|Born||June 2, 1978|
|Years active||2006 - present|
|Known for||Travel Plus Them|
|Height||5 ft 2 in (157 cm)|
|Spouse(s)||Dr. Kailash S. Amruthur|
Lakshmi Natarajan (born June 2, 1978) is an Indian-American corporate executive, entrepreneur, consultant, world traveler, coach, speaker, and advisory board member. Natarajan is the founder of two businesses: Travel Plus Them, a coaching and education company, and Excelador, a business consulting firm. Natarajan has over 20 years of experience as a corporate executive and has worked with several Fortune 500 companies like American Express, Accenture, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), and numerous clients.
Natarajan has been featured in the US Reporter’s Top Entrepreneurs in 2020 list and The Chicago Journal’s Top 20 Instagram Accounts to follow in the 2020 list. Natarajan has been widely covered in the high-tier media for Travel Plus Them, including NY Weekly, LA Wire, and others.
Early life and education
Natarajan was born on June 2, 1978, in India. Her family moved to the United States when she was 4 years old. In her early years in the US, Natarajan faced challenges in being a person of color because she was the “different one.” Her family then moved to Teaneck, a multicultural town in New Jersey, where she completed her middle and high-school education. Growing up in Teaneck and her frequent trips to India exposed her to the world and its diversity. Her grandfather and two grandmothers played an integral role in Natarajan’s life. The foundation of Indian culture and the Hindu religion stemmed from her grandparents. Natarajan’s parents and older brother always encouraged her to explore new things and supported all her interests in education, sports, arts, diverse cultures, travel, and community activities.
Natarajan is very close to her immediate family in the US and broader family around the world. Her greatest inspiration comes from her parents. As immigrants, Natarajan admires how hard her parents worked over the years (and still work post retirement) to ensure that Natarajan and her brother were exposed to the best opportunities.
Natarajan pursued a bachelor’s degree in Economics at the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA) with a minor in South Asian Studies. Natarajan graduated college early in 3 years in the fall of 1999, but is officially part of the millennium class of 2000. She later completed various Strategy, Marketing, Management Courses, and Executive Education at The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.
Natarajan began her career in 2000 when she joined American Express Company as a Marketing Analyst. She worked there for six years, during which she assumed several global roles. Initially, Natarajan handled growth opportunities in large- and mid-market B2B customer segments. After two years, she was promoted to Manager of the US Corporate Card Product, where she overlooked the implementation of expense management solutions for mid-market companies, managed the Premium Card portfolio, and was selected for a global assignment in Europe. In her last role as Senior Manager of Product Marketing, she spearheaded global expansion efforts through alliance creation, partner management, and oversight of P&L for first-ever U.S. airline corporate co-brand product for medium sized businesses.
In 2006, Natarajan joined Accenture, a leading global consulting company, as a Management Consultant. Over her seven years, assuming various roles across client industries to gain a breath of functional and leadership experiences. Her areas of speciality included client relationships, corporate strategy, organization transformation, customer experience, B2B and B2B marketing/ sales/digital strategies and operations, business analysis/implementation, and executive coaching. Natarajan collaborated with a wide array of Fortune 100 clients across global markets in various industries such as retail, technology, consumer products, life sciences, and hospitality. In her last role as Associate Managing Director/Client Engagement Lead, Natarajan led client/internal teams across business/ IT functions and contributed to industry thought capital.
In 2013, Natarajan became the Vice President of Sales at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), a global pharmaceuticals company based in the UK. Natarajan worked with the company for over four years, leading a team of 8 Managers and 80 sales professionals across four states. During her tenure, she led one of the top performing regional sales teams in the primary care division managing a diverse portfolio of mature and launch respiratory medicines. Her team was recognized with numerous awards for outstanding achievement. In addition, her people leadership capabilities earned her national recognition and awards.
In 2018, Natarajan joined Compass, an innovative technology real-estate company headquartered in New York, as a Regional President/General Manager of Florida. During her tenure, she led a team of 60 employees and 500 real estate agents (independent contractors) across multiple offices in the state of Florida. There she was responsible for marketing, sales, finance, customer experience, technology, and operations.
In 2020 after 20 years of her stellar global corporate experiences, Natarajan founded Excelador and Travel Plus Them. Her transition to entrepreneurship was centered around her strengths and reprioritizing her life to positively impact the future generation while doing something she loves with her family. Excelador is a global management consulting firm that offers strategic consulting and business services for clients to lead high performing teams, excel in their customer experience, and in turn, optimize their growth. Travel Plus Them is a coaching and education service helping parents to raise inclusive global citizens through travel and from home. Natarajan designed Travel Plus Them to go beyond solely a travel influencer company. Leveraging her extensive diverse experiences, Natarajan educates parents on how to expose children to diversity and culture from home through resources all available online. She also provides coaching and best practices on how families can travel safely and discusses other mommy information too. In the same year, Natarajan became an advisory board member of two start-ups: WorkTribe Dynamics, a company helping clients elevate their workforce through training and analytics; and Edition, a UK-based consulting company helping entrepreneurs build scalable businesses.
Natarajan has received numerous leadership, diversity, and achievement awards, including highest recognition in her corporations.
Natarajan spent most of her adult life in the New York City metro area. She married Dr. Kailash Amruthur in 2011. Amruthur is a neuroradiologist and works for a national medical corporation and is licensed in various states. The couple currently reside in Miami, FL with their two daughters: Shyla N. Amruthur (born March 2015) and Shriya N. Amruthur (born Sept 2016), who are avid global travelers.
Natarajan’s desire to learn about the world’s cultures fueled from her childhood experiences. To date, Natarajan has traveled to over 60 countries across all the continents for personal experiences and professional opportunities. Inspired by her passions and to educate the next generation, Natarajan has traveled to over 30 countries in 6 continents with her young children. She then founded Travel Plus Them to inspire other parents to raise global citizens. Natarajan is fluent in Tamil, Malayalam, English, and conversational Spanish.
Natarajan is a person who cherishes the bonds of family and friends and is inspired by world experiences. She invests significant time in all her personal and professional relationships. Natarajan is an active alumni of her alma mater the University of Pennsylvania and a member of Wisdom 4 Humanity. She volunteers for various charities specifically Karuna Charities founded in 1992 by a family friend and is involved in her Hindu religious community. Natarajan enjoys diverse cultural events, community service, and serving as a mentor to numerous young professionals.
In the media
- "Travel Plus Them Media". www.travelplusthem.com. Retrieved 5 December 2020.
- "Travel With Them Blog". www.travelplusthem.com. Retrieved 5 December 2020.
- "Free Resources - Raise Global Citizens - Travel Plus Them". www.travelplusthem.com. Retrieved 5 December 2020.
- "Travel Plus Them". www.travelplusthem.com. Retrieved 5 December 2020.
- Marie, Sarah (29 October 2020). "Corporate Executive Turned Entrepreneur Connecting the World Through Travel Plus Them". New York Weekly. Retrieved 5 December 2020.
- "Putting the Me Back in Lakshmi". The Me-Suite. Retrieved 5 December 2020.
- "About". www.travelplusthem.com. Retrieved 5 December 2020.
- "Lakshmi Natarajan - Founder | AdvisoryCloud". www.advisorycloud.com. Retrieved 5 December 2020.
- Ruiz, Daniel (20 October 2020). "Top 20 Instagram Accounts to Follow in 2020". The Chicago Journal. Retrieved 5 December 2020.
- "Raise Global Citizens - Travel Plus Them". www.travelplusthem.com. Retrieved 5 December 2020.
- "Travel & Mommy Stuff". www.travelplusthem.com. Retrieved 5 December 2020.
- "Travel Plus Them Emphasizes Importance of Cultural Immersion in the Upbringing of Children". LA Wire. 23 October 2020. Retrieved 5 December 2020.
- "Top 15 Entrepreneurs". US Reporter. 30 October 2020. Retrieved 5 December 2020.