Great things happen when we move: Shell brings us three ‘moving’ stories of inspiring women
For every Indian, mobility can be a powerful enabler in their journey towards achieving their dreams. Mobility is also a key pillar for gender equality. It is well documented that inclusive mobility can move a country towards better socio-economics conditions.
Building on this sentiment, Shell's latest campaign “Great things happen when we move” celebrates these dreamers in India - those who display unconquerable courage and motivation to realize their ambitions by doing one simple thing — moving.
The three films are based on the stories of women, with mobility at the heart of each of them. The first film highlights the story of Yogita Raghuvanshi, India’s first female truck driver who could not pursue her career in law as she took on the responsibility of being a single mother after her husband passed away. The second film celebrates Geeta Tandon who walked out of an unhappy marriage and tried her hand at several things to support herself and her children. She found her calling as Bollywood’s leading stuntwoman. The third film showcases how travel expert Sumitra Senapaty, Founder of Women on Wanderlust, encourages women to travel to over 50 destinations around the world.
What sets this campaign apart is that it displays the unconquerable spirit of these three women through inspiring and heart-warming stories.
Women, who even today face towering challenges in their quest for mobility, can move mountains when they set their heart on something.
Great things happen when we move: the panel
To inspire our audience and encourage people, especially women, to keep moving and chase their dreams for a better future, YourStory hosted a panel featuring Yogita, Geeta and Sumitra in conversation with Nitin Prasad, Chairman, Shell Companies in India and Shradha Sharma of YourStory.
A better life begins the moment you find the power to surpass roadblocks
As Bollywood’s leading stuntwoman, Geeta spoke of how her vehicle powered her idea to move forward and become the stunt lead of many Bollywood productions.
“A better life begins the moment you find the power to surpass roadblocks,” she said.
Working in a male-dominated field, there were people who doubted Geeta’s ability to succeed as a stuntwoman. She adds. "Many advised me not to take up a job as dangerous as mine. I didn't let those opinions deter me, instead, I kept moving forward, challenging the norm and proving myself with my actions.
Solo travel and the dream of mobility for women in India
An experienced traveller and writer, Sumitra spoke about encouraging and inspiring women to travel by themselves across the world, through her WOW club. Through her initiative, she has set an example for countless women seeking to discover themselves.
Talking about what drove her, Sumitra said that she felt a compelling need to free every soul that yearned for travel, much like herself, and sharing her uplifting experience with the custom-bound women of India.
“After 52 weeks of deliberation, I decided to go forward, even though I didn’t have a name or a website. I was passionate about this, and I had a dream and I guess that’s what worked for me,” she said.
A part in the energy transition in India; for India and with India
“India is an important country for Shell. We are a country of dreamers. We are dreamers who aspire to move and transcend the mundane. Mobility can play a significant role - not just with soci0-econimic impact, but also in terms of improving lives. This campaign is therefore about our passion to move every Indian - whoever and wherever they are. We are keen to play a part in the energy transition in India; for India and with India; and intend to be a long-term player,” said Nitin, talking about how Shell is committed to power India’s progress as its trusted partner and bring cleaner energy solutions to the country.
Nitin also spoke about how Shell hoped to support the future electric powertrain that will help in decarbonizing the mobility sector. “We will serve the growing electric transport market by becoming an integrated power player, working from the beginning of the cycle, when electricity is generated, to buying and selling it, and supplying it directly to our customers to enable smooth riding to experience every time,” he said.
Shell and the startup ecosystem
Talking about the #MakeTheFuture campaign that was launched as part of Shell’s ambition to help find more and cleaner energy mobility solutions, Nitin said, “Through this programme we help budding engineers to design urban vehicles of the future. Shell Eco-marathon is a unique competition that challenges young engineers around the world to design, build and drive the most energy-efficient car.”
Nitin also spoke about how Shell was helping accelerate India’s transition to a sustainable energy future by becoming a major actor in the entrepreneurial ecosystem by linking talent, technology, capital and know-how for energy entrepreneurs. With our E4 programme, we aim to empower Innovative startups in the mobility space aspiring to bring forward disruptive technologies, business models and differentiated offerings,’ he said.
“As a material contributor, we seek to bring a mosaic of offerings to the country through its growing retail, natural gas and lubricants presence, establishing presence in the new energy space and future of mobility,” he added.
On choosing women to tell the Shell story
Shradha also spoke about how she had watched the three videos and found the 'Great Things Happen' narrative truly disruptive and moving, with the potential to impact every viewer, regardless of their gender.
Responding on how Shell walked the talk with its inclusion narrative, Nitin spoke about Shell’s focus on empowering women, why they put women first, and how the company has women across its businesses and functions, thriving in roles that are still considered 'unique' for women. These are not just limited to India, but globally—from women leading entire businesses across countries to managing their entire fuel stations, to all-women construction crews.
“For Shell, each and every employee and person connected with our work is our most valuable asset and over time we have seen the value women can and do bring to the workplace. So it's not really about doing something for them, it is about getting that talent. It makes business sense,” Nitin said.
Moving beyond obstacles into a brighter future
Putting it down to “hardwork and jazbah,” Geeta spoke about what it took to push past her obstacles and become the person she is today. “You can’t move ahead if you’re only looking in the rear-view mirror,” she added.
Thanking the participants for their inspiring words, Shradha ended the conversation with a fitting quote by Maya Angelou.
'Each time a woman stands up for herself, without knowing it possibly, without claiming it, she stands up for all women.'