An entrepreneurial journey is far from easy, and when it's a woman starting out, the honey becomes challenging from the word go. Anooja Bashir's story may sound familiar to several entrepreneurs who failed at first but did not give up, but more than that, it's hope-giving for aspiring entrepreneurs who are hungry to take risks and explore their potential.
In this conversation, Anooja Bashir shares with SheThePeople her journey of becoming an entrepreneur, the setbacks she faced along the way, and why never giving up is the only way forward.
Anooja Bashir Journey
“My journey as an accidental entrepreneur has been a roller coaster ride. It all started when I moved from Dubai to India with my husband and landed a job as an assistant professor at an engineering college. Though I enjoyed my job, I yearned to do something more meaningful.
As a professor, I realised that I wanted to help my students find their paths rather than simply teach them in a classroom. This led me to quit my job and launch my first venture, which aimed to empower graduates and professionals to land corporate jobs. However, the idea turned out to be too ahead of its time, resulting in failure.
Although my family had always been supportive, they struggled to comprehend my vision and urged me to take a break and focus on being a homemaker. Despite their reservations, I knew I couldn't give up on my dreams. So, I started a marketing agency, which initially did well until an associate ran off with clients' money, almost tarnishing my reputation in the market.
Faced with the do-or-die situation, I relaunched my brand as a Martech company with a co-founder, which eventually proved to be a success. Then, the Covid pandemic hit, and the need for digital businesses skyrocketed. This led me to establish a managed cloud hosting solutions company, which helped end-users scale their digital businesses.
Throughout my journey, I realized that women in the tech industry were few and far between in our society. I faced gender biases that often stereotyped women as being confined to certain business fields such as cooking or handlooms. I knew I wanted to help other women entrepreneurs overcome these biases. So, I established an initiative to foster, enrich, and uplift diversified groups, including women, LGBTQ+ individuals, and differently-abled individuals, through networking events, mentorship, and training sessions.
Today, I've mentored 25+ incubators and government institutions across India, and I'm only getting started. My journey as an entrepreneur has been filled with challenges, but it has also taught me to never give up on my dreams and to always strive for success, no matter the obstacles.”
Written by Bhavika Mittal. Edited by Niharika, Team SheThePeople
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