Right policy, support vital for women entrepreneurs
New Delhi: Businesswomen steering ahead on the path of industrial development. Latest reports say they constitute about 13.76 per cent of entrepreneurs in India; own 20.37 per cent of MSMEs.
Kavita Rajesh, the President of Hyderabad Management Association and founder of Om Sai Andhra Paints, speaking to The Hans India, cites spurt in technological during the Covid times is facilitating entry of young women into the world of entrepreneurship. Southern India has been seen as favourable destination for women to start their own business, and the Northern regions can also catch up, she observed.
"Look at the working atmosphere of Telangana. It has a very supportive environment for women because the state government policies are very conducive. At Association for Lady Entrepreneurs of India (ALEAP), we are coming up with a Trade Centre for women where the other SAARC countries can also promote trade. Women across the North side can learn from this.
We had a delegation from Assam who now seek similar business infrastructure over there. So, seeing is believing. You see the policies and the government, using a single window operation and at the click of a button you are done with the registration," Kavita said.
On building healthy competition amongst emerging entrepreneurs in the domestic market, Kavita believes that the gender bias has come down in India as more women are taking operational challenges. "Initially it was a problem because we did not have a conducive atmosphere to take up a leadership role whether it is Chanda Kochchar, or Indira Nooyi. As a woman, you first have to manage your home, come back and manage the society. So, a lot of challenges as well as positivity comes from home. Everything begins at home.
"Back in our day, we had to run pillar to post to get our registration. Today, access to market and capital is easy due to digitalisation which has come into a big way. So, you can be sitting in one place and see what others are doing across the country. Union Minister Nitin Gadkari had met ALEAP and proposed to open a women cluster. We need to have cluster formation, multi-cluster parks, that's when we can witness development," Kavita said.
An entrepreneur for close to 25 years, Kavita joked that while she heads apaint company in the industry, her husband is working for her as a fellow employee. She firmly believes that women at the top managerial position can offer handholding support to other women.
After speaking at the first Bizz Buzz Business Conclave in Visakhapatnam, Kavita told Hans India, "We may have policies in place, but no implementation is happening at large. For the purchase preference also, as I mentioned on the dais, five per cent purchase preference is there whether it is public sector undertaking (PSUs), as well as for CSR activities you need to invest. Tell me, which of the corporations is going through all this? On paper, it is there. Once you start practising, you see things happening on a national and international level in a big way."
Presently serving as the Treasurer at ALEAP, Kavita elaborates, "Ours is a 30-acre industrial park, 220 industries providing employment to 1,000 people. More and more women are coming forward to take up diverse activities of employment. When they see a woman employer, it motivates them to come on to the employment side."