The Digital Women Awards (DWA) have steadily grown as a platform for women all over India to connect, communicate, and discuss entrepreneurship since they were first introduced in 2015. They highlight how entrepreneurship can play a significant role in economic development and give women more agency by sharing not only their successes but also their worries and struggles.
The Awards not only recognise trailblazers in the world of small and medium-sized businesses, but they also provide access to influential women leaders’ viewpoints for business owners. What was done, how it was done, why it was done, and what they plan to do next. 2022 marks the eighth edition of SheThePeople’s Digital Women’s Awards. To date, it has covered around 80 cities and 75,000 women across the country. The virtual event started with an interview with actor entrpreneur Lara Dutta as part of the DWA virtual summit. SheThePeople founder, Shaili Chopra, spoke to Lara Datta talking about entrepreneurship.
Shaili Chopra in Conversation with Lara Dutta
It’s nothing new for celebrities to launch beauty lines, and actor Lara Dutta is one of them. Dutta, an entrepreneur, was also Miss Universe in 2000 and Miss International in 1997. She has primarily worked in Hindi films throughout her career.
The actor and former Miss Universe is well-versed in the art of beauty as a result of her extensive and additional time spent in makeup chairs. She has since taken all of this information and applied it to the development of her line of vegan, chemical-free, paraben-free, and vegetarian skincare products. Her line of healthy skincare products is named Arias.
During the discussion, the actor shared about her transitions in her 27-year-long career from fashion, beauty pageant and acting to entrepreneurship. The actor stated that among her three sisters, she was the one who had money in her pockets and she became a businesswoman quite early in her life.
Lara Dutta As Businesswoman; Inspiration Behind Her Business:
She said, “I enjoy creating things since I’m creative, whether it’s a movie, a product, an idea, or a concept. When I first started with skin care products around the world, there were no products that addressed the way Indian skin aged. I was determined to create a product that was affordable, high-quality, effective, and especially homegrown.”
When asked about her inspiration, the actor said, “Foreign exchange was for a long time the most popular investment in Bollywood, and women hardly ever handled their expenses or made any financial decisions. I started managing my money when I was in my late teens. I was the one who always wanted to know what went into my money, what happened to it, and what was happening to it. And I had a good understanding of my finances.”
Suggested Reading: Meet the Jury Chair of the Digital Women Awards 2022 : Rashi Narang
Why Do Women Conceal Themselves When They Desire Money?
Sharing her own experiences, she said, “It’s deeply rooted among us; we are constantly told, “Don’t you worry; your job is to manage the house; this is the amount of money you’re going to be given,” so if you really think about it, we have been excellent money managers all our lives. I’ve seen it with my grandmother and mother: the father brings X amount of salary, and you learn how to stretch that out to the last dollar, and the woman of the house used to do that, but when it comes to deciding whether or not to take out a life or health insurance policy, it’s always “don’t worry,” and that just never sat well with me. And today, I make better financial decisions than he does.”
Why Men Are More Open About Their Earnings Than Women?
When asked why men are more open about their earnings than women, she said, “Most of the women don’t talk about these things, which I don’t understand why because at the end of the day, when we talk and normalise these conversations, they become conversations that are empowering.”
The Significance Of Business Along With Acting Careers
The actor discussed, “I think it’s fantastic; we have got wonderful actors; there’s Alia (Bhatt) and Katrina (Kaif), who are at the top of the game, who have their own companies, have their own businesses, and are making very smart investments. I think it’s definitely a trend that’s here to stay, and I see that growing very steadily over the next couple of years with the new generation that’s coming up.”
A Valuable Lesson Of Entrepreneurship
She shared.” the thing that entrepreneurship is constantly teaching me is that there’s a certain kind of sensibility that I have, and when I am creating a product, it’s an extension of myself, and in a way, I’m pre-empting what it is that the buyer is going to buy or what they would like to buy. I regularly follow trends and the inferences of the buyers that change, and I am surprised every time. It is an incredible business where you have to stay on top of it all the time.”
Toughest Moment Of Career Switches
The actor shared, “I won Miss Universe when I was 21, I lived in New York for 2 years, and I never really harboured any dreams of becoming a Bollywood actor. came into the industry by chance. I think the good thing for me was the fact that I never considered it the be-all and end-all. It has its fair share of challenges. When I turned producer in 2011 and did my first film, Chalo Delhi, it was very okay to have my team have a creative conversation with me, but they were constantly looking over my shoulder, wondering if I had a man who was going to take over and have this business side of things. They find it difficult and unsettling to sit across the table from a woman and discuss budgets, distributions, and other topics. ”