Purnota Dutta Bahl, the force behind Cuddles Foundation that focuses on holistic nutrition intervention for a child with cancer believes the ability to delegate is a woman entrepreneur’s biggest strength.
Cuddles Foundation boasts of an all-women team for a reason and is arms wide open for more women. This is because Bahl believes there are several smart women out there who aren’t finding an opportunity.
“Today, in India we have nothing like flexi roles. There are so many women who have had to attend to both home and office and are hence not able to work.”
She says at Cuddles, the team is very mindful that the organization gives six months maternity leave. “We are also very mindful of balancing quality of work with hours,” says Bahl.
The Foundation, which works out of 17 hospitals in 9 cities and has roughly 25,000 child interactions a year, is governed a group of trustees, three in number, and an advisory board, which is a mix of 9 investors, doctors, CEOs.
The Delegative Act
The most challenging for a woman entrepreneur is that all of us are cursed with being perfect at home front as well as work front says Bahl.
“It’s just how our mothers have brought us up. You are expected to have a perfect house, you are expected to have perfect kids and if you are a professional, you are expected to be perfect there.”
Bahl says she is blessed with a fantastic team at office and at home. But the real challenge is for women her age who are typically married and have very young children.
Chand, the Executive Director of Cuddles Foundation, is an entrepreneur herself. She has co-founded Chante Avec Moi and CantaConmigo and worked with several multinational co-operations like Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs.
Sarah Paul, one of the Chapter leads, has a Master’s Degree in Law from Columbia University in New York and has also been involved with research work under Professor Ved Kumari. Suhani Mehta, another Chapter lead, has an MBA in Marketing from Cardiff University in Wales. She has been a Public Relations professional.
Bahl, herself, is an alumnus of ISB, and prior to the Foundation headed the marketing team of one of India’s largest online platforms.
How women can help themselves is by acceptance of the fact that they can’t be 100 percent every single day in every area of their lives.
The ability to delegate is key believes Bahl. “I would call it the delegative act,” says Bahl.
“It is women now who are telling their daughters - you don’t have to be Little Miss Perfect.”