100 Women of Impact | In conversation with Pooja Goyal

by | Jun 21, 2024 | 100WomenofImpact, BD Voice, Interviews – Women in Leadership, Leadership, Woman of Influence | 0 comments

“I have reached out to so many people and rarely a situation has arisen where a person has refused to help. Most people are available to support you. So ask for help, the onus is on you to do that.” Pooja Goyal, co-founder and COO, Avishkaar.

A woman entrepreneur and an engineer from IIT Delhi with an MBA from INSEAD, Pooja Goyal has built companies and led cross-functional teams across the globe. Driven to change the education system, she currently heads operations, marketing, and sales at Avishkaar. Pooja is also an angel investor and an advisor to many startups.

Building a robust network can lead to greater collaborations, credibility, funding, and most importantly provide emotional support. Changing continents and cities can be discomforting and often leave one with a sense of loss and insecurity. However, Pooja sees it as an opportunity to reinvent one’s self: “Invest in a friend circle and a support system”, she says. Many unconscious biases follow women. Meeting people from across the globe helps break these biases and form long-lasting relationships with people across cultures. 

Pooja Goyal attributes her success to three mantras in life. Firstly, staying in the arena, staying perseverent, and being the last woman standing are the keys. As a woman with competing priorities at different stages of life, it is important to be the last person standing as great things don’t happen overnight. Second, is the ability to “zoom in and zoom out”, and look at life as a design problem with multiple solutions. Third, Pooja says, “In your journey of micro failures, it is important to have a strong support system”.  People who have your back are a big factor in helping accomplish her goals. It is important to actively cultivate a challenge network that is committed to your success during the course of your professional journey; and push you when you are in self-doubt. Your challenge network calls you out when you are running low on self-confidence or in a situation of doubt, and urges you to do better. A challenge network is a group of people in your life who provide you with complete transparency and feedback to help you improve. Your challenge network could be “mentors, friends, who will call you out on it and say – go ahead do it!”, emphasises Pooja Goyal. 

“Own your decisions”, Pooja advises all the women who are working to break glass ceilings and become leaders. Women must make and own their decisions because as one grows in her career and life, leadership becomes a lot about making decisions. “Women must gradually build muscle by owning their decisions no matter how big or small”, says Pooja. Lastly she urges all women to build their way forward by testing their decisions and by prototyping their ideas, as the aim is not to get every decision right but to be persistent. “Sitting in a room working on an excel spreadsheet, you won’t have all the answers. You can’t think your way forward, you have to build your way forward”, emphasises Pooja.

Currently, Pooja is on a mission to reimagine the education sector using technology, and by ensuring that the child who is the customer, the user, — whose outcomes matter the most is at the centre of the education system. A proponent of “learn as you earn, and earn as you learn”, Pooja is bringing about a vital disruption in the ed-tech space by creating a platform for young innovators by helping them learn technical skills such as Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, IoT, Electronics, App Development and Coding.

Listen to the interview here.

About Pooja GoyalPooja Goyal is a woman entrepreneur who has built companies, and led cross-functional teams across the globe. An engineer from IIT Delhi, with an MBA from INSEAD, France. She has worked in the USA, Europe, and India. Driven to change the education system she, currently heads operations, marketing, and sales at Avishkaar. Her last venture, Intellitots Learning – an early year’s education company – was acquired by KLAY. An angel investor and advisor to many startups, Pooja is a voracious reader, an avid traveller, and is currently learning to play the piano.

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