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 Ghazal Alagh, Co-founder at Mamaearth.
ST - Why did you choose to be an entrepreneur? If not entrepreneurship, then what?
Ghazal Alagh - It was my life’s calling. My husband and I believed in our business idea so strongly that we decided to go ahead and quit our jobs.Being a mom-entrepreneur has been one of the best experiences of my life, there is a new learning, a new adventure every day and I wouldn’t trade it for anything else!
ST - What Challenge did you face as a woman entrepreneur and How did you solve it?
Ghazal Alagh - The biggest challenge that I faced, like most women entrepreneurs, was managing the work-life balance, especially being are a parent. There is only one way to solve it- never hesitate to ask for help, whether it is support of raising your startup or for raising your baby. We all need help and there is no shame in asking for it.
ST - What policies your company has adopted to support women at your workplace?
Ghazal Alagh - At Mamaearth, we understand the worth of women’s talent and time. In our endeavor to encourage more women to move forward in their careers we have been promoting women-friendly HR policies including flexible working hours and mentoring support.
Trust yourself. Trust your idea! Find people who believe in your idea and request for their support.
ST - How can working women manage both, home and work?
Ghazal Alagh - Like I mentioned earlier, getting the necessary support is crucial to be able to manage both home and work. If you are a mother, then leave your baby with someone who you trust completely so that you can pay 100% attention to work. When at home focus completely on your family. But don’t forget to take out some me-time as well, that’s equally important!
ST - Do you think there must be at least one female co-founder, why?
Ghazal Alagh - Women are born entrepreneurs! They are much better at taking calculated risks and always tend to take the long-term view in consideration while growing their business. When you give birth to a baby, you also give birth to a mother. A woman, a mother is actually like the CEO of the household- juggling schedules, managing budgets and solving problems. These are the same competencies required to be the CEO of a business.
ST - As a women entrepreneur, What kind of support have you got from the government? What would you like to suggest?
Ghazal Alagh - While in India, women have been conditioned as homemakers and lack the basic financial and emotional support from their own family members, the government has taken some initiatives to encourage women to start up their own businesses. Some of the scheme includes Mudra Yojna, Annapurna scheme and Mahila Udyum Nidhi Scheme.
ST - Why do you think still women’s contribution is too less in the Indian startup Community?
Ghazal Alagh - Yes, unfortunately this is the case. While many women possess the necessary skills and talents required to run a startup, not many actually end up doing it. Socio-cultural barriers, living in a male dominated society and lack of financial support are some of the factors that hinder Indian women to take up entrepreneurship.
ST - If someone is stopping women to become an entrepreneur what advice do you have for her?
Ghazal Alagh - Trust yourself. Trust your idea! Find people who believe in your idea and request for their support. Grow your network and take inspiration from other women entrepreneurs.
Mamaearth is a all natural toxin free brand specially formulated for soon-to-be or new mothers and newborn babies. They are Asia's first madesafe certified brand! They have everything from mosquito repellents to hair oils.