Kanika Tekriwal was 25 years of age when she founded JetSetGo, India’s first and only marketplace for private jet and helicopter charters. In just two years, JetSetGo has raised nearly Rs 12.73 crore from Puneet Dalmia and others in 2015 in pre-series A funding.As a Gen Yer, Kanika is a part of a board and eligible to be part of many more boards. During our tête-à-tête with her, she shared her views on women on boards from a generational perspective.
What do you think is required for being on a board?
From my personal experiences I have observed that, in India a lot of board members actually don’t turn up. This is a huge ‘no’ to me – contribution of time is key. Passion for the cause is extremely important too. Without passion no real value is added and it’s more like a board for the sake of it. A board needs to be a board actually formed for the well being of the company and not a ROC requirement.
Do you think there should be an age barrier while hiring for boards?
Absolutely not. That should not be a criteria ever.
“The Generational Divide” – Do you think it exists and how do you think that impacts board decisions?
I have a mixed opinion on it. Taking a personal example into consideration there are certain Gen Xers who I get along with like a house on fire and certain who I detest. I personally believe birds of a feather flock together so irrespective of the generation like-minded people work together. I believe a judicious mix of both generations on a board working towards the same cause will not face “generational divide” issues.
With a lot many Gen Y entrepreneurs nowadays; what do you think they need to keep in mind while getting people on boards for their start ups?
The wisdom of Gen X and the energy of Gen Y. I think most Gen Y entrepreneurs treat boards rather lightly and see them to be a means by which investors maintain control and/or a business formality. A good board can make a company and a bad one break it so it’s very important for Gen Y entrepreneurs to ensure they assemble the right board which actually acts as a mentor to the organisation, sets in on the right part, questions decisions and participates because the members want to and are not forced to.
What kind of dimension do Gen Y board members get?
I personally believe Gen Y gets a fresher perspective and bring in new age thinking and ideas. An ideal board would be a combination of Gen X and Y for each of their contributions.
Do you think age senior board members do not take younger counterparts seriously?
I don’t think so, it is wrong to generalise and depends upon the type of individual. I’ve had Gen X stand up for me at board meetings and appreciate my decisions and execution skills.