In a world where we’re still bridging the gap with respect to gender equality, there are stakeholders who are doing their bit to enable and empower these initiatives. I met one such woman at SATYA MicroCapital Ltd’s Vijaylakshmi Das Entrepreneurship Awards 2023. Dibhya Mallick, who runs her tech firm Typof, is not just enabling the growth of artisans with the power of technology but also empowering more women in business to take charge of their own business models using tech.
In conversation with SheThePeople, Dibhya Mallick talks about her why she started her company Typof, how she finds solutions for artisans who don’t have the tech expertise to expand their business, and why sisterhood works as great mentorship for aspiring entrepreneurs.
Dibhya Mallick Interview
Launch of her tech platform
Moments before I learned that she was being awarded for her contribution at the grassroots level, I was intrigued by Mallick’s business display stall in the lobby. She sat confidently and answered the queries of those who approached her and asked about her business. When I asked her where she belonged, she proudly stated, “Bhubaneswar, Odisha.” That’s where she operates her tech firm with her business partner. It’s hard to fathom that Mallick started her firm only two years back and the rate with which her business has expanded speaks volumes about the hard work she has put in the same.
“We started in February 2021. The vision really was to help artisans in and around the area. The region has some great local artists but they don’t have the tech knowledge to expand their business virtually. That’s where we thought our platform could step in and aid them in doing that,” she recalls.
Looking back, Mallick’s journey seems challenging because she herself did not belong to the tech background. How did she run it around then? “I had to learn a lot myself too about the e-commerce marketplace. To start something from scratch and then earn the confidence of people around you is always challenging.”
Typof, which has generated a revenue of over ten million and covers over hundred cities, has a business model that really focuses on simplifying commerce for everyone which enables them to sell effortlessly to their target customers. “We enable individuals and businesses to make sales and expand their business through several tools and resources which they weren’t aware of earlier but hold utmost importance,” she shares.
“My vision was to enable non-technical people to learn the tricks of tech which would further aid them in expanding their business like never before.”
Spotting artisans who wanted to start their own brand websites and internet presence was Mallick’s first goal. As someone who respects arts a lot, her endeavour to popularise local and regional artisans bore fruit when she signed forty artisans within the first few months. “Signing over 40 artists boosted our confidence and helped us realise there was immense scope in this market.”
While Mallick received her award at the event solely, she tells us this it belongs to the ten thousand artisans she represents. “It’s not me getting recognised, it’s ten thousand people associated with us. That’s the community I’m talking about. Tapping into that power can help not just expand the business but also bring change at the grassroots.”
Advice for aspiring entrepreneurs
“We need to first make people understand that they can learn anything at any given point in life,” says Mallick, adding that how abiding by a timeline because society has set a certain standard can often demotivate people. “I want to tell people that they can start from anywhere, anytime, and that age has nothing to do with their passion. Another important thing to note is that capitalising on one’s expertise will go a long way if your vision is clear with respect to what your business model is. Keeping small goals and slowly expanding helps big time.”
How more women in STEM can pave the way forward?
Mallick’s ideology about inspiration stems from her understanding of mentorship and sisterhood. “Women have this great ability to inspire other women. If young girls see women in important positions of leadership, it will automatically enable them to dream big.”
Mentorship, she says, is the integral pillar which can help women move up the ladder. A lot of us grew up without good female mentors but that’s changing now. We have some impeccable examples of women across industries and if they guide other women, bridging the inequality gap will become easier.
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