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WBC Panel Discussion on Women Entrepreneurs: What does the Future Hold in Delhi on June 01, 2012

(L to R)  Ms. Bithika Anand, Founder & CEO , Legal League Consulting, Mrs. Aruna Sethi, Incoming Chairperson, IACC NIC Women’s Committee; Ms. Ishita Swarup, CEO, 99 Labels; Ms. Chavi Hemanth, Secretary General, Indian Direct Selling Association (IDSA); Ms. Rita Singh, Managing Director, Mesco Steel; Ms. Judy Reinke, Minister Counselor for Commercial Affairs, US Embassy, Mr. S K Sarkar, Regional President, IACC & CE, Sarkar & Associates; Ms. Deepika Jindal, Managing Director, JSL Lifestyle Limited and Mr. Suraj Sabberwal, Director and General Manager, Global 500, Dell India

We have to look at fostering a legion of women entrepreneurs, who can make significant qualitative changes in the economic landscapes of both the countries," Judy R. Reinke, Minister Counselor for Commercial Affairs at the US Embassy in India, said.

Participating in a panel discussion organised by the Women's Business Council of the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce (IACC) , Reinke mentioned about the significant contribution women make towards business development in the US. Reinke said that 40 percent of the businesses are run by women, contributing over $4 trillion to the total quantum of businesses generated in the country.

"We expect women's share in total businesses to increase in the near future and by triggering a continuous dialogue between our two countries, we can benefit from each other's experiences," she said.

Suraj Sabberwal, Director and General Manager, Global 500, Dell India, said there is a tremendous optimism on the part of women entrepreneurs in India.

He said early results of a Dell study on women's entrepreneurship, found high success ratio of the enterprises owned by women in India, and women entrepreneurs expect an average of 90 percent business growth over the next five years.

The other findings of the study presented an optimistic picture for the prospects of enterprises led by female entrepreneurs. A whopping 71 per cent of the female entrepreneurs in India say their business is very successful and almost 80 per cent reveal that they are hiring. At the time when the country is facing a slow down, these findings indicate an upward growth trajectory for women entrepreneurs. “ A key learning  for entrepreneurs is that you cannot pre-empt challenges. There is no end to planning, so it is best to just take the initiative and start with the business. Instead of trying to foresee how the project will shape up in the future, have confidence and ‘Just Do It!’ “ said Ishita Swarup, CEO, 99 Labels

“The most important components of starting a business is clarity of thought and passion for what you are doing. Along with the grit and determination, a very significant factor is the right team and support” stated Deepika Jindal, Managing Director, JSL Lifestyle Limited who attributes her success in a big way to her ‘team’.

Ms Rita Singh, Managing Director, Mesco Steel  stressed on the fact that an entrepreneur should be very upbeat of the changes in the economy globally. One has to be absolutely knowledgeable of the current market trends as an entrepreneur.

Commenting on ‘striking a perfect balance between work and family’, Ms Chavi Hemanth, Secretary General, Indian Direct Selling Association stressed on the  importance of conditioning the kids at home from their early childhood that they will always have their mothers’ support whenever they require so, but for their daily chores they should learn to be self sufficient.  Kids eventually grow up to be more self reliant that way and respect the contribution of their working mothers towards the family. She firmly believes as working women there is a common trend amongst women to be too hard on themselves, there should be no room for any kind of guilt. Instead we should work towards altering the societal attitudes, and home should be where we start from.
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