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Oil and Gas Investor

As executive vice president and CFO of a global corporation, Rani Puranik realizes that understanding different cultures is key to success. Born and raised in Houston, she spent 19 years living in Pune, India, before ultimately moving back to her hometown, Houston. This experience allowed her to gain a global perspective on the different geographic challenges and strengths of the oil and gas industry.

“At WOM [Worldwide Oilfield Machine], our workforce is diversified and global,” Puranik said. “A variety of cultures brings about broad thoughts and behaviors.”

A champion of empowering people, Puranik also served as CEO of ISHA, the dance company she founded in India when she was only 24 years old. She currently serves as the chair of the Puranik Foundation, a non-profit that provides educational opportunities for youth in Houston and India, in addition to her various responsibilities with WOM.

Family guidance

“Energy comes naturally to me because it impacts every person on this planet. My father, and founder of WOM, advised and guided me to always focus on the customer. We are here to be solution providers. Our role is to make our customers’ lives, and the lives they serve, better and easier. Solutions should be simple to use and designed with the best technologies possible, with quality and safety as the number one priority. In changing times, as cheaper, lower quality and shorter life products enter the market, we ensure customers are given all the information required to make educated decisions that meet the solution they are seeking and offer long-term benefits.”

Industry evolution

“It’s important to understand causes or probes to the cyclical nature of oil and gas as well as interdependency of countries and their priorities. As the industry continues to evolve, it requires a variety of skill sets depending on the markets being served. Remain loyal to your values, be yourself and embrace your qualities and approach, while innovating and interacting with people. There is a place for everyone, and no one can defeat excellence.”

‘Empathy is a strength’

“Women are currently a minority in the energy industry, and as such, we may feel the need to continuously prove ourselves to our peers. After many years in the industry and on this earth, I have learned a few things that I’d like to share with you. Empathy: putting yourself in someone else’s shoes, truly listening and understanding various perspectives is an incredible strength. It allows you to peek into someone’s life without judgment or comparison and empowers you to understand someone else’s position. Everyone has a story, and who better to understand this than women. In the workforce, we can be the change we want to see. Empathy is a strength; it shows others they are being heard and that we care to try to understand. This is a great way to build trust and strong teams for the long term. I’ve been able to share the success of women and men in key positions as they’ve taken this approach—to understand differences, to give the benefit of doubt. This in turn developed loyalty within the teams and long-term stability and commitment for a common purpose.”


  1. I’m a female executive vice president and CFO in oil and gas, and I’m also a certified yoga instructor and Indian classical trained vocalist, musician and dancer. When I was 24, I started a dance company in India—ISHA—to give young girls opportunities, a platform and a voice.

  2. I climbed Mt. Everest base camp for my 50th birthday.

  3. My debut book, “Seven Letters to my Daughters,” is out in fall 2022.

Click here for a full list of “25 Influential Women in Energy” honorees for 2022.

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