Every year, as International Women’s Day hovers into view, we ought to realise that the day is as much a time for reflection as it is an occasion to celebrate womanhood.
In India, women entrepreneurs face a variety of challenges, having to navigate a myriad of issues to pursue their dreams. Reports suggest that only 13.76% of all entrepreneurs in India are women, and only 20.37% of all MSMEs are owned by women.
This Women’s Day, we at Razorpay wish to celebrate women’s entrepreneurship by recognizing five amazing entrepreneurs, spotlighting their extraordinary journeys.
Here are their stories, their tales of love and toil.
Out of the Box
Sinal Shah thought she had everything mapped out. She had quit a thriving career as a tax consultant with a ‘big-four’ firm in Perth for a new life in India. She and husband Veer Shah had toiled for months, studying the market, meeting suppliers, building a website, and setting up a warehouse.
And then the rain came, lashing Mumbai with a fury Sinal had no conception of.
No Child Left Behind
The day after she had thrown the school doors open, Nisha Jaiswal wondered if she’d made a mistake. Little Angels Montessori School was eager to welcome the children of Hazaribagh, but the little angels themselves did not seem particularly interested. Nisha had waited that first day with her admission forms, but not one had been sold.
“I was apprehensive. I thought I’d made a mistake, and should’ve stuck to being a teacher rather than take this risk.”
Women in the Room
The seed for Kool Kanya was firmly planted the day Vanshika Goenka, as a manager engaged in market research for her company, found herself in a conference room full of men. They were gathered there to discuss design improvements to their product: a sanitary pad.
“And that’s when I started asking the question, ‘Where are the women in the room?’
Truth in a Bottle
Last summer, Anusha Bhushan found herself in a bit of a predicament. As the country reeled under the impact of the second wave of the pandemic, Smoodies’ CEO and co-founder wrestled with a nasty problem. Demand for the company’s juices and smoothies was at its peak – given the time of year – but half the workforce at her manufacturing facility had been diagnosed with Covid.
Anusha did not know how she’d fulfil the growing pile of orders.
Mothers on a Farm
When the patches of dry skin on her infant daughter’s cheeks refused to go away, Priyadharshini Krishnan dialled her friend in Pollachi. She had tried a bunch of commercially available baby products without much success; it was now time for a natural remedy. “Megala had her coconut farm there. She had learnt the traditional methods of making oil. So I asked her for some,” she says.
Megala duly extracted a bottle of coconut oil by hand, and sent it over to Coimbatore, an hour’s drive north. The allergy disappeared.
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