We’re in transition. How does that work? Our goal is to transform Women on Wings from a Dutch led organization to an Indian led organization. What happened since we took the decision for transition? First step was defining where we were heading to and defining the route how to get there. In 2014 we discussed the approach with our Board. Since then we’re in transition, which is targeted to be finalized by 2017. We fully experienced it in 2015.
One of the milestones in the transition happened yesterday when we received the outlines for the annual plan with the main objectives for 2016-2017 from our managing team in India. We used to write those… In one year the roles have changed, India takes the lead.
Women on Wings started in 2007 with a clear goal; to create one million jobs for women in rural India. Our aim at that time was to ultimately create an Indian led organization by 2017. Why? Because we were convinced that business consultancy – the WHAT of Women on Wings – would add that much value to rural based organizations that the concept could stand on its own. And that is exactly what happened.
Since 2014 TATA Trusts is one of our partners. A community based organization with an in-depth understanding of rural India. They partner with Women on Wings because they see that our business approach is needed for a sustainable rural economy which will ultimately reduce poverty.
Our team in India expanded from three part-time consultants in 2010 to a team of eleven (part-time and full-time) per today. Shilpa and Ronald are heading this team in a joint leadership model. With this team, they link (mostly Dutch) experts to the needs of the Indian business partners. Identify new partnerships and new areas to work in. And consistently build the network that will support in realizing a sustainable Women on Wings India.
Handing over our responsibilities to the Indian management was not so easy, but we did it because every phase has its own heroes. With a continuous strong focus to a goal that never changed; one million jobs for women in rural India. We learned that if you have a clear ambition, you can move mountains. And that’s what we do with our team, our experts and all our partners! As a result, Women on Wings co-created 196,000 jobs for women in rural India.
We are proud on the route and even more proud on both our teams in India and the Netherlands. While the team in India keeps growing and building, the team in the Netherlands needs to step back and accept that India is taking the lead in 2016.
Wishing our teams in India and the Netherlands, experts, business partners, funding partners and all other well-wishers that we’ve come across, a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!
Ellen and Maria
Co-founders Women on Wings