Starting up a business is, by now, not a new discussion. Almost everyone is at least thinking about it, if not actually doing it. But what would lead you to actually take the plunge? You know it’s not easy, and it isn’t. Yet you know you could do it – so what’s holding you back?
If you need inspiration, meet five women entrepreneurs who took a deep breath, and bravely set out to do what they really wanted to do.
Sapna Ahuja, founder of jewellery line ‘Esmeralda’:
I was artistically inclined from a very young age. This helped me get work on a Tamil film where I assisted the costume designer. In turn, this inspired me to do a course in fashion design. Now I had ideas, but no clue of how to put them down. So I did a course in fashion illustration. Now I had the ideas and the skills. It was time to showcase my own line of clothing.
Once I got into a comfortable pace with my clothing line, I asked myself, “What next?” The answer was simple – designing jewellery. Doing a basic course in jewellery design helped me push my creative limits. Then I worked with a jewellery house in Chennai as a trainee.
While this was fun, I wanted more. So I decided to quit working for other people and start working on my own line of jewellery. One creative field lead to another and I finally found my true calling, ESMERALDA – my jewellery line was born.
Seema Dholi, founder of Farm2Kitchen, who thinks organic:
My passion lies in my creativity, and I like to explore as much knowledge as I can. My agenda is to give back to society. Farm2Kitchen started when I returned to India in 2008. I was pregnant, and wanted to eat organic, but to my surprise I could not find it easily even in Delhi-NCR.
That’s how the idea came to me. I started researching organic food, its availability, where it can be procured and how I can help other women who are pregnant and who would be looking for it just like me. And Farm2Kitchen was born.
Saumya Vardhan, founder of religious e-commerce platform Shubhpuja:
I grew up in New Delhi and moved to the UK in 2003. When a close friend’s father passed away in Delhi, I realised that she had no one left in India to help her grief-stricken mother to arrange the ceremonies.
I also realised that most of us are passively religious and in today’s hectic life, it is not only difficult to learn the rituals on our own, but also a chore to gather the materials for a ceremony. This inspired me to launch Shubhpuja.com.
Shradha Sud, founder of Mamacouture, started exactly the way it sounds:
Before entrepreneurship I was a corporate lawyer for 13 years and last year we had our first baby. While I was carrying my baby, I was also working. And I realised a miserable gap existed in maternity wear: there was nothing I could wear to the office or elsewhere. I hate saying this but it was impossible in India to find a place with respectful, fashionable, smart and sexy maternity clothes.
So I started researching. The more I connected with mothers-to-be, the more I was convinced that I could do this. So the idea really came from my personal experience. It was such a strong feeling that hit me so hard, I just couldn’t let it be. I quit my job and and founded Mamacouture.
Suchita Salwan, founder of Little Black Book:
I never really woke up one day, thinking, “I want to be an entrepreneur”. It just happened that I started something to address a personal need – How do I find things to do in my city? And I found this need resonating with 600,000 people every month, in Delhi and Bangalore.
It all began when I realised I was looping around at the same old restaurants and bars, with the same people. So I planned to find a new world in the same city, and began referring to magazines and websites for reference. But all they told me was what I already knew. That lighted a fire within me and Little Black Book was born.
As you see, with an idea and some confidence, something truly exciting can be created. When will you take the plunge?
We request you to support our award-winning journalism by making a financial contribution towards our efforts. Your funds will ensure we can continue to bring you amazing stories of women, and the impact they are making and spotlight half the country's population because they deserve it.