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Verve People
July 07, 2016

International Impact: Shalini Kapoor Collins

Text by Shraddha Jahagirdar-Saxena. Photograph by Mona T. Brooks

For being a member of President Barack Obama’s historic delegation to India

A tech entrepreneur, advisor and investor who works at the intersection of technology, politics and innovation, Shalini Kapoor Collins found a place amongst the most influential global Indian women’s lists. The founder and CEO of Silicon-Valley-based Tech Hill Advisors, and formerly the founder of Enscient Solutions, works with innovative companies in the space where technologies outpace state and federal legislation and regulations. She was one of eight female CEOs appointed to the National Women’s Business Council in the Obama Administration and served as vice chair of the Women in Public Service started by Secretary Hillary Clinton while at the State Department. Born in Chandigarh, she moved to the US when she was just under three years, and though she has not returned to her hometown since, Kapoor Collins has wonderful memories of seeing the Taj Mahal. Married to Patrick Collins, ‘Shelly’ — who is passionate about pilates — has two children, Sohana and Shaan. Early last year, she was invited as part of President Obama’s delegation to visit India for his historic visit to meet with Prime Minister Modi, with other business leaders like Ajay Banga (MasterCard) and Indra Nooyi (PepsiCo).

Biggest challenge: “Travel. I love my work and am grateful every day to have found my passion in life (politics and technology) but, with two young children, travelling for work is my greatest opportunity and challenge at the same time.”

The India connect: “India means so many things to me. I am grateful for India because it is my — and my parents’ — birth country and the home of our cultural traditions which my parents still observe in the US, and which I am passing on to my own children. To me, India embodies a lot of warmth, hospitality, grace, my roots
and history.”

Powering her day: “I am an early riser. Catching up on email and working out before my kids wake up at 7 a.m. is a great start to my day. By the time I drop them to school at 8 a.m., I’m ready to take on the world.”

Essence of power: “True power is being able to give without any expectation in return. To give, whether you are paying it forward or back, without any sense of entitlement or expectation, is very liberating. When you are doing good for the sake of good, that is when you make a tangible impact. And, impact equals power.”

Work-life balance: “I truly believe that when we let go of the notion of ‘having it all’, the journey to having what is right for us can begin. As women, we must completely stop believing that we have to be everything at once to everyone.”

Valued advice: “At a state luncheon for Prime Minister Modi, Indra Nooyi gave me wonderful career advice to ‘never stop, keep going, never give up.’”

In the pipeline: “I am launching Shatter Capital, a venture fund and tech platform to help female entrepreneurs break through the funding glass ceiling.”

An inspirational quote: “Never settle!”

Read about our next power woman, Padmasree Warrior.

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