In celebration of International Women’s Day, I would like to share a few stories and reflections on the amazing women who forever changed the course of many lives through their courageous and loving actions, and especially mine.
Almost a century ago, my grandmother was born in India and orphaned at a very young age. While she was fortunate to be adopted, she never went to school. She married at 13, began her family and gave birth to my father at 18. 
She vowed to give her children the gift of education, and despite limited resources, her tenacity prevailed. Every one of her children not only went to school, they earned master’s degrees, and this foundation changed everything for their generation and the one to come. What my grandmother accomplished 85 years ago paved the way for her great-granddaughter, my oldest daughter, to be enrolled in Berkeley business school today. 
My grandmother also taught me about unconditional love, faith and courage, all of which she instilled in her children. When my father eventually married, he looked for someone like his own mother, so I am also blessed to have a wonderful mother. The powerful impact my mother has had on my life is evident in who I am today.
From the day I was born, my mother surrounded me with her care, nurtured me and poured her unconditional love into me. She showed me that I am worthy of respect, I am worthy to be loved, and I have value to offer myself and others. That unconditional love and sense of self-worth still envelopes me today, 51 years later. The foundation my mother provided to me gives me the strength and ability to strive to be the best I can be, to treat others with kindness, and to live my life with courage and passion.
Then there is my wife, who is an example of a modern woman of today.  She was educated, left home at a young age to travel the world, got married on her terms, had a career, and then had children and opted to pause her career to care for her family — and was fortunate to have the ability to do so. While she has many responsibilities as the head of our household and caring for our four children, she also has more choices. She is the reason I am able to do what I love to do at SingleStore; she is the real MVP. 
What I have experienced and learned from the women in my life directly correlates to who I am in my professional world. I often reflect on the definition of culture as, ‘what you practice, promote and permit.’ As the CEO of what I consider to be the best organization in the world, I am responsible for the overall well-being of our employees, for promoting a positive culture and ensuring we have zero tolerance for any behavior that is not equitable or inclusive. What better culture to establish than one that provides a safe, nurturing, challenging platform for growth — one that I would hope my daughters find when they begin their professional journey. 
Being a father of two daughters provides me with a unique lens. These two young ladies give me a courtside perspective on the dreams, ambitions, challenges, fears and passions of my girls as they wait to take on the world.  I picture them in a work environment, and they offer me a guiding light of what a modern day workplace should be — a place where they would feel safe, secure, heard, valued and loved. I will leave no stone unturned to pursue exactly such a place.
Celebrating the Amazing Women at SingleStore and Our Partners
To celebrate the amazing women of SingleStore, we are dedicating our March 30, 2022 All Hands meeting to a panel focusing on the achievements of women in the SingleStore ecosystem.
After I kick off the conversation, Veronica Combs of Tech Republic will moderate the panel, during which Rebecca Surendra, SingleStore’s commercial sales director; Bailey Hayes, our principal software engineer; Kathryn Cruz, director of engineering at Akamai; and Nellie Scott, senior manager of growth markets at SAS, will discuss their experiences, role models, struggles, suggestions and success stories.
I want to take this opportunity to thank all of the women at SingleStore. Women bring different perspectives to work, which makes us all better. We need your perspectives, your insights, your viewpoints and your brilliance. Thank you for all you contribute to SingleStore. I hope we can give back to you a fraction of what you give to us every day.