Dedication To The Womanhood AndThe Spirit of Entrepreneurship
AcknowledgementsI would like to thank all the Women Entrepreneurs whohave shared their experiences with me so candidly. Thisbook is the culmination of the cooperation which Ireceived from all these enterprising women.I would also like to thank my little daughter Ishanvi, whois two and a half years old, and has co-operated so wellby keeping herself occupied with coloring, painting andplay-dough while I wrote.
Table of ContentsThe Home-sprung ModelsPreen The Passion................................................. 27Jyoti Ramnath, CraftMy GiftCapture The Household Services Pie.................. 33Tiffanie Kinder, Nanny ConnectionsManjiri Gokhale Joshi, Maya CAREAddress The Niche SegmentsOutsourced CMO Model...................................... 57Sudha Kumar, Prayag ConsultingThe Outsourced CFO Model................................ 67Anjana Vivek, VentureBean ConsultingMorph Your Skills Into A New „Avatar‟.............. 79Anju Maudgal Kadam, Unitus IndiaThe Emerging Segments & Trends -Online Collaboration In VerticalsNiche E-commerce And Web 3.0......................... 91Chandini Harlalka, Artflute.comTweak The Supply-Side In YourBusiness Model................................................... 100Pallavi Keshri, Eyaas.comPresent The Alternative...................................... 109Maura Chari, Wellnessocean.comJob Site For A Vertical –Women With Career Break................................ 119Kachina Chawla, Gharkamai.comManeesha Sarin, Gharkamai.comThe Emerging Segments & Trends -The Start-up RevolutionExploring New Definitions................................ 138Nandini Hirianniah, The Morpheus
The Recession Proof Corner -Education IndustryIntegrate „The Change‟ IntoTraditional Format...............................................153Dakshayini Kanna, Treamis World SchoolTutoring the New Skills – Cashing Onthe Niche Demographically............................... 161Manju Rai, FACETEmbracing The Environment LevelChallengesWaste Management............................................ 171Poonam Bir Kasturi, DailydumpResponsible Consumerism................................ 183Aparna Bhatnagar, Green And Good StoreMompreneurshipProducts................................................................202Cause Haun, See Kai RunSelma Avdicevic, Woolly BooE-learning............................................................ 214Deepa Bhat, Mybeehive.in
“I had to make my own living and my own opportunity! But I made it! Don‟t sit down and wait for the opportunities to come. Get up and make them” – Madam C.J. Walker [December 23, 1867 – May 25, 1919] An African-American Businesswoman, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist
PrologueRecently I read the speech delivered by Steve Jobs [SteveJobs‟ Convocation Speech (Stanford); delivered 12 June2005, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA]. Till date ithas been the most inspiring article from an entrepreneur‟spoint of view for me; especially the third story narratedin that speech. The first paragraph of that story goes like this:When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like:“If you live each day as if it was your last, somedayyou’ll most certainly be right.” It made an impression onme, and since then, for the past 33years, I’ve looked inthe mirror every morning and asked myself: “If todaywere the last day of my life, would I want to do what I amabout to do today?” And whenever the answer has been“No” for too many days in a row, I know I need tochange something. The speech goes further to say, “Your time islimited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’tbe trapped by dogma - which is living with the results ofother people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’sopinions drown out your own inner voice. And mostimportantly, have the courage to follow your heart andintuition. They somehow already know what you trulywant to become. Everything else is secondary.” Steve Jobs‟ speech has a strong message foreverybody. If you ask yourself the same question and youhonestly get „no‟ as answer for whatever you are doing[whether being a homemaker or a working woman, or aworking woman balancing home and work], then youneed to rethink about what you want to do. No one would deny that the flavor of freedom isthe best. There is nothing better than working foryourself and making your life more meaningful beyondthe boundaries of home and family. There are numerousbooks written on entrepreneurship. I have decided to
focus on the women entrepreneurial stories. Theobjective is to compile the real-time experiences of thewomen entrepreneurs, who have carved out a successpath for themselves. It is aimed at understanding thebasis behind their achievements and failures – how havethey overcome various obstacles and integrated thepieces to chalk out their business strategies. I ampresenting the stories/entrepreneurial journeys asinterviews, so that you get a first-hand understanding ofthe entirety of starting up a business. I have focused the interviews on some of thethreads which run common in all types of entrepreneurialventures. They also carry significant weightage asbuilding blocks [some subjective in nature and someobjective in nature] for the entrepreneurial phenomenon.These blocks are Ideating, Finding a Co-founder,Funding and Striking a Balance between Family and theNew Venture. Dealing with the subject of womenentrepreneurs is not meant to show any gender bias!Neither it is about women‟s liberation. The urban Indiahas come a long way from that. Nonetheless, it cannotbe denied that when compared with men, women have toovercome and embrace more obstacles andresponsibilities in order to fulfil their entrepreneurialdreams. Therefore, I have chosen to write about theirentrepreneurial stories in order to boost the morale ofmany aspiring entrepreneurs. This book should inspire any aspiringentrepreneur equally – man or woman. The termEntrepreneurship itself has been extended into manyfields to include terms, such as Social Entrepreneurship,Political Entrepreneurship and even Mompreneurship.So, when I say Women Entrepreneurship [or WomanEntrepreneurs], the focus is to present the different kindsof ventures that they take-up as startups and also to showthe importance of their coexistence in the business world.Generally, the women entrepreneurs take up the areas,which may get ignored in the glamour of a perceived
„Corporate Culture‟; not that the entry to those areas islimited to women only. Just like women, even men canexplore such opportunities. Hence, I say that this bookshould be inspirational for both men and women –equally. Let us come out of a deadlock here – thedeadlock, which almost immediately shoots up thequestion of whether a particular piece of work [a book,an art work, or any publication], which highlights the„woman‟ aspect in it, is actually sex agnostic or not. Iwould encourage the readers to think broadly. I wouldencourage you to ascend higher than the narrowlydebated topic and give importance to the fact that womenhave very different organizational skills and havedifferent leadership and management styles. It is notedthat with more than 3 women in top managementpositions, companies tend to have better ROI and ROA.Gender Diverse Management is for business cases thesedays. Women‟s leadership and management stylesaccentuate on better decision-making: not only in boardmeetings but also in identifying the entrepreneurialopportunities. [This will become more vivid when youread the sectors in which women have ventured with theirstartups]. In pursuit of my own passion, I have included asection on „Why Women Entrepreneurship?‟ It bringsforth the scientific approach to understand the importanceof women entrepreneurship. Hence the objective of choosing WomenEntrepreneurship is two-pronged. The primary objectiveis to inspire more women into taking up entrepreneurshipas their career and add wealth and value both forthemselves and for the society at large. What can bebetter than presenting the entrepreneurial stories of thewomen for inspiring the women? The secondary objective of choosing WomenEntrepreneurship is to encourage any aspiringentrepreneur both man and woman equally. There is nowenough evidence, which proves that entrepreneurship isthe sure way to economic development. It doesn‟t matter
how big or small an entrepreneurial venture is, or whichfield of entrepreneurship does a venture addresses to. Thecrux of the matter is that it is the collective phenomena ofentrepreneurship, which contributes to the GDP growth,job creation and ultimately wealth creation for theeconomy and the society as a whole. At the same time the irony of the fact is that thesmaller scale entrepreneurs and many classified fields ofentrepreneurship do not get as much emphasis as theirbigger scale, traditionally defined entrepreneurcounterparts do. The role of media in making all kinds ofentrepreneurial stories, as visible as possible, isimportant. This is crucial from the point of view ofencouraging more entrepreneurial and innovativethinking, to bolster competitiveness. Once again, what can be better than presentingthe entrepreneurial stories of that section of our society[women] who, in general would have had to make moretrade-offs, face and embrace more obstacles andresponsibilities than men? Most of the women entrepreneurs featured inthis book are first generation entrepreneurs. Nearly all ofthem are within the five-year of starting up theirbusinesses. On reading this book you shall be ablecomprehend the outlook, which has helped in incubatingthese start-up ventures. This book applauds the spirit ofwomen entrepreneurship without necessarily judgingsuccess as the outcome. You may have come up with ideas many times,but due to lack of insight about different aspects ofrunning a start-up, you actually never take-off. Thischronicle should give inspiration and direction to you.You should be able to draw the inferences, understandvarious start-up scenarios and should be able to weaveand knit business models and strategies for your ownentrepreneurial stints. This book should be able to showyou how to nail down an entrepreneurial opportunity.Every interview is preceded by a short opportunityanalysis. I believe these analyses will morph your
analytical ability to spot opportunities as you live yourlife. I emphasis here on - weave and knit businessmodels and strategies for your own entrepreneurialstints. Why? Let me explain more by definingentrepreneurship.1 Entrepreneurship is the act of being anentrepreneur, which is a French word meaning “one whoundertakes innovations, finance and business acumen inan effort to transform innovations into economic goods”.This may result in new organizations or may be part ofrevitalizing mature organizations in response to aperceived opportunity. The most obvious form ofentrepreneurship is that of starting new businesses[referred as Startup Company]; The very fact that you innovate, identify gapsand then take the leap forward into making your ownbusiness, it should be clear that you will not have set ordefined rules, as you will be getting into a new andunexplored territory. The risk will be huge. But also beaware that risk and return have a direct correlation;higher the risk, higher the return. It is foolhardy to plungeinto anything which has high risk. On the contrary if youeducate yourself about high risk endeavours, you shouldbe able to judge various parameters and put them in rightplaces to a great extent. Such an endeavour then becomesa calculated risk and draws the odds closer in your favor. When you are starting your own venture, a„quality‟ pre-launch groundwork will help get a bettergrip of the whole venture. This in itself is a completeprocess, what I call as Step 2 of your entrepreneurialjourney, which is a 3-Step process. Step 1 is the „ideaconceptualization‟ stage. Step 2 is „validation of the ideaand preparation of a fool proof [as far as possible]business plan‟ stage and Step 3 is the „execution‟ stage. Ibelieve that all 3 steps are equally important, step 3 beingthe key for your entrepreneurial journey. I am presentingthe Step1 here; Step 2 and Step 3 are beyond the scope ofthis book.
Some people are born entrepreneurs. They arethe opportunity sniffers. It all comes very naturally tothem – identifying an opportunity and taking risks. But itis not so with everyone and just because of this youshould not let a potential discipline of Entrepreneurshipget ignored by you. I believe if Art, as a discipline, canbe taught, so can the Entrepreneurship also. You knowthat “Ignorance is bliss”. You may have the right frameof mind to adopt Entrepreneurship as a field for the restof your career, but you need to understand the techniquesand art of nailing down an opportunity to be able toconceptualize a potentially lucrative business idea. Theentrepreneurial stories presented in this book, will drawyour attention to the Step 1 of the entire journey. I will also emphasize here that you should knowyourself if you want to be an entrepreneur. Remember,you need to like the nature of your venture to be able tosustain through the rollercoaster ride of anentrepreneurial journey. You should be passionateenough to keep the fire burning in you, especially whenyou go through the lows in nurturing your business, till itreaches a basic sustainability level. So, it‟s important toknow yourself - your interests and skills, and then take upthe task of entrepreneurship. I have tried to cover diverse sectors: someexisting and some completely new emerging as a resultof evolution in technology and growth-fuelled changes inour socio-economic setup. These cases should guide youright from how to be innovative in thinking – how to useinnovation as a tool to understand and identify anopportunity, include differentiation, excel in executionand hence live through your dreams. As Thomas Edisonhas said: “I never perfected an invention that I did notthink about in terms of the service it might give others...Ifind out what the world needs, then I proceed to invent.” I hope you enjoy reading this book as much as Ihave enjoyed writing it.