Godrej Consumer Products' executive chairperson Nisaba Godrej is looking to start a "gutsy girls sport league" on the Juhu beach as she hardly sees any women's team playing on the seashore during her Sunday morning runs.
Nisaba Godrej, daughter of group patriarch Adi Godrej, said her father "encouraged a love of adventure and the outdoors" and that growing up near Juhu beach was one of her life's greatest gifts. "I remember riding horses bare back and swimming long distances in the sea."
"I now especially love my Sunday morning runs on Juhu beach. I get a double dose of endorphins seeing others happy. Walking their dogs, talking, sharing, playing with their children and of course drinking the must have naryal pani. But one thing sorely stands out to me on these beach runs: I only see teams of men playing. There seem to be no women's teams?" she wrote in a LinkedIn post.
Godrej offered help to anyone willing to start a "gutsy girls sport league" on the Juhu beach. "I would be delighted to help. Seeing that would be a Happy Women's Day for me," she said.
According to Godrej, sport, especially team sport, can be a great way to build collaboration and leadership.
She quoted firefighter Caroline Paul's TED talk 'To raise brave girls, encourage adventure' to highlight the importance of team sport. "A study involving a playground pole, in which researchers saw that little girls were very likely to be warned by both their moms and dads about the pole's risk, and if the little girls still wanted to play on the pole, a parent was very likely to assist her. But the little boys? They were encouraged to play on the pole despite any trepidations that they might have, and often the parents offered guidance on how to use it on their own. So what message does this send to both boys and girls? Well, that girls are fragile and more in need of help, and that boys can and should master difficult tasks by themselves. It says that girls should be fearful and boys should be gutsy," she wrote citing the TED talk.
"To build bravery and character we must teach our girls to challenge themselves and play hard. I couldn't agree more. Looking back, I think my father's encouragement to be very active always had a profound impact on my confidence in all parts of my life," Godrej said.
Godrej, who is considered as the modern face of one of India's oldest industrial houses, has grown Godrej Consumer Products' consolidated revenue and profit more than five times to ₹11,028 crore and ₹1,720 crore, respectively, in the last 11 years.
Godrej is also the chairperson of Teach for India and sits on the board of Godrej Agrovet, Bharti Airtel, Mahindra and Mahindra and VIP Industries. She completed her BSc degree from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and her MBA from Harvard Business School.