“I was the only lady visiting ITOs, Commissioners and ROCs” – Meena Agarwal
Chartered Accountant (CA) Meena Agarwal chose a career which was dominated by men during her time. Today her daughter too is an aspiring CA and is following her path. Apart from work, she is also undergoing training for singing devotional songs along with harmonium.
1. Describe yourself in a few words?
I am a simple working woman balancing both the fronts with equal justice. I have a busy social schedule owing to my profession & family, however I do take time for myself at reasonable intervals, which I believe, is very important for everyone in these metropolitan lives.
2. Tell us about your work? When did you start working?
That joy of the first day of joining office is inexplicable. I had actually penned down the day's slightest events! In those days, at an age of 23, when Chartered Accountancy was devoid of lady CAs, I was the only lady to be visiting Income Tax Officers, Commissioners, Registrar of Companies, etc. for professional work. There is no greater joy than to be working for yourself and being acknowledged for the same.
3. What are some of the challenges which you face in your work?
I have always remained confident about work. However, no path is free of challenges. Being a lady, in a male-chauvinistic society, I did face difficulties but my self-respect & sincerity helped me battle them out successfully.
4. Whose support did you get to start and run your firm?
My parents have always remained my backbone. After marriage, I received the same support from my spouse & in-laws.
5. What does women empowerment mean to you?
Women empowerment does not support the concept of superiority of women over men, as most people consider it to be. It is actually liberating women from their past of suppression to the mainstream with adequate respect, financial independence & social standing.
6. Apart from work what else do you do in your spare time?
I am spiritually-inclined. I love reading spiritual books & singing devotional songs along with the harmonium, for which I am also undergoing training. Apart from these, I like spending time with my family & cooking for them.
7. What are your future plans for your business?
I plan to further expand my clientele and network & also involve my daughter into it as she is an aspiring CA.
8. Please tell us more about your background and what made you choose this?
I hail from a very ordinary background. My urge to learn and attain financial security persuaded me into this profession.
9. Which area of your work do you enjoy the most?
Accounting & Direct Taxation fields have always attracted me & aroused interest. There is still huge scope for learning in these fields.
10. Women face so many challenges in society. If you had the power, which problem would you like to fix?
I feel post-marriage problems are a major issue for working women in India. If I had the power, I would like to help change the mind-set of the people to play a more supportive & encouraging role in pursuing her career.
11. What makes you happy?
My happiness lies in the prosperity, success and good health of my family.
12. Any suggestion or words of advice for fellow women-entrepreneurs?
Women entrepreneurship is the need of the hour. We need more & more of the kind for successfully bringing about women empowerment & placing them as an equal wheel in the nation-building process. We can make ourselves count in the progress of our country by generating employment, infusing fresh perspectives and contributing our skills. We need to be the change we want to see in the world!