How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie for years. I also live by three things which I learned from a Rapport Leadership course: One, I am strong; two, I am powerful; and three, I can overcome. These three things have been our family mission.
During the pandemic, I have spent a significant amount of time helping other businesses through loans and mentoring other leaders at more than 30 businesses. I am spending my weekends mentoring other businesses, guiding them through Small Business Administration loans and keeping up through the many other economic development institutions.
As a female and a minority, I have had to work twice as hard to achieve my success. I have focused my efforts on outreach, networking, specialty exhibits showcasing proprietary innovations and our solution-based approach, plus expanding a new division with service offerings for government contracts. While no organization is alone in facing the challenges of COVID-19, I do believe Esolvit’s unique culture of female-led innovation has helped us to transition problems into opportunities.
I am a value-driven leader. I am a proud woman minority in tech who uses my platform to help other women entrepreneurs do whatever we can to funnel our success back to the community. The number of minority businesswomen has significantly grown and according to an American Express report, one in three small businesses in 2015 were owned by minority women. Business growth among women drives the economy, equalizing opportunities for both women and minorities to contribute. I believe we empathize and see the world in a different way, providing a special kind of insight based on our cultural experience and/or background.
In order to be successful for the future of business, the economy requires greater participation from women and minorities. But just because the need is there does not imply the means are present. My statistics and success point toward progress; but it’s not enough. We need to give back to those just starting out and provide mentoring to help others realize their business goals. I am proud that I can use my platform to provide other women and minorities a voice.