Today’s women dream of own ventures Only 12% Indian Entrepreneurs Female


Bangalore: When an entrepreneur gets off the treadmill, she can prove troublesome for her family and friends! Summed up in jest, this comment is pertinent to Vasanthi Srinivasan’s definition of the career primary entrepreneur.

As associate professor, IIM-B, and chairperson for the Centre of Corporate Excellence and Citizenship, Vasanthi’s evaluation of the way forward for women entrepreneurs at the IACCDell initiated conference on Wednesday concluded on the note that our country has a long way to go.

“While men already wear tags of breadwinners, aspiring women entrepreneurs are often told, ‘Why don’t you join your father’s business?’ Or, ‘You will be married soon, wait and see what your husband feels’,” said Vasanthi. This is the tune Gen Now women hear. Uma Reddy heard a similar tune back in the 80s when, straight out of college, she dreamt of an entrepreneurial venture. “My dad agreed to put up collateral funds, but my mother said, ‘If you choose to give it all up when you marry, I’ll have to repay the loans’.”

Today, Uma’s venture Hi-Tech Magnetics and Electronics Pvt Ltd, stands robust in a vibrant business environment. “Women entrepreneurs account for just 12% of the formal sector in the country,” pointed out Uma.

Although the percentage isn’t indicative of rapid strides in women-pioneered entrepreneurship ventures, the social environment is conducive for nascent ideas. “Today’s youngsters are able to recognize and do what they really want to,” indicated Revathi Kasturi, founder & CEO, Laqsh Job Skills Academy, adding, “My daughter just passed out of NIT Suratkal and I met four freshers who are ready to set up their entrepreneurship ventures. When I set about my venture, I looked for support from my family and peers. I will no longer tell a youngster to first join a large corporation before getting on with entrepreneurial dreams.”

Vikas Bhonsle, director and GM, Mid-Market, Dell India, said that several mid-segment businesses are either led or pioneered by women. “This is an outcome of passion,” pointed out Priya Chetty Rajagopal, chairperson, IACC Women’s Business Council & VP, Stanton Chase International.

Shukla Bose, CEO, Parikrama Foundation, emphasized that a social entrepreneur should be able to marry compassion to passion. “I spent 26 years in boardrooms with people critiquing on how someone needs to set things right. Eventually, I said enough and started Parikrama, a school for slum children. Through the years I volunteered with Mother Teresa, she told me, “When you go to bed, don’t close your window, opportunity one day will come through it.’”

LEADING THE WAY: Vasanthi Srinivasan, associate professor, IIM-B, interacts with Revathi Kasturi, founder & CEO, Laqsh Job Skills Academy, at the conference Job Skills Academy CEO in Times of India