In January 2021 Soma Mondal went on to create history by becoming the first female Chairman of SAIL (Steel Authority of India Limited) which is one of the highest steel-producing companies in India. She did not achieve this great milestone by mere magic, but it was sheer hard work that made it possible to achieve all the impossible.
Soma Mondal was born in a Bengali family based in Bhubaneshwar. Her father was an agricultural economist and wanted his daughter to become a doctor, but Soma was passionate about engineering and managed to successfully graduate from one of the most prestigious engineering institutions NIT Rourkela in Electrical Engineering. After completing her graduation, she joined NALCO (National Aluminium Company Limited) as a trainee in 1984 and reached the position of Director (Commercial) in the organisation in 2014. In 2017, she joined SAIL and became the first woman director at SAIL.
After her significant achievements as Director of SAIL, she was chosen to be the Chairman in the year 2021. Soma Mondal describes joining SAIL in 2017 as a director from NALCO as a game-changer: “The move was definitely disruptive since I was very well settled in NALCO, having started as a graduate trainee and rising to the Board position. SAIL was a much bigger company by way of volume, market size and presence, manpower, product mix, diversity and complexities. I had to start afresh in a new work environment. Today, I am proud to say that the decision could not have been better.” Since the commencement of her period as a Chairman, the organization has seen tremendous growth and she continues to strive towards making it better over the years.
Recently Soma Mondal was featured in the Forbes’ Asia’s Power Businesswomen 2022 list. Under her leadership, the steelmaking firm’s annual revenue grew by 50 per cent to more than ₹1.03 trillion, the Forbes website reported. The profits have surged to ₹120 billion for the last fiscal ending March 31.
Today she inspires a number of young girls to dream not only to succeed but also to lead people in this journey of success. She is indeed an inspiration to many young women leaders who are working hard towards achieving their entrepreneurial dreams.
- Fatima Punekar