#5 Women Entrepreneurs Who Lived Their Dreams and Made It Big
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The transformation of the internet has been such that it has not just brought the world closer but also abridged the blockades to be an entrepreneur.
One demographic made the best of this opportunity and that are women. The dawn of e-commerce dais has opened flood gates for women entrepreneurs who have laid the foundation of their ventures, starting things from scratch and making it big.
So it's time to salute these entrepreneurs and brings their inspiring stories. Entrepreneur India brings you the story of five businesswomen who have made their dream a reality.
Pinky Maheshwari - Surprise Someone
An executive at Ogilvy, taking care of Planning and strategy Pinky Maheshwari somewhere always had a soul of an entrepreneur. In 2015, she started Surprise Someone when her child innocently asked, "If wasting paper is wasting trees, why not make paper out of something apart from trees?"
That innocent question embarked her on the journey of founding Surprise Someone. As an environmentalist's daughter, she believes that all paper products, post their use, end up in the waste bin and so why throw it away when you can recycle?
"Keeping this in mind, I and my team have created over 1000 products infused with seeds and cotton rags so that you don't trash the items to waste but instead grow it out in your backyard in a pot of soil. While this was just the start, we joined Amazon India and observed over 10X growth, today. Today my workforce consists of over 7 full time and 9 part-time employees. We also work with close to 50 freelancers on project to project basis. We have completed 1300 days in the industry and she plans to expand her product portfolio to 1300 products," explains Maheshwari.
Jyoti Pahadsingh - greenBUG
Bangalore based Jyoti Pahadsingh and her partner Arun Balachandran started greenBUG in 2015 to find an alternative to use plastic garbage bags at homes. Back then, the concept of eco-friendly bags was still at a budding stage. However, the couple understood the need for a durable, eco-friendly option to dispose of waste.
They created up cycled, biodegradable dustbin liners made of newspaper and all-purpose flour. To contribute more to society both even trained underprivileged women in the manufacturing process of the product thus empowering them to have a better livelihood.
"Over 4 years, we have trained nearly 400 women to manufacture these products. What started as a pet project has changed and grown massively, servicing states across the country. With a floating workforce policy, we work with at least 15 other women daily making the world greener one step at a time. We went on e-commerce, in 2017 and since then have witnessed a 3X increase in the volume of orders and sales," shares Pahadsingh.
Vijaya Rajan - Sirimiri
After failing to find a brand that offered nutritious snacks, devoid of preservatives and artificial components, Vijaya Rajan founded Sirimiri in 2017. The quest started when Vijaya’s husband started undergoing intense training to swim the English Channel which required him to consume nutritious snacks to keep his energy levels up. She spent close to three-four months actively creating a nutrition snack for him. From keeping a tab on ingredients that would go into the composition and nutrition values, she worked on every bit of it.
"By the last quarter of 2017, I had finalized the variants and types of products she would sell and joined e-commerce to sell SIRIMIRI products and has witnessed 20x growth since then. I work with 16 other people striving to create various nutritional alternatives to snacks," said Rajan.
The success and scope for growth had such an impact on Vijaya’s husband that he decided to quit his high-paying job with British Telecom and joined her in running the business. He now actively looks after various business and operational aspects of the brand, shared Rajan.
Ruchika Gupta - Gulab Foods
Gulab Foods, is a brand, by Gulab Group, which has been a market leader in the edible oil industry for over 25 years. After having made a mark, Ruchika Gupta got ready to explore the world of ‘ready to eat’ snacks. She was working as an executive in the entertainment events industry; she left her job to join Gulab Foods with a simple vision to scale up the company. Along with her team, she worked her and brought the products under an organized structure with licenses, lab reports and factory setups.
"In 2017, we made our debut on the e-commerce site. Since then our workforce has increased to over 30 people and has witnessed 20 per cent growth in sales through e-commerce marketplace, this year I am expecting a 5x growth," said Gupta.
She sources her raw material from across the country and the demand for the products has made her 'ready to eat' product be delivered to doorsteps in Chennai, Bangalore, Jaipur, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Kerala, Raipur, and Gujarat.
Nilanjana Das- PaperWings
With a mission to create a rural livelihood for women, Nilanjana Das began Paper Wings back in 2012. She would visit various villages and saw there was no scope of livelihood for women to fulfill their basic requirements of education, health or other requirements.
After witnessing this, Nilanjan left her job and started Paper Wings. Her visits with corporates to raise funds for training these women made her realize the amount of paper wastage produced by them daily which was not being handled properly.
“I thought can we take this waste paper and create a model where women can be empowered? At the outset, I started the Paper Wings with only five women and two products. Today, we are responsible for empowering 250 rural women with over 100 different products," she said proudly.
The story of these five women is not just inspiring but makes you think of the things that e-commerce has made possible. More and more women in India are overcoming various challenges in business.
These women have proved that no challenge out there is impossible and there is a wealth of resources available to help women make the leap towards achieving their dreams, goals, passion and live to the fullest.