Year 2021’s only entrant into BT’s Most Powerful Women Hall of Fame (an exclusive club of seven-time winners of the MPW awards), Rekha M. Menon never loses sight of the most critical component in business—the people. “Compassion and putting our people first served as the North Star for all decisions during the toughest phases [of the pandemic],” says Menon, Chairperson and Senior Managing Director of Accenture in India. In the second wave of the pandemic, Menon introduced several initiatives such as medical care at home and hospitalisation support for Accenture’s employees, and was among the first in its industry to announce vaccination cover for all 250,000-plus employees and eligible dependents.
But it wasn’t all about Accenture. In May 2021, she worked with Accenture’s global CEO Julie Sweet to get a $25-million investment commitment for supporting India in its battle against Covid-19. “We are partnering with 15 NGOs to use this investment for impacting lives in remote and rural areas that need it the most—building healthcare infrastructure, supporting the healthcare ecosystem including NGOs, and vaccinating people in our communities,” says Menon.
On the business front, she helped clients navigate the financial and operational challenges and accelerated the company’s shift to digital, thus providing business growth. Globally, Accenture’s fiscal year ended August 2021 saw it clocking revenues of $50.5 billion, and growth markets—of which India is a part—contributed $10.08 billion, with revenue growth of 13 per cent.
Menon is also the first woman to be appointed as the Chairperson of NASSCOM, this March. “Two of my goals are to strengthen the policy environment that aids growth of our industry, and to establish India as the digital talent capital of the world,” she says. Menon drew attention to the industry’s needs at the highest levels of government besides using public platforms, and drove programmes and initiatives to move the needle.
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