Before you wear entrepreneurial hat

Empowering women

Anamica Cannivady, 37, has a four-year-old son but she still is taking baby steps in her own life, not literally, but in the world of business.

Her six month-old maiden business venture Kiya Fashions, an online outlet for artificial jewellery, is yet to grow into a full-fledged sustainable commercial enterprise.

After spending close to 14 years in blue-chip companies at a senior executive levels, she called it quits ‘by choice’ (as she emphatically asserts) to relish the joy of motherhood and also to become a businesswoman.

She is not alone. There are hundreds of women in Delhi-NCR who are trying their hands at entrepreneurship, so that they can straddle both, work and family.  

Some of these women came together at Leisure Valley Park in Gurgaon recently to take a leaf of entrepreneurship from the successful women who played the role of mentors at the get-together. The mentors were CEOs, COOs and managing directors in top-notch companies including Jones Lang LaSalle, Digitas and Artisans Micro Finance among others.

An initiative of Biz Divas, the walk was an endeavour to bring women entrepreneurs together on one platform so that they can share their experiences and learn from each other.

“What surprises me is that there are some entrepreneurs who are competitors for each other but were delighted to share inputs at Biz Divas mentoring walk,” said Anamica.   

She was mentored by Smita Mankad from Fab India whose knowledge-sharing was “unparalleled what couldn’t have been learnt even after spending 20 years in business,” she said, albeit a little hyperbolically.

Another fledgling entrepreneur 34-year-old Neela Kaushik, mother of a five-year-old runs a company called the Sixth Element which provides social media solution to eight companies. She finds the concept of female entrepreneur very “enabling. One can have a male mentor also but it’s only a woman who can understand our myriad constraints such as that of ‘time’ and ‘money’.”

Neela further adds, “A woman can easily understand that maintaining the right balance between succ­e­ss and family is imperative. I will not consider myself successful if I get it at the cost of my family.”   

 The mentoring walk was an initiative to bring businesswomen together.
Sarika Gupta Bhattacharya, co-founder of Altavis and Biz Divas has committed a portion (10 percent) of revenues to Bizdivas with an intent to empower the aspiring businesswomen.

Taking about her transit­i­on from a mentee to a mentor, Sarika said, “Mentoring is a 360 degree cycle wherein learning never ceases. At Bizdivas, we facilitate the mentoring sessions for young entrepreneurs, but we also learn a lot in the process.”   
She considers mentorship a virtue ever since she was mentored by Kathy Calvin,  CEO of United Nations’ Foundation while she attended the Fortune Mentorship Programme in Washington last summer.            

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