How does it feel to be a woman entrepreneur?
Came a question from the other side of the call. It was a breezy afternoon and I was sipping over a cup of chaai while giving an interview to a media person.
I paused for almost 2-3 seconds. I had never really thought of this. Does being a woman or a man matter when it comes to the game of entrepreneurship? Are the rules any different? I thought to myself.
Ever since I’ve started up GojiLove, an online store for erotics and other adult products, I have had my share of problems. Like convincing my parent about leaving a cushy job to getting my website registered (it was an adult store, guess the story!) to motivating my team everyday. Everyday has been a make or break day for me as an entrepreneur. Well, but, was it any different since I was a ‘woman entrepreneur’? Was I less or more privileged because of my gender?
In the beginning, I’ve sure had some tough times. We worked hard on the business plan and its execution. Yet harder to put our service in the market as it was pretty tricky to explain the business to our vendors. Some of them took us seriously, a few got flirtatious and used to send inappropriate messages to the ‘woman entrepreneur running an adult store’ or for that matter, just a woman entrepreneur. In their defence, I’d tell myself – may be they’ve not seen women doing business like I have since my childhood, within my family and community in Imphal, my hometown.
Nothing was wrong or is wrong with the reporter’s question too.
I answered with problems I’ve faced, – vendor management, day-to-day operations, running around in those crowded whole-sale market for buying packaging items or talking to brand managers/directors/owners or distributors for brand association and the list goes on. However, was this any different from any other entrepreneur?
Indeed only one thing crossed my mind after the interview; will investors give discounts in my traction numbers or investment calculation shown while pitching to them for funds, since I am a woman?
The fact is YOU are building something, shaping a better world with your vision and inspiring someone somewhere. India for sure needs more people who have amazing idea, models and new emerging businesses. India needs more men and women and new talent in small villages, towns, and cities to boost up or strengthen the economy. It’s not about gender anymore. It is about being someone who is passionate , willing to work out of box and go an extra mile. Diversity and gender equality will figure its own way into the country’s economic development.
High time we are more than ‘women entrepreneurs’ but a collective community of disruptors, hustling and rebuilding the world for better!