Women are making giant strides in all sectors and there is no reason why the entrepreneurial ecosystem should be left out. On Women's Day, we caught up with some of the leading women CEOs from the startup community and their views on how it is to be an entrepreneur.
"Generally people say it's tough being a women entrepreneur, but it is not. If you talk sense people will listen to you, and things will fall in your favour," said Anisha Singh of MyDala.com, a daily deals site. She also added that there are so many positive sides to it too, as a woman can juggle more things, women balance work life and personal life in a much better way.
Ishita Swarup, founder of Delhi-based 99labels.com, a flash sales site agreed. "In most places it's a male world; policymakers of the companies are males. So being an entrepreneur, a women has her own liberty and freedom to how she wants to work than to follow others policies," she said.
Though, particularly in the digital startup ecosystem there is definitely a skewed ratio of men entrepreneurs viz women, the fact that the industry as a whole is not biased towards any gender is welcome enough. Talking on the same Pearl Uppal, entrepreneur-turned-investor at 5ideas said, "There is a lack of proper business networks for women. I do see a change happening
and more networks coming up but first we also need to see more women entrepreneurs. Most women are not thinking of scalable, large businesses and that needs to change."
She also added that most women today are building lifestyle businesses like boutiques, home bakeries, etc and in those the VC community won't put money. "Over the last few months, we have met hundreds of startups and to say the least, the ratio in entrepreneurship is much worse than the corporate world. I urge women to have more conviction regarding their careers," Uppal added.
Ankita Tandon, Director, Deliverychef, sounds very confident and dedicated to her venture. "I have put in a lot for my startup and marriage or other things won't come in my way. I did face some scepticism from family initially but once they saw am serious, they were all on board. One thing that I notice though is that working women be it professionals or entrepreneurs, a lot of people question them. That needs to change," she added.
All in all, a change is happening and the ecosystem is asking women to come forward and take their ambitions more seriously. As Uppal put it, "Don't put things on hold for marriage or babies, if you can't find solutions to such issues, you won't be able to find solutions to the bigger issues of running a company."
(Edited by Prem Udayabhanu)