Company: Akraya, Inc., Sunnyvale, CA
Company Description: Akraya, Inc. is a multiple award-winning, fast growing provider of IT, Engineering, Creative & Marketing talent. Akraya supports Enterprise clients like eBay, Cisco and Oracle as well as hot emerging companies like Facebook. Akraya is a woman-owned and minority- owned certified business.
Nomination Category: Company/Organization Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Women Helping Women Award
Nomination Title: Sonu Ratra, Mentor and Dedicated Advocate of Women Empowerment
Since July 2008, Sonu Ratra, the President of Akraya, Inc., a multiple-award
winning talent solutions company continued her efforts supporting women
Sonu’s story is one of a young Indian girl who truly lived the American dream. She
came to the US, became an entrepreneur, made a successful life for herself and
her family while never forgetting her roots and the strong women that helped her
throughout her journey. Sonu’s mother has been her primary role model. In spite
of being paralyzed from a spinal cord tumor, she raised two daughters to face the
world and its hardships with a smile. She provided precious education, counseling,
guidance for her family although she was completely bedridden herself. This
determination and positive energy helped Sonu through her life and motivated her
to become involved with counseling other, less fortunate women.
As a successful woman entrepreneur, Sonu believes that with success comes
responsibility. She has always been very passionate about giving back to the
community. (She holds a Masters degree in Social Work from Tata Institute of
Social Studies (TISS) in India.) Sonu dedicated two years of her career to working
directly with HIV-infected women through fieldwork, and outreach.
In the last 12 months, Sonu has been proud to serve on the board of the Northern
California Supplier Diversity Council – MBEIC. In this role, Sonu supports MBEIC’s
mission to find ways to help women-owned minority businesses reach a larger
market. Sonu also makes it her priority to mentor women and provide career
guidance. She counseling Akraya’s women consultants and find them right
projects to propel their careers forward. Since the Fall of 2008, Sonu has been
active in guiding the careers of her mentees in job transition. She hosted several
networking events such as the “Pay It Forward” Matchmaking Event and
the “Woman Power Hour Mixer” with the Women’s Business Enterprise National
Council (WBENC) to help find jobs for her mentees.
Recognizing Sonu’s commitment to helping women, WBENC invited Sonu in the
Spring of 2009 to their Certification Committee to identify, qualify and certify
other Women Owned Businesses.
In May 2009, Sonu joined The Institute of Economic Empowerment for Women’s
Peace Through Business Mentorship Program and became a mentor to Joy
Kabera Kansangire, a female business owner from Rwanda. Sonu is hosting Joy
and managing Joy’s US business training.
Throughout 2008, Sonu continued leading Akraya’s charitable programs like
supporting SOFOSH’s Shreevatsa Center (meaning "Children of God"), a safe
haven located in Pune, India that houses unwed mothers and their newborns as
well as abandoned children.
Besides being a woman business owner, Sonu is also mother to a young girl,
Ananya. As her mother was Sonu’s role model, Sonu hopes to be a role model to
her own daughter teaching her that there are no limits to what a woman can
achieve in life if she puts her heart into it. In early 2009, Sonu was honored
with the 2009 Enterprising Women of the Year Award by Enterprising Women
List the URLs (web addresses) of any online news stories, press releases, or other documents that you would like the judges to see that support your entry. IMPORTANT: List each URL on a separate line, begin each URL with http://, and enclose each URL in square brackets. For example, [http://www.yourcompany.com/pressrelease.html]:
Provide a brief biography of the nominated person, or of the person or persons who lead the nominated company (up to 100 words):
From early on, Sonu Ratra’s interests focused on community service and women
empowerment. After receiving her Masters degree in Social Work, Sonu spent
several years working in community outreach programs in her native India. After
founding her fast-growing talent solutions company, Akraya, Inc. in the US, Sonu
continued her efforts of supporting women organizations both in her new country
and back at home. She has also been supporting the Faith Ministries and
Sharanalayam Orphanage in India and the Race for Literacy Project in Mountain
View, CA for many years.