Women entrepreneurs talked about their stories and journeys at the second panel of Women Writers’ Fest, Pune, Citibank presents Power Women: Scripting Their Own Stories. Moderated by author Sudha Menon, food and travel writer Karen Anand, personal branding coach and speaker Nancy Katyal, fashion designer Shruti Mahadev and Kilobeaters founder Shyma Menon chat about how they are scripting their own stories. Watch the conversation or read it below!

Stories And Journeys

Speaking of their stories, the women entrepreneurs reminiscence about a defining moment in their life that led them to where they are today. Shruti Mahadev talked about when she moved from her hometown to Pune. “My defining moment happened in 2004 when I decided to take my own responsibility. The biggest challenge was to put that across to my family and tell them.

It took me some years, but I knew my worth so I didn’t let anyone else decide it for me. The most important learning for me was that it’s crucial for a woman to be able to stand up and say ‘I know my worth’.”

I grew up in Benaras in a very orthodox family. To tell them that I want to live on my own and take my own responsibility, even financially, was such a big challenge for me because no other woman in my family had done it before. It was a shock for everyone. I made that journey all alone. I had no connections, no friends and no family here in Pune. But this city has wholeheartedly accepted me. I feel proud to call myself a Punekar now. So that was the major defining moment in my life.”

Shyma Menon spoke of her brand, Kilobeaters. “My defining moment was when I started putting on weight. That’s when we decided to start Kilobeaters because we realised there’s no one doing what we do. There was no one taking care of meals for you, taking care of what you eat and put into your system. So that’s how Kilobeaters was born and my journey.”

Also Read: Ways To Strengthen Women Entrepreneurship 

Being A Woman Entrepreneur

A big part of the stories of all these women is the fact that they’re women entrepreneurs in what is still a male-dominated industry. Karen Anand advised, “Many women entrepreneurs, have lots of ideas. But we don’t have the backend, logistics and accounting strong enough. It’s important that you have someone taking care of that.  And if you’re not good at it, get professional help. Get as much help and as much advice as possible.”

“My defining moment happened in 2004 when I decided to take my own responsibility. The biggest challenge was to put that across to my family and tell them.”

Nancy Katyal spoke about the field of image management. “When I started, I was not taken seriously because there were always more men than women in the domain of training. I was young, and no one thought that I could tell people that they must be the best version of themselves. So I think real independence is being able to stand up for yourself and what you believe in. It took me some years, but I knew my worth so I didn’t let anyone else decide it for me. The most important learning for me was that it’s crucial for a woman to be able to stand up and say ‘I know my worth’.”

“Many women entrepreneurs, have lots of ideas. But we don’t have the backend, logistics and accounting strong enough. It’s important that you have someone taking care of that.  And if you’re not good at it, get professional help.”

She also advised women to not be afraid to ask questions. “My cousins from Delhi and Mumbai used to tell me that I don’t know the lingo. For example, if someone said CCD, I didn’t know what it was. It would have taken just one minute to ask. However, I had extremely low self-esteem. So to all the women, just please ask. That’s all it takes. The comfort that came from other women telling me that they’re there for me, is what empowered me. And that’s what I want to give to others. It’s high time women support other women.”

Also Read: Don’t Doubt Yourself, Just Do It: Kritika Batra, Founder Wanderbug 

Prapti is an intern at SheThePeople.TV

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