Bengaluru Tech Summit: Successful women startup entrepreneurs recall their struggles

Tanushree Nagori said if investors and the entire community make you feel welcome and that you haven't done something wrong by being married or having a child, it can be a breeze

Published: 19th November 2021 09:04 PM  |   Last Updated: 19th November 2021 09:04 PM   |  A+A-

Youtube screengrab of Bengaluru tech summit

Express News Service

BENGALURU: On the final day of the Bengaluru Tech Summit 2021 on Friday, female technopreneurs running successful startups spelled out challenges that come with being a woman entrepreneur whose number of hours at work far exceeds a female counterpart with a 9 to 5 job.

Shivani Poddar, co-founder and CEO of Faballey and Indya online fashion stores, revealed that she was apprehensive about telling her board she was pregnant for six months, till they could see it.

Resonating with the same apprehension, Tanushree Nagori, co-founder of Doubtnut, said that she had called one investor three months after having conceived, and he said why are you sounding apologetic. "It gave me so much confidence when he continued that you're not just building the company for three or four years alone but your life for 10 years -- you can't not have a personal life because you're building a company," she said.

She added that if investors and the entire community make you feel welcome and that you haven't done something wrong by being married or having a child, it can be a breeze. "It's that confidence you need."

Tanushree Jain, founder and director of Nushaura, which teaches rural women artisans in Rajasthan on the end to end product development cycle, recalled her journey, "For a woman in a patriarchal society in Rajasthan is another ball game. When I meet relatives, I tell them enthusiastically what I do and they ask when are you getting married."

For Vanya Chandel, founder of Forfurs that produces premium dog gear, her family was supportive but her bubble broke when she was back in Kanpur, where not many women start their own business, and she had to hire people for work. "They wouldn’t agree to be hired because they thought I will marry and business would be shut," she recalled.

Just like the other panellists, Shivani agreed that a massive change had taken place in the last nine years with a stronger ecosystem and a lot more conversation around these topics.

Hena Mehta, founder and CEO, Basis, who is three years into her journey said there is evolution across the board and a pregnant woman raising money is not unusual -- it's life and has to go on.

Nagori believed India is a better place for women to break the glass ceiling when you're a full time entrepreneur, considering the support system that comes with grandparents taking care of children and the easier availability of domestic help.


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