From A Salesgirl To India’s Woman Defence Minister, Here’s Nirmala Sitharaman’s Story


  • When it comes to women who have broken the glass ceiling, Nirmala Sitharaman definitely tops the list. On the occasion of International Women’s Day, Nirmala Sitharaman’s story is unmissable. 
  • From being a trained economist, a former employee of PriceWaterhouseCooper to being the first woman to independently run the Defence Ministry, Sitharaman has taken on several roles in her life.
  • She graduated from Seethalakshmi Ramaswami College, Tiruchirapalli, and went on to pursue a Masters degree in Economics at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in Delhi.
  • In JNU, she fell in love with Parakala Prabhakar, the son of an Andhra Pradesh minister Parakala Seshavataram of the 1970s. She eventually moved to London where Parakala Nirmala went on to do his PhD from the London School Of Economics.
  • In London she worked as a salesgirl at a home decor store on Regent Street. She then took on the task of a translator in BBC Radio’s Tamil Division and then employed as an analyst at the research division of the consulting firm Price Waterhouse.
  • From taking on the role of a Salesgirl to now being the one who runs the Defence Ministry, Sitharaman has surely come a long, long way!
  • Sitharaman and her husband moved back to India to raise their child in 1991. Parakala set up a marketing research agency in Hyderabad, a trust in memory of his father, and along with Nirmala, started a school, states TOI.
  • Nirmala was nominated to the National Commission for Women and after completing her three-year tenure in the NWC (2003-2005) she joined BJP.
  • Her husband Prabhakar and his family have been a Congress supporter for decades, but Nirmala stood by her choice.
  • In 2010, Nirmala Sitharama was made the spokesperson of the BJP when Nitin Gadkari was the party president. Following the remarkable victory of the BJP in 2014 elections, Nirmala Sitharama was inducted in the Narendra Modi cabinet as the MoS Commerce Ministry, reports India Today.
  • Sitharaman was once quoted as saying “I envy the girl I once was. The best advice I ever received? Always choose the middle path and try to maintain equanimity.”
  • “In other words, never go to any extreme – don’t be too suppliant because you will lose your dignity nor be too overconfident and aggressive or you will eventually lose your ground. Remain balanced. That way you can never fall too far, “she adds.
  • According to this source, Sitharaman sleeps for six hours and starts her day at 7am by reading nine newspapers! She stands as a towering example of how balance and discipline can turn your life around in incredible ways!

Jai Hind

Source- India Times