Margie C. Costa

As Interviewed by Neel Rao, March 24, 2012
"I could contribute, in a small way, to the empowerment of an educated woman. So she gets financial independence and, more importantly, she can recognize her true potential."
Margie C. Costa

Introductory Profile: About Margie C. Costa

When Margie Costa says something, you’d better sit up and pay attention. Because whatever comes out of her mouth is sure to be nothing short of pure wisdom. When she was just a young girl, she already had her sights set on becoming a career woman, with a job, and not dependent on any man. Just having this dream was remarkable in her days. In those times in India, if a woman went out to work, it would shatter the reputation of her entire family. It was seen as something only the most desperate of families would do, only the ones who were willing to have their status tarnished forever. The woman’s role in society was just to be a housewife; any other aspirations were quickly shot down. In fact, when she approached her father to tell him about her ambitions, he simply refused her. He was a progressive man for his times, but even he found the idea unfathomable. However, she didn’t let these obstacles get in her way. She ended up surpassing her dreams and overturning the way women were perceived through sheer willpower. Now, she is a successful entrepreneur and has opened up a college that gives the women of this generation opportunities that she never had.

At the age of sixty-eight, Margie Costa has most definitely aged gracefully. She doesn’t look a day past fifty-five. Whenever she and her daughter go out in public, people sometimes confuse them as sisters. She plays golf and tennis ten times a week, and still runs the college that she founded, which expanded to three branches. She was born in Bangalore, India on February 18, 1944. Her maiden name is Corera, and her husband is Carlos Costa.

Mrs. Costa is a perfectionist, and it showed during the interview. During the beginning and end segments, it was a little scripted because she had probably thought about those portions and rehearsed them in her mind. The middle part, though, is where her personality (and she has a lot of it) shone through. She was very jovial and was quick with a laugh when recalling certain segments of her life. As the interview progressed, she seemed to get looser and looser.

It is simply astounding how Mrs. Costa overcame all of the odds to be in the place she is today. She had her father tell her she couldn’t, her husband tell her she couldn’t, and pretty much all of society tell her she couldn’t. But instead of giving in, she proved to them that she could in fact become an entrepreneur and that a woman could in fact get a job. She never wavered in her determination to fulfill her dream. Not only did she will herself to eradicate discrimination against women, she also willed others to reverse the stereotype by setting up a college for women to learn vocational skills. It is these things that make her such an inspiring person.