As soon as you enter the entrepreneurial world, your first concern is funds. Where to raise funds from, how to get investors’ attention, etc are the questions that start troubling your mind. But do you know that the investors themselves suggest a company or venture to go for bootstrapping. And I think women entrepreneurs have taken this seriously. While researching for this story I found that seven out of the ten companies which are owned and run by women are bootstrapped and they are successful too.
So let me introduce you to some of the bootstrapped businesses owned and run by women who have not yet raised a single penny to make their businesses what it is today.
Marrying Art and Science
Image Management professional, Meha Bhargava in this budding field of image consulting has build up a startup which recognizes infinite variety of art and science within the aspect of dress and image. Her startup gives you advice that will help you to achieve your goals and aspirations. Whether it is to get a new job, or to make a good first impression, or to simply feel good, they will tell you all and that and much more. Since its inception, Bhargave has not raised any funds for outside.
"When I started I didn’t think I was going to be something so big, that people will tell me look how far you’ve come, on your own! When I hear that, I think to myself, why not. It’s a ‘why not’, not to becoming successful but to ‘on your own’. Being a woman, successful one at that becomes like a novelty, I do wonder why because all it takes to be successful is believing in yourself, knowing your subject matter and having the confidence to push yourself in the right direction, because confidence is a personal struggle, not a gender struggle," said Bhargava.
Enabling Self-Drive Mobility Services to its Users
A successful entrepreneur with rich insights on marketing strategies and distribution networking, Sakshi Vij is the Founder and CEO of Myles, a self-drive mobility service.
Having started Myles when the concept of renting and driving a car was nascent in India, Sakshi leveraged her in-depth insights to drive the business growth and success. Today startup has grown from 14 cars and three locations to over 1200 cars and 250 locations with presence in 21 Indian cities.
“In my view and experience, bootstrapping enables brands to work towards sustainable growth. The focus on the lifetime value of a customer is far more significant because of the resource limitation. At Myles, we are trying to bring together a change in the way people use cars. Therefore the long term change in customer behaviour is important for us.” said Vij.
Providing Modular Kitchen to its Users
Neeti Macker quit her high paying job to follow her passion to do something new and unique on her own. Neeti ventured into the unknown world of Modular Kitchens, which in 1998 was a novel concept. She managed to set up one of its kind specialized showroom in the heart of Delhi’s interiors and marble market with 8 kitchens on display. She is the brand's face today and will soon be launching the online portal www.kitsforhomes.com to capitalise on the ever evolving ecommerce segment.
"Bootstrapping is the most crucial for any startup. The key to success lies in giving 100 per cent of your performance, putting together all your resources such as expertise, experience and gut feeling. Perseverance & self belief is what will help you sail through. Before taking a final plunge, give it all the research it deserves, get down personally to grass root level, meet people, build on personal relationships and keeping your initial mass media promotion budgets to the bare minimum," said Macker.
Capturing a Child’s Journey into Adulthood
A photography enthusiast right from her early graduation days Tanvi Sharma founded the photography society in her college named “Shutterbug”. Though currently working as a Manager, Business Strategy Execution (BSE) with American Express her love for Photography remains and she is vested in her husband’s passion in running Bundle of Joy. Startup aims to capture a child’s journey into adulthood in a customised memorabilia.
"I've always been passionate about photography and the idea of capturing memories. Bundle of Joy happened because I knew I could no longer satiate my passions with simply indulging in it as a hobby. My husband and I decided to startup and build this venture but for us it always meant more than just a business.
The business never entered into a cash burn situation and hence the need to secure funding never arose. The trick to a successful bootstrapped venture is to have an uncomplicated business model and a differentiated offering that will resonate with customers," said Sharma.
Making Kids e-tailing Joyous
In 2012 after relocating to India again, Nidhi Mehta co-founded NeedyBee.com, an e-commerce (B2B & B2C) venture in the kids and moms e-tailing space providing Head2Toe dressing solutions for kids.
“This is NeedyBee.com's third year of operation and we are a bootstrap startup in the kids e-tailing space. The beauty of being a self-funded bootstrapped startup is that it teaches you to be frugal and wise with spending every penny,” said Mehta.