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It’s a fallacy to say for a mother, and a new one at that, launching a start-up is an impossible feat.
Nidhi Batra, founder of travel company Nirvana Excursions and mother of two — one two years old and another an infant — has vouched that mothers, or rather women in general, have all the qualities of a perfect entrepreneur.
Women are Consummate Multitaskers
“If the job of women/mothers could be described by a word, it would be multitasking. Whether it’s juggling family and career, or handling tantrums of kids or even the needs of the kids vs. the rest of the family members — multitasking is always there,” asserted Batra.
Women Reign Supreme in Chaotic Situations
“Chaos of any kind is part and parcel of a woman’s life, many times at a greater level than any start-up can possibly create. Hence, after dealing with these situations, start-up issues and chaotic situations are really nothing for us,” she assured.
Women are Super Organisers
“Whether it’s the society activities, school programmes, birthday parties, kiddie get-togethers, women can organise anything — big or small — at the drop of a hat, making it much more easier for them to handle day-to-day operations of a start-up,” she reiterated.
Women have Triumphed over Crisis Situations — Both Real and Imaginary
Learning to not believe or act on the darkest fears and to ride out the anxiety of uncertainty, while pressing forward, is one of the most important soft skills a founder of a company can have. But sometimes, these fears become reality and in such situations, it’s important to have founders who can really keep their cool, she said.
Similar is the case with a woman, especially a mother, she said, adding, “As parents and as entrepreneurs, we always have to know how to keep our own fears at bay to focus on doing everything we can to mitigate any negative outcome to the emergency at hand,” she explained.”
“Having said that, there are a couple of challenges that women, especially mothers, face as founders of start-ups — the first being family support. When it comes to starting your own business, family support is a key factor, and sometimes it may not be in your favour. The way out of this issue is to make your family understand the importance of your dreams, and persevere in the face of all odds,” she added.
“Limited mobility can also become an issue. As a start-up, client acquisition or business development is initially taken care of by the owner and it requires a lot of travel. While this may be difficult for women, especially mothers, strong family support can make things easier even in this respect. Last but not the least, the concept of professional networking, which is on the rise in India, is still new for women and that may make it difficult to expand the business after a point,” Batra rued.
A Woman-run Business Has Unique Avenues
However, Batra also agreed to the fact that there were benefits as well. “If the start-up is a home-based business, women can run it as a Mahila Griha Udyog. This will give them the advantage of several tax benefits and leeway in laws and processes. A woman-run business has more avenues when it comes to raising funds, thanks to options like Mahila Udyog schemes, differential rate schemes, the Bharatiya Mahila Bank — India’s first bank solely for women,” she opined.
“In spite of the challenges, running a start-up can be a rewarding experience for women, giving them a rare chance to discover their hidden abilities while also allowing them to pursue their passions in their own time,” said Batra before signing off.