I am Kanchana Gupta, and I play many roles in life. I’m a catalyst for transformation and change management in the corporate world, a multi-dimensional artist.
Most recently, a digital and tech entrepreneur who is fervently championing higher gender diversity in the workplace through a powerful combination of technology, mentoring, networks, and sheer passion.
My own personal experience of access barriers to mentors and role models and a desire to create changes in this space, encouraged me to start of vLookUp.
It is an independent global mentoring platform for women.
But how did this journey begin?
Over the years, I’ve observed the challenges women face in the professional sphere. Especially the opportunities to connect with leaders, mentors, and subject matter experts in their respective domains or industries.
This limitation hinders their ability to acquire crucial skills and knowledge, forge valuable connections that could propel their careers. Give women access to exciting new opportunities.
Determined to make a change in this space, I decided to create a digital mentoring platform that democratizes access to mentors. Also removes the conventional barriers to connections, skills, and opportunities such as organisations, school and college network, countries etc.
This vision led to the creation of vLookUp. It is a digital mentoring platform that helps women find suitable mentors across countries, organisations, areas of experience, and domains.
The platform bridges the gap between women who need insight, skills, and opportunities, and pro-diversity mentors and leaders who have the experience and the connections.
As a result, women receive never-before access and knowledge. Mentors and leaders make a tangible difference in a woman’s professional career and overall women talent in the workforce.
My journey as an entrepreneur, with a profound focus on women’s empowerment, has been driven by sheer passion.
Through technology, mentorship, online communities, networks, innovative resources and unwavering dedication, I aim to provide the support and tools necessary for women to thrive in their careers.
About vLookUp and its impact
The journey started with an idea and market research in December 2020, and for the subsequent seven months.
I collaborated closely with both a design team and a technical team to bring to life an automated, digital, AI-driven mentoring platform that was highly efficient and scalable.
By July 2021, our vision became a reality. The official launch of the app then followed in July 2022.
In the span of two years, the tech platform has rapidly grown into a vibrant community encompassing 177 mentors and 400 mentees, representing 24 different countries and from nearly 300 organizations.
At any given moment, it supports an impressive 100+ active mentoring engagements.
This dynamic community has collectively facilitated more than 3000 hours of mentoring interactions, and its impact has extended to offering numerous internship and job opportunities to its mentees.
The voluntary network of mentors on the platform is robust and committed to diversity. The technology operates seamlessly, and the experiences and initiatives the brand is fostering are forward-thinking and considerate of the future.
Today the tech platform has transcended its initial identity as an online mentorship platform for women.
The platform isn’t just about making connections online.
It’s taking a multi-faceted approach to empower women in the workplace, in educational institutions, and in organisations, serving multiple purposes:
- A destination for women in search of knowledge, opportunities, and personal growth.
- A resource for pro-diversity companies committed to empowering their female employees to thrive.
- A valuable resource for professionals looking to enhance their leadership skills and capabilities.
- A partner for organizations striving to make a meaningful societal impact by empowering girls and women to make informed choices in all aspects of their lives.
We achieve all this by:
- Leveraging technology: All of the above developments have been rooted from the word go in a strong technology platform and app. The tech platform is custom built from scratch to suit the highly specific needs of mentors and mentees. It incorporates smart algorithms and AI to suggest suitable mentors to mentees. Today the tech platform handles close to 200 mentoring engagements at any point, hosts abundant useful content, and has been the foundation for over 3,000 hours of mentoring.
- Enabling real time mentoring digitally: A real time platform enables mentees to choose mentors at any point.
- Empowering women: The platform empowers mentees to choose mentors as per their specific career stage and needs. They can also choose mentors for coaching/mental-wellness related discussions, based on specific needs.
- Offering a safe space: Being an independent tech platform beyond all traditional barriers, the platform offers a safe space to mentors and mentees where they don’t have to think of organisational constraints.
- Creating a springboard for students: Students and aspiring leaders, mainly in STEM subjects, are connected with corporate leaders to help them choose the right career path. This lays the foundation for success early in life and creates a strong pipeline of knowledge workers and leaders for the nation.
- Developing leadership: Women receiving skills and knowledge are not the only benefactors. The platform also develops passionate mentors and leaders with deep industry experience and a commitment to gender diversity. It empowers them to make a structured contribution to helping women learn and grow – an opportunity they might not easily find in their current schedule and environment.
- Collaborating with organizations: The platform enables organizations to create and scale up bespoke mentoring programmes not only for their women leaders but also mentoring as a tool to develop women talent pool. It has moved beyond just a tech platform by providing mentoring support to educational institutions, thus unlocking greater socio-economic impact.
With Olay and Mindtree Consulting for their STEM mentoring program in India.
With Republic Polytechnic, to provide mentoring to their students.
These programs have created access to leaders and internship opportunities for many students in STEM.
Our mentors are also working with women at the Unioleo factory in the far corners of Indonesia, to support their needs.
Through vLookUp and its copyright technology I am trying to do my bit to address a deep-rooted problem that companies alone cannot address.
It’s been quite a journey, especially for someone like me with no prior technology background. I am proud to have developed a digital platform from scratch. Drive its adoption, and see it succeed and gain credibility in such a short span of time.
To learn more about vLookup, watch below
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