How these 5 Women Entrepreneurs Are Making a Difference in Retail Industry?
Let us take a look at some of these women who are ruling their fieldsBY Tanya Krishna | Sep 28, 2018 | comments ( 0 ) |
Farah Malik, Managing Director, Metro Shoes Ltd.
Presently the acting CEO and managing director of Metro Shoes Ltd., Farah Malik is a third generation entrepreneur with more than a decade of experience in footwear industry. With her strong business acumen, attention to detail and flair for fashion, Malik has led Metro Shoes into the new era of modern retailing. “My family has always been supportive of strong and independent women. This has been a major factor and support system for my growth as an entrepreneur. Retail had always excited me and I have never regretted the decision of joining the business,” she apprises. Malik had, during her entrepreneurial journey, faced many challenges including people management, doubt about in-house brands, among others. “The fashion retail industry is extremely demanding and women still often have to make a choice between a family life and a career. When I joined the company, about 19 years ago, there was an inherent preconception that a woman would work for a couple of years until she had children and then family life would take over. Many of our suppliers at the time would not look at me while talking to me. However, we managed to have two strong national brands that can span tier-I through tier-III markets holistically and to have strong ability to adapt to varied Indian tastes,” she reminisces.
Rashi Menda, CEO & Founder, Zapyle
Rashi Menda is the founder and the CEO of Zapyle, an ultimate online platform for buying and selling pre-owned luxury wear. Menda started her journey worked with numerous brands in management, strategic solutions, inbound marketing and e-commerce. While Menda appreciates the resources and support being provided to today’s women entrepreneurs by lot of groups and investors, she had faced her share of challenges while scaling and establishing the business. “The whole eco-system is very different from what it was 3 years back and I think that the biggest challenge that any woman entrepreneur would face in today’s world lack of understanding of one’s own abilities. Also, there was really negligible number of successful women entrepreneurs to look upto and get inspired from back then. For me, forming a winning team and hiring the right people was the biggest challenge. But I took lessons from my mistakes and now we are a proud, young team who is very aggressive when it comes to meeting timelines and reaching targets,” she boasts. Zapyle had an adventurous journey where the brand did face challenges and grew at the same time. Menda is in a happy place right now with the brand receiving a series of funding as well as support from right advisors and investors and she advices other aspiring women entrepreneurs “to take the first step in order to make their dream possible” as she did.
Shubhika Jain, Founder, RAS Luxury Oils
Guided and inspired by her mother to follow a natural beauty regimen all her life, Shubhika Jain created the luxurious natural skincare brand, RAS Luxury Oils in 2012 with over 200 acres of beautiful farmlands and woodlands in Chhattisgarh as the sourcing base for the brand. Jain prides in offering its products made from ingredients that are only natural, vegan, cruelty-free and free of synthetic fragrances, additives, alcohol, wax, silicon and parabens. “When I initially joined family business it was difficult for the existing staff to accept a young lady as their head. I had to prove myself to be worthy by way of executing tasks and handling situations in a mature and strategic manner which helped me win the support of my team. India has as many as 9 percent of women entrepreneurs, though unsatisfactory, the figures are bigger than any other country in the world. Yet there are a lot of problems that women have continued to face in this country like the embedded patriarchal mindset of people which still expects women to prioritise their families over their jobs/businesses, etc.,” she asserts. At the same time, Jain also applauds government’s initiatives supporting women entrepreneurs who are willing to give their 100 percent in following their passion rather than following the fearing about the consequences
Jagrati Shringi, Co-Founder & CTO, Voylla
It all started for Jagrati Shringi when she and her husband Vishwas Shringi launched Voylla. She knew that was what she had wanted and post that, she engrossed herself completely with the brand using technology to enhance the fashion experience. Breaking the stereotype, Shringi heads the tech team at Voylla. While unfortunately technology has been a male-dominant area across the world, Shringi had given her 200 percent to be considered equal to her male counterparts. With its “solid, tech enabled back-end, user experience and a network of trained professionals at the retail points”, Voylla has established itself as the go-to brand for discerning women in a very short period of time. Shringi apprises, “More women entrepreneurs need to look at the big picture and think about scaling up, sustaining and growing their businesses. Despite extremely talented individuals, there aren't enough women driving big brands. Though the startup universe encourages more women entrepreneurs, there is a need for more skilled women to look beyond the safety net of IT and other jobs to realise their career goals.”
Trishla Surana, Founder, Colour Me Mad
Trishla Surana had always looked at art as an integral part of the thought process and she launched Colour Me Mad in an attempt to revamp lackluster footwear. Surana believes that footwear offers a lot of opportunities to be creative and the challenge is, at the same time, to meet user needs. “While women entrepreneurs form only 3 percent of the total universe of the entrepreneurs in India, it is welcoming that people are becoming more open to having women as bosses. Also, women today need to focus more on upgrading their skills, understanding interface of design and technology and get as much exposure as they can to achieve their dreams,” maintains Surana. She feels that the aspiring women entrepreneurs should be assertive and “never feel guilty about spending more time in office, if required”.
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