Men Often Fail To Relate With Women Run Businesses: MooiBox Founder
Sahee Wasan, Founder of Mooibox, is a nominee for SheThePeople.TV Digital Women Awards 2019. MooiBox curates beauty and skincare boxes as per the customers’ skin and hair type, adding that much needed personal touch to every box. They also have all-natural and organic beauty product boxes, which is another USP of their brand. We speak with Wasan on her entrepreneurial journey, her inspiration and why women entrepreneurs need to be taken more seriously.
How did your big idea strike you?
I always struggled with choosing the best skincare and beauty products for myself so decided to address the analysis paralysis problem for other women, thus MooiBox was born.
How has tech and digital been an enabler in your entrepreneurship journey?
MooiBox is an e-commerce platform where women fill a form telling us about their hair and skin type and our team then curates a box to suit their needs with the correct products. Social media and e-commerce have enabled the business to work and operate out of a small city like Jalandhar and still reach everyone around India.
At any point in your journey were you stuck with self-doubt? How did you deal with it?
I had some days where I wasn’t sure of my idea/ business succeeding. Meditation to calm the nerves and having a chat with my father about anything and everything.
Social media and e-commerce have enabled the business to work and operate out of a small city like Jalandhar and still reach everyone around India.
What have been the greatest challenges and struggles in your entrepreneurship journey?
- Getting people to accept and trust the idea of a monthly subscription. Having them commit to a monthly charge going towards their skincare and beauty essentials.
- Building people’s trust in a startup and having them believe in Mooibox’s products and services.
- As per our research and survey, people (especially in North India) are very brand conscious and not open to trying new skincare brands. It was a challenge to make people switch to natural and organic brands and trust them equally.
As a woman entrepreneur would you say you have faced discrimination in your journey? Could you share with us?
Not at all. Maybe in a good way. Everyone was very accommodating, understanding and extremely helpful. Starting from office administration staff to the brand representatives and manufacturers. Initially, I thought people might not always take me seriously being a very young entrepreneur. I started and registered my company when I was 23. But, I actually felt the ease of setting up a business.
What do you think women entrepreneurs need more of, from venture capitalists, government policymakers, start-up support programmes, and others? And Why?
They need to be taken more seriously. While setting up my company I had a CA tell me I did not need to form a partnership firm because I was only starting this business as a ‘time-pass’. That perception needs to change. He also mentioned how I shouldn’t form a proper firm since dissolution is a tedious process and I will have to face that issue after I get married. So, women entrepreneurs need people to have confidence in them and investors to trust them. I feel like most VC’s or government policymakers in India are men at present, so at times they are not able to relate with women owned and run businesses. For eg., MooiBox- it is a business by the women, for the women. Men often fail to relate to them.
What would you say have been your greatest learnings on the entrepreneurship journey?
- Innovation can be simple- I always thought I had to do something that had never been done before. While it may be true, it is not always necessary. An innovation can also be a slight tweak of something already existing. MooiBox is an idea that fulfils a basic need. Sometimes the best innovations are simple ideas with a twist
- Do it now- Do not overanalyse or contemplate too much. Brainstorm a quick way and put it all together.
- Celebrate small wins- Starting, growing and running a company is hard. Some days you will feel like you are not getting anywhere. Shun those thoughts, recognize small victories and keep going.
I feel like most VC’s or government policymakers in India are men at present so at times they are not able to relate with women owned and run businesses.
What advice would you share with other women looking to become entrepreneurs?
It is not going to happen overnight, please be patient and keep working towards your goal. Always follow your gut, what’s the worst that will happen? You will make a mistake and all mistakes will teach you and make you better. Keep learning and don’t be afraid to take risks. You will never win if you do not try. Network with other women business owners and build them up. Women for women. Do not let second guessing or fear take you down. Be sure of your thoughts and keep moving forward.
Your legacy in one phrase.
Love and respect.
An entrepreneur you admire.
Your greatest strength.
Not letting bad days affect me, always looking at the positives in everything.