From living in a rented place in a slum in Chennai to building a company with a turnover of Rs 22 crore, four verticals, and 4,000 employees, G.Sree Vidhya, the chairperson and managing director of Ravindra Services Pvt. Ltd (RSPL), is one of the first women entrepreneurs in Chennai and all over India, providing security services to corporate houses. Divorced at a young age and a single parent to her daughter, she went through a slew of jobs and managed to pursue an MBA from Indira Gandhi National University (IGNOU), before venturing into the security and guarding services.
It all started when Sree’s business associate, mentor and friend, Ravindra Padmanabhan, offered her a job at his start-up company Nicole Cleaning, which offered cleaning services for domestic segments. With her vision and insight, Sree upgraded it to housekeeping for corporates and later made a leap into security services. After her mentor passed away in 2001, she bought the company in 2003 naming it after her him as Ravindra Services Pvt. Ltd.
Essentially seen as a male bastion; Sree found it hard getting accepted as a woman who ran security and guarding services. In fact, she would go on night rounds, armed with just pepper spray, to check if the guards were at the post. Now, her company has 15 % of the workforce as women and renowned clients such as L&T group to her credit. Further, her business has expanded into facility management (housekeeping, plumbing, electrical); security division, temporary staffing, and a trading division for supplying cleaning chemicals and machines.
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