“Entrepreneurship for women is a real possibility today!” says Prof. Anita Kshetri
“It’s still a little tough for the women to be entrepreneurs, but Indian Society is changing and gradually we are seeing more acceptance of women entrepreneurs. There are a lot of support mechanisms from State and Central Governments. What we really need is awareness of these support systems, a bit of hand-holding and encouragement from the family and community”. These are the words of Prof. Anita Kshetri, Assistant Professor Marketing, Kirloskar Institute of Advanced Management Studies (KIAMS). She was addressing young women and men who gathered on the 27th of February, 2014 to hear her speak. Prof. Kshetri was invited by the M.A.Rangoonwala Institute of Hotel Management & Research, Pune to deliver a lecture on “Setting upof Bakery Business for Girls”.
According to Prof. Kshetri, many startups fail due to lack of guidance, mentoring and hand-holding. To this, she said, “If we can provide an eco-system to support entrepreneurship, it will have multiple positive cascading effect”. The audience was thrilled with the perspective that she presented. She told them that Vision, Resilience, and Adaptability are the three attributes that a successful entrepreneur needs. Prof. Kshetri is a consultant for a bakery herself. She helped set it up and continues to help them run the business. This gives her deep insight into the many responsibilities faced by individuals in the business world.
“In a start-up, every day is a new challenge”, she told the gathering. She said that one has to be mentally prepared to face the unexpected in a business since no one can predict the exact circumstances. One has to be adaptable to the changing situations and business environment. Advising the students to work on their ability to face pressures, she said that any startup is fiercely demanding and requires a lot of effort. Many times entrepreneurs succumb to these pressures or lose patience to stay put in the business.
“I think the biggest reward of being an entrepreneur”, she says, “is the sense of being the creator of one’s own destiny!”
She further explained that aspirants must look at entrepreneurship on a larger scale than just as an alternative to a job or a placement. Entrepreneurship is a catalyst for a successful economy and a better society. Whether an enterprise is a micro, small or medium enterprise, it generates employment opportunities for many skilled, unskilled or semiskilled people. This addresses the daunting challenge of unemployment and poverty. Putting business in a larger perspective, she emphasized on the need for learning to look at the big picture:“As faculties we teach students to address a company or an industry challenge, but we must also teach them to look at challenges beyond a company and an industry. That’s what holistic development is!”
Prof. Kshetri believes in giving back to society and to the next generation. She is happy to accept invitations like this and share what she can to enable learning. “Knowledge must be shared, experiences must be shared”, she says. “I am just trying to share what I experienced, and what I have learned.” The session was rich and included topics from the licenses required for setting up a bakery to set up to issues pertaining to branding, packaging, and selling of goods.