The Business of Meetings – Episode 174 – She Is Crushing It! with Sindhu Srivastava
We are delighted to be speaking with Sindhu Shrivastava today!
Sindhu is a true embodiment of the American Dream! She made her mark in the business world as the owner and CEO of Meaningful Data and with We Crush Events. Her latest feat, the successful acquisition of a prominent company within the meetings and event industry, has brought her even greater acclaim.
Today, we have the privilege of delving into the captivating story of Sindhu’s entrepreneurial prowess and discovering the secrets behind her triumph. Prepare to be amazed by the extraordinary journey of this acquisition entrepreneur extraordinaire!
Sindhu was born in Nellore, India. Her parents, a Hindu father, and a Christian mother, each hailed from unique backgrounds. Her father was the first educated individual in his family. Excelling academically, he also became a gold medalist in college. Her mother’s upbringing was equally extraordinary, with her grandmother raising three daughters as a single parent in the 1950s in India, defying societal expectations. Despite the challenges they faced, Sindhu’s mother and her sisters achieved remarkable professional success, with her mother even becoming a national chess champion! Against the wishes of their community, her parents married.
With an unwavering focus on education, Sindhu’s journey from a small town in India unfolds as a testament to resilience, determination, and the pursuit of excellence!
A rare achievement
Sindhu was one of the few women in India to secure a spot in the prestigious Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT). Out of 500 million women in India, she was one of only 150 to make it into the IITs in her year. She attributes her success to the unwavering support of her parents, even if their methods were sometimes intense.
Sindhu believes in providing support and resources to people to encourage them to strive for excellence and reach their full potential. Giving back and offering assistance is a fundamental aspect of her life because she believes it contributes to the overall success she experiences.
Upon arriving in the United States to pursue a graduate program at Ohio State University, Sindhu’s primary motivation was to secure a stable income to alleviate her father’s debt. While exploring various career paths as a graduate student, she discovered management consulting and was captivated by its potential to solve complex problems. She then delved into management consulting and began advising companies on improving their business operations and fostering growth. That experience naturally paved the way for a career in analytics.
With a flourishing career in analytics spanning nearly two decades, Sindhu realized the significance of having an MBA to advance to leadership positions. Observing that many Vice Presidents and Heads of Analytics held this qualification, she saw the need to pursue higher education. In her search for the world’s top business schools, Wharton emerged as the ideal choice, aligning with her quantitative mindset and ambition. She applied to Wharton and was admitted. The experience at Wharton transformed her goals, shifting her aspirations from heading analytics departments to aspiring to become a CEO. Today, Sindhu proudly serves as the CEO of two companies, a testament to her relentless pursuit of success and unwavering dedication to personal and professional growth.
Striving for recognition
As a person of color, Sindhu strives for recognition based on her intelligence, ambition, and the valuable contributions she can offer rather than enduring dismissive treatment. She encourages others to confront their own realities, ensuring that truth prevails, and to take decisive action to pursue more fulfilling endeavors.
Seeking a better fit
Sindhu initially believed that joining a large corporation with diversity initiatives would provide the necessary backing. However, she discovered that the politics within these corporations were more intense than anticipated. Seeking a better fit, she transitioned to smaller companies but encountered a recurring pattern where her identity, personality, and values clashed with the corporate culture.
Sindhu realized that no existing corporations in the US aligned with her vision, so she decided to create her own company. Her ambition with We Crush Events is to establish a Fortune 500 company that embodies her values and provides an inclusive and fulfilling workplace.
Sindhu started Meaningful Data in October 2022 and became an acquisition entrepreneur several weeks ago.
Data alone lacks interest and significance unless it applies to a meaningful context or situation. Sindhu believes that data-driven strategies need a muse, a story, or a scenario to become engaging and impactful. That realization led her to desire her own company where she could consolidate her knowledge and apply her data-driven recommendations to drive growth. Her goal was to demonstrate the power of data-driven thinking by growing a company and by sharing the success story with others. As the CEO of such a company, Sindhu aims to showcase the transformative results achieved through efficient business operations and emphasize the value of analysts having a seat at the decision-making table.
Sindhu has always believed that if you spend your life doing good things, they will return to you multiplied.
Sindhu believes building joyful workplaces requires people to gather together to foster connection and support mental health. Despite budget cuts and the perception of events as unnecessary luxuries, she argues that organizations cannot expect to have deeply engaged individuals without the meaningful interactions facilitated by events. Investing in employee, customer, partner, shareholder, and investor engagement is crucial for organizational success. Sindhu predicts that over time, people will recognize the significance of those engagements and aims for her company to be a leader in spearheading that realization.
Sindhu discovered the importance of caring because it benefits others while also enhancing her own emotional intelligence. By genuinely caring, she experiences personal growth and becomes a better wife, mother, and overall individual. She realizes that caring can also be selfish in a positive way, as it allows her to learn and expand her understanding of the world.
Overcoming sexism and racism
Realizing she was racist and sexist came as a moment of deep shame for Sindhu, mainly because she is a woman of color. By recognizing the influence of societal norms and communities, she realized that racism and sexism can permeate everyone’s beliefs, including her own. She points out that accepting our biases is a crucial first step toward effecting change.
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