During Women’s History Month, Inspire celebrates the stories of our corporate and franchise team members, as well as franchisees as we reflect on the significant roles that women have played in shaping American history.
Today, we spoke with Kruti Pandya, who is a Dunkin’ and Baskin-Robbins franchisee in the Chicago and Milwaukee regions and joined the family business of owning and operating Dunkin’ and Baskin-Robbins restaurants 16 years ago. She is also the franchisee co-lead for the Midwest region chapter of the Dunkin’ and Baskin-Robbins Women’s Integrated Network Employee Resource Group (wIN ERG), which is dedicated to uniting team members to empower and accelerate the development of women leaders, build community and drive innovation that grows share of the women’s market.
Why is being a member of the wIN ERG important to you?
As the Midwest region franchisee co-lead of wIN since 2016, I feel this group has provided the perfect platform to connect both sides of the Dunkin’ and Baskin-Robbins brands (the franchisor and franchisee) to network efficiently in a comfortable environment that welcomes the existing qIN members along with the newest additions. We also have the ability to connect and help each other with issues facing women leaders today and in the future.
What are your goals as a member of this wIN ERG?
Our goal is to empower women leaders to reach their highest potential with the proper resources. The brands have grown significantly over the past few decades so there are constant changes. We want to be able to provide the attendees of our events with various networking opportunities with different issues relevant to the QSR industry.
What does Women’s History Month mean to you?
Women’s History Month is an opportunity to reflect upon the proud achievements historically of women leaders and to celebrate the present moment of upcoming trailblazers. It was a commendable milestone when wIN was incorporated with the Dunkin’ Global Convention in 2018 and hopefully we can continue the momentum of women leadership at the next convention.
How are you celebrating women’s achievements?
It gives me immense pride as a second-generation franchisee and a proud mother to be a regional representation of how the Midwest wIN involves franchisees to lead events. I am celebrating this achievement by acknowledging my phenomenal co-lead, Dunkin’ and Baskin-Robbins Learning Manager Colette Corriveau, who has guided me these past five years in bringing new topics to raise awareness to the community. I am truly blessed for the strong Regional wIN team and working alongside Lynn Patino, Keri Christopher, Krista Huff, Twinkle Parikh, Krupa Shah, Kajal Patel and our sponsor, Melissa Bruce.
Is there a particular woman in history that has influenced you in either your personal life or career?
My mother, Rajshree Pandya. She has been the biggest influencer in both my personal and professional life since I saw her transition from an immigrant teenager that never completed her formal education to being the backbone to helping build and expand our Pandya Network. Her continuous dedication as a working mother motivates me daily to set the prime example for my own daughter, Kaira, that the sky is the limit when making dreams come true.
A challenged world is an alert world and from challenge comes change. How can you help forge a gender equal world?
Throughout my undergraduate and graduate school education, I was involved as an ambassador for the diversity club and also women in business club, where I was responsible for fostering a welcoming environment amongst all inclusive groups regardless of gender, race, religion or sexual orientation. I have continued that mindset that encourages others to support the constant changes that are occurring. I am a strong believer in “knowledge is power.” The better educated we are about worldly changes, the greater the outcomes will be.
To learn more about career opportunities at Inspire, visit careers.inspirebrands.com.