With the election results out and the Government coming back in power, the air of uncertainty is relinquishing. The Government has brought a lot of reforms in the last five years, many of which overhauled the way businesses were run. Finally, in the next tenure, it is expected to provide a stronger platform for businesses to take-off. Architects, Designers, Brands and the Real estate fraternity must gear up to make the best of it.
While with the much loved mega architecture event WADe Asia we are able to connect architects, designers and artists nationally and stir important conversations yet I always felt a vacuum. Thus, to churn ideas at the local level, we had initiated Surfaces Reporter’s The Talk of Town city events, of which we recently successfully completed 11 editions. Some of the cities covered recently are Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Delhi and Bangalore.
I have seen the power of local dialogues.
As the Mayor of Ahmedabad shared her vision for the city during Surfaces Reporter’s The Talk of Town, her dreams gained strength with the active participation of the audience, who provided some great suggestions for the improvement of the city. As a media we not only initiated, conceptualised and organised the event, we are also compiling the points to be submitted to the Mayor for further action. Smt Bijal Patel shared that in the next meeting, architects will be invited for a discussion.
In a similar instance at Bangalore SRPR The Talk of Town event, we listened to Dr Shobha Reddy who shared about their citizen initiative of rejuvenating the lake Rachenahalli, how a small task force of 8 has transformed into a bandwagon of 200 people today, they motivated everyone to take actions rather than just talking about it.
Power is no more in the Big, the Great or the Mighty. Power is in ‘Action’ and the capability to bring about ‘Change.’
You all have a voice, an opinion that can make a difference, a thought that can bring a change. I, thereby, invite decision-makers, architects, designers, artists and enablers to come together on the engaging platform of WADe Asia and SRPR The Talk of Town city events and share ideas and experience, so that we all can learn and grow collaboratively.
Keep reading Surfaces Reporter magazine!
Power is no more in the Big, the Great or the Mighty. Power is in ‘Action’ and the capability to bring about ‘Change'.
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?
(This article was first published in www.businessEx.com on November 11, 2017)
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.
This article was first published in www.businessEx.com on November 11, 2017
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
What has been your greatest achievement so far?
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.