Women Professionals, Social Entrepreneurs and Achievers day out at TiEcon

Women Professionals, Social Entrepreneurs and Achievers day out at TiEcon
New Delhi October 6, 2012
The Indus Entrepreneurs at its annual conference TiEcon at Delhi 2012 last week saw a noticeably larger number of woman social entrepreneurs, professionals and speakers, even as innovative and interesting twists were weaved into its agenda to bring in a degree of novelty for the 1000 plus participants.
Three social entrepreneurs– Upaya co-founder and ED Sachi Shenoy, 17000Ft Foundation founder Sujata Sahu and Prajawala founder general secretary Suntiha Krishnan—made a deep impact on the attendees by sharing stories of their work often in virgin areas.
Dr Sunitha Krishnan, founder General Secretary, Prajwala has continued her work in the anti trafficking sector despite risk to her own life and that of other volunteers. The never-say-die spirit of Sunitha and her exceptional works over decades have been recognised by global bodies.
University of Chicago entrepreneur Sachi Shenoy is engaged in making life-changing Interventions for the extremely poor through an accelerator program providing early-stage entrepreneurs with business development support and financial resources to launch and scale their businesses.
Software professional turned social entrepreneur Sujata Sahu founded ‘17000Ft Foundation’ to improve lives in the remotest of areas in Ladakh by not only empowering the local people to do it themselves but by inspiring tourists to Ladakh to contribute positively to this ecosystem by donating educational aids and teaching in remote schools.
Rekha Ranganathan, head of strategy at Philips Healthcare shared how she is leading efforts at her company offering medical equipment at more affordable prices for smaller towns and villages as she believes that affordability means different things to different consumers.
IndoUS Venture Partners funded companies introduced at the TiEcon included e-commerce portal Zivame run by Richa Kar.
At a riveting session with young achievers Arunima Sinha, 26 shared her feat, when she climbed 21,110 ft of Mt. Chhamser Kangri in spite of an amputated leg. This national level volleyball and soccer player’s emotive narration of being thrown off a running train in Bareilly for resisting chain-snatchers, losing her leg was heart-wrenching and inspiring at the same time.
The close-door networking lunch for women entrepreneurs and professionals was perhaps most sought after session where the chosen few felt that key issues are moving away from work-life balance to taking risks, growing businesses and dreaming big.
While women have to do things differently to achieve work-life balance, they measure success differently. Asha Gupta, Country Head for Tupperware said that things may be done differently but that is the road to profit. It is also a way to achieve social income equality.
Another key learning from women business owners was that women team members bought more stability, higher creativity, loyalty and sense of ownership. These qualities scored over perceived lack of aggression and go-getter spirit for competitive roles.
Sairee Chahal, founder, Fleximoms, urged them to build scalable businesses and seek help from accelerators and industry bodies like TIE.
“Seeking clarity on what your business means to the market is great thing and there are many people out there help you discover your goals through mentorship, resources and experiences,” said Sairee.
Despite some of the outstanding women managers in finance and technology, women entrepreneurs admitted their relative discomfort in dealing with technology and finance. Aligning with mainstream as opposed to just staying within circles of women networks was also highlighted.
The group offered each other tips and tricks on managing work-life choices as they rounded up a sumptuous lunch and a session by celebrity chef Sanjeev Kapoor along with men folk.

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