Women Entrepreneurs, benefit from Government marketing channels to boost your Business
A lot of initiatives are taking place to facilitate businesses led by women and thankfully there are organisations like PHD Chamber or Commerce & Industry which are facilitating in connecting eligible women entrepreneurs to such wonderful plans & programs.
Here is the video of the takeaways from one such interaction between PHD Women Entrepreneurs Committee (PHDWEC) and officials of Government e-marketplace. It is important for women entrepreneurs to understand that just working hard is not enough. It is equally important to be updated and connected in order to give momentum to your businesses.
MARKETING OPPORTUNITIES IN GOVERNMENT PROCUREMENT PROGRAMS
This article is a candid sharing from Vertica Dvivedi from being a ‘perfectionist’ to learning ‘perfectionism with delegation’. Many of us are trapped with the beautiful shackles of perfection which one takes pride of. While this article is not against being perfectionist, it wants to show how obsessiveness in perfection harms someone.
Are you a perfectionist? Do you strive to be one? Does flawlessness fascinate you? Do you think perfectionism leads to excellence?
If any of these connect with you, we were on the same side once.
The idea is to walk you through my journey from just ‘being a perfectionist’to ‘perfectionism with delegation’. I learnt that being quintessential is only one element of advancement and not the soul of it.
Now when I look back, I remember how fanatic I was about taking everything onto me for the sake of ‘the finest and the best’ [which I so wrongly thought can only come from me] until I realised that this is actually an issue, closer to illusion, and only piling and delaying the work. Back then, the fear of ‘What If’ drove me hard:
What if, if the final produce has some errors?
What if, if I don’t do it and regret it later?
What if, if the tonality goes off the way?
What if, if it does not sync with readers’/clients’ expectations?
And, so many similar ‘What ifs’.
And then all these ‘What ifs’ silently dragged me to the sweet & addictive world of PERFECTIONISM, a trap, fatal possessiveness, and the greatest myth ever that no one could do it the way I can.
It took me a while to face and accept that while perfectionism is not bad, balancing it with delegation is essential. I think that the pain and price [personal and professional] I paid for perfectionism drew me closer to my purpose. My WHY became bold and in the driving seat. Why am I in this business and where is it leading me to? A clearer ‘WHY’ also gave me the much-needed wisdom and impetus to peel the illusive crust of – being a perfectionist.
We all, the artistic genre, irrespective of the domain we operate in are prone to being Atelophobic – phobia of not being good enough or imperfection.
When I started to practice the lesser known, yet humongous power of ‘inspired delegation’, results were an eye-opener in the right sense. Today I operate with an attitude of: equip – delegate – empower and the outcomes which the team tosses surprise me. Have reset my mindset to – shall be able to do anything but not do EVERYTHING.
My not-to-do list has become equally or may be more important than the to-do list.
Our work and life should be to strive for the ‘acceptable perfectionism’ and the ability to strike that ‘ideal balance’.
My pursuit to find and fine-tune this symmetry is on and I will keep it fuelling with a combination of “Perfection + Inspired Delegation.”
What not to do if your things are stolen while traveling in a foreign country?
How my money, passport & phones were stolen in Milan
Precautions & Care you must take
The Do’s & Don’ts if you become a victim of theft in a foreign land
Have you ever become a victim of theft?
I can tell you for sure that losing your passport, cards, money & phones (even the professional camera, a lot of data, drives & more in my case) while traveling abroad is extremely painful. It’s like you are left with nothing all of a sudden one night while far from the apartment– no identity, no money, no way to communicate!
If not for Madhu who was traveling with me, I didn’t even have the address of the apartment or a few pennies to make a call!!! This was my situation while traveling in Milan recently.
I went there for Salone del Mobile exhibition. The 2019 fair was visited by around 3.5 lac people from 181 countries. Milan tops the list of cities where Indian designers visit. As per a report by Corriere a few years back, Milan leads in the number of thefts, with close to 7800 complaints per 1 Lac of residents, followed by Bologna, Florence and Rome.During the fairs, foreigners become the easy target of such miscreants.
What happened to me can happen to thousands of other people thus I decided to share my story in order to save others from such harassments.
Like every year my eyes were filled with dreams about the latest designs we will see at the Salone del Mobile, one of the finest design exhibitions in the world. Heading a publication which is among the few magazines of the world that cover self curated exclusive content from the fair, this was my 5th year at the fair. With the usual ‘unusual enthusiasm’ myself and Madhu started out to hunt for the best to come in The Editors Choice – 100 Designs from Milan for Surfaces Reporter.
After a satisfactory day, we decided to take the train, expecting to reach the apartment in the next 20 minutes while taxi would take more than an hour. Even through the mad rush, one scene caught my attention. A beautiful girl, might be in her 20’s was pushing her way through in the opposite direction of the crowd while weeping ceaselessly. I just hoped all was well with her and her loved ones.
Her pain was visible that touched me even in those few seconds of my observation. My heart prayed for her and hoped all was well. Little did I know that our paths would cross again, very soon.
The rush was unbelievable. I stood near the door holding one of the bags and supporting the other with my leg. I had turned to take something out of my bag when Madhu asked me ‘where is your other bag’? In split seconds, I saw the person who was just behind me jumping out of the train with my bag. I could do nothing as the train door got closed and it speeded away. Totally lost, my mind was going back & forth calculating the amount of loss that happened. In utter shock, I looked at the people around, who were sort of quite normal with my loud scream and the innumerable times I uselessly pushed the door button in the running train.
We got down and I tried to collect myself. Sitting on the steps I counted my blessings before counting the total loss.
My mind asked me a question, “What if I was all alone? Realising that Madhu is there and fortunately her card is safe, we will find out a solution quickly. After planning the ‘how to manage strategy’ we started on our mission to complete the formalities.
THE SCENE AT POLICE STATION, TORINO, MILAN (9 – 10 PM):
At least 15 people were waiting to register their complaints. All were victims of theft in the last 3-4 hours in Milan. We saw tensed & long faces of people sitting there waiting in anticipation of some good news. We were one among them too for a short while until we realised it was futile to expect any good news soon.
I shed the victim tag and replaced it with the tag of a journalist. Excerpts from my observation:
We were surprised to see the same girl sitting there who was ceaseless crying outside the Salone fair. See how life makes a full circle. Her bag was snatched while she was walking outside the fair. She was Turkish and couldn’t speak either English or Italian.
Three girls from Russia were still not able to make out how and where their bag was stolen. The friends were on a holiday. One of the girls was crying non-stop. Well, no one interrupted her.
A Chinese group was talking ceaseless, looking really disturbed.
Another woman and man from India entered looking very hopeful of finding the purse of the lady that was stolen while they were enjoying coffee. After sometime, their faces didn’t exhibit the same brightness.
An old lady was sitting alone in a corner with her face turned away. My heart prayed for her.
Two men were standing at the gate. Their bag was stolen from the hotel room. They requested for a Spanish form to file the complaint.
I was curious to see how a man was doing some rotational movements with both his hands and whispering to himself. Someone there murmured ‘aura cleaning.’
THE COMMON THAT I DREW FROM THE STORIES:
Foreigners are targeted
70-80% thefts were targeted on women
High traffic areas are selected for thefts specially trains during rush hours and tourists spots, shopping areas around Duomo
Visitors of the design fair are high on target
The Do’s & Don’ts WHILE travelling:
Do not keep all the important things in one bag.
Better to keep passport, cards & money on the inside pockets of your jacket or in a sling bag.
Avoid trains in rush hours if you have multiple bags.
If in train, do not stand with your bag near the gate.
Be careful if anyone stops you to talk in the street or station. Someone might be trying to distract your attention for helping a companion to steal your bag.
If you are carrying a backpack, make sure to hold it on the front side for safety.
If you are visiting Milan for a holiday, take more precautions if it is during a period of important international exhibitions. Thieves are most active at that time.
Avoid responding to vendors in busy places. There might be thieves in disguise.
What you should Do?
Visit police station. Write the FIR clearly with proper mention of things stolen. Mention the phone & email to contact you back.
Someone told us to report the loss by emailing to wantedinmilan.com. However, I suggest get the FIR from the police station first.
Take the copies of FIR, photos, and copies of passport to the consulate and get an EC (Emergency Certificate) done for travelling back to your country.
Send notifications to the bank to block the cards.
I enabled the ‘Find my Phone’ and set it in lost mode.
Change the passwords of apps, bank accounts & emails.
Check with the Travel insurance and file for the claim.
It is important to get back to business at the earliest so take actions that help you to recuperate. I booked a new iPhone XR, informed business associates, postponed some meetings, cancelled overseas tickets of recent travel, and ensured my office is active in reducing hassles.
What Not to Do or avoid doing?
When you lose things, Do Not lose your mind.
Situations are not under our control, but precautions are.
When you lose, Do Not miss the lesson
Do Not waste time. The time to mourn over the loss of things should be postponed to time after some important formalities are done.
Do Not focus on what’s gone. Focus on what’s remaining.
If you are reading this just after losing some valuable things in a foreign land, Do Not stop here. Collect your mind and collect your resources.
Do Not spend time informing people unless they are of any help.
Collecting sympathies do not help where actions are required.
Do Not take safety lightly. Take actions to avoid misuse
Do Not reply to any email informing about your stolen things unless you verify it.
Do Not think it cannot happen to you again 🙂
Though the incident was quite unfortunate and it disturbed my plan in Milan, we did try to make the most out of the trip, both professionally and personally. It was a good trip except for this incident. Madhu’s presence actually saved me. Here are some of the photos from Milan (what do you think: were these clicked before or after my things were lost? 🙂
One of my friends asked how I felt having no money, no identity and no phones with me all of a sudden in a foreign land. My response was, ‘nirvana’. I did feel out of the world for some time! Well, did I have any choice other than to turn the wounds into wisdom?
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For myself and my team working for Surfaces Reporter Magazine India, exploration is a part of life. Daily, we come across many new ideas and designs. Some just pop in and out, while a few not only create a lasting impression but also evolve with time. There are ideas that enter the design world like a simple trend and eventually become a part of our life. In this article, I have explored a few quirky trends like ‘Minimal Design Maximal Art’ and ‘Mix but Do Not Match’. Among the rest of ideas, some have the potential for massive advancement, especially, ‘Biofacturing,’ ‘Technology & Design for health & wellbeing,’ and ‘Self Sustainable Homes’ which are currently at the nascent stage of development.
Manufacturing with bio-products along with nature to grow materials and objects is known as Biofacturing. Products are grown to meet the requirement with minimum waste and maximum use. Today, the world is burdened with landfills of waste and materials that need recycling and reusing. Biofacturing eliminates the need for all that and creates products with a negative carbon footprint. Good examples are the lab-grown bio fabrics.
An interesting natural designer product is my favourite ‘Full Grown’ furniture. Gavin Munro’s products are grown just like normal trees, shaped to perfection, and then cut out to be a functional piece. Likewise, Eric Klarenbeek in The Netherlands is experimenting with 3D-printing of mushrooms. Once it is full-grown and dried, it turns into a structural, stable and renewable material.
2. Minimal Design Maximal Art
Minimalistic has been running as a trend for a long time. Some people in between experimented with ‘maximalism’, especially in the hospitality sector, to create differentiation, however minimalistic still tops the chart. This time in Salone del Mobile. Milano, I observed a lot of minimalistic design setups with art becoming the centre of attraction – basically, art doing the talking for the interiors. An important aspect to note is that art may not be just for the sake of art but relevant functional objects/designs which are serving both the roles. Minimalistic continues to be in, while with it maximalism is making a re-entry, puncturing to make a place within a minimalistic design.
3. Self Sustainable Homes OFFER Infinite possibility
A Roman poet Horace once wrote:
“This is what I prayed for, A piece of land – not so very big, with a garden and, near the house, a spring that never fails, and a bit of wood to round it off.”
Those words though are from 30 BC, about 2000 years ago, still, strike a chord with what human beings ultimately seek in life. Nowhere in the poem has the poet talked about extracting the maximum. Extracting the maximum from work, life, nature are the outcomes of modern competitions and measurements of today’s success. The words ‘not so very big,’ and ‘a bit of’ touches my heart and tells volume about what the world needs to stop and notice. Thankfully, designers are addressing this issue with ‘design’.
This project is by Ar Beatrice Bonzanigo from IB Studio which shows a transportable home with 20 different configurations. Look at the amazing possibilities it has opened up. This customised house occupies 27 sqm and is designed to be placed just anywhere.
I am feeling so ‘fixed’ after looking at this super ‘flexible’ home design. This patented project has two bedrooms, bathroom, kitchen, a living room and even a terrace! Solar panels and rainwater management for water completes the setup.
4. Mix, but do not Match
An exciting trend indeed! I witnessed various designs which compel you to stand and watch for some time as you find something is out of place initially. For long we have been seeing a lot of mix and match, be it in designs, patterns, colours etc. But this time, I saw people are mixing, but not deliberately matching. Amidst chaos, you see harmony; your eyes align with the design, and you feel “It’s ok. In fact, it’s different and good!” I am keen to try something like this!
Somewhere even amidst chaos, you see connectivity and harmony as individual elements or as a collection of different designs; your eyes align with the design, and you feel “It’s ok. In fact, it’s different and good!” I am keen to try something like this!
5. Technology & Design for Wellbeing & Health
Two years back in Milan, the work of a young boy caught my attention. If you pass through his designs, you may not even stop. However, if you see what his furniture can do, people working in the corporate world are sure to find some solution to fitness at work. As I traversed through the beautiful hallways of Salone del Mobile 2019, I was glad to see that the trend is picking up well. Thankfully enough, design and technology are connecting and crossing paths in our lives for the better.
“A Place for Being” by Google presented an exhibition recently citing “scientific proof that design is important”. It makes a visitor to wear a wrist band which is capable of recording the brain reactions giving different physiological information about levels of well being in different design space.
Gym equipment manufacturer, Technogym, who is the official supplier to the London 2012 Olympic games, has opened ‘Technogym village’ with a large area dedicated to wellness, physical exercise and education related to wellbeing.
Punjab and Haryana occupy top slots when it comes to burning agro waste. As per NASA Earth Observatory, 7-8 MT of leftovers are burnt after the harvesting season. Several diseases like asthma, bronchitis, retarded nervous system, and cognitive impairment are the result of inhaling harmful gases. A young startup from IIT-Delhi, Kriya Labs is working on using technology to reduce pollution levels in India by making cutlery from agricultural waste. The world is looking at technology with hope – the point where engineering & creativity meets.
6. Why Waste
If humans want to survive, the eco-friendly solution is to consume less. As designers and creators, we need to find a positive de-growth. – Philippe Starck
This year is about going many notches deeper and taking sustainability and waste management most seriously. Students and researchers, while focusing on ‘how to fix’, are emphasising on ‘how to not abuse at the first place.’ The trend is to focus on contributing rather than extracting.
Designers are trying to use waste in a meaningful, functional way, for example, by creating lights, furniture and even clothes & accessories out of waste. Manufacturers are using waste as raw material wherever possible. However, interestingly, the focus is shifting from ‘how to use waste’ to ‘how to not waste at all.’ If waste at all happens in designing, then it needs to be used wisely. For instance, it is good to create a flower vase out of the waste of another product, but we need to think, now what happens to that flower vase after it wears down? How this waste is to be reused or recycled; how the cycle is to be completed – these are the issues that designers are focusing on now. ‘Going circular’ is the trend that I am referring to here.
7. PLANT of THINGS
Just like IoT (Internet of Things) is permeating every sphere of our lives, I would say, the design fraternity is gearing up towards ‘Plant of Things.’ We have been recently witnessing much greenery in facades, rooftops and more. However, what is new? Designers are going a step further – they are trying to bring green to life within and with products! Be it furniture or wall decors; they are trying to make them more alive with plants. The trend is to make plants an indispensable part of our lives, through objects of daily use, such as making ‘moss’ a part of our office table top. Wow! For another project, Matilde Boelhouwer in his concept for Liveable Earth’ designed a beautiful collection of artificial flowers that can convert rainwater sugary which can act as food for insect pollinators in emergency requirements. This kind of care for nature where design is used to address the very basic need of pollination and food for insects is observed for the first time. Way to go!
Author – Vertica Dvivedi
First published by – Surfaces Reporter magazine, May 2019
NOTE: The images are selected from various sources, some for the purpose of reference only.
Women have always been entrepreneur within the four walls where she is calculative & innovative in terms of budgeting with limited resources. What are the few things women need to learn, in general, to be more successful as entrepreneur?
Women Entrepreneurship: Bringing new way of doing business – Vertica Dvivedi, Founder, WADe Asia, www.wadeasia.com, www.vertica.in
Since ages, women in India are managing home & kitchen. This notion about women as managers of domestic life is so deeply ingrained in the Indian society that it is difficult to change this attitude even today. However, change is happening. Today, women are successfully managing various avenues yet the entrepreneurial world is vastly male dominated.
Let me share an interesting perspective. I think, women have always been entrepreneur within the four walls where she is calculative & innovative in terms of budgeting with limited resources (read financial management), using of waste material for useful purposes (read resource management), saving for the rainy day (read risk management), managing different moods of people in the family yet keeping everyone happy (read team management), and the point of all communication for kids and elders in the family (read communication management).
A research on “Women Entrepreneurship in 21st Century India” pointed that within entrepreneurship research, women entrepreneurship is considered as a separate branch of study. Men and Women have different approach towards business. As per biological determinism, women listen more to intuition & heart, resulting in being more sensitive. Entrepreneurs like Indra Nooyi and Kiran Majumdar Shaw have proved that women can learn the different nuances of business most suavely yet firmly retain the balance of being strong and sensitive leader. Ms. Shaw had once quoted, “I learnt that business was about being emotionally driven about investing, but being emotionally detached when it came to divesting and that’s a very strong learning.”
Women by nature are collaborative and resource aggregators. Business coach Joel Norton says, “Neurologically, women are programmed to work through issues in a more collaborative way. It is part of their thought process. Eight of out 10 women who work with me want someone they can bounce ideas off and talk through their plans. It’s the synthesizing of the idea that’s really important to them.”
Collaborative nature makes women good team managers. As great resource aggregators, they are efficient in understanding talent & retaining them. That makes them good at client and vendor management as well.
Women are less prone to over-confidence, and comfortable in sharing their failures. Females hardly indulge in high risk areas. They are extremely calculative. Unlike men, majority of women do not aspire to build empires. They enjoy the little success that comes their way. Though India’s high aspiring women entrepreneurs like Kanika Tekriwal of JetSetGo are changing the way we look at women as entrepreneurs, yet one cannot miss the fine balance in their approach.
Multitasking is the word so connected with women. When she brings this quality to work and learns to delegate, she becomes wonderful in execution. There is a great zeal in women to make things possible & perfect, at home and work. That leads her to learn best practices in balancing home and family. We are seeing a surge in successful women entrepreneurs. There is a major shift in the way family members and society perceive women today though a lot more change is needed.
With the qualities of being sensitive yet strong, wonderful resource aggregators, collaborative, multi-tasking, less prone to over-confidence, calculative risk-takers, and being able to balance work with family, women entrepreneurs are definitely changing the way of doing business. Having said all that, here are the few things women entrepreneurs need to pay attention and improve.
It is said that our strengths are usually our weaknesses as well. Women entrepreneurs are prone to impulsive decisions if they listen only to heart and do not involve logic in decision making. While executing multiple work and reaching short-term goals, long-term vision may be ignored. Delegation is the key. I find most women financially conservative which is good but many times this attitude restricts in scaling up. Generating start-up revenue and funds of scaling up are the areas where women are still evolving.
As founder of a platform for women in design, WADe Asia, the best advice I can give to women entrepreneurs is to find the right networking platform that helps them to learn, connect, and share. Men are continuously meeting & networking while women hardly network. In the ocean of their priorities while balancing home, kids, work, somewhere, networking takes a back seat. Thus, women who are part of business circles that facilitate networking are happier and do better than others who drive silo.
“Do not undermine your strengths and do not undervalue what you are offering” would be my advice. Last but not the least, they should learn to take short breaks, feel free to seek help and always take good care of health as a priority. Women entrepreneurship is a recent phenomenon in India and I can tell you that women are really learning very fast.
She is a change-maker who joins the mission to be the messenger for water literacy and awareness.
By WADE FOUNDATION
12 October, NSIC, Okhla, New Delhi
Timing: 8:00 AM Register Now
All the participant will be eligible for certificate from ASIA BOOK OF RECORDS
Formation of a large human ‘W’ by 600-700 women is planned on 12th of October 2019at the NSIC Grounds, Okhla, New Delhi. W stands for #WomenWaterWarriors. The coming together is a pledge to stand for Water Conservation. Registration is free. You can either register individually or as a Group Leader with group registrations.
Researchers warn that in the next 10 years, water scarcity and climate change may displace upto 700 million people. We are today standing at the brink of losing the most precious thing of our lives, ‘WATER’ without which no life can exist. As per a recent report by the Government of India, Delhi and 21 other cities in India are likely to run out of groundwater by 2020.
Water is a common resource needed by all and the crisis is a global phenomenon. Thus it is important for everyone to come forward to support and work in solving this problem.
In general, women are known to be more sensitive to saving, conservation and handling crises. Women are the best drivers of change. Some of the villages of India where groups of uneducated and underprivileged women have done massive development in making their village water sufficient for agriculture & other use has inspired WADE FOUNDATION to workin mobilizing the urban community of women to drive change across the country. After all, in both rural and urban, women are known to be more involved in water-related activities at home.
#WomenWaterWarriors by WADE FOUNDATION is a pledge to be a messenger of water literacy and to significantly contribute in raising awareness on using water efficiently, reviving water bodies, conserving and rainwater harvesting.
Women can join as Participants and/or Group Leaders while men can join as Volunteers and/or Group leaders. Register here.
JOIN IN THE NOBLE CAUSE AS AMBASSADORS OF CHANGE FOR WATER AWARENESS.
I am the Director of a New Delhi based fast growing company called Bigsea Marcom (I) Pvt. Ltd.
I am the Director of a New Delhi based fast growing company called Bigsea Marcom (I) Pvt. Ltd., together with my partner Pragath Dvivedi.
As the Chief-Editor of Surfaces Reporter magazine, an architecture & design magazine, focussed on products for interiors and buildings, I am responsible for the total content. As the CEO, I drive the businesses in marketing, promotions, communication and growth. Recently started Event division of Bigsea Marcom is very close to my heart. It has two event properties, WADe India Asia and The Talk of Town. WADe is Asia’s 1st platform for Women Architects, Artists and Designers that celebrates through an annual mega event while content is circulated throughout the year to connect the women. The Talk of Town is a series of mini events that happen around India.
These apart, Bigsea Marcom is also into Market Research, Printing & Fabrication, and publishing of other B2B specialised magazines like Furniture Design & Technology and The Ply Reporter. Bigsea Market Research and the mentioned operations are led by Pragath Dvivedi. I am also the proprietor of a Design firm which is a small creative boutique helping clients to design their brand message, collaterals, corporate films and more.
Tell us about any current projects or initiatives.
My current project is WADe Asia – the universe for women in design, art and architecture. WADe is about documenting the progression of Women in Design. It is also about a common ground for women in creative pursuits to meet, network, learn and share. With the coming together of 6 countries, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Thailand, WADe Asia was magnanimous. WADe started with the objectives of:
Ensuring visibility of Women-led projects
Bridging Mentorship between Leading & Aspiring Designers
Standing by those who want to come back to the profession
Encouraging, Sharing & Learning through Research
Celebrating the Life, Work and Achievements of Women Architects, Artists & Designers * Rewards & Recognition
I am glad to share that so far WADe is going very strong on the objectives and concluded a mega survey that is believed to lead the course of our future action.
What has been your greatest achievement personally?
After my parents expired, at quite an early age, standing straight amidst all odds to be the backbone for my family of five is one of my greatest achievements so far, on a very personal level. Today, all my sisters are settled in life while brother is about to complete PhD.
If you weren’t doing what you do now, what would you be doing?
Probably, I would have been a singer, actor, a film-maker or all of them together (haha).
Who has been your biggest inspiration?
My Father is my biggest inspiration. Through his life and beliefs, he has taught us to be brave and fearless, to be happy no matter how the circumstances are, and also to value relationships. These learning in the early childhood shaped my outlook & vision. These values stood by me as an entrepreneur as well.
What does the future hold for you?
The best way to predict the future is to create it, said Abraham Lincoln. I believe in the same. No one has seen the future so in my best capacity I would make every single day of my life meaningful for myself as well for the initiatives I stand for.
Which books are you planning to write and why?
Many of my friends are asking me to write on ‘How I did what I did.’ They want me to write and inspire other small town girls to come out and conquer the world. I was born in Kohima, where my father was posted, and breathed his last. My brother was 7 days old when mother expired. Father lost his job post that and our once-upon-a-time happy and complete family was broken & shattered. In some other nerve wrecking incidences, we lost our home and everything we had. I am the eldest of the four sisters. Managing to be sane was a challenge in those times. Then our dear father expired. How did I manage to take control of self and the responsibility of my three sisters & one brother, while not letting my dream to die, to be an entrepreneur, is a matter of discussion many times. After losing our parents, our home and most of the belongings, we five were there for each other. Our journey from the small town Kohima to Delhi without any support of friends & relatives makes us feel proud even today.
I was uncomfortable to share a lot of happenings but sensing that my sharing may help someone in similar situation to get strength in order to fight against the odds, inspires me to write. Every turn that my life took is like a story, rising from the point of suicide to turning my face to life & light, the tri-agenda to kickstart my vision while I was waiting to get admission in class-VIII, there-after launching 3D animation in North Bengal, picking up my backpack to head for Delhi, my time in the roads of Delhi, first break, and the several times when I was broke, before kissing success for the first time, does make a rich thriller for someone who listen to.
For me, the memories, joys & wounds, all are still fresh. If the book is able to motivate even one person to rise beyond circumstances, and if she motivates another one, I believe, many more Verticas would be born. ‘Rising Small Town Girl’ (tentative name) would be a book that stimulates passion in the aspiring young girls of India, and help women to re-think & re-work on self, to be the best version of their selves.
What has been your biggest challenge in achieving success?
For me the biggest challenge was Finance. There is a brief article based real life incidences that I had concisely put to share the 10 challenges I faced as a women entrepreneur in New Delhi. You may read it here
From the point I started, every step forward has been achievement for me. I was amazed when Economic Times quoted, “WADe’s creator Vertica Dvivedi believes mad unwavering passion is what makes things happen.”
In 2017 alone, I was fortunate to receive 5 awards including Hafele ORBIS Award for being the ‘Woman of Influence 2017,’ winner of ‘Photo Journalism AWARD 2017’, ‘Indian Women Achievers Award 2017’, ‘Exceptional women of Excellence 2017’ by Women Economic Forum, and was runner-up to get ‘SMEs Excellence Award 2017 by ASSOCHAM’ for Bigsea Marcom (I) Pvt. Ltd. in women entrepreneur category.
Yet my biggest achievement in terms of satisfaction has been to start WADe India. In 2017, it expanded to include representations from Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Thailand, forming WADe Asia (World Women Architects, Artists and Designers – Asia) the 1st combined platform, an universe for women architects, artists and designers. WADe received huge applause for spreading Women-led development across India and Asia. The latest annual event had 700+ delegates, 300+ projects, 100+ speakers, 23 Award winners, with grand celebrations that went on for 2 days in Gurgaon.
What advice do you have for women starting out on their own?
Ans: To start with, I believe it is possible to be a good mother, wife, sister, daughter, and a business leader/ professional at the same time just as it is possible to be a good father, husband, brother, son, and a business leader/ professional. For Women who are starting on their own, my sincere advises are:
1) Be kind to yourself. Do not tear yourself apart for the sake of doing everything. Intelligently weigh priorities, pros & cons, visualise at length and selectively work on things for maximum results.
2) Do not procrastinate. It will only add to your pain.
3) Drop your fears & ego, and ask for support. Make your family & friends part of your dream by connecting with them mentally, emotionally or through work. Entrepreneurship is a lonely journey. Good people along makes it worth pursuing. Men today are learning to support & co-operate while other family members have started to understand the value of women pursuing her own career. They are not Gods. You will have to trust them, involve them, support them and in turn get support & togetherness.
4) Women entrepreneurs, do not leave Marketing & Finance for others to take care. As an entrepreneur, be the engine of your marketing plans & finance. Driving them well will help you in delivering a better product/ service, and manage business in a good way.
5) Celebrate the smallest victories at work but do not lose the view of bigger goal. Stay focused, network well, and be addicted to learning new things.
I can keep going but I would be happy to address queries at firstname.lastname@example.org .Feel free to contact me as fellow entrepreneurs or to mentor the start-ups & rising entrepreneurs.