Ranjani is President & CEO of R Mo Business Solutions, a certifications, procurement and information technology organization that is a catalyst in assisting diversified businesses to venture into corporate and government sectors. She also serves on the Leadership Forum with WRMSDC MBEIC, on Astra WBENC and as a Business Advisor with SBDC Silicon Valley and San Mateo counties.
We recently spoke with Ranjani about her business, how she sees women leading the way and what she hopes you will take away from her breakout session at this year’s National Women’s Business Conference
Q: Tell us a little bit about you.
I came from India for a master’s program and landed a marketing position with Texas Instruments in Dallas, Texas. After eight years of corporate work, three years of my own business and adding three master’s degrees to my portfolio, I ventured out of Texas and landed in Northern California. Vetting experiences with large corporations, start-ups and in-betweens, I finally started my own business to do what I was passionate about during my career growth—assisting companies in getting diversified certifications and with bidding on contracts.
Dealing with the government and pushing papers may not sound interesting to some, but I see it as an opportunity to explore various avenues, meet new folks and be creative in targeting for certifications and bidding. There are many organizations who provide free help and guidance, but they don’t do it for you. That’s where R Mo Business Solutions makes a difference. We let you run your business while we get you certified and guide you to more avenues for growth in both the corporate and government sectors.
I also have passion for painting. I participate in art shows and work with several art organizations in Northern California. My daughter Roshini, an experienced software engineer, recently joined the business and is leading the business operations and financials.
Q: What’s next for you and your business, and how will you get there?
In today’s workplace, diversity management is a time-sensitive business imperative. America is changing, and the new population carefully evaluates how organizations relate to it. By embracing diversity, we can spark innovation, better understand and serve our customers and gain a competitive advantage.
Diversity is not just to manage and report multicultural employees and clients. It has no tangible value, yet it needs to start from leadership to reinvent diversity to authentically treat and value employees and clients with innovative perspectives. R Mo Business Solutions is the catalyst to bring this change, and we are strategizing with a few corporations to utilize diversity as a strategic enabler in today’s changing landscape by building communities to embrace differences to drive innovation.
Q: What are some areas today where you see women entrepreneurs leading the way?
Women entrepreneurs are the greatest hope in growing the economy, breaking down gender barriers and becoming the great economic equalizer. Women-owned ventures have been leading the way over the past few years and growing at a more rapid pace to help boost the economy and create jobs. Stats indicate that by 2018, women entrepreneurs will be responsible for creating 5.5 million new jobs nationwide because of the faster growth rate of women-owned businesses compared to those owned by men.
Public Policy: Promoting the advances of women by advocating in the legislative processes of our nation, creating opportunities and building alliances.
Leadership: Women are growing to be represented in corporate boardrooms across the world. While they are seen on par with men in leadership qualities such as intelligence and innovation, they exceed men in terms of being compassionate and organized, which makes them better leaders after all.
Q: How have you led the way in your business and community in the past year?
In my community, I have been involved by volunteering my time and money to non-profit organizations for many years now. A notable one is being involved with Riding Unlimited in Texas, which provides horseback riding lessons for disabled kids and adults. It was such a joy to see the kids feeling accomplished, growing out of their shells and blossoming.
From the time I started my business, I have been involved with various professional organizations, not just as a member, but also by taking on a significant role or board position to serve and make an impact in the community. I am also actively involved in my church, Leading Stephen Ministry, where we walk along with people who are going through difficulties in their life.
In my business, I am keen on providing internship opportunities for high school and college students, guiding them and giving them a taste of entrepreneurship by assigning tasks to make innovative decisions.
Q: In what areas do you hope to see women leading the way next?
The 21st century has defined how women choose to conceive and exert power as a group. While we are living in the world of virtual access, we cannot ignore the reality of social inequities that continue to alienate the less fortunate.
Women leaders will be emerging as a catalyst to bring about new thinking and new partners making decisions that leverage power for collective empowerment. The way we do business, the way we approach life to keep pace with complex effects are changing every day. The bottom line is we still want the security, peace and equality. As women, we are pragmatists who will not wait for economic recovery; instead, we will actively create the future we imagine for our families and countries, spreading peace and prosperity.
Q: Why is a conference like this one for women entrepreneurs critical?
There are so many conferences and there is only so much time and money. So it is critical to choose the conference that will help not just as a means to connect with others, but as an opportunity to build well-being, self-awareness and compassion and transform our thinking process, improve our knowledge and make us evolve as a true entrepreneur and leader.
I attended the NAWBO National Conference last year and it changed the way I think and do business. I came back not only inspired by the women on stage, but also by the caliber, depth and evocativeness of the discussions I had with my fellow attendees. The speakers are amazing, the breadth of ideas and inspiration is extraordinary, making me driven to change the way I think as a leader and making me more confident and more assured.
In January 2016, I started the NAWBO-SFBA Tri-Valley Professional Development Forum, a monthly luncheon with women business owners in the Tri-Valley area. We have had 11 new women business owners join since we started.
Q: If women walk away from your presentation with one thing, what do you want it to be?
Diversity is the talk of this century and it has moved away from a nice-to-have, to a must-have for companies as a strategic business imperative. Diversity is moving from being ‘a value’ to being ‘more operational’ in forming new business models. Every organization has a supplier diversity division that ensures that they utilize diversified businesses for the procurement of goods and services. Diversity is the inclusion of diverse groups such as small, minority, women, disadvantaged, veteran, LGBT, etc.
It is so easy to get caught up in the busy-ness of our business that we don’t see the opportunities that are available beyond our networking circle. My presentation is going to change the way we think about our business regarding how we utilize diversity—that it can be used as a strategic enabler to change our business landscape.
In addition to the sociological benefits, there are solid business reasons for considering diversity in your business. Better understanding the role of diversity in business helps entrepreneurs make decisions that encourage innovation and creativity in the workplace. Diversity can also unlock the potential in employees who lack engagement and enthusiasm at work and bring fresh perspectives.
Q: Are you stuck in your business and hitting a wall looking for contracts?
Q: Are you not able to connect with corporations and government agencies?
Q: Are you aware that government is the largest buyer of goods and services?
If your answer is YES, then you need to attend the workshop to understand the basics and gain knowledge on what it takes to grow your company with large corporations and government agencies.
Q: Do you know the steps to seek contract opportunities?
Q: Do you know about set-aside contracts for diversified businesses?
Q: Do you know half of the RFPs are not fulfilled because no one is bidding?
If your answer is NO, then you need to attend the workshop to get answers for all the questions and grow your business in the government sector.
Q: How will you lead the way this year for your business and all women entrepreneurs?
I envision my business in 2020 and conduct business now as it will be in 2020:
Empowerment: My staff is encouraged to take responsibility and make decisions. The energy of involvement is so much stronger.
Engagement: We have a common online platform that we share to input our meeting details, look for ideas, etc. so everyone is aware of our outreach efforts, networking contacts, client progress, etc.
Encouragement: Our staff is encouraged to bring new ideas to the table. There are great incentives when the ideas come into effect.
Q: Who is one woman from the past or present who inspires you when you think about leading the way, and why?
Growing up in India, my Grandfather Ganesh was my inspiration. His parents were farmers and he went to the city to learn English and go to school and then he worked for a British company until he retired. When I was growing up, women got married at a very early age and were not sent to college. He encouraged me to go to college and always supported my efforts.
I grew up watching and learning from Indira Gandhi, the first Indian Female Prime Minister who became an inspiration to me. Her perseverance and stamina to withstand political disturbances and serve as the Prime Minister of India for three consecutive terms, as well as a fourth term, evoked images of strength and determination in me.
With my grandfather and the country’s Prime Minister being my role models, I had only to look up and forward in my life. Having faith in Jesus Christ and trust in myself, my capabilities and willingness to learn and my ability to share my skills and abilities encourages me to persevere for the very best in life.
You won’t want to miss Ranjani and all the other amazing speakers who will be at the National Women’s Business Conference, September 18-20 (Annual Membership Meeting on the 18th and the Conference on the 19th-20th), in Columbus, Ohio.