• ShePack (Women in Packaging)
  • BW Packaging

ShePacks: Inspiring Women of Packaging; Rachana Creeth, Her Career Success and Core Value of Family

by Sarah Higgins | Apr 04, 2024

In this ShePacks profile, we highlight Rachana Creeth, BW Packaging Group President. Rachana’s unique life experiences and her clear priorities guided her to chase her dreams and become the accomplished business leader she is today. From the diverse classrooms of her youth that spanned continents to the executive hall of BW Packaging, her story is a unique one, defined by resilience, family values, and a dedication to leaving a positive impact on others.

Early Experiences and Core Values

Rachana Creeth's early life stretched several countries, born in India, raised in Africa, and later finding herself in England and the United States. Rachana's childhood was a journey marked by constant change.

As a child, she changed schools often as her family migrated globally, and grew up with a brother and a sister. She said always moving to new places, making new friends and financial struggles were not easy for her and her siblings. However, no matter how often or how far they moved, she learned quickly how to be comfortable navigating change.

“When I think about the saying ‘home is where the heart is,’” said Rachana, “that became very real to me, because we lived in a lot of different houses in different countries.”

It was this ever-shifting backdrop that shaped her into the person she is today, a resilient and curious person who loves to learn. She discovered new environments with a spirit of adventure, finding joy in the challenges each relocation brought.

“I think that's where my love of figuring it out came from,” said Rachana. “It's kind of fun to quickly assess your landscape and then figure it out.”

Even with constant change, she said her upbringing fostered an environment where she could find success. She said her mother believed in her potential, which inspired a drive in Rachana to achieve her dreams.

"Even as a woman in a very traditional Indian world, my mom was the ultimate feminist. She wanted to raise women that can do anything,” said Rachana. “There's a lot of that in how I look at the world.”

When asked what motivates her every day in her career and personal life, she answered with no hesitation: her family. Rachana grew up as a middle child with her two parents, her brother and sister.

“My early life was kind of rampant with change, but it was always rooted in family,” said Rachana. “My parents, my brother, my sister, my cousins, aunts and uncles, they are all still very much my life.”

Today, Rachana is wife to her husband Eric, and mother to their three children, sons Deven (16) and Kieran (15), and daughter Alayna (10).  She enjoys being active in their lives and it’s typical for her to rush after work to a Varsity lacrosse game or to volunteer at a youth gymnastics meet on the weekend. No matter the challenges, she says her children bring her so much joy.

“My family is my center. Eric and I have both juggled our career and took part-time opportunities to prioritize our three kids,” Rachana said. “But because we knew our family was our priority and remained flexible, we found balance and still built successful careers.”

The Beginning of a Successful Career in Business Leadership

Rachana’s career in finance and leadership today started from childhood aspirations. Growing up in Africa, she looked up to a family friend who she called Uncle and had a close bond with, admiring his work as an accountant.

Her admiration for him planted the seeds of her future pursuit of finance and accounting at the University of Illinois. The world of ledgers and balance sheets was more than just figures to her; it was the language of business, a dialect she was eager to master.

“I wanted to be a leader. I think of finance and accounting as the language of business,” she explained. “If I could figure out how to speak business, I could figure out how to lead business.”

She excelled in college and graduated with job offers from top firms, eventually finding a fit with General Electric. She said because of her curiosity and love for learning, their rotational program was heaven for someone like her, discovering a new job, industry, and city every few months.

Rachana said she gained valuable knowledge from her time at GE including how to be a leader. After years of mastering finance and operations roles at GE and other large companies, Rachana decided it was time for a new challenge: building operations processes from the ground up at smaller companies.

This decision was a pivotal moment in her life, allowing her to move closer to her parents in St. Louis, Missouri and further her career with more potential to create positive change through business.

Leading the Packaging Industry with Strategy and Empathy

Rachana said she’s always loved manufacturing because the tangible impact of creating value through physical products resonates deeply with her.

"That's what I love. Learning and asking, ‘how do you add or create value?’ In manufacturing, that's easy for me to do,” Rachana said. “Virtual money is just not as exciting for me as making something, like we make machines.”

It was this passion for manufacturing and ambition to be a business leader that led her to BW Packaging today. Since she became a part of BW Packaging in 2017, she ascended through the ranks as Group Vice President of Finance, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Operations Officer and most recently, Group President.

From day 1 as Group President on February 15th, 2024, she dove into the field, engaging directly with team members, suppliers, and customers, to foster dialogue and understanding in her first eight weeks. Her commitment to listening and learning is unwavering, with plans to continue asking questions to inform her strategy.

“People who meet me often wonder why I ask a lot of questions,” said Rachana. “I don’t ask questions to judge, I do it to connect dots, gain perspective, and figure out how we can improve.”

Leadership for Rachana is about strategy, but it's also about the people that form its foundation, including team members, customers, suppliers, and anyone who comes in contact with our business. She said that at Barry-Wehmiller, leadership is an awesome and important responsibility to lead with empathy.

“I want to honor the fact that people want fulfillment at work and also want to go home after work to be with their families,” said Rachana. “Our priority as leaders is to listen to people and care deeply for them.”

She said she’s thrilled at the potential to make a difference in the business, and she envisions a future where BW Packaging can tangibly measure success by its positive impact on people.

"We are creating so much value, so I want to figure out the places we can add more value and then measure our success by the way we touch people's lives."

The Value of Diverse Representation in Packaging

As a woman in leadership in packaging, Rachana realizes her representation as President is an exception to the underrepresentation of women in the industry. She reflected on this during a recent experience when she and another woman colleague went to the women’s restroom at BW’s Minneapolis facility.

“A woman who worked there walked in and told us she had never experienced a line in the bathroom before,” said Rachana. “That’s what I would love to see: more representation and the voice of women in all functions.”

Rachana is a firm advocate for diverse thinking and said varied hiring slates and investment in talent are crucial to achieving more diversity. She recalled her early career and credits much of her progress to those who invested in her. The investment came in many forms like believing in her, giving her stretch assignments, and taking time to develop and teach her.

"I wouldn't be here without people investing in me,” she said. “I want to do the same for those lives I touch. This will require diverse thinking that may challenge the way we're operating.”

To women looking up to Rachana’s career journey while navigating their own career path, she offers sage advice: remain adaptable and anchored to your purpose.

"If I had been really rigid about what I wanted life to look like, I don't think this would have happened to me," Rachana said. "That's the advice I would give, know your priorities and be flexible on your how.”

Rachana Creeth's promotion to BW Packaging Group President is more than a career milestone; it's an example of the power of inclusive leadership in the packaging industry. As Rachana continues to lead and inspire, her story invites us to look beyond packaging to the lives interwoven with it.

Keep an eye on the ShePacks blog series for more in-depth profiles like Rachana's, as we continue to unfold the stories of women who are re-packaging the world with their innovation and leadership


Sarah Higgins

Sarah Higgins

Sarah has more than 2 years of experience in storytelling through journalistic writing, social media content creation, video editing, videography, and photography. As a Content Marketing Specialist for BW Packaging, she helps packaging subject matter experts (SME) share their knowledge on packaging technologies, global trends, and market-specific challenges and solutions.

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