In today’s world, with women empowerment gaining the much-needed momentum, there are many inspiring women entrepreneurs who have channeled their passion into a fruitful business.
Running a startup is a Herculean task but with the right amount of zeal and inspiration, the heights one can reach knows no bounds. My start-up journey has had its own ups and downs but there were a few stories of fellow female entrepreneurs that inspired me through it all. These women have been a part of my journey and one reason I connect so well with them is because of our similar thought processes.
We share a mutual drive to connect with our consumers, understand their requirements, and provide them with the best.
So I thought to write about them and share with you all their journey of entrepreneurship. Now, of course, these women may not be celebrities nor do they enjoy huge fame but what makes them so special is their connection with the consumer base. Their zeal to provide the finest outcomes to their consumers with transparency about every aspect is what makes them stand out.
They are an inspiration for all those women who want to start something from nothing. Multitasking is something women are extremely good at and being a mother, wife, daughter has not restrained the dreams of these wonder women but only given them a reason to fly. I hope their stories inspire you as it inspired me and help motivate you in your startup journeys.
- Shantal Mujumdar
Here is my first acquaintance and also the most inspiring – Shantal Mujumdar. I remember meeting her for the first time at my house. She was there for an inquiry about her organic product. I was in complete awe of her passion towards her business. She loved her business like her own baby! She sat through and filled me with the required details patiently and all I could see was a woman so in love with her work, it almost seemed like a devotion.
Here is what Shantal tells us about her Journey :
‘Girl met nature and they grew on each other’ – Shantal Mujumdar
My Dreams are just curiosity coupled with passion and focus to be the best in our space. I am the founder and chief formulator @RASALILAINDIA , a Harvest Editon co. Entrepreneurship has been such an enriching journey, it has taught me the art and science of being consistent, which is a virtue that carves a niche for what I do . My experience has been throughout my trajectory being an entrepreneur , I lacked patience and excelled in risk. On each of these occasions I changed the course, and, more importantly, I was clearer about what I worked for, that is, what was the purpose guiding me by. In this entrepreneurial journey I learned and took some time to unlearn that ignorance was a good quality to be improved ! Being overconfident has made me fail a lot and nothing better than failing for one to learn.
- Selva Lakshmi
I met this amazing woman first when she needed assistance for technology requirements and I loved the way she perfectly managed her professional and personal life. A multi-talented woman indeed, she also is a runner. Somewhere midday through her mundane software job at TCS, Selva Lakshmi got thinking. What Ma said was right, I do need to feed the kids and myself better and even the pain of preparing dosa batter will be taken care of by mom with her “traditional and authentic” South Indian recipes. So then, why not try out this arrangement. It worked perfectly, the kids fell in love with their daily breakfast and Selva Lakshmi breathed easy knowing her kids were well-fed.
That’s when she had her light bulb moment and FarmztoFamiliez was born in 2016.
Another beautiful layer was superimposed over the mother-daughter relationship, not only did they now become business partners but they set out on a mission, to reach out to other mothers with the sole purpose of reviving traditional, nutritional, and hearty breakfasts. FarmztoFamliez became a Mom-to-Mom venture. Her zeal and persistence have always paid off rich dividends and in 2019, FarmztoFamiliez was selected among the Top 10 start-ups for IIM-B’s Goldman-Sachs ‘10,000 Women in India’ incubation series. She is equally appreciative of her husband Hemachandran who egged her to achieve all that she has, through his silent support and constant encouragement.
That’s the story of 2 moms that share 1 dream. An attempt to bring handmade love, tradition and wholesome breakfast, back in vogue.
- Vandana Rajamani
I started my journey to fitness with Vandana being my trainer. I admired her approach towards a balanced lifestyle and her goal to make every lady, that stepped in her studio, work towards a healthy lifestyle.
Here is her inspiring journey :
Vandana’s dream is to build a vibrant women community who are fit, healthy and happy and together give back to society. She believes that women need to take care of themselves before taking care of others. Only when they are fit and happy, can they make others happy. She wants to teach how we can get fit, healthy and remain happy with simple routines/discipline from home. Fitness, health and inner happiness is her top priority now. Let’s all travel in this wonderful journey of leading a healthy life together has always been her motto.
A software-techie turned fitpreneur, Vandana quit her IT job five years ago and started a women-only fitness studio in South Bangalore.
She has helped around 1000 women get started in their fitness journey and continue to stay fit and healthy.
Recently, she had to shut down her physical studio due to Covid and the uncertain situation currently in running a gym. She, however, continues to conduct online fitness sessions and also shares recorded sessions for women to workout at their convenience. Her primary goal is to help women get fit and healthy from their home. She promotes holistic wellness and also guides people on nutrition and inner wellness.
Creating a positive impact on others drives her. She loves teaching and imparting knowledge, be it in IT or fitness. An ever helpful and accommodating person, she says that her day is made when her action/teaching has helped anyone get over any of their issues or concerns. She has created a positive impact in hundreds of women, made them understand the importance of fitness and healthy and helped them take their first step towards taking care of themselves.
- Neha Sharma
Neha and I met at Google Webinar in Bangalore and we connected instantly, a girl with big dreams and bigger focus, on to be a successful blogger and influencer, without any technical knowledge without any agency help, all by herself. Her passion to be something and sustaining for long makes her successful
Blogging and content creating isn’t as easy as it seems and there are agencies out there that help you manage your social media platforms. But Neha chose not to hire any agency and rather self-learnt the technicalities and nuances of it through Google. She is down to earth and a beautiful person as well. I love the passion she carries for blogging and entrepreneurship.
We spoke to Neha about her dreams and business and here is what she has to say :
One dream that Neha wants to fulfill is having her own saree line. She has a fetish for sarees and is working towards creating traditional sarees with a contemporary twist so that even the younger generation can wear it with ease. She believes this way she will contribute in keeping ohr culture alive and passing it on to our coming generations.
She has recently started her online fashion store which is a complete store for a woman. On her online store one can find everything related to fashion like clothes and jewelleries. Since she has a special corner for sarees in her life, she has mainly focused on sarees with different materials like cotton, mulmul, khadi to name a few.
Talking about her YouTube journey, she takes us down to her memory lane when she used to binge watch YouTube videos. After finishing her Master’s in statistics, she started working in an MNC. – Omnistyles
Initially, she thoroughly enjoyed that 9 to 5 job but gradually it started feeling monotonous. And that’s when she quit and entered the world of content creating and blogging. All that she has learnt or rather is still learning, comes from YouTube. It is a continuous process of learning and creating content is what Neha firmly believes.
I met Dhwani at a Bangalore night market event. Across so many fancy stores, Dhwani’s stall caught my attention. There she was explaining her products and how she started her business from her kitchen. Business from kitchen! I was surprised to hear her story and passion for her art. Now she has her own brand called Wildflower and her products are seriously amazing. To meet the consumer requirements , Dhwani does extensive research and is in touch with you till you get what you want. This passion and focus to create and give is what makes her story special.
Dhwani’s entrepreneurial journey:
Her dream is to establish Wildflower as a brand in the field of sustainable and nature friendly personal hygiene products. A brand which people can always trust and connect to.
Through Wildflower, she also wants to spread awareness about how important it is to live in harmony with nature.
Wildflower is all about fresh, natural and simplified personal grooming products. The idea behind launching Wildflower was to provide people alternatives to harmful chemical laden products which are not only bad for our body but also destroy the Earth. Take for example the spray deodorants.
The aluminum present in them is very harmful for our body and the one time use container ends in piling up the landfills.
Their product range consists of soaps, moisturizers, natural cream deodorants, lip balms, tooth powder, hair oil, hair mask and natural mosquito repellent cream at present. Everything is handmade in small batches without any compromise on the quality. The ingredients used are all pure and natural and sourced authentically from different parts of the world. Wildflower is strictly a ‘No Plastic’ brand. Everything is packaged using just paper and reusable glass containers.
Dhwani is of the opinion that entrepreneurship is something which comes with a lot of risks but if you can handle it well, you will not only add value to your life but also create a livelihood for others. For her also, it was not an easy decision to leave a well-paying and comfortable office job to start this journey; from an Electronics Engineer to be an Entrepreneur.
The challenge here is to be your ‘own boss’ in true sense, to be able to maintain the discipline and momentum without somebody else pushing you. She believes it is all about being able to play the role of CEO as well as the delivery person at the same time. If you believe in what you do and do it with all honesty, you will definitely be able achieve your dreams. Moreover, in the process of doing so if you can add value to someone else’s life, there is nothing better than that.
Wildflower was born in 2019 from the kitchen of her house and selling the products at flea markets happening across the city. Now you can find them at various stores in the city and on online websites like LBB.
This journey, of selling products in Bangalore to now delivering PAN India, has been fascinating and overwhelming for them. Handling everything single handedly, starting from getting the right recipes for products to sourcing materials and designing the packaging to managing the deliveries, comes with a lot of challenges but the positive feedback received from her customers and support of near ones is what keeps Dhwani going.
When you make your passion a source of living then a happy customer is much more rewarding than money!
I know what you might be thinking! How insanely inspiring, isn’t it? Having heard and also experienced their journeys so closely, all I can say is that, chase your passion, no matter what, success will follow. Even now when I feel I have arrived at a dead end, stories like these inspire me to never give up and keep going.