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Women and companies need to tackle pay inequality together

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Meena Ganesh, MD & CEO, Portea Medical talks to senior editor Deepti Chaudhary about equal pay and what does 2019 have in store for startups, at the Most Powerful Women summit in Mumbai. This is her fourth consecutive year on the Fortune India Most Powerful Women in business list.

What does it mean to you to be featured on Fortune India's Most Powerful Women list?

I feel very honoured. I think it is important that Fortune India makes the effort to recognise entrepreneurs. We are not necessarily carrying the largest balance sheets on our back but we do create disruption and a big change in many industries. It also sets a role model for other aspiring women to think of entrepreneurship as a possible career choice, as an opportunity to create big disruptions in the industry of their choice.

What is your take on the gender pay gap in Indian companies?

In the startup industry, you are not really looking at gender but you are really trying hard to find the right person for the job and build a business. Typically, gender parity in the startup industry, I don’t think is such a big challenge. In fact, in a company like Portea, we have more than 50% of women in the workforce and nearly 40% in our top management. We are probably not necessarily the norm. If you look at the corporate sector, there have been many instances of differentiation in salaries. Two things, both the women and the companies need to do something about this. Women need to step up and say that if they are doing a job, which is as good, they need to be paid as good, and get the similar kind of raises. And, women tend to take a backseat and they expect to be noticed rather than make the effort.

What does 2019 hold for Indian startups?

This year has been good. There have been some exits as well which helps investors to be more confident that the Indian market has got good startups, which can mature and give them good returns ultimately. A lot of the investors, with VCs and PEs have created newer funds and they need to find good opportunities to invest. I believe that next year should continue to be good. In terms of sectors, I think, the health tech sector continues to be of interest. Logistics, B2B, and new media are areas where I see a lot of interest.

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