Sumathi Iyer has been associated with BYST since 1996 and her contributions are unparalleled. She has directly mentored 4 entrepreneurs, counselled over 5000 aspiring entrepreneurs and trained 1000 others! She is associated with the Chennai Chapter of BYST and has played a plethora of roles in the organisation through the years. Before joining BYST, she was a banker with Canara Bank. Sumathi was instrumental in setting up the Entrepreneurship cell of Canara Bank in 1996. From then on, there was no looking back.
Sumathi began working with BYST as a member of Mentors Chapter in Chennai; she held positions including that of a Strategic Committee member. She was part of the Mentors Mobile Clinic and possesses hands-on experience in working with rural entrepreneurs. She is currently serving as the Vice-Chairman of BYST, Chennai region.
Sumathi has the endearing quality of dealing with each entrepreneur with utmost empathy and building a rapport with them, hearing them out and suggesting possible and achievable solutions. Beyond her role as a mentor in her region, she maintains excellent camaraderie with mentors and with entrepreneurs across BYST-operated areas in India. This provides her with an understanding of the job beyond the regional limitations.
Sumathi’s mentee Balalakshmi’s company M/s S B Organics manufactures cotton sanitary pads and trades various other organic products. Initially, Balalakshmi was denied support by banks and MSMEs and that is when she turned to BYST. She managed to gain financial support with the help of BYST and met with Sumathi. Sumathi mentored her with regard to maintaining books of accounts, balance sheet, cash flow statement, P&L, and marketing of her products.
As part of the BYST mentor exchange program, Sumathi also visited Wardha and participated with other mentors, extending her valuable guidance to the stakeholders. In December 2019, she visited Russia and Serbia to attend the Conference themed ‘Mentoring days’. She was the only Indian mentor to attend such a profound event. She used the platform to its fullest and spoke about the exclusive activities carried out by BYST to promote entrepreneurship and mentoring in the Indian diaspora. She believes in the idea of building one’s dream from scratch and finding success through doing what one loves doing!