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Ride the time machine to experience Avtar's journey from 2000 till today!

When we sat down to list our milestones, we decided some were too personal, or too outrageous or too similar to another one, to get a place here! We have done our best to represent the rich tapestry of Avtar’s most significant steps in becoming India’s Number 1 Diversity & Inclusion Culture solutions organization over 20 years!

Google partners with Avtar and Indian School of Business to build digital marketing capability for women professionals in India.
Avtar releases Flexcurity©, a suite of assessments and algorithms for remote workforce management to provide solutions for organizations implementing WFH in the wake of Covid19.
Flexing Success:
Avtar launches a unique workshop to help first-time work-from-home professionals during Covid times.
D&I Reboot:
Avtar hosts D&I Reboot, to help organizations manage culture building during the Pandemic. D&I Reboot emphasizes the usage of the research-based AHEAD framework.
The Power of I:
Avtar hosts India’s first virtual D&I Conference to discuss and throw light on the cascading effect of an individual’s power in personal transformation thereby directly paving way for organizational transformation.
Avtar creates India’ first and exclusive job portal for the under-represented talent pools.
Dec 3rd 2020:
Avtar celebrates 2 decades of existence!
Future of Women:
Dr Saundarya invited to keynote at Future of Women Conference at Colombo, Sri Lanka.
Twitter’s “WebWonderWomen”:
Dr. Saundarya receives the WebWonder Woman award from Ministry of Women and Child Development in collaboration with Twitter India for spreading positivity on the web.
Global Changemakers:
Dr. Saundarya is recognized as one of the 35 Global Changemakers by Chevening to celebrate 35 years of the UK Government’s Chevening Scholarships program by featuring specially-commissioned portraits of the leaders from across the globe.
Winds of Change Award:
Dr. Saundarya receives the Winds of Change award conferred by The Forum on Workplace Inclusion becoming the first International Awardee.
Top Women:
Dr Saundarya Rajesh keynotes at the Top Women Conference in, Johannesburg, South Africa, speaking about social entrepreneurship and her journey.
World AI show:
Dr. Saundarya invited to address the World AI Show at Dubai, speaking about the impact of AI in HR, its impact and future workforce.
– Avtar creates MITR – Men Impacting Trust & Respect – a training program to transform adolescent boys studying in schools into empathetic Gender Champions of tomorrow.
Most Inclusive Companies Index:
Avtar, in partnership with the Working Mother Group, creates the Most Inclusive Companies Index to deliver frameworks for organizations to adopt the best of practices when it comes to comprehensive inclusion.
GAWC, Dubai:
Avtar is Knowledge Partner to Working Mother in organizing the maiden edition of the Global Advancement for Women Conference in Dubai.
Foray into AI in HR:
Bruhat Insights Global, the AIHR (Artificial Intelligence in HR) arm of Avtar is launched to reduce bias and deliver actionable insights.
The 99 Day Diversity Challenge:
Dr Saundarya debuts as a non-fiction writer for Sage via “The 99 Day Diversity Challenge”
Udyog Utsav:
Avtar takes the career conference to Coimbatore.
Best of the Best Conference:
Avtar presents BOB – India’s most exhaustive and cutting-edge conference featuring best practices of the Best 100 companies.
Udyog Utsav:
Avtar kicks off an annual career guidance platform at Chennai for underprivileged girls to visualize and experience the benefit of education and a long-term career. Over 1000 Puthris from over 100 Corporation and Government schools across Chennai are made aware of various courses that they can pursue to choose specific careers
Project Puthri Launch:
Avtar Human Capital Trust (AHCT) launches Project Puthri, to make 10,000 school girls from under privileged families career intentional and pursue white-collar jobs upon graduation.
Best Companies for Women in India:
Working Mother Group of the USA returns to partner with Avtar in launching India’s first and largest gender-analytics exercise – the Best Companies for Women in India. The BCWI ranks over 450 metrics in assessing the gender inclusion levels of organizations. Over 300 companies participate annually.
#100Women Achiever Award
Dr. Saundarya is awarded with a scroll from the Ministry of Women and Child Development for her work in bringing back thousands of women into the workplace. She lunches with the President of India (Late) Shri Pranab Mukherjee at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Career Enabler research
- Avtar’s research on the top career enablers for women professionals makes it to the set of must-haves in India’s preferred employers.
Doctorate in Women’s Workforce Participation:
Dr. Saundarya receives her PhD degree from Shri. Narendra Modi, Gujarat’s Chief Minister, at SRM University’s convocation
Global Advancement of Women Conference:
The Working Mother Media company, partner with Avtar to conduct the GAWC.
Dissertation defence:
Saundarya successfully defends her PhD thesis dissertation on the topic “Flexible Working Methods to increase women’s workforce participation”
Segue Sessions
Avtar partners with over 40 corporates (PepsiCo, Unilever, CapGemini, Deutsche Bank, Vodafone, Accenture, Genpact and Deloitte, to name a few) and conducts 14 editions of this skill-building and career creation conference from 2011 to 2018. Over 5000 women benefit. All partner organizations later create their own talent track for returning women and between themselves hire over 10,000 second career women each year.
Diversity Audits
Avtar begins conducting Diversity & Inclusion audits and workplace audits for enabling different strands to diversity to co-exist
New premises!
Team Avtar moves into its own premises – Udyog Gruhaa
Flexi Careers India:
Under the ambit of Avtar Group, Flexi Careers India launched to focus extensively on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion with special focus on gender diversity.
Hindu Women’s Job Fair:
The Hindu partners with Avtar to host India’s first career fair for women professionals, with special focus on second career women. Over 25,000 women professionals attend the fair creating a record of sorts.
Work-Life Balance Survey:
In partnership with OUTLOOK Business, Avtar conducts a seminal research on work-life balance – moving to call it work-life integration and is featured on the cover. More organizations begin working on work-life integration.
Standard Chartered’s Diversity Town Halls:
Avtar is engaged by SCB to conduct research-backed Diversity townhalls at all its regional offices.
SHRM Annual Conference, San Diego:
Saundarya speaks at SHRM’s Annual Conference at SanDiego, California on "Flexible Working Methods to Promote Organizational Diversity - the India story".
Vital Voices
Saundarya speaks on Women Entrepreneurship at the plenary session of Hillary Clinton’s Vital Voices in New Delhi
Business Case for Diversity:
In the aftermath of global recession, Avtar undertakes research on the Business Case for Gender Diversity. More organizations sign up for Avtar’s D&I consulting.
D&I Readiness Assessment:
Avtar develops tools for assessing organization’s commitment and readiness for Gender Diversity and advancement of women.
Bhoomi Pooja for Avtar’s Udyog Gruhaa:
Avtar begins construction of its 3-storeyed premises at Neelangarai in Chennai.
Diversity and Inclusion in ASIA 2008:
Saundarya invited to speak on Generational Diversity at Community Business’s conference in Hong Kong.
Accenture’s Project Santulan:
Accenture engages Avtar to work on Project Santulan, the organization’s first instance of a structured method to allow several flavors of flexi-working. Possibly the country’s first too.
Avtar Human Capital Trust:
Avtar’s CSR arm – a public charitable trust for empowering underprivileged women and children, instituted.
MMFL’s rural hiring:
Avtar closes 364 positions for Madura Micro Finance at small villages near cities such as Madurai, Trichy, Erode, Thanjavur, Tirunelveli, Villupuram, and Salem, hiring first generation women graduates as mentors for self-help groups.
Future Group Flexi-Work project:
Avtar is engaged by Future Group to hire over 1800 women returnees across India.
SCOPE Woman Exemplar Award:
Saundarya receives the Woman Exemplar award from Standard Chartered Bank’s SCOPE.
Avtar publishes research on Flexible working and its effect on the careers of women professionals.
Session at Asian HRD Society at Beijing
- Saundarya invited to speak at AHRD Society at Beijing on flexible careers for increasing women’s workforce participation - Avtar’s first international forum.
Sathyam Computers D&I Research:
Avtar completes a cutting edge research project on Diversity & Inclusion strands for Sathyam Computers (presently Tech Mahindra).
Standard Chartered Bank hires second career women:
The very first recorded instance of a ‘second career’ program in India, takes place in 2006, for Standard Chartered Bank with hundreds of women getting hired.
Research on Diversity & Inclusion:
Avtar begins research on Diversity & Inclusion by conducting FGDs on the phenomenon of career breaks.
IVLP program by US Consulate:
Saundarya Rajesh is selected for the International Visitors Leadership Program by the American Consulate and visits the USA as part of a team of women leaders across South Asia.
Chevening Scholarship:
Shortly after, the same year, Saundarya is selected for the Chevening Women in Leadership program by the UK’s British Foreign Office. She completes the 3 month course at Bradford University.
Avtar releases its first primary research report in which it is found that more than 18% of attrition in Indian industry is caused by women who step off the career track never to return. Careers for these “Second Career Women” – (a term coined by Saundarya and now used widely in the industry), is emphasised with business and socio-economic benefits.
Avtar I-WIN:
In a landmark move, India’s first National Registry for Second-Career women professionals seeking part-time/flexi-time assignments launched. Now known as Avtar Women, (www.avtarwomen.com), it is India’s first Diversity Recruitment service providing opportunities for corporates to engage with second-career women.
Avtar on The Hindu’s front page:
India’s leading national daily carries a four-column article about Avtar on the front page as the nation’s first Career Service provider for Women.
Polaris :
Avtar works on a specialized turn-key project for IT hiring for Polaris.
Managemantra – III:
3 editions of Managemantra run by Avtar for CII empowering management graduates from Tier II, Tier III B-Schools.
Managemantra I & II:
Avtar is knowledge partner to CII’s Managemantra, a two- day job-creation conference, in which over 2000 fresh MBA’s battled each other for jobs that were the prizes.
Avtar’s reputation for effective and professional work brings in more business with 100% YOY growth. ICICI (after taking over Bank of Madura) engages Avtar to hire several hundred personal bankers across Tamil Nadu.
ISO Certification:
Avtar gets ISO certified - one of the first in the recruitment services.
Bharti Telecom RPO:
Avtar begins hiring from Tier-II/Tier III cities such as Trichy, Vellore and Coimbatore as part of an RPO for Bharti Telecom for hiring candidates for their front-line sales, customer service, marketing.
HSBC returns to engage Avtar once again.
Mahaveer Glass Industries:
Avtar bags its first ever Organizational Development project.
Few months old Avtar bags a major Recruitment Process Outsourcing project for multi-national Bank, HSBC. Thousands of professionals screened, interviewed, shortlisted in what was possibly India’s first few RPO offerings.
Shortly after, Avtar wins the privatization of Chennai Container Terminal project amidst tough competition from more established HR players. 224 positions closed at a time when India was reeling under the dotcom bust. Avtar places the first woman engineer in CCT as part of this drive.
Avtar’s Triple-Eye:
Avtar hosts its first conference, an Industry, Institute Interface event.
Avtar is born:
On 3rd Dec 2000, Saundarya Rajesh sets up talent strategy consulting firm, Avtar. Founding team comprising of Umasanker Kandaswamy, Priya Dayabaran and others offer recruitment services to India Inc.

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