Shattering the glass ceiling- Samina Kanchwala, CEO Tekmindz & Secretary of DBWRF

The CEO and founder of Tekmindz, Secretary of DBWRF (Dawoodi Bohra Women for Religious Freedom), an engineer, a scientist, an IT professional, an entrepreneur, a mother, a contributor to community service. Samina Kanchwala’s life is a kaleidoscope of colorful roles, functions and responsibilities, to each of which she gives her 100% commitment.

The accomplishments

A brilliant student and first rank holder since childhood, Samina ben (I am going to refer her as ‘ben’ out of sheer respect) was not the stereotypical nerd. She loved playing sports and was an all around in her activities at the Badriya High School, Pune. But her love towards the sciences and mathematics was what helped shape her career graph. Ask her was she always scientifically inclined and she says, ‘I think my focus towards maths was because of my father who was into business. I am very fond of my dad and have always tried to emulate him.’ This innocent adoration perhaps reflects a part of the child- like hues of enthusiasm and eagerness which Samina ben continues to carry with her.

But her practical approach coupled with vivid dedication and perseverance is the reasons for her illustrious career. She is a computer science engineer and an eMBA degree holder. She was a scientist with the DRDO (Defense Research and Development Organization) and went on to work for different companies in the field of computer networking and programming. Her skill and acumen saw her succeed at all the various roles, whether it was in the capacity of a Technical Head to oversee operations in the US or Center Head in Noida or even getting three promotions in a single year. She moved across cities and countries for her work until something struck her too strongly to ignore. With the blessings of the community head Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin (RA) she decided to start up her own business and that is how Tekmindz was born.

The ‘so called’ challenges

Today as CEO of Tekmindz she manages over 200 employees. Yet, how easy or difficult was it?

Says Samina ben, ‘When I started business I didn’t know how to sell. I was a techie but I knew that I had the knowledge and something out there would meet my knowledge. Sometimes it might take time but perseverance is important, you can’t give up. Perseverance is like the grip and it has to be very strong because the world out there is not easy. For example, COVID put a different angle in my life. With business hit, I had to ensure that everyone was working productively from home and ensuring the client was getting what he wanted. There were tremendous challenges. You have to meet the challenge and cross the bar every day. You can’t afford to continue at the same place, you have to raise your bar every day.’

And that perhaps sums up in a nutshell the hue of a focused purpose. For Samina ben it has always been about finding the purpose of life. As she says, ‘Find the purpose of your life that’s most important. There has to be a goal, that one guiding star!’

DBWRF and the meaning of being ‘modern’

Dawoodi Bohra Women for Religious Freedom was started in 2017 and Samina ben is the secretary of the religious trust. For the uninitiated, there is a PIL in the Supreme Court of India that seeks to ban the practice of female circumcision on the pretext of it amounting to FGM or female genital mutilation. The DBWRF along with its 75000 plus members have intervened to oppose the PIL. All of us who have joined the movement strongly stand by our right and understanding that khafz is a completely harmless religious ritual for centuries. FGM is however, condemnable and cannot be used synonymously with khafz. As Samina ben points out, ‘The objective is very clear – we should be preserving our religious freedom, a right given to us by the constitution of India. We also seek to debunk all the myths that people have generated around khafz.’

Hence on similar lines, how does one define modernity when juxtaposed with religion? The perception that usually prevails is that anyone who believes in traditions, faith and community practices is not modern enough. What does Samina ben have to say to this? ‘It is again coming back to what others perceive and what you perceive. My definition of modern and progress is entirely different and it is not about what you wear. We are a highly progressive community because we are devout followers of our faith. Our community that has almost 100% literacy rate in India. We have the maximum highly educated women in our community. I don’t get affected by what others think. They are leading their life and I am leading mine. You live let us live – let life be simple.’

Woman-up

Now, for a man to have achieved what Samina ben has, it would be commendable. But being a woman, with a family and home to manage, her professional and personal stature merits kudos.

However, the greatest surprise is that she doesn’t measure her achievements on the scale of gender. ‘I somehow don’t like thinking that because I am a lady I face certain problems. I think that it is a restricted view.  You should look at yourself as a professional who wants to do something in life. Problems do come but one shouldn’t use them as women specific problems. Everybody has barriers and issues and you should be able to overcome those barriers because that is what defines you as an individual and that’s what will define you as a professional too. If you think you are capable, then you have it in you.

‘I may have put in 200% more work than men do but it’s ok, I don’t even count it because that was what was required of me to grow. It’s a different mindset and that’s what determines how things turn out for you. A limited mindset will always give limited possibilities. You will have to look beyond.’

But aren’t women often either scared or skeptical to leave their comfort zone and concentrate on their professional or personal dreams. The social norms and cultural landscapes usually bear upon the woman who is expected to behave and conduct herself in a certain way. What advice does Samina ben have for them?

‘I personally think that when you do something you have a 50% chance of winning and 50% chance of losing. If you don’t do it you have a 100% loss. And that’s what I tell even my managers and team members that you just have to do it and get out of a self limiting behavior.’

But I persist and ask her what practical suggestions can she give women to help them manage their household and also pursue their passions. Or better do most women even realize what their dreams are?

To this she says poignantly, ‘Everybody should get in the habit of writing it down. Whatever is in your mind write it down.  Most people just pass their life without even thinking. And that’s why I think it’s important to put everything in your mind on paper and make a mind map of sorts. Where are you going, what are your barriers, what do you need to cross? Even if it’s the fear of the world outside how are you going to get over that fear?

‘I personally believe that if you are afraid of the dark just sit in the dark for a while and your fright will be gone. Take that leap of faith and just go for it. If you are going to carry anxieties you are never going to get your potential out. What will happen? You might fail! Trying and failing is better than not even trying and every failure will give you a learning where you will become more experienced. It’s important to have a great mindset and ignore small talk. What is small talk? If you are dieting and you tell yourself it’s ok to eat just one piece of cake or if you want to sell something and you think who will buy my product – that’s small talk.’

Purpose, perseverance and discipline – The 100% league

Negating the small talks, Samina ben kept charting her own path towards success. But of course, it wasn’t easy. There was a time in her career that Samina ben had not taken a single weekend off during a span of two years. It was only when a colleague pointed it out that she even realized the same. Even at the age of 50 plus she happily works for 18 hours a day. How is this manageable? ‘You have to enjoy your work. You have to be tremendously passionate about it and only then can you find a purpose. For me my purpose kept driving me and when you are driven naturally other things don’t bother you.’

Well, I am sure most of us are guilty of wasting the day’s most productive time of day sleeping it off. But for someone who has been a 5 o’clock person all her life, Samina ben laments amusingly that it is difficult for anyone to achieve their true potential if they let go off the peak hours of the day in lieu of staying awake during the absolute below average hours of the night!

Yes she is a morning person who places great value on discipline and putting her 100% in whatever she does. ‘Give your 100% commitment in whatever you do. Let me give you my example. If you ask my son I am a real good cook. If I invite somebody, I take care of the minutest details, to make sure they are happy and comfortable. I put myself aside and give the total commitment. Also, discipline in everything is important. How and what you eat, dress up or every smallest core of your life how do you run it? If there is the ‘chalta hain’ attitude then life becomes like that.’

Community service

A lot of people achieve much in life. But true success is often defined by how much one can give back to the community. Samina ben values community service and her clear headed way of thinking also opens doors of understanding, especially for the younger generation. ‘I believe in the 12 life goal categories of smart life. They are your health, education, character, the intellectual aspect, spiritual aspect, emotional aspect, family, friends etc. Everything has to be balanced in life. For us the Dawoodi Bohra’s we believe in a community living set up. Why is community important? It is the nurturing environment that the community provides you that enables you to grow, be confident and be able to think that you are taken care. This gives you confidence to take risks.’

Finally, to sum it all up, Samina ben’s life is an inspiration at many levels. There are many things to learn and admire in her – Be it her luminous career, her disciplinarian look out or her passion towards giving it her all in no matter what she does. It could be her practical problem solving mechanisms or a ‘drama free’ approach to life. It could also be her understanding of her rights, as a professional, as a woman and most importantly as a free thinking individual. In fact, it could be all of this and yet I am sure there will be always be a bit more to grasp and acquire from her.

Recommended Articles

73 Comments

  1. What’s up to every body, it’s my first visit of this blog; this weblog consists of remarkable and genuinely fine data in support of visitors.

    My homepage; https://bbs.yunweishidai.com/

  2. As soon as I detected this website I went on reddit to share
    some of the love with them.

    Look into my blog post Erexzen

  3. Absolutely written subject matter, appreciate it for entropy.

    Look at my site; http://www.1stanapa.ru

  4. I enjoy reading through a post that will make people think.
    Also, many thanks for permitting me to comment!

  5. As I website possessor I think the content here is real wonderful, appreciate it for your efforts.

    my page :: nextbattle.xyz

  6. It’s remarkable in favor of me to have a website, which is valuable in favor of my know-how.
    thanks admin

    Also visit my web page :: http://www.claudepelosi.com

  7. Thanks on your marvelous posting! I actually enjoyed reading
    it, you’re a great author.I will make sure to bookmark your
    blog and definitely will come back at some point.
    I want to encourage one to continue your great posts, have a
    nice evening!

    Feel free to surf to my page – Cool Air Portable AC

  8. I like the helpful info you provide in your articles.
    I will bookmark your blog and check again here regularly.
    I’m quite certain I will learn lots of new stuff right here!
    Good luck for the next!

    Also visit my homepage: http://www.mafiamind.com

  9. Thanks , I’ve recently been searching for information approximately this
    subject for a long time and yours is the greatest I’ve came upon till now.
    But, what concerning the conclusion? Are you certain concerning the supply?

    Here is my page … Follipur

  10. Right here is the perfect site for anybody who really
    wants to understand this topic. You understand a whole lot its almost hard to argue with you (not
    that I really would want to?HaHa). You definitely put a fresh spin on a subject which has
    been discussed for ages. Wonderful stuff, just excellent!

    Also visit my web site … Cool Portable AC Review

  11. This is the right web site for everyone who hopes to find out about this topic.

    You realize a whole lot its almost hard to argue with you (not that I really would want to…HaHa).

    You certainly put a new spin on a topic which has
    been discussed for years. Wonderful stuff, just excellent!

    my blog post: Nature Fused Anti Aging Cream

  12. I have been surfing online more than three hours nowadays, yet
    I never discovered any interesting article like yours.
    It’s pretty value sufficient for me. In my view, if all
    webmasters and bloggers made good content as you probably did, the web might be much more helpful than ever before.

  13. Pretty! This was an extremely wonderful post.
    Thank you for supplying this info.

    Also visit my site – Keto Fat Burn

  14. Superb blog you have here but I was wanting to know if you knew of any message boards that cover
    the same topics discussed here? I’d really love to be a
    part of online community where I can get feedback from other knowledgeable people that share the same interest.
    If you have any recommendations, please let me know. Thanks!

    Also visit my blog post: duna-anapa.net.ru

  15. Hey there just wanted to give you a quick heads up.
    The text in your article seem to be running off the screen in Opera.
    I’m not sure if this is a format issue or something to do with
    browser compatibility but I thought I’d post to let you
    know. The design look great though! Hope you get the
    problem fixed soon. Kudos

    Here is my website :: Cryogen Air Cooler Review

  16. Howdy, i read your blog occasionally and i own a similar one and i was just curious if you get a lot of spam feedback?

    If so how do you protect against it, any plugin or anything
    you can advise? I get so much lately it’s driving me mad so any help
    is very much appreciated.

    Also visit my web blog: Re ViVium Age Rescue Cream

  17. This site certainly has all the information and facts I wanted about this subject and didn?t know who
    to ask.

    My page … Keto Fat Burn Pills

  18. Hey there! This is my first comment here so
    I just wanted to give a quick shout out and say I really enjoy reading your
    blog posts. Can you suggest any other blogs/websites/forums that cover the same
    topics? Thank you so much!

    My homepage … Nature Fused Anti Aging Cream Reviews

  19. My partner and I absolutely love your blog and find a lot of your
    post’s to be exactly I’m looking for. can you offer guest writers to write content available
    for you? I wouldn’t mind producing a post or elaborating on most of the subjects you
    write related to here. Again, awesome web site!

    Also visit my web blog … Libido Boost Male Enhancement Review

  20. Good – I should definitely pronounce, impressed
    with your site. I had no trouble navigating through
    all tabs as well as related information ended up being truly easy to do to access.

    I recently found what I hoped for before you know it in the least.
    Quite unusual. Is likely to appreciate it for those who add forums or anything, site theme .
    a tones way for your customer to communicate. Excellent task.

    Here is my web page :: Rhino Spark

  21. Some truly interesting points you have written.Assisted me a
    lot, just what I was looking for :D.

    Also visit my blog post Libido Boost Male Enhancement Ingredients

  22. Hello there, I discovered your site by means of Google at the same time as looking
    for a comparable subject, your site came up, it appears great.
    I’ve bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.[X-N-E-W-L-I-N-S-P-I-N-X]Hi there,
    simply became alert to your weblog through Google, and located that it’s really
    informative. I’m going to watch out for brussels.
    I will appreciate for those who proceed this in future. Numerous other folks can be benefited out of your writing.
    Cheers!

    My web site – http://www.mbrdev.com

  23. It’s fantastic that you are getting ideas from this post as well as
    from our discussion made here.

    Here is my site; j-scripting.com

  24. I am incessantly thought about this, thanks for
    putting up.

    Have a look at my site; http://walnut.ut.ac.ir

  25. As soon as I discovered this internet site I went on reddit to
    share some of the love with them.

    Check out my page – Viro Max

  26. I reckon something truly interesting about your web blog so I
    saved to my bookmarks.

    Also visit my blog post; Viro Max

  27. I dugg some of you post as I cogitated they were
    invaluable handy.

    Feel free to surf to my web site :: Allura Fresh

  28. I am not sure where you are getting your info, but good topic.
    I needs to spend some time learning more or understanding more.
    Thanks for excellent info I was looking for this info
    for my mission.

    Also visit my homepage: Syner Sooth CBD Gummies

  29. Wow, amazing blog layout! How long have you been blogging
    for? you make blogging look easy. The overall look of your
    web site is excellent, as well as the content!

  30. Hi there would you mind stating which blog platform
    you’re working with? I’m going to start my own blog in the near future but I’m having a hard time choosing between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and
    Drupal. The reason I ask is because your layout seems different
    then most blogs and I’m looking for something unique. P.S Apologies for being off-topic but I had to ask!

    Also visit my blog Alpha Extracts Pure Hemp Oil

  31. I’m amazed, I must say. Rarely do I come across a
    blog that’s both equally educative and entertaining, and let me tell you, you’ve hit the nail on the head.
    The issue is something not enough people are speaking intelligently about.
    I am very happy I came across this during my hunt for something regarding this.

    Feel free to visit my web-site: http://walnut.ut.ac.ir

  32. Very nice article, totally what I wanted to find.

    my web page … librarius.main.jp

  33. I am in fact grateful to the holder of this site who has shared this enormous paragraph
    at here.

    Check out my web page Leafy Living CBD Review

  34. Cool blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download it from somewhere?
    A theme like yours with a few simple tweeks would really make my blog jump out.
    Please let me know where you got your design. Thank you

    Feel free to surf to my blog – Mack And Sons CBD Oil

  35. I’m just commenting to let you understand of the great encounter my friend’s princess developed reading through your site.
    She came to understand several details, with the inclusion of what
    it is like to have an ideal coaching mood to get other people very easily fully grasp various complex subject matter.

    You really did more than our desires. Many thanks for providing such
    invaluable, dependable, explanatory and easy tips about
    your topic to Julie.

    My web-site http://vip5.moisait2021.ru/viewtopic.php?id=139782

  36. Right here is the right site for anyone who wishes
    to understand this topic. You understand a whole lot its almost tough
    to argue with you (not that I actually will need to…HaHa).
    You definitely put a fresh spin on a topic that’s been written about
    for ages. Wonderful stuff, just wonderful!

    my web blog – http://www.ltlszc.com

  37. Heya i am for the first time here. I came across this board and
    I find It really useful & it helped me out much.
    I hope to give something back and aid others
    like you aided me.

    Here is my webpage: ACV Rx Reviews

  38. Tremendous issues here. I’m very happy to see your post.

    Thank you a lot and I’m having a look ahead to contact you.
    Will you kindly drop me a e-mail?

    Here is my web-site – Alpha Extracts CBD

  39. For latest information you have to visit internet and on the
    web I found this site as a most excellent web site for most up-to-date
    updates.

    my web blog: ACV Rx Keto

  40. Pretty great post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to mention that I have truly enjoyed browsing your weblog posts.
    In any case I will be subscribing in your rss feed and I’m hoping you write once more
    very soon!

    my website … http://www.volatilereaction.com

  41. Hello there! This article could not be written much better!
    Reading through this post reminds me of my previous roommate!
    He continually kept preaching about this. I’ll forward this information to him.
    Fairly certain he’s going to have a good read. Many thanks for sharing!

    Also visit my website http://www.hotelforrest.ru/

  42. Excellent web site you have got here.. It’s hard to find good quality writing like yours
    these days. I seriously appreciate people like you!
    Take care!!

    Have a look at my webpage: Oracle Leaf CBD Reviews

  43. Hello every one, here every person is sharing these kinds of familiarity, therefore it’s pleasant to read this webpage, and I used to pay a
    visit this web site daily.

    My web blog :: Cryogen Air Cooler

  44. If some one wants expert view on the topic of blogging afterward i suggest him/her
    to pay a visit this weblog, Keep up the fastidious job.

    my blog … Leaf Max CBD Oil

  45. Wow! Thank you! I permanently needed to write on my site something like that.
    Can I implement a fragment of your post to my blog?

    Also visit my web-site :: VigraFast Ingredients

  46. I wanted to thank you for this excellent read!! I absolutely enjoyed every little bit of
    it. I’ve got you book marked to check out new things you post…

    My web site; Erorectin Review

  47. I blog quite often and I seriously thank you for your
    information. The article has really peaked my interest.
    I will take a note of your blog and keep checking for new details about once a week.
    I subscribed to your RSS feed as well.

    My page … Cryogen Air Conditioner

  48. I have been exploring for a little bit for any high-quality articles
    or blog posts on this sort of space . Exploring in Yahoo I
    at last stumbled upon this website. Reading this information So i’m glad to exhibit that I have a very excellent uncanny feeling I found out just what I needed.
    I most no doubt will make sure to do not omit this website and provides it a
    look on a relentless basis.

    Check out my web page – Nutri Blendx Rapid Keto Cut

  49. A person essentially assist to make critically posts I’d state.
    That is the very first time I frequented your website page and
    up to now? I surprised with the analysis you made to create this actual submit amazing.

    Wonderful process!

    my web page :: Libido Boost Male Enhancement Ingredients

  50. You actually make it appear really easy along with your presentation but I find this topic to be really one thing that I feel I might never understand.
    It kind of feels too complex and very wide for me.
    I am taking a look forward to your subsequent publish, I will attempt to get the hang of it!

    My site :: Solvolt

  51. Hi there, everything is going perfectly here and ofcourse every one is sharing
    facts, that’s actually excellent, keep up writing.

    my webpage; Green Earth CBD Reviews

  52. Thanks for your personal marvelous posting! I seriously enjoyed reading it, you happen to be a great author.
    I will remember to bookmark your blog and definitely will come back later in life.
    I want to encourage that you continue your great writing, have a nice afternoon!

    my website; mablehargrave.xtgem.com

  53. I don’t even know how I ended up here, but I thought
    this post was good. I don’t know who you are but certainly you are going to a famous blogger if you
    are not already 😉 Cheers!

    Also visit my page Sion Air Cooler

  54. Appreciating the time and effort you put into your blog and detailed information you
    provide. It’s nice to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same unwanted
    rehashed information. Fantastic read! I’ve saved your site and I’m including your RSS feeds to my Google account.

    Check out my page: Nature Fused Cream Reviews

  55. Truly when someone doesn’t know afterward its up to other viewers that
    they will help, so here it happens.

    my site; Nitro Strive Nitric Oxide Review (http://www.claudepelosi.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=467814)

  56. You really make it seem really easy together with your
    presentation but I to find this topic to be actually something that I feel I would by no means understand.
    It seems too complex and very huge for me. I am looking forward in your next post, I will attempt to
    get the hold of it!

    Feel free to surf to my blog post :: http://www.mafiamind.com/

  57. Really when someone doesn’t know then its up to other
    people that they will help, so here it occurs.

    Also visit my site http://www.volatilereaction.com

  58. Hi there, everything is going sound here and ofcourse
    every one is sharing facts, that’s truly fine, keep
    up writing.

    My blog post … Green Earth CBD Reviews

  59. It’s going to be finish of mine day, except before
    end I am reading this great article to improve my know-how.

    Visit my webpage :: Nutri Blendx Review

  60. Excellent web site you have here.. It’s hard to find
    good quality writing like yours nowadays. I
    honestly appreciate individuals like you! Take care!!

    My homepage :: CoolEdge AC Review

  61. Excellent web site you have here.. It’s hard to find
    good quality writing like yours nowadays. I
    honestly appreciate individuals like you! Take care!!

    My homepage :: CoolEdge AC Review

  62. Hello, I think your blog might be having browser compatibility issues.
    When I look at your website in Safari, it looks fine but
    when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping.

    I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that, great
    blog!

    Here is my blog post https://www.diigo.com/item/note/8jfzx/kt9h?k=b7d06c518123c0e3c36b859655b5e1be

  63. Hi there, just became aware of your blog through Google, and found that it’s truly informative.
    I am going to watch out for brussels. I will be grateful if you continue this in future.
    Many people will be benefited from your writing.
    Cheers!

    my web site – Oracle Leaf CBD

  64. I’ve been surfing on-line more than 3 hours these days, but I by no means discovered any interesting article like
    yours. It is beautiful worth enough for me. In my view, if all site
    owners and bloggers made just right content material as you did, the internet will likely be much
    more useful than ever before.

    My blog – Viag Rx Male Enhancement (rushpools.com)

  65. When I initially left a comment I seem to have clicked the
    -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now
    every time a comment is added I get 4 emails with the same comment.
    There has to be an easy method you are able to remove me from that service?
    Thanks a lot!

    My page :: Vigra Fast Ingredients

  66. Hello! This post could not be written any better! Reading this post reminds me of my previous room mate!

    He always kept chatting about this. I will forward
    this write-up to him. Fairly certain he will have
    a good read. Thanks for sharing!

    Take a look at my site; Slim X Keto

  67. Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you writing this article plus the rest of the site is very
    good.

  68. Appreciate the recommendation. Will try it out.

  69. It is the combination of grit and faith that is so rare. Very unique combination of religion and science in this post modern digital era. Yes. Truly inspiring.

  70. An inspirational story for all women who wish to build their own identity and yet be an integral part of their community. Keep up the good work Samina ben!

  71. Truly inspiring and motivational life ,Kudos to her beliefs and ideals and perseverance . To achieve success an that too with her culture intact. To have a harmonious balance of both is the ultimate goal of our life as taught to us by our spiritual leader .In these tyring times this is an achievement unparalleled.very well written Tasneem

  72. She is such an inspiration! Kudos to her and mood to read blog for bringing her story to us!! Beautifully written!

  73. So beautifully written! Indeed a truly inspiring story..!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.