The history of International Women's Day dates back to 1908, when some 15,000 women marched on New York City in the name of better working hours, fairer pay, and the right to vote. Three years later in 1911, the first official IWD was celebrated throughout Europe as more than a million women walked challenging stereotypes for their right and equality.
Women in India have not only stepped into the corporate world but have also begun to make a mark in entrepreneurship. Fast forward even 2020, Women Entrepreneurs comprise 11% of all entrepreneurs in India, which means there are only about 550 women-led companies out of more than 5,000 startups (NASSCOM reports). The number is small and growing slowly, the with all the policy and most importantly mindset change coming up, we will soon see a rise in the same.
March 8 marks International Women’s Day 2020, and we at StartupTalky, also wanted to celebrate the spirit of womanhood with the entrepreneurs who have come out breaking all the barriers to and lead and change the world for the good! let's learn how these women are changing the entrepreneurial landscape and how!
Here is our small interview with Deepikaa Jindal, Creative Director and Managing Director at JSL Lifestyle.
ST -Why did you choose to be an entrepreneur? If not entrepreneurship, then what?
Deepikaa Jindal - I have always been a family person! At my prime, I was busy with my family when my kids were growing, and needed my time and attention. Fortunately for me, in my early 40s, my husband approached me with the idea of creating a lifestyle brand in stainless steel. It definitely was a sudden click with me! By then, my kids were settled and progressing well in their worlds. I had time to dive in a whole new project of creating something unique and fresh that may add some value in people’s life, for the goodness of the material. I quickly saw an opportunity of packaging a traditional material in something contemporary, which was apparently the exact gap in the market at that point. Material knowledge has been our core strength, and owing to that precedence we gloriously transformed an idea into an extremely elegant and stunning possibility, which is truly fulfilling for me.
ST - What challenge did you face as an entrepreneur and how did you solve it?
Deepikaa Jindal - Creating and stabilizing a brand in a dynamic market like India is not easy! The journey has been challenging, yet extremely enriching. It has been quite a ride for me so far! Since beginning when we started off, I wanted to put the Indian Artisan on the global map, which portrays our true strength of ‘karigari’ and ability of designing. Hence, the core idea of ‘Make in India’ was in my head right from the inception. And I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it!
There were learning, successes and failures! But one has to understand that it takes all of these things to create something incredible. And nothing is easy when you have to craft something from the scratch. And you learn so much in that process, while I think I am still learning. I truly feel, elegance translated into products is by far the most difficult to achieve, yet the most divine to experience!
ST - What policies your company has adopted to support women at your workplace?
Deepikaa Jindal - I feel blessed to have an opportunity of contributing towards the society in my own way. I passionately work towards making some difference that we can bring through our assorted efforts, especially for women. We value all our employees and have taken numerous initiatives to ensure their well being and security, like 24 Response enrollments, POSH policy enforcement, destination call checks for women employees, and much more.
Furthering this, as a chairperson of varied O.P. Jindal platforms, I feel that we are not leaving any stone unturned to make constructive change in the society, and are utilizing every resource available to better lives that we are able to touch through our deep rooted social work. These duties entail me to get involved at the ground level and see how we can contribute in making social difference. We have planned interventions in the fields of education, vocational training, integrated health care, women empowerment, social projects, rural infrastructure development, environment sustainability, sports, preservation of art and culture, and much more.
ST - How can working women manage both, home and work?
Deepikaa Jindal - I think one should have clarity of their ambitions! That is of utmost importance and a starting point that further defines what you achieve in life. Knowing what you want without any ambiguity keeps you ahead, always!
As a woman, the spectrum of responsibilities is wider, be it home or work. And, we have to balance both worlds without compromising anything! It is extremely crucial that one should know what to shun. So, removing ‘the unnecessary’ really helps in focusing on doing what is required or important at the given time, thus enhancing balance.
ST - Do you think there must be at least one female co-founder, why?
Deepikaa Jindal - I feel both men and women have their parts to play, and that this is not a race of proving anyone wrong or better! I feel that women have a great quality of balancing and multi-tasking, which is always helpful and beneficial for business management. They are also naturally blessed by the foresightedness, which further enhances them to be visionaries.
ST - As a women entrepreneur, What kind of support have you got from the government? What would you like to suggest?
Deepikaa Jindal - Government has been constantly engaged in the consistent push for women empowerment and to build women entrepreneurship in the country. We
ST - Do you think still women’s contribution is too less in the Indian startup Community?
Deepikaa Jindal - Progression of women in today’s world is a recent development owing to our long history of women suppression in the society. Big changes take time, and are gradual. Having said that, I firmly feel that in today’s modern world women are leading from the front. However, it is also true that this has to take a leap in smaller or rural pockets of our country. While start-ups are mushrooming from all directions now across India, we will soon see many more businesses cemented by women in this domain as well!
ST - If someone is stopping women to become an entrepreneur what advice do you have for her?
Deepikaa Jindal - As I said, women have the art of balancing! I really feel that one has to believe in herself, and try triumphing in-securities or challenges that they encounter to be what they have to be. Giving up on one’s dreams is really not a solution or a direction. You have to be a go-getter to make it happen. We truly have the power of empowering resistance. If the vision is clear, one can achieve what one is deemed to be!