Perseverance, Resilience, Courage: Innovative Leadership during COVID-19

Megha Desai, President of the Desai Foundation, embodies what it means to be an Impact Executive, in more ways than one. As a dedicated leader, with a background in advertising, Megha uses her knowledge in social responsibility to help others by elevating the health and well-being of women and children.  

 Megha transformed the Desai Foundation, turning it into a robust public foundation and organization. The Foundation invests in sustainable development by providing vocational classes, health camps, community volunteer outreach, and sanitary napkin programs.  

To date, the Desai Foundation has impacted over one million lives in India and the United States. 

But the greatest strength of the Foundation? Partnerships. Partnerships are key to the Foundation’s operations and the longevity for its initiatives. 

“If the Desai Foundation were to disappear tomorrow, I can guarantee you that 85% of our programming would continue because I know that we were not just executing programs, but we’ve been building these organizations locally to grow & thrive.”  – Megha Desai

Looking back, in the midst of a global pandemic, these on-the-ground and local partnerships enabled the Desai Foundation to emerge stronger, and provide necessary resources while leading with values. During this time, Megha led with her values and with the foundation’s vision of, “cultivating dignity and empowering women” when it came to the safety and well-being of every employee. 

She then turned her focus towards analyzing the organization’s successful services and pivoted towards providing services to address the most immediate needs. This strategy was so successful that it can be seen in the data. Prior to the pandemic, The Desai Foundation had taught 10,000 women to sew; afterwards the team was able to virtually teach 350 additional women sewing skills from the comfort of their own homes.  

Leveraging its existing services to address the crisis in India, the Desai Foundation created over one million masks which were distributed to communities in need. To support medical efforts, the team helped provide people with the resources needed to isolate, transportation to COVID-care centers, oxygen level screenings, and food delivery – positively impacting thousands in need.  

True leadership requires perseverance, resilience, and courage in the face of uncertainty.

For Megha Desai, these attributes set her apart as not only an innovative leader but an Impact Executive, allowing the Desai Foundation to become even stronger.  

As we look forward to the future of leadership, Desai encourages leaders to shift their thinking from “Am I doing enough?” to “Are we doing what we are good at?” Organizations can be more impactful if they deploy their best skills and processes. 

Watch the full interview here.

Learn more about the Desai Foundation’s work and upcoming events here.