Express Pharma

People need to be at the centre of any business and cultural transformation

Vani Manja, Managing Director- Boehringer Ingelheim, India, speaks to Ashwini Prakash, Managing Partner, India and Singapore and Regional Practice Leader Life Sciences and Healthcare, Stanton Chase, about her professional journey, the challenges faced, achievements and learnings

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You were a commissioned officer in the Indian Army, what motivated you to walk that path?

I grew up in an Indian Air Force family and environment. As a child, I often wished the armed forces would induct women across all fields rather than being limited to doctors and nurses. I was fortunate that this wish was granted at the right time, just as I was graduating from college in 1992, when the Indian Armed Forces decided to induct women as commissioned officers. This was revolutionary in many ways and I was keen to be part of this era of change. So, I joined one of the pioneering batches of women in the Indian Army in 1993. I saw this as a great opportunity and a personal challenge, to take on a leadership position in a heretofore exclusively male bastion.

It was an opportunity that I feel privileged to have experienced. I treasure it as an enriching chapter with some vital lessons in leadership and in life. Some highlights include discipline, physical fitness and endurance, resilience, and leading with a sense of purpose and