Revati Puranik – A Global CFO who Always Finds a Way!

Meena Azzollini

Revati Puranik, Seema.com, seema woman, South Asian CFO, Puranik Foundation, seema newsletter, seema leader, South Asian women leaders, South Asian leaders, Rekha and Sudhir Puranik Foundation, ISHA, Indian Search through Harmony & Arts

From a dancer and choreographer to a global CFO of a multinational company, Revati Puranik has experienced quite a few life lessons in her 47-years on this planet. With every experience in her life, Revati is constantly learning, expanding awareness and unifying aspects of herself.

Revati, also known as Rani to her friends, is the Global CFO of Worldwide Oilfield Machine (WOM), a corporate global manufacturing enterprise for the oil and gas industry and the railway industry. She also serves as the Executive Director of the Rekha and Sudhir Puranik Foundation and is the Founder/ CMD of ISHA—Indian Search through Harmony & Arts. In her newest venture, she is President of Appleseed Inc.—a PR and branding company for motivation and inspiration learning.

Born in India but raised in the US since she was 6-weeks-old, Revati grew up with WOM, a company founded by her father, Sudhir Puranik,bin 1980. However, she took a break from it when she moved to Pune, India when she was 18-years-old. While in India, her life took a different tangent.

“It’s all creative movement. Destiny has a way with time and time is a rhythm with one direction—forward.  What rhythm we move forward with designs our steps, choreographs sequences with more people joining in to collaborate into a larger purpose beyond the self,” explains Revati.

Revati got married at 19 and has two beautiful daughters—Bhakti and Sharayu. While motherhood was foremost for Revati, she also saw a need for girls to have a safe place for self-expression with no judgement. In 1997, she developed ISHA.

ISHA provides programs that encourage self-discovery through awareness of the self, nature and society. Rani explains, “Typically as a culture, Indians love to dance, so thanking the vast dance background I had in Indian classical, folk and physical movement of gymnastics and yoga, my dance and expression company was born.”

Through ISHA’s programs and workshops, Revati currently mentors and teaches young children, teenagers and adults. “I have a vision that each person is at its best, serving others to be their best which then builds a fully aware holistic living relationship all around—with the self, nature, and societies across the globe.”

Even now with her busy schedule, Revati still choreographs shows for their study abroad programs, retreats and gala’s. But then again, dancing is in her blood. It never leaves her and even while she is cooking at home, she will break into a little dance. Rani confides, “According to those who have seen me over time will tell me I dance when I speak, conduct sessions or even when I walk.” 

Revati moved back to Houston in 2007 when her marriage broke down. But she was determined to move forward and start back from the beginning—at WOM. She knew that it is here that she could make a difference. “My strength of working with people at the ground level, shouldering them in each challenge or goal and facilitating them to stand and fly on their own was something I had been learning for years through ISHA and even with my family. This time around, I had a chance to be my best not just through knowledge and experiences, but through my spiritual quest to finally find my being, forgive and thank the past, and love every step towards the future,” explains Revati.

But things at WOM had changed, and the company had grown exponentially. The only way to be her best was to learn what she didn’t know. So, Revati started as a member of WOM’s executive management team in 2007 and graduated from Rice University’s Jesse H. Jones School of Business with an MBA in finance in 2014. Within 2 years of her powerful leadership, strong business acumen and her penchant for a collaborative team environment saw her get promoted to the position of Global CFO.

Another role close to Revati’s heart is to oversee the operation of outreach programs in India and Houston at the Vision International Learning Center—a school in Pune founded by her mother, Mrs. Rekha Puranik, in 2000. This school is Puranik Foundation’s core program, which imparts quality education to underprivileged children. “The purpose of our school is in our tag line—See More to Be More,” Revati explains. “We believe we can be more when we see more. Our goal is to provide opportunities for young generations to open minds to various ways of learning and seeing possibilities even in limited resources.”

While Houston is home for this Desi American, her close connection to Pune remains through her work at ISHA, Vision International Learning Center and the various programs she designs and leads at the Puranik Foundation. She identifies herself as neither American nor Indian but a spirit having a human experience. “There is no demarcation in my mind. Perhaps my blur of borders naturally comprehends the non-verbal, all-encompassing language of the body and the silent yet clear dynamics of a group of people. I see the world as one unit, and the earth a portion of a larger existence.”

Revati has come a long way from the18-year-old who came to India to explore Indian culture. Today, she sits at the helm of a global company and jet-sets off to various locations around the world when her work and vocation calls. She is a true leader and doesn't see herself as a woman in a man’s world. “I’m a person in a world of people. I can be firm and direct strategy with audacity as I can nurture teams and give space to grow with complete empathy,” says Rani.

Revati has a lot to be excited about as she moves forward into 2020. She is finishing up on her book, “There’s Always a Way!” written to inspire young adults or any person finding their way and seeing the big picture through changes—desired or unexpected. 

On the Puranik Foundation front, Rani is busy with newly revised study abroad programs and experiential and mentoring programs both in India and Texas.

As WOM celebrates 40 years serving the oil and gas industry through engineering excellence and manufacturing leadership, Revati has a lot on her plate and a lot more to look forward to as she forges her way ahead as Global CFO, mother, daughter, author, and founder of other companies and many initiatives that serve others.