Wednesday, December 8, 2021

WIN X AAZOL panel discussion: On bolstering home-grown brands, small businesses and women entrepreneurs paving way for thoughtful leadership

WIN took forward the conversation on bolstering home-grown brands, small businesses and women entrepreneurs paving way for thoughtful leadership, in collaboration with Aazol Ventures Pvt. Ltd., presenting an exceptional panel discussion with some of India’s renowned female changemakers and trailblazers.

An in-depth, live discussion took place across platforms, a panel comprising of Harpreet Suri – renowned mom-blogger and influencer, Mrs. India mentor; in addition to Apurva Purohit – leading Businesswoman, author, Founder: Aazol Ventures Pvt. Ltd., - Amrita Chowdhury - a business strategist, engineer & innovator; Meghna Ghai Puri – Educationalist, President of Whistling Woods Organization; Mansi Zaveri – Actor, Podcaster, Founder of Kids Stop Press; Kanisha Malhotra – Entrepreneur, Actor, Influencer and Filmmaker;  and Stuti Jalan - Founder of Women Inspiring Network. The discussion was aimed at taking forward the conversation on the growing prominence of home-grown brands. The live session was cross streamed on Thoughtful Leadership and Entrepreneurship with Aazol, which has garnered more than 15,300 views across platforms.

Leveraging the influence of key note speakers such as Kanisha Malhotra with over 3.7mn followers, Mansi Zaveri with 190K followers, Whistling Woods 157K followers and Amrita Chowdhary with 22K followers, the session effectively engaged their followers and boosted awareness amongst thought leaders and a younger demographic.

Apurva Purohit, founder of Aazol stated, “I think the pandemic resulted in a lot of inequality in the system between the haves and have nots, between rural and urban, between educated and non-educated, between men and women. So, I think any person who lives in fairness. Has to really reflect that what can I do? And we have been so blessed in the resources that we have got and, in the experience, we’ve got, the education we’ve got. It is our job. It is our job to create impact, how do we create impact? Whether it is for one person or whether it is for hundred women or a million women.  I think our company came in at that moment where we realise that rural India’s stressed. So, we have tied up with self-help groups to buy some incredible food products that they are making all over rural Maharashtra and bring it to urban consumers. From the urban consumer end, I think the need that the pandemic sort of hit upon was a need for more healthy living, mindful living, eating local and again whatever is happening in climate change. One of the big messages ah the universe is throwing at all of us is how do we live a more sustainable life and local cuisine which is healthier, more sustainable in terms of the farming and also is fulfilling the, the inequality that that that is existing by ensuring that income goes to rural self-help groups. I think that was really the thought that ah the vision of Azul was born with.”

Women are great agents of change, especially in leadership positions. They lead with compassion, unwavering sense of intuition and meticulous organization. They bring in far-reaching benefits of diversity and gender parity in leadership and decision-making environments.

The default gender of leadership is male. Women entrepreneurs in India often do not want to label themselves as ‘women leaders’ but they are the need of the hour. We need to establish women leadership, we need to show that we are better leaders, we need others to know of our presence. We do not need to compete but we need to show that, if she can, then so can I. Collaborate to help each of us to grow. We need to end the notion that women are against women when in reality women are more than happy to help each other. Women entrepreneurs in world share the same experience when it comes to their skills. Women's entrepreneurship and leadership skills are always questioned and the only way out of this it by joining hands and walking together.

Both the discussions were essentially conducted, in an effort to celebrate home-grown brands, small business and business owners, and the very spirit and essence of female entrepreneurship and the future of enterprising, aspiring women looking to take the entrepreneurial plunge. The symposiums aimed to give some refreshing new outlooks and stances with respect to how today’s leading changemakers view the electrifying and absolutely empowering wave of female entrepreneurship across the country. The sessions also shed light on matters, such as key motivators for small business-owners, bringing back cultural nostalgia with domestic brands, contributing factors to promising growth in the number of female entrepreneurs, essence of women entrepreneurship in the society, valuable insights for individuals looking to embark on the journey of entrepreneurship, etc. Each panellist brought forth a unique perspective to the table.

Amrita Chowdhury, talked about how progress does not happen by being balanced. As women expectations on us are far harsher, we are expected to balance everything. It is okay to accept a little imbalance in life. Accept you need to be unbalanced in few aspects of your life. All you need to show is impact, and impact is the product of growth, so demand impact.

Kanisha Malhotra shared her experience of building a brand “As an influencer, earlier, I used to just concentrate on my content. But since the pandemic I have also come up with ideas of my own business and everything. So social media in a way has been a really big support for all of us. Specially the small businesses and entrepreneurs because, I didn’t have a website to start with. So, I started making content, I started putting things on my Instagram handle or Facebook handle. So that’s where I started getting orders. So now also Facebook so many groups which you know really help you grow as a as an entrepreneur.”

Entrepreneur, educationalist and director, Meghna Ghai Puri shared about her journey, saying that, “I think believing in yourself is so important. I think a lot of women do not believe in their own potential. It may seem so difficult to actually put into action. But, please believe in yourself, have the courage to face ups and downs.”

Renowned mom blogger, content creator and Mrs. India mentor, Harpreet Suri, stated that, “I come from a very conservative family. I never thought that I would be able to do something worthwhile in life. However, I changed the game, and chose to become the heroine of my own life.”

Sharing an interesting story from her life, Mansi Zaveri told mothers to feel guilty about their choices, “So, you know one day, my husband and I were putting the kids to bed. It’s a ritual that we never let go. And we just asked both my girls so what you want to do when you grow up? Just as bed time conversation, and they said we want to run Kidstoppress. And my husband said nobody wants to do what daddy is doing. They like no, you know your job is very boring and we want to run. And trust me, all the guilt that I pent up over all of the years, the days that I am feeling like I am the worst mom, just flew into thin air. I just think that I can say, dude, I have, I am building a legacy business, right? So, it’s, it’s these small joys, right?”

Stuti Jalan, founder of Women Inspiring Network, stated that "The role of Women entrepreneurs in the nation’s economic development is inevitable. Women are willingly taking up business and contributing to the nation’s growth. Their role needs to be increasingly recognized and wholehearted steps need to be taken to promote women entrepreneurship.”

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