100 Women of Impact | In conversation with Apurva Purohit

by | Jul 5, 2024 | 100WomenofImpact, BD Voice, Interviews – Women in Leadership, Leadership, Woman of Influence | 0 comments

“I started my journey three decades ago. It was late 80s – early 90s, and at that time there were not many women in the corporate world.” says Apurva Purohit, Co-Founder Aazol. 

A senior business leader with more than three decades of experience, she has seen the corporate landscape evolve to be more enabling for women. She used a scientific approach to come up with creative solutions and pave the way for herself as a Physics graduate in the media industry.

Apurva studied management at IIM Bangalore where she was exposed to a lot of different industries and realised her passion towards brands, marketing, and communication. Media for her was a nice balance of the left brain and the right brain where you need creativity and you need science to guide creativity to success. Apurva Purohit’s journey is a brilliant example of connecting the dots and founding her own business with a wonderful impact story – Aazol, that has created economic opportunities for thousands of women in the country.

“Aazol is a pandemic child”, says Apurva. During the pandemic, everyone realised that health is the most important and that a healthy lifestyle will give us immunity against anything that hits us later on. A critical reason for launching Aazol was to reconnect consumers with their roots and present to them a treasure trove of regional foods of our country. “At Aazol we partner with self-help groups, farmers, women, micro entrepreneurs, and bring their products to the urban audience as they possess the products but lack the financial backing.” The experiences and skills which Apurva Purohit acquired as a business leader helped her start her entrepreneurial journey. She believes in the 10,000-hour rule that says one becomes experienced and better at a job when they have spent 10,000 hours practising. Having spent 30,000 – 40,000 hours practising to be a business manager equipped Apurva Purohit to understand the patterns of what it takes to run a profitable business. Experiential learning is key.

Post pandemic, the world has changed, and businesses have changed for leaders today to be more relevant and impactful. There are three competencies that are crucial for business leaders to acquire according to Apurva Purohit. Firstly, a good leader is one who can understand all the complexity and simplify it for the team and come up with effective solutions. “The ability to simplify complexity is crucial”, says Apurva Purohit. Secondly, leaders must have the ability to understand the weaknesses and the strengths of their team and nurture them. “Leaders understand that people have weaknesses, but nurture and play to their strengths so they excel in their jobs”, explains Apurva. Thirdly, leaders need to be accountable and take control of things for the bad or the good. “Whether it is good things happening around you, whether it is bad things happening around you, you turn around and say that this is my mess. I will solve it”, says Apurva Purohit.

Having dealt with biases in the boardrooms and corporate offices, Apurva believes in picking battles and fighting them. Other than external biases that women face, there are internal biases, like an imposter that often makes one question themselves. “I know how good I am. Nobody’s opinion matters. Only my opinion about myself matters.” states Apurva. She urges all women to trust themselves. “The moment you have that inner core of strength, you have that inner moral conviction about how good you are, increasingly external biases start mattering less and less”, notes Apurva.

Listen to the interview here.

About Apurva Purohit: Apurva Purohit is an Indian businesswoman with over 30 years of experience in the media industry. She co-founded Aazol, an innovative company that focused on boosting sales of locally-sourced foods. Apurva Purohit set up Lodestar, now one of India’s largest media buying agencies, and led the turnaround of Zee TV and Midday, pivoting it from a traditional print business to a respected print and digital brand. She also envisioned Times of India’s entry strategy into television. Apurva also held key positions at Jagran Prakashan, Music Broadcast, and Times Television Network. Apurva is a leading voice for gender diversity in the Indian business landscape, and is the author of two national best-selling books, ‘Lady, You’re not a Man’ and ‘Lady, You’re the Boss!’. She is a state-level hockey player, and has been repeatedly named one of the most powerful women in business by the India Today Group and Fortune India. In 2022, she was felicitated with the prestigious IIM Bangalore Distinguished Alumni Award.

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