Self-belief is the key that liberates us from doubts and diffidence to unleash our true potential. Nirupama Subramanian provides guidance on how to do this
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Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw

Executive Chairperson, Biocon
Nirupama Subramanian has written a gem of a book. Her fascinating analysis of the six feminine powers is bound to inspire readers and open their eyes to their own deep and unique strengths—strengths with which they can break age-old boundaries.
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Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

Author of The Forest of Enchantments and The Last Queen

The six feminine-power models will help Indian women understand themselves and the world around them better, overcome their limiting beliefs and live their full potential to create a just and equitable society.

Nirupama has spent the last few years coaching and training women across India, and has a thorough understanding of the challenges and issues they face. I am thrilled that she is putting all that experience to good use in this new book.

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Debjani Ghosh

President, NASSCOM

More than 40 per cent of my management team consisted of women, both in Nokia and PepsiCo. I learnt a lot from them. Women have more power than they know or use.

Their soft power, loyalty to teams and organizations, and the ability to reconsider their point of view when given fresh evidence, give them a unique advantage. Identifying the six feminine types is a great way to help women leverage their power.

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Shiv Shivakumar

Group Executive President, Strategy, Aditya Birla Group
Finally, a book that uses women and power in the same breath, without irony or embarrassment.
Using the Indian ethos, the author builds new, empowering archetypes that we can all model ourselves on and be our best own icons.
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Kaveree Bamzai

Journalist and Author

The biggest question for women leaders remains: how to move forward when there is no playbook for aspiring women in the modern workplace and the path is still defined by men? Indian society is built around a strong gender stereotyping and motherhood model, creating guilt for those who try to move away from it.

Women tend to live in self-doubt about deserving their success, and remain fearful of displaying power, since appearing too powerful threatens to lower their likeability quotient—a dilemma men never face. Women, own your success: celebrate small victories, believe in yourself and mentor young women in their journey. You can be powerful and warm at the same time! Nirupama’s comprehensive book will further shatter the glass ceiling and challenge gender stereotypes, helping you tap into your inner power.

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Shital Kakkar Mehra

Executive Presence Coach for CEOs; bestselling author; Co-founder, Katalyst (NGO)

A book talking about power, especially women’s power, is somewhat relevant when you think that at this point of time, post-Covid, the Indian woman is probably as vulnerable and as unsure of herself as she could be.

Nirupama’s writing is refreshing and humble. It steers clear of the very tempting template of defining every self-sabotaging action of women as originating from the six patterns it showcases. I loved the autobiographical touches and also found myself reflecting on my own mores.  Read the rest of the review here(link)

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Hindu Business Line

Dr. Saundarya Rajesh- Founder Avtaar.

I was expecting an intense, preachy book given the premise but was pleasantly surprised by it's narrative - breezy, hard hitting and filled with references and anecdotes from politics, literature, sports and mythology. From Smriti Irani to jayalalitha to Satyavan Savitri! Nirupama'a book is largely about the 6 feminine power models she creates - archetypes that enable women to identify, claim their feminine power and unlock their full potential to lead a powerful life. In a way, leveraging stereotypes in a positive and an actionable way.

Karthik Nagarajan

Host of The Filter Koffee Podcast

The book ‘Powerful’ by Nirupama Subramanian is a powerful book indeed for several reasons. Women’s empowerment is not a systemic challenge alone but takes serious self work in the inner realm for women. Nirupama’s work provides a crucial framework in this direction, for women to do inner work to emerge as authentic persons with powerful clarity, and not mere confidence.

Nirupama provides six archetypes resonant with Indian ethos and culture, for women to understand, relate to, access and draw power from. Not in the sense of classifying oneself to either of the archetypes and falling prey to yet another kind of stereotyping of the self, but in the sense of presenting a platter of access points to choose from, configure one’s own assortment and adapt it  as needed. It is by gifting this greater kind of freedom that Nirupama's work becomes a liberating framework for women. For women who are in search of their own power in a way that is authentic to their real selves, this framework provides a meaningful starting point, and stays flexible to allow for change and flow.

The book makes use of relevant research, and presents examples to make each of the archetypes relatable. Each archetype is sketched with immense nuancing as well, almost akin to convincing characterization of players in a play or a novel: They come alive for the reader. They hold potential for breakthroughs in self-discovery, springing several AHA moments for the reader perhaps.

 The archetypes are dissimilar and yet have their overlaps, which Nirupama points out with much clarity and accuracy. . It is the sketching of these possible trajectories which offers true delight for an intense reader, and makes the book a brilliant work in orienting the discourse on women’s growth towards the imperative of inner work.

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Dr. Sangeeta Mansur

Sustainability Catalyst Life & leadership- Integration Coach Founder, Bhairavi Business & Consultancy State President, LSC, Karnataka, WICCI

Just finished reading Nirupama Subramanian 's book. Powerful is a must read for all women: definitely for working women, and those familiar with Indian mythology.

Elated to read this defining and very relatable book by an alumnus of my alma mater XLRI who is an entrepreneur, a mother, a leadership coach and clearly a lucid author. Here is what worked for me:

1. The book builds on archetypes : Most leadership theory characterises people or personalities based on archetypes - Nirupama- takes this concept and links it to female archetypes of Indian origin: Kanya, Apsara, Veera, Rishika - to name a few.

2. Relatablity of the archetypes: I started thinking about each archetype and ended up reflecting on the ones that best describe me. And I also went on to think of what combination possibly applies to the people I know.

3. No judgement- each typology is handled without judgement. No, the Apsara is not slutshamed, nor is the Ma over-revered. Each type has its own context, strengths and blindspots. Many sources of societal conditioning are also traced back and linked with these.

"Your average woman is not allowed to be a Goddess. There is something forbidden, even dangerous, about a woman being at her full power".

4. Lots of examples - from mythology, bollywood, politics and even her own coaching sessions. Admire her authenticity in sharing personal examples too, which takes a lot of selfawareness and courage.

5. What takes it to the next level is that she has converted this into a certified assessment tool - which you can take online and receive your scores and a detailed report with strengths and areas for growth.

She truly brings her whole self to this book and I think it makes a POWERFUL statement in so many ways! Add this to your reading/gifting list:


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Dr. Poornima Dore

Head- Governance-Tata Trust, Musician, Economist

Reading 'Powerful' as a person who identifies with being Male opened my eyes to the unconscious aggression that gets perpetrated when the world tries to look at women and men from a gender-neutral lens, as has been the trend recently. Nirupama takes the step of looking the issue squarely in the eye and says it for what it is. Her framework for looking at women through the lens of feminine archetypes opens a new page in human understanding."

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V. Kartikeyan

Coarchitect of Transformative alignment Mapping ( TAM assessment) and Chief consultant- Vistas Consulting

The author began the story with "My story of power", which I believe is the best way to begin the book. The author included examples of the goddess Laxmi and Durga. Cover with Bindi symbol is quite intelligent. The author has also included recent scenarios. She used references and examples of Manusmriti, Ayodhya kand, etc. The author explained six sources of power and then explained each in different chapters. For example, in rising and shining, the example of Smriti Irani is quoted. In the rebellious warrior, an example from Mamata Banerjee is given.
By reading this book one will be able to better understand women, confirm their qualities, and learn how to deal with them. The book is a must-read for girls, women, mothers, fathers, and gentlemen. We will all be able to find gems in it to enhance our lives in our own way. Intriguing connections between ancient epics, Indian mythology, Bollywood, Hollywood, and Greek mythology keep the reader's interest. With a mix of traditional and contemporary styles, as well as adequate facts and research, this book enhances both professional and personal spaces. Using the tool, people can identify their strengths realistically and gain insights into dormant strengths. You can use it as a toolkit to add more value to your life.

Preet Thakur

via Amazon

The tagline of the book is “The Indian women’s guide to unlock her full potential” so I was curious to read it. And I am goad that I picked it up. It’s a book of non fiction genre. Author has started the story with “My story of power” and I liked that. Author has included examples such as Goddess Laxmi and Durga. Cover with Bindi symbol is quite intelligent. Author has also included recent scenarios. As we know, the recent international political situation is in highlight due to same topic. So it was an anticipated read for me. Author has taken references and examples from Manusmriti , Ayodhya kand, etc. I liked that. Author has explained six sources of power and later on explained each one differently in individual chapters. Like for example in rise and shine, the example of Smriti Irani is quoted. In rebel warrior, example of Mamata Benarjee is given. I liked the suggestions given for such as Yogasanas, affirmations, etc. Author has explained everything with charts, data, examples and body practices. I liked the way of thinking and the entire idea about the book. This is the first book that captured my idea about feminism, so I loved that. Author has covered all aspects that touches women from being feminine to warrior, I liked that part. Author has written the book in captivating manner. The language of the book is lucid so that everyone can read it. Overall good one. Recommended from my side.


via Amazon

f you are an Indian woman on a quest to understand yourself (and other women) better and harness your maximum potential, then this amazing book by Nirupama Subramaniam is an essential for you.
Nirupama simplifies the personas we all embody with such simplicity and clarity that this book becomes an easy read for all of us and a powerful tool to comprehend ourselves and where we are in our respective journeys.
After reading the book, I felt I understood myself better. I also feel I understand some of the main women in my life better and I also understand where & why I may be inadvertently diminishing myself. Further I have access to simple tools whereby I can invoke the necessary persona / archetype I need the most in a situation.
Strongly recommend for yourself and for the women you care for!

Divya Jain

Business Head, Global MNC

Nirupama is a wonderful coach- she is empathetic, was able to help me understand and structure my goals (and helped me also realize when it needed to be evolved), was able to give me appropriate tools and hold me accountable to my actions. She also very perceptive and discerning in being able to call out the not-so-obvious challenges. I also benefitted from her vast experience of working with women leaders – particularly from the assessment exercise from the Powerful tool to understand my archetype and work towards specific areas that I was able to see limitations in

Lakshmi Sethuraman

Sattva Consulting

Enhanced my self awareness and identification of dominant and latent powers - a step towards success.


Women Leading IITs program

Testimonials and Feedback for Powerfulife sessions.

Thank you so much for today’s discussion. We had a good 100+ audience and a great engagement on the chat. I also received some messages  about how great the session was and specially about the insights you shared.

Navreet Sarkaria- Intuit

Thank you for a very insightful and sensitive conversation on everything from authoring books to parenting and sharing your experiences as a professional. It was a wonderful experience.

Jacintha Jayachandran

Advisor Enquero- A Genpact company

Thank you so much for participating in the session- IGNITE. It was indeed a really interesting session and I am so glad we could have you with us as a speaker

Shivani Kumar

CII- Gender and Development specialist

We appreciate your participation in Kotak's first learning fair. It was a wonderful session. Thanks a lot

Varsha Gandhi

Kotak Mahindra Bank

Thank you Nirupama Subramanian! It was an inspiring session and you are an amazing speaker!
The way you explained the strategies that keep women from power & Feminine Powers model with real life examples and with a touch of humor, it certainly made an impact.
The book 'Powerful - Indian woman's guide to unlocking her full potential' , is enlightening, interesting and very relevant. It's a must read!

Amrapali Mahajan

Thank you for the beautiful session you did for us. It was very insightful and will help us navigate our life in the future.We can make more informed decisions based on our personality types.

Meena Nambiar

Bajaj Auto- Participant at up! SURGE Women Leaders Program
Empowering women workforce has always been our motto for the Women Empowerment Forum. On that note, we had the pleasure of hosting renowned leadership coach and author Nirupama Subramanian, who joined us for an intriguing webinar on the inherent powers of women and how unlock your full potential to lead a powerful life, both at work and in personal domain. She also spoke about what factors that keep women from their inner power. The session was very interesting and we received such great feedback from the audience, who would also receive a copy of this book for further learning. Thank you Nirupama Subramanian for a fantastic session… we look forward to a continued partnership with you !!

Ashima Bahl

Director -Strategic Planning, Governance & Internal Assurance and DEI Leader

Video Testimonals

Debjani Ghosh

President, NASSCOM

Uttara Subramanian

Founder Katsu Consulting

Chitra Singh


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