880: The Importance of Self-Advocacy With Sundari Pai Luts

Sundari Pai Luts is a dedicated DEI champion and currently Senior Manager, Global Supplier Diversity at Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS) and is passionate about diverse economic inclusion, community empowerment, advocacy, policy, driving strategic programs, and making the world a better place. In this role, she strategically supports the development, expansion and execution of corporate-wide global supplier diversity strategies, policies, and procedures working with internal and external business partners to ensure alignment with BMS’s Inclusion and Diversity strategy.  Sundari is also the advisory board committee for USPAACC WISE, a program intended for AAPI Women that would strategically address core issues and create lasting impact in their professional and personal lives, thus empowering and uplifting them in creating and choosing their own personal choices.

Sundari shares the importance of self-advocacy and how it has helped her build her confidence to be the woman that she is today.  She also shares tips that will help you in your own journey to self-confidence.


Sundari Pai Luts is a dedicated DEI champion and currently Senior Manager, Global Supplier Diversity at Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS).

Cultural Background

Sundari is of Indian descent.

Favorite Self Confidence Quote

The best path to self-confidence is self-advocacy. The more you love yourself, you can unleash your full potential.

Definition of Self Confidence

Self-confidence is getting through anything with unwavering self-assuredness and belief in your abilities, decisions, and determination to overcome any obstacle or challenge that comes your way.

Her Life Before the Discovery of Self Confidence

Growing up across various parts of the world, Sundari was blessed to have been exposed to different cultures and perspectives. It also taught her lessons along the way that to be seen or heard, you better raise your hand up, or lean in. Moving from place to place, she always felt like the odd one out. There have been many moments as such. For example, there were times when she went to a new country, she stood out and not included because she was different, or even when she went back to India, she stood out because she wasn’t brown enough anymore in a previously comfortable space. Growing up, it does take a mental toll. This led her to learn early on in life the power of inclusion and its importance.

The “AHA” Moment

And during these times, Sundari’s wonderful parents always motivated her and her brother to do better instead of simply fitting in. To use your disadvantage to our yadvantage.  Instead of simply going with the flow, to find your own voices. So, as she grew into various spaces, key word being spaces – learnt to adapt quickly while advocating for self. Whether it was coming here to the United States close to 20 years ago, in school settings, work settings, in relationships, through health challenges, and more. There were many challenges as she worked to acclimatize. Today reflecting, the moments of
success have all been due to self-advocacy.

Simplecast Banner

Her Life After the Discovery of Self Confidence

Today, While Sundari promotes self-advocacy, she also champions underserved and underrepresented communities in her day as an inclusive procurement leader and global supplier diversity advocate at Bristol Myers Squibb. Sundari also pursues her passion for supplier diversity and community upliftment externally, through her active engagement with various Minority Business Councils, State Offices, Chambers of Commerce, and other institutions. Such as corporate advisory board member with Asian Indian Chamber of Commerce (AICC), Healthcare Advisory and NextGEN Advisory
board member with Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), Vice Chair of Healthcare Advisory board with WeConnect International, member of the BDR Connects board, Black-Owned Business Collaborative in Healthcare with Billion Dollar Roundtable, Global Diversity Advisory Council member, a one-of-a-kind collaboration with World Trade Center of Greater Philadelphia, Women Business Enterprise Council East Coast (WBEC-EAST) and Eastern Minority Supplier Development Council (EMSDC), advisory board committee member of US Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce’s (USPAACC) Women Initiative for Strategic Empowerment (WISE) initiative. She has also served previously on USPAACC’s Northeast chapter (NYC) board of directors, various committees at the NY and NJ Minority Supplier Development Council (The Council), and WEConnect International.

Sundari is also a champion of STEAM education and demonstrates this through her leadership and collaboration with various organizations impacting thousands of individuals from elementary aged children to adults. She is also a mentor, coach and advocate to many small and diverse businesses and community partners, playing a strategic role in their growth.

For her efforts in championing diversity and supplier inclusion, Sundari was recently recognized as 2023 Outstanding Women’s Business Advocate by Women Business Enterprise Council of Metro NY (WBEC – Metro NY), as 2022-2023 Supplier Diversity Champion by the Asian Indian Chamber of Commerce, as 2023 Top 25 Women in Power Impacting Diversity and 2021 Top 25 Diversity Change Leader by DiveristyPlus publication. She is also a winner of BMS’s 2022 CPO Award for her contribution to the Global Supplier Diversity program transformation, expansion, and collaboration across the organization. She was also most recently recognized as a Visionary for contribution to women empowerment by Akshardham (North America) BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha.

The One Self Confidence Tip For the Listener

Regularly acknowledge your achievements, big or small. Be proud of yourself, don’t always seek that external approval. It’s important to recognize your capabilities, to boost confidence and reinforce positive self-image

Interview Links

Would you like to make a donation?

Click here to make a donation to support the podcast.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.