Blending her artistic aspirations with her entrepreneurial spirit, Vidya Subramanian, MBA ‘02, has been helping students across the world learn classical Indian Carnatic music for more than 15 years. Now, she’s drawing wider attention for those efforts, along with her support for working women, after receiving a coveted award given out by the government of India.
Subramanian was presented with a 2022 Women Transforming India (WTI) Award because of her efforts to share traditional Indian art forms globally, “while empowering women artists through creation of work from home opportunities,” according to Indian government think tank and resource center, NITI Aayog, which presents the awards.
The awards ceremony recognized Subramanian and other women leaders across India, working in sectors like education, technology, and more. A total of 75 women were honored in recognition of the 75th year of India’s independence. As part of the ceremony, NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant shared that the WTI Awards celebrate “the dynamic efforts of women by sharing their exemplary stories and exceptional work. From shattering social boundaries to paving the way for an equal India, these winners lead by example.” The awards are part of NITI Aayog’s Women Entrepreneurship Platform initiative.
Making virtual teaching beneficial and engaging for students has become a hot topic in recent years, but Subramanian was ahead of the curve. As part of her business, Vidya Subramanian Academy, she offers nearly 100 women musicians and teachers work-from-home opportunities to instruct students in customizable, one-on-one classes over Skype and Zoom.
She initially began this virtual work so she could continue her art while taking care of her family, but it also allows her and her employees to more widely share these important traditional skills. Currently, the academy has a student population of more than 1,500 globally. Classes have also expanded to include offerings such as dance, yoga, and language classes on Sanskrit, Tamil, and more.
“This award has greatly enhanced the visibility of my venture and has given me a valuable opportunity to meet with and learn from India’s business leaders,” Subramanian said by email. She also hopes that the opportunity will allow her to further scale up her business and add even more types of classes.
After graduating from the Carroll School of Management’s full-time MBA program in 2002, Subramanian worked as a chartered accountant and taught Carnatic music on the side before returning to her hometown of Chennai in 2010 and expanding the Academy into the operation it is today.
“I am truly passionate about promoting India’s glorious artistic heritage,” Subramanian said, noting that her time spent at the Carroll School absolutely helped shape her entrepreneurial vision. “When I first came to Boston College, I saw myself more as a finance professional than an aspiring entrepreneur. The wonderful mix of core courses and electives taught by top notch faculty, and the opportunity to interact with classmates, broadened my outlook. The exposure, confidence, and skills gained through the MBA program have greatly helped me shape my venture and career.”