Divya Momaya and Neha Shah: Bridging the Knowledge Gap in Comprehensive Governance via MentorMyBoard

Divya Momaya and Neha Shah

To compete globally, the Indian corporate sector needs a robust foundation in the most crucial factor for a business enterprise—its governance mechanism. This mechanism ensures transparency, accountability, and responsible decision-making, which are essential for attracting investors, building trust with stakeholders, and navigating complex business environments.

Yet, until the most influential leaders like Divya Momaya and Neha Shah studied the issue and came up with their ingenious startup MentorMyBoard (MMB), not tried to solve it, even though concerns about corporate governance in India existed before.

MMB’s journey began with realising this critical need in the corporate sector. In 2017, over two lakh directors in India faced disqualification due to non-compliance with financial return filings, highlighting a significant gap in governance understanding. This situation revealed the necessity of educating founders, promoters, and board members on good governance practices.

The Ingenious Inception

Motivated by this gap and the evolving role of independent and women directors, Divya and Neha founded MMB. Their mission was to create a platform that would not only bridge this knowledge gap but also enhance the capabilities of board leaders through comprehensive governance education and mentorship.

Emerged as India’s rising startup, MentorMyBoard’s guiding philosophy is to foster a culture of good governance through continuous learning and mentorship. By providing tailored training programs, curated learning experiences, and a collaborative community of board leaders, MMB aims to empower directors to contribute effectively to corporate governance. This philosophy is underpinned by the belief that training both promoters and independent directors is essential for achieving robust governance, thereby ensuring sustainable business growth and contributing to enhanced capitalization for the Indian economy.

The Dynamic Distinction

The startup landscape is continually evolving. MentorMyBoard stands out due to its unique subscription-based governance tech platform that caters specifically to board leaders. The USPs of MMB include:

  • Tailored Training Programs:Custom programs and mentoring initiatives for boards, CXOs, and top leadership, focusing on governance, growth, and sustainability. Any-time learning programs help directors and leaders learn at their own pace
  • Comprehensive Ecosystem:Beyond training, MMB provides resources, human capital, and products/services needed by boardrooms.
  • Collaborative Community:A diverse network of mentors, industry experts, and like-minded individuals fostering shared expertise.
  • Innovative Learning Methods:Experiential learning through mock boardroom sessions, curated programs like IDEAL, WOMB and events like the Independent Directors Summit, Women Directors’ Conclaves, and Governance/IPO weeks.
  • We also act as knowledge partners to the boardrooms through our handholding growth plans,” says Divya.

These unique features have positioned MMB as a leading startup in governance training and board leadership development.

The Legendary Leadership

Recognized as a driving force behind their company’s achievements, the leadership style at MentorMyBoard, led by Divya and Neha, is centred around mentorship, collaboration, and empowerment. Both leaders bring over 20 years of industry experience and emphasize the importance of continuous learning and regulatory adherence. Divya’s expertise in Corporate and Securities Laws and Neha’s background in HR and Change Management complement each other, fostering a culture of professional transformation and governance excellence. Their approach involves creating an inclusive environment where every team member is encouraged to contribute, share knowledge, and grow together, building a resilient and innovative organization.

The essence of a startup lies in innovation, disruptions, and enhancing the end-user experience. At MentorMyBoard, Divya, Neha, and their leadership team balance operational efficiency and customer satisfaction by integrating technology with personalized mentorship. The platform offers a range of resources, including blogs, newsletters, and round table discussions, tailored to the specific needs of its members. MMB continuously updates its offerings and leverages digital tools for experiential learning to ensure members receive practical, up-to-date knowledge. This approach enhances customer satisfaction and maintains operational efficiency through streamlined, tech-driven processes.

The Team of Technocrats 

Divya and Neha also ensure that MMB integrates digitalization and technological advancements, the crucial aspects of the modern startup ecosystem, by leveraging a governance tech platform that offers subscription-based access to resources and a collaborative community. This platform facilitates continuous learning and mentorship through digital channels, including webinars, online courses, and virtual events. By embracing technology, MMB is emerging as a marketplace for boardrooms where everything thought leaders need is available under one roof, thereby contributing to a technovative future.

Believing that the workforce is the cornerstone of every successful organization, At MentorMyBoard, Divya and Neha ensure that fostering a culture of growth, skill development, and empowerment is achieved through continuous learning and mentorship programs. The company offers tailored training and development opportunities for employees, encouraging them to up-skill and stay current with industry trends. Regular workshops, mentorship sessions, and collaborative projects enable employees to enhance their knowledge and skills. The company is pioneered in mentorship and training of leaders, understands the deep needs of employees to upskill, and invests in the same. This commitment to personal and professional growth empowers the workforce, driving innovation and excellence within the organization.

A Resilient Wisdom

As leaders in India’s rising startup sector, MMB faced its share of challenges. Divya says, “One significant challenge MMB faced was the initial lack of awareness and understanding of the importance of governance among entrepreneurs and directors.

Neha mentions that to address this, MMB organized targeted events such as the Women Directors Conclave and Independent Directors Summit. These initiatives, supported by notable figures like the Honourable Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, and the Ex-SEBI Chairman, helped highlight the importance of governance and attract attention to MMB’s mission.

The team’s resilience and ingenuity in creating impactful events and building a supportive community played a crucial role in overcoming this challenge and establishing MMB as a trusted governance platform.

Startups allow the Indian industry to pace up its young entrepreneurial potential and capacity. Thus, for aspiring entrepreneurs, the key advice is to identify and address a real gap in the market, much like MMB did with governance education. Focus on continuous learning and adaptability, as the startup landscape is constantly evolving. Building a strong, supportive community and fostering collaborative partnerships can significantly enhance your startup’s growth. Lastly, prioritize good governance and ethical practices from the outset, as these are crucial for sustainable success and long-term credibility.

Adventurous Resonance 

As co-founders of “MentorMyBoard,” Divya and Neha Shah embarked on an adventure that paralleled the entrepreneurial journey: The Annapurna Base Camp trek. This journey wasn’t merely a test of physical endurance; it mirrored the essence of entrepreneurship.

Key insights from their trek that resonate with their mission at MentorMyBoard:

*Vision and Goal Setting*

Guided by the majestic Annapurna, they were reminded that a clear, compelling vision is crucial in entrepreneurship. It’s about setting sights high, acknowledging the challenges ahead, yet pushing forward with unwavering conviction.

*Resilience in the Face of Adversity*

The trek was filled with unpredictable challenges, much like the startup journey. However, the resilience to keep moving forward, learning from every setback, and growing through adversity defines true entrepreneurial spirit. There was a time when one of them was about to quit, but the motivation from peers was the key to success. This also reinforced the importance of mentors, advisory boards, and coaches in the entrepreneurial journey who keep entrepreneurs focused, motivated, and on track for growth and success.

*Embracing Change and Pivoting When Necessary*

Adaptability was key on their trek, with plans often changing in response to the mountain’s whims. Adverse weather conditions and steep routes made the journey challenging. Similarly, pivoting based on feedback or market dynamics is crucial for sustained success in business.

*The Journey Matters*

Each step towards the base camp was a lesson in itself, teaching them that in their startup journey, every experience, whether a setback or a milestone, holds value. The growth through what they encounter along the way truly counts.

*Family: Their Unsung Heroes*

A special note on the role of family: Divya and Neha share, “Our life partners were not just companions on this trek; they’ve been the unsung heroes in our entrepreneurial journey. Their patience, motivation, and unwavering support remind us that while the path to success is often a solitary climb, having loved ones as cheerleaders makes the journey less daunting and more fulfilling. This trek underscored the importance of family in providing a foundation of support that empowers us to confidently chase our dreams.”

Building a Virtual Global Leaders Community

Looking to the future, under Divya and Neha’s exemplary leadership, MentorMyBoard envisions becoming a global leader in governance education and board leadership development, emerging from strong Indian roots. The goal is to build a virtual international community of 100,000 members, expanding its reach and impact.

MMB aims to continue innovating in governance training, fostering collaborations, and enhancing its ecosystem to support the evolving needs of board leaders as they move from aspirations to excellence.

By empowering directors with the knowledge and skills to drive ethical and effective governance, MMB aspires to make a significant and lasting impact on India’s startup governance landscape and beyond.